Our story - Power to the traveler!
Travel is about experiences: the unexpected twists, the perfect moments. It is about finding yourself jet-lagged on a deserted beach in Costa Rica witnessing the return of the fishing fleet after a night out on the ocean or seeing the sweat soak through your T-shirt as you walk around downtown Kuching. It could be the ebb and flow of the motorbikes in central Saigon that sparks your perfect moment, or the road sign you just passed, deep in Arizona, that lays bare just how far away from anything you are: ‘Diner, 70 miles right.’
Travel writer Pico Iyer famously compared travel to love saying, “Travel is a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed.” We believe this to be true.
The most valued travel advice
If travel is like love, it explains why we love sharing our travel experiences. It is that classic traveler’s conversation that we’re all part of, starting with, “Where have you been? Any tips?” Your friends already ask you for travel tips, right? And you ask them? We all do it because a personal recommendation, from one human to another, is the most valued travel advice there is.
Research confirms this. We rate “friends, family and coworkers” as our most trusted source of information on where to stay when traveling (83% trustworthy). (Sabre company, July 2016)
We believe in the unmatched power of personalized recommendations. TRVL is – “Where have you been? Any tips?” – multiplied a thousand times.
TRVL is a peer-to-peer booking platform that breaks down the traditional barriers of the travel industry and puts travelers in the driver’s seat. For the first time, you can earn a commission on every booking, for your travel group and others. For the first time, you can recommend and share trips and earn a commission. For the first time, you can own a travel booking website, for free, and set up shop like a TRVL Agent. We're changing how millions of people book their holidays.
Whether you sign up as a TRVL Agent to help family and friends or to start a business, it is your choice. We will support you either way. There’s no club to join, no programs to pay for, no targets to hit... just your travel smarts plus our travel tech. You can use the money you earn to fund your next trip.
Light bulbs on the beach
TRVL is the brainchild of photographer, writer, and global wanderer Jochem Wijnands. When he was 16 he went to Paris on his first solo trip and later hitchhiked through Europe for a summer before he was 20. He was a travel photographer for National Geographic and other global publications for 15 years. In 2010, he started TRVL as an iPad magazine and created a proprietary mobile publishing platform called Prss, which was acquired by Apple in 2014 and would become Apple News.
The deciding moment was when Jochem, still living in California, was planning a vacation to Mexico. He asked his team at Apple for tips, and somebody came forward with a passionate story about a tiny village called Yelapa that could only be reached by boat. The hotel she recommended was simple but right on the beach, and it came with a natural pool. Jochem was sold and booked the trip. Two months later, when he found himself with his family, perfectly happy, on the crescent-shaped beach of Yelapa, a light bulb went off. “I have been so lucky. Where would I have ended up without this recommendation?” he thought, “...what if this type of travel advice was available on demand, when you need it?”
He is now dedicated to connecting travelers and empowering them to share their best experiences, turning everybody into a reimagined type of travel agent. Crowdsourced, collaborative, and trusted: TRVL will change how millions of people book their holidays.