So what’s TravelSherpa?
TravelSherpa — Social Travel Planning Apps is an idea I have had for some time, its taken far too long to realise due to a number of reasons (starting/running an app development agency, getting married, having a baby, travelling etc.). But, it’s here now.. (yay)
Make real life connections with other travellers and local residents.
We want to get you out of the screen and into the real world!
The idea behind TravelSherpa was to create a ‘travel assistant/companion’, something that is always there for you before and during your travels. TravelSherpa is more than just another ‘social’ distraction; it’s purpose is to allow you to find & meet real people and travel to-do’s in the real world.
I have done alot of travelling (or traveling for US readers!) and some of this as a solo traveller (Thailand, Singapore, Spain, California, Nevada). Although travelling solo is great and you meet people along the way it can get lonely (especially when you are in a country you do not speak the language). So the idea behind TravelSherpa was to create an app which would allow users to plan trips and find other like-minded travellers who will be in the same places at the same time. You can either plan ahead or plan right there and then; i.e. your sitting in Vegas bored (as I was after a few days) or are heading to Madrid and want to connect with another like-minded traveller in a similar situation to either explore the city with or simply grab a coffee and have a chat; maybe even someone from the same country as you.
So this prompted the initial app idea.
To build on this I thought “what if I could also meet-up with a local resident who knows the town” (i.e. see Madrid!); sure meeting up with a traveller is great but it would also be pretty cool to plan a meet-up with a local who loves their city and have them show me all the best spots and help me to REALLY get off the tourist route/trap; meeting other travellers is great for companionship but some of the most memorable experiences I have had while travelling has been while interacting with a local. The places are great but when you chat with someone who lives there it really helps you appreciate the place a whole lot more and helps create even more meaningful memories.
Some of these times for me have been having a beer with a long-term hippy resident at a local bar in San Francisco or having an 80+ year old lady walk my girlfriend (now wife) and I 30mins out of her way to show us where a temple was we were looking for! As simple or short lived as these experiences were, they were and still are very memorable times during my travels which I will never forget.
There has been plenty more experiences like the above and they all had one thing in common, every local I spoke with, every local who approached me to assist while I/we looked completely lost ALL loved their home towns — they wanted to help! They were more than happy to help and proud to provide advice and talk about their hometown. Surely there is lots of people out there who would be happy to show visiting travellers their town or even just provide some quick advice via mobile message inbox.
So the ‘find a local resident’ feature was added.
So we can now find other travellers to connect and travel with, and local residents when we want more in-depth local knowledge and experience.
The only thing (or things) really missing from the app now was finding things to-do while travelling; whenever there is a place I want to visit there is always a handful of ‘must see to-dos’ basically the reason I want to go to a place in the first place! Once I have seen these I’m usually happy to explore at random and see what I come across. But there is always some highlights I have to see first. So travel ‘to-do lists’ were introduced to the app. You can add to-dos to your travel list from our to-dos database and we will also soon be updating this feature to allow users to add their own to-dos (available now) and later review to-dos. In addition (and to help fund & grow the app) we will be allowing travel related businesses to add sponsored to-dos (available now, see https://travelsherpa.co/travel-business-advertising); all of which will be reviewed to ensure they are providing benefit to the app community.
At the end of the day we want TravelSherpa to be the only app &/or guide book you really need while travelling, either on a year long back-packing trip around the world or a family trip to Bali; those heavy guidebooks you only ever seem to read 10% of are not ideal for airline weight restrictions (or your back)!
TravelSherpa has been in the making for some time; its developed by travellers for travellers; we want this to be a real community, a place where you can plan your trips, meet like-minded travellers and make REAL life connections with REAL people either face-to-face or through the app via your message inbox.
I’ll leave you with a statement from ‘Ta Moko’ on the album ‘1 Giant Leap’ which has stuck with me ever since I first heard it 10+ years ago. It’s a statement that is always in the back of my mind and has influenced the way I have aimed to live my life and reflects the purpose of the growing TravelSherpa community; listen to the song on Spotify @ https://open.spotify.com/track/3bv06syDsSuO1IUgaMFvM5 or YouTube @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emY8lGS6Id4
Some people went around interviewing dying patients
But not one person said they regretted not making more money or working harder
They all seemed to say their regrets were not spending more time with the people they loved
And not travelling more and relating more to the world and the planet
We hope you will join our travel community https://travelsherpa.co
If you have any ideas for improving the app / community please feel free to log these @ https://travelsherpa.freshdesk.com
If you are a travel, tech or app blogger you are welcome to re-use this article (& modify to suit) for your own blogs or print media. You can download our media kit with logos and app screenshots @ TravelSherpa-MediaKit.zip
For the tech-heads; TravelSherpa is developed cross-platform for iPhone & Android phone running a Python/Django back-end.