Collaboration of the Week – Trevolta

I want you to imagine something. Imagine you have been dreaming, for a very long time, of travelling to Peru and making the climb up to the ancient Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. You can almost smell the crisp South American mountain air and hear the birds singing in the trees. Then you wake up.

For most people, the chance to visit an exotic destination will always be nothing more than a dream, the cost puts it beyond reach. Or at least it used to. Now, with the rise of collaboration, people are working together to send each other on trips of a lifetime. Trevolta is a fantastic service that takes the concept of crowdfunding (as seen on services such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo) and is applying it to travel.

Trevolta

Trevolta’s concept is nice and simple. If you have a trip you have been longing to take you sign up on their website. You tell everyone where you want to go, why you want to go there, and how much money you are asking for to make it happen. Then, you wait and hope that the passion you have for your journey inspires all of the generous people out there to make a contribution to send you on your merry way.

Now, I was once told that nothing in life is free, and this is no different. As with all crowdfunding platforms, investors make their contribution with the understanding that they are going to get something in return. The common theme of trips that find funding on Trevolta is that they all have a purpose. Let’s be honest, do you really expect people to pay for you to go a spend a week soaking up the sun on a beach in the Maldives? Neither do Trevolta. Successful journeys have got something unique about them that makes it worth investing in. Whether it’s travelling using an alternative form of transport, such as getting from Paris to Istanbul by bicycle, or roaming around Africa seeking to find the answers to one particular question: “What made you smile today?”.

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Travelling is an incredible experience and Trevolta is making it possible for people to go where they have only ever dreamed. Maybe you have always wanted to take a take a trip; perhaps to photograph the noble gemsbok in the deserts of Namibia, or to travel the length of the Great Wall of China on a unicyle.If you have, then why not put your plan on Trevolta and see what happens? On the other hand, maybe you can help others to fulfil their dreams, by contributing to a journey that inspires you. This is just another way that working together we can make life better.

 

 

Collaboration of the Week – Airbnb

Collaborative consumption is not really a new idea. If you go back in human history there were times when we relied heavily upon the communities we were a part of to meet our needs. During the age of mass consumption and through a constant desire to own more and more products it has largely died out. Why would you use your neighbour’s power drill when you could just run down to the hardware store and buy your own? However, times seem to be changing.

People are starting to realise that they don’t need to measure their success by the amount of things they own. Technology is helping us to leverage the power of our communities, be they local or even virtual. There has been a rise in the number of new ventures that capitalise on this and use collaboration as the basis for their business model. These businesses are growing and emerging all over the world and we can use them to meet a variety of needs and wants. I’ve decided that, in an effort to increase awareness of collaborative consumption, I will publish a weekly exposition of a particular business and how you can use it. This week I am looking at the big daddy of collaborative consumption – Airbnb.

Airbnb

Airbnb, at its roots, is a very simple model. It works on the premise that a lot of people have got extra space in their home (a spare bedroom, an extra bed or even a garden shed). This extra space is then offered to travellers looking for a place to stay. The advantages to the home owner are that they can make a bit of money out of space that is sitting empty. For the travellers it is an alternative to expensive hotels and is an opportunity to experience a destination as a local.

I, myself, used Airbnb to find accommodation in New York City. I found a lovely little place in the Upper East Side that was leagues cheaper than hotels in the area. It allowed me to stay in a nice area of the city at a fraction of the cost. Additionally, the people whose home I was staying in gave me advice on the best places to visit, places to eat in the area and tips on how to use the public transport. Sure, a hotel might give you similar information, but it is likely generic and comes on a brochure. This was personal and friendly advice on how to make the most of my short time in the area.

Booking the accommodation is a piece of cake. The website is easy to navigate and I found everything was well explained. Before requesting my room I was able to peruse the profile of the homeowners and read the reviews left by previous travellers (all of which were positive). I even had a conversation with them, asking some questions about the room and the area, before I made the booking. There was never any doubt about their trustworthiness and I felt confident throughout the entire process. After my stay I left a review on my experience and received a review of my own, to let future hosts know that I am pleasure to host. These elements of reviewing and establishing trust are common across collaborative models and you will notice that most of the examples I present over the coming weeks will incorporate methods of reputation development.

If this article does anything at all, I will be happy if it means you check out Airbnb next time you are travelling. Just visit the website, type in your destination and explore the options available. If you have any questions about how to use it, or have used Airbnb yourself, please feel free to comment on this post. And, look out for next week’s collaboration!

The World’s Best Travel Blogger

Well, I think at this time it is fair to say that I am not the world’s best (or at least most up to date) travel blogger. My intention was simple: to keep you all up-to-date with my journey around the world. But, I have barely managed to scrape the surface. From all I have written on this blog you would be forgiven for thinking that I am still stuck on the northern tip of New Zealand, apparently wallowing away my time doing nothing at all; when in fact, I have completed an entire circuit of New Zealand and am now one week into my time in Sydney.

The fact is, there is far too much for me to catch up on. I am going to have to wave the white flag. Throw in the towel. Withdraw from the event. This is not an entirely bad thing. Rather than giving you a day-by-day account of all that I have been doing (let’s face it, that doesn’t exactly make for riveting reading), I am going to pick and choose the highlights of the trip and attempt to convey how incredible they were. Rather than hearing about the toast that I had for breakfast in Christchurch, you will hear about the daring traverse that I made over an active volcano! Instead of me telling you about the rather mundane conversation that I had with a Peruvian fellow in Queenstown, I will share with you the story of my epic adventures on the glaciers of the Southern Alps!

In place of the journalistic approach that I was initially attempting to take with this blog, you will find a highlights package of my travels akin to the recap of an especially engaging game of rugby or the, possibly more dramatic, highlights of the previous week’s Masterchef episode!

To keep you motivated once more, here is a picture of me and some trolls.

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