This post is written by Bozena Pieniazek who is our talented contributor on the blog.
I am now 6 months into my journey around the world, and will shortly be starting the Central and South America leg of my trip. While planning my next stops, I decided to do a bit of research into startups that would enable me to:
- Meet new people
- Immerse myself into the local communities/culture
- Save money
- Engage in sustainable/responsible tourism
- Or all the above at once!
Essentially, my goal was to compile a list of applications and websites that would help me (and you) to enrich our travel experiences. So, whether you are looking to save money or explore cities like a local on your next trip, check out these 15 startups that change the way we travel.
BlaBlaCar is a car sharing website that connects people who want to travel with drivers that have empty seats. This website will not only enable you to offset some of your travel and transportation costs, but you will also have the opportunity to meet some interesting people on your journey.
Getaround is a peer-to-peer car sharing mobile marketplace that enables car owners to rent out their cars to people nearby. This service is a win-win solution for all parties involved: 1) Car owners are able to make some extra money, and 2) People who need a car have access to rental cars for a fraction of what rental car companies charge.
Spinlister is a global bike sharing hub. If you are looking for a more active way to get around while travelling, take advantage of Spinlister’s peer-to-pee bike sharing marketplace. In addition to bikes, Spinlister also offers surfboards, snowboards, SUPs and skis.
Uber is a mobile app that enables people to request a ride with transportation providers in over 58 countries. Essentially, Uber is an alternative to existing taxi services as it enables individuals (and their cars) to join Uber’s fleet. Often, rides requested through Uber are cheaper than regular taxi services.
Airbnb is an online marketplace for people to list, discover, and book accommodation in over 190 countries. Through Airbnb you are able to book a room in a city apartment for a night, an entire castle for a week or a villa at the beach for a month. Airbnb provides travelers with an alternative to standard hotel rooms and often even for a better price. In addition, you can socialize with your hosts and get some local insider tips!
Couchsurfing is a global travel community connecting travelers to share their experiences with the aim of fostering cultural exchange. The platform enables travelers to find accommodation with locals instead of staying at hotels.
HomeExchange is an online platform that enables users to swap homes for a nominated period of time. This platform essentially enables you to travel anywhere, live like a local and stay for free in over 150 countries.
Zilyo enables you to compare over 2,000,000 vacation rental listings worldwide. This rental search platform scans 22 sites, such as Airbnb, homestay.com, 9flats.com, Hostelworld and WaytoStay, to help you find the best rental at the best price.
Cookening is a platform that provides travelers with a unique, more authentic food experience. Through Cookening you are able to explore local food, learn more about the culture and place that you are visiting, and additionally meet locals. Essentially, it is a platform where locals and travelers can connect and create food-based experiences.
Eatwith is an online platform that invites people to dine in homes, connect with hosts, share stories and enjoy homemade food together. It is a great way to connect with locals in over 150 countries while enjoying local cuisine.
Feastly is an online marketplace that enables cooks to offer food-based experiences in their homes. As a guest you can experience anything from traditional Korean barbecue to a TED-themed dinner party. Join Feastly in revolutionizing dining and enjoy homemade meals across the globe.
Meetup is a platform that enables you to find people nearby that share your interests. If you are looking to get engaged in the local community while visiting a city or country, try exploring meetup’s wide-ranging communities and groups.
Meet2Talk enables you to find people near you that would like to “swap” languages. It is a great way to learn a local language for free and meet locals while visiting a new country.
Spotted by Locals
Spotted by Locals is a series of blogs and mobile (or pdf) city guides with up-to-date insider tips by city loving locals. This website enables you to experience cities like a local.
Vayable is an online marketplace that enables you to discover and book unique experiences and activities offered by local insiders. It’s a great way to explore places you are visiting while meeting new people – travelers like yourself or locals.
Did we forget you?
Do you know of some other travel startups we should include? Please let us know in the comments below.