I, like so many, absolutely love this time of year. You can almost always find pumpkin spice flavored things within an arm’s length, the air is crisp and the colors are beautiful. But, make no mistake people – winter is coming. And with it will be one beautiful snow that makes us all jump up and down followed by countless of other snows that drag us down and make us want to lie in bed and eat everything in liquid form and call into work sick. So what is the cure for the surely impending winter blues that are just around the corner? Vacation!
In fact, if I were going to argue for one thing that was a solution to most problems, grievances and troubles with every day life, vacation would be it. Sometimes, you’ve just got to get away! See a new landscape! Meet new people! Try different food! And if it happens to be with a margarita the size of your head…even better! The downside of vacations is that they can often cause more stress – planning is no small task, especially if you are traveling to a foreign country. Luckily, there is a DC startup with a unique take on vacations that will tempt your budget and help you opt-out of the just-around-the-corner winter blues.
The company is called “The Trip Tribe” and is described as “group trips with people you will actually like,” and claims they are the “leading retreat planning site in the world.” The company is based right here in DC on 18th Street, and their story is centered around the city, according to an article by the Washington Post back when they were newer on the scene in 2013. The man behind the company, David Aidekman, started his DC-driven career after being recruited from his Harvard grad program to work in national security policy at the White House. The Washington Post details the beginning of his entrepreneurship, recounting:
“After September 11, 2001, he was working long hours, helping shape the policy around the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. He was rarely able to escape the office – but when he did, he wanted it to be a true getaway.”
So, Aidekman found himself – after work – frequently buried in the planning of his next big vacation – which often meant a group trip for him and his friends. His trips were elaborate, well planned and anything but ordinary – and word soon spread. Before long, Aidekman was managing a vacation-planning list of over a thousand people who were “curious about his itineraries and destinations.” Hence, Trip Tribe was born. In 2013, Aidekman described it as follows:
“What makes for an amazing vacation? The Trip Tribe believes there are two crucial components: the destination and the other people on the trip. We learned these lessons by operating a small group travel business for several years.
The Trip Tribe offers an online solution to common problems facing the group travel industry. First, we are answering a key question that every customer asks before booking a group trip: ‘Who else is going?’ When members sign up, they fill out a social profile (which can be tied to Facebook) that includes age, relationship status and appetite for adventure, nightlife, etc. When users book a trip, we aggregate the data of the troop participants. The Trip Tribe marries the pervasive social web to group travel, delivering travelers experiences with the right people for them based on their social profile.”
In my own interpretation, it is kind of like Match for vacation buddies…which is awesome! You don’t want to go on vacation with someone who is planning to hike the highest peak in sight when you are planning on tanning by the pool and drinking martinis…or vice versa.
This also eliminates the problem of not having anybody to go with…be it because you don’t have the same idea of vacation, you don’t have the same schedule or you have a short friend list. The Trip Tribe has an awesome list of retreats which all seem to center around unique destination and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Here are a few per their website:
Yoga and Holi Festival in India: This is an 8-day trip that allows travelers to “dive into the heart of India.” It includes yoga every morning and stops at the Taj Mahal, Holi celebrations, Agra Fort, a Bollywood movie and more.
Pura Vida: Fitness, Surfing, Mountain Biking and More: This seems like the ultimate adventure package for those who like active vacations. It is a 7-day long vacation hat includes trips to Manuel Antonio, a stop at the famous “Tarcoles Crocodile Bridge, bikes for beach transport, an optional mountain biking tour and more.
A Week in Ireland: Galway, Cork and Dublin: 7 days in the vibrant Irish countryside which includes tasting Guinness in Dublin (duh), the Cliffs of Moher, the Blarney Stone and more.
Seriously though, the possibilities are endless…you could travel to Mexico, Thailand, Italy, Germany, The Philippines or any number of places with The Trip Tribe. What better way to support local than by gallivanting around the world? Bring it on, winter! I’m not scared!