"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." Ralph Waldo Emerson I’m 34 years old. That puts me on the oldest edge of the infamous millennial generation. I’m newly married. I have a stable day-job while launching a bootstrapped sharing economy startup. We live in a small west LA apartment and barely make our monthly expenses. But my wife and I love to travel. It’s the most important thing in our life. Luckily there’s never been a better time to travel on a budget. Today you can reach the deepest outposts of the world and experience these places like a local with the help of simple online resources. I recently got back from a surf trip to Indo and either used or wished I had used the following 4 best travel websites/apps.
If you’re not using ZOZI to agendize your adventure travel then you’re blowing it. There’s a reason Richard Branson recently invested $30M into this brilliant company. Self-described in the “Tours” sector, Zozi provides best-in-class software to curate local activities in every destination on the globe. Book a canyoneering tour at a secret waterfall in LA or an epic yoga retreat in the rainforest of Costa Rica. In the Wall Street Journal, an investor said that the company is tapping into a larger trend that has consumers opting to spend more of their income on “activities and experiences, particularly as platforms develop that make them easier to find and book.” I wish I had known about this incredible eight-day Bali escape before I booked my honeymoon.
describes themselves as the next generation of content marketing and storytelling for the travel industry. Storytelling is what motivates today’s young traveler. We want to connect with locals, explore the unknown…and then share on social media. Skift is staking claim as the go-to voice of this movement. They combine beautiful design, incredible imagery and a modern, creative tone to inspire followers to get outside and share their own adventures. I loved this blog about new travel startups where the writer offers his “SkiftTake” after each summary. Plus, Skift is taking their disruption to travel conferences with the launch of the Skift Global Forum, which promises, “the TED of travel that this industry desperately needed.”
might be the adventure traveler’s new best friend. It’s a marketplace to rent gear from locals around the world. Think Airbnb for outdoor sports gear. If you’re spending the money to find the world’s greatest waves, you should make sure you have the right board. Now you don’t have to worry about the expensive and annoying process of packing your board on the flight. Use StokeShare’s international marketplace to pre-meet a trusted local who can ensure you he’s got the 5’10” flyer you like to rip. The best part…he tells you where the locals are agro and where to get your fish taco after the session. Plus, StokeShare has it all. The camping gear, snowboard, standup paddleboard and kayak are everywhere you plan to go. Connect with a local and get out there!
The future of business travel has arrived. Outsite allows you to stay, work and play in beautiful places. This new startup caters to the adventurous, connected traveler who enjoys networking with other travelers. Outsite combines homesharing, couchsurfing, co-working, incubating and of course, outdoor adventures. With locations in Santa Cruz, Lake Tahoe and San Diego, California, Outsite makes accessing the outdoors a simple extension of your stay. I recently stayed at the Encinitas (San Diego) House on my way to a conference. I surfed with a guy at Google Ventures, had a beer in the hot tub with some cool people building a cleantech startup, and then hungout with the Outsite founder discussing their next pitch night. There is nothing like traveling. Seeking the unknown is innate in all of us. It’s what enabled us to inhabit every corner of this incredible planet. The future needs us to keep living, keep traveling and keep exploring. Check out these fun new ways to experience the world like a local.