Wishing you less research and more travel in the New Year

Happy New Year and may the Force be with you! To kick off the New Year I would like to tell you a story. It happened not so long ago in a galaxy not far away from here. Actually, it was our very own galaxy — so maybe you can relate to it.

It is about a father who decided to take his family of four on a short break over the Christmas holidays. After spending quite a few hours contemplating and researching where to go (Iceland or Lapland to see the Northern Lights? Too dark, really. Marrakesh? Not the best time to visit. Paris, London? Been there, done that..) he decided to go to Berlin. A real breakthrough! He had been there once before and had some vague memories of Berlin and the many many cranes dotting the skyline. But he wouldn’t trust himself to pick a neighborhood, let alone a hotel. So where to start? He ended up visiting as many as 20 different websites to research the city, did an extensive Google search and spent a couple of nights behind his laptop when he could have been spending them with his family. He even bought a Berlin guide in a local bookstore (imagine!).

But his two main questions remained unanswered

1. What neighborhood(s) would be best for a family of four on a first-time visit to Berlin?
2. What hotel would make their stay great instead of just average?

I am not saying he didn’t have a clue after doing all that research. Of course he had a clue. In fact, he had lots of them — too many! He just found it very hard to decide between a hotel with a 4.3 and one with a 4.4 rating, and anxious about the location, especially since he had decided to rent bicycles and too much biking in potentially cold weather would not go well with his young kids.

Then, at a party, he met a friend of a friend who had lived in Berlin and he presented his case to her. She said: “Bruder, I know Berlin like the back of my hand, I know where you should go. There is a hotel which is really central, but quiet because it is in a back alley. It only has 20 rooms. It is run by an older couple that grew up in East Germany. He was a school teacher and she a nurse. They love to talk about so if you have a chance you should ask them about it. They make a great breakfast. They even have a cute little white dog named Gorbachev. Oh, and it comes with complimentary bikes.”

I finished my drink, I mean, he finished his drink, went home, opened his laptop and booked the hotel without giving it another thought. In fact, he felt pretty damn good about the whole thing, as if he had just won the lottery.

Do you recognize this?

This type of kick-ass advice is so powerful, yet so hard to get by in the age of online travel bookings. One personal recommendation can be worth more than 40 hours of research.

At TRVL we have think we can solve this problem in 2016. TRVL is already all about sharing our best stories with you. Wouldn’t it make perfect sense if we would help you find the best hotel and the best neighborhood, too? And cut time spent researching holidays to minutes, not days?

Stay tuned!

Jochem Wijnands
Founder & CEO

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