Let’s say you’re travelling to a foreign city where you don’t know anyone. The idea of living in a hotel and getting tips from a guide book doesn’t excite you.
Happily there’s a startup designed just for people like you.
Tripping is a network that connects travellers with hosts in more than 130 countries.
CEO Jen O’Neal describes the difference between Tripping and sites like CouchSurfing is a newer interface and a sophisticated reference system to promote safety.
Also Tripping offers more than homestays. Members also connect for travel tips and cups of coffee. “I don’t just go to tripping when I want to be hosted, I also check it out for news from other travellers, to chat with other members,” says Rease Kirchner, a Tripper in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
We’ve talked to some hosts around the world. Sign up and if you want them to show you around.
Tripper: Michael Michelini
Places he's lived in: Hartford, CT; New York, NY; New Jersey, NY; San Diego, CA; Hong Kong, China; Shenzhen, China; Manila, Philippines; London, England.
His interests: travelling, website marketing, social media, SEO, blogging, and adventure tripping.
'In college I had a group of friends to take road trips with. But it wasn't enough, and my friends couldn't keep up with me. This is when I started to travel on my own. It got wilder once I graduated college, and the summer between college and my job I traveled like there was no tomorrow, doing a month in Europe backpacking solo, three weeks driving across USA, and a week in Jamaica.'
About his house: 'We are four roommates with a big living room with two couches and we like to meet people and share experiences. You're welcome to visit us!'
Places he's travel led to: 'I've been hitchhiking in Yemen, eating snakes and bees in China, been to an island in front of Somalia, been arrested by a warship on a rubber boat on my way to a small island, and I swam in the Seine river in front of the Eiffel Tower for a swimming competition.'
Life philosophy: Life is what happens while busy making other plans.
What he's doing right now: travelling around the world with two friends. Rode a Greyhound buss for 40 hours from New Orleans to Las Vegas. After getting to California, they will go to Fiji, New Zealand, Australia and Dubai.
Tripper: Jessica Buchleitner
favourite Local Spots: North Beach Pizza, and Savoy Tivoli in North Beach.
Places She's Lived In: France and the U.S.
'Tripping has connected me with people from all over the world. One in particular was a girl named Amy from Australia. She was visiting San Francisco and I got the chance to show her around a bit. It was really a great experience to connect with someone from another part of the world and be the one who is able to usher them through your own environment.'
Tripper: Rease Kirchner
Places she's traveled to: Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and USA.
favourite local spots: El Ateneo bookstore, Sarkis Armenian restaurant, Jauja ice cream, and Bosques de Palermo.
'I think the best part about tripping is that it combines social networking with traveller hosting. I don't just go to tripping when I want to be hosted; I also check it out for news from other travellers, to chat with other members, or to peruse the latest postcards (a feature I really love!)'
Places she's traveled to: Singapore, Australia, India, Mexico, French Polynesia, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean.
About herself: 'We love guests from everywhere, but are especially keen to host Norwegians (as my husband is from there) and French and/or Italian speakers.'
Personal Description: 'I enjoy listening to people's life experiences, and sharing tips about my city to help you enjoy it as you prefer. If you are up for a drink, for a run or an exhibition, let's get in touch!'
Her favourite places on Earth: Corsica, the French Atlantic coast, New York City, Paris, Barcelona, and Berlin.
About herself: 'I would love to meet people to travel with, learn more about the culture and be shown the best areas and experience the real side of these countries, not just the touristy areas.'
Her favourite places on Earth: 'The Himalayas (so peaceful), Iceland (deserted and vast), Paris (b.e.a-utiful), Vienna (filled with familiar faces and love), Bombay (chaotic hustle and bustle), Fez (beautifully cultural), Barcelona (filled with artistic culture), Bruges (quaint and has the best hot chocolates), Klagenfurt (so 'post-card' perfect).'
Tripper: Alisha Miranda
Personal description: 'I wanna taste the breeze of every great city.'
Places she's traveled to: Puerto Rico, Italy, Spain, and Colombia.
'I was warmly welcomed to San Francisco by my host, Lauren Nicholl. She immediately made me feel a part of her home and introduced me to her roommates who were also really cool and friendly. She gave me personal recommendations on the best places to eat, shop, and ways to get around the city.'
'I loved that staying with Lauren meant I could have my own bedroom and bathroom, set of keys, and sense of home while in San Francisco.'
Personal Description: 'My family is scattered around Russia, so I was doomed to travel since my birth. From these early trips I leaned how to integrate into new environments. I respect other cultures and I'm doing my best to learn from them.'
What I'd like to give and get out of Tripping: 'It would be my pleasure to be your guide to Russian culture.'
Life philosophy: 'If you're not willing to be changed by a place, there's no point in going.'
Places he's traveled to: Spain, U.S., France, England, Ireland, Germany, Russia, Belgium, and Austria.
Places he's traveled to: Antarctica, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Galapagos, USA, Italy, Germany, Holland, England, Spain, and India.
Places where he's been hosted: New York City and San Francisco.
About her home: 'I have a nomadic life. No home base. Wherever I lay my hat is my home, as the saying goes. The freedom and independence of this lifestyle is amazing. I do prefer the tropics, hands down.'
Places she's travel led to: 25 countries
'travellers, if you require a/c, beer or cigarettes, you are going to greatly increase your budget! For over 12 years, I've been enjoying an exciting travel life for $400-500 a month while staying in clean, comfortable and safe places, eating loads of food (4-5 times a day), visiting beautiful places, and finding lots to do. Good news: Tripping can cut down on accommodation costs nicely!'
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