One of my biggest frustrations when planning my travels is trying to decide where to stay.
No matter whether I am on a tight budget or looking to splurge, I often really struggle to find somewhere that ticks all the boxes. Ratings on booking sites can be helpful, but so often they are all 4 or 5 stars so you cannot distinguish between the options anyway. Tripadvisor can be useful – but I often wonder if the reviewers are remotely similar to me, and if our perceptions and evaluations would be wildly different.
I often turn to blogs and online sites whilst seeking inspiration and ideas on a destination, but so many of these are paid for by the local tourism board or a hotel partner. This is of course fine, but it can lack authenticity. What about us travellers who still believe in personal recommendations and would value the opinion of a friend or trusted traveller in our decision making process?
In my own pursuit of traveller happiness, I came across TRVL, a travel start up. This booking platform is based entirely on personal travel recommendations and enables those travellers to earn money through a commission system, so everyone is winning! I consider TRVL as a kind of like Airbnb/Tripadvisor hybrid, but based on real travellers’ recommendations.
What is TRVL?
Instead of reading blog posts or online articles where tourism boards and local partners have paid a travel writer to include their hotel, TRVL offers travellers the opportunity to select hotels (and book them through the site), based purely on recommendations.
TRVL is a hotel booking platform for super travellers; for those who prefer to consider authentic recommendations instead of pouring over hotels.com. It’s just like asking a friend.
From the other side, TRVL also provides a way for users to earn money (through commission-based bookings) for their travel recommendations. It’s an incredibly simple system. Although there might be fewer options, the hotels included are of better quality as the recommendations are authentic and organic. TRVL however then links back to the traditional sites such as booking.com.
TRVL is disrupting the traditional method of approaching travel agents, and removes the third party by enabling travellers to do it themselves!
Why use TRVL for future bookings?
There are many travel start-ups emerging, but only some will have the longevity and value – and TRVL is one of these. Genuine travel suggestions and ideas are going to become increasingly important as consumers and travellers struggle to find real value in their pre-trip research. This kind of personalised first-hand advice is missing from current hotel booking platforms, where instead hotels are simply sorted by price point or an arbitrary review system.
Where is TRVL present and what kind of commission can you earn?
The travel start up is based out of Amsterdam, but is present across the world, including the UK, the US, Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore and Hong Kong. It launched at the end of 2016 and is already taking the travel industry by storm with thousands of members in more than 120 countries. TRVL offers users an appealing earning model of up to 10% per booking. TRVL even enables users create and develop your own travel booking website so that you can share all your top suggestions with your social circle, and therefore to earn further money with travel recommendations. I’ve sort of ended up becoming a travel agent for my friends by creating travel itineraries for them, and earning!
To compare, the beautiful COMO Uma Ubud for the night of 19th November is listed at the following price points on booking.com and priceline.com
You can share your link through most social media channels and email, and watch the commission rack up as your family, friends and colleagues book through your link!
The commission arrives in your account approximately 30 days after the stay is complete. Easy!
What about the rates? Are there discounts on hotels available?
Yep – often discounts range between 20 and 65% across hotels around the world. The interface details the commission you’d receive right under the cost.
Who’s the brainy person behind all of this?
Dutch global wanderer and former National Geographic photographer Jochem Wijnands. He sold his previous company to Apple in 2014, which became Apple News and then continued onto create TRVL.
How to get started
First of all, sign up here to become a member.
Then create your profile page, which will give you a personalised web address. Mine is stokedtotravel.trvl.com (of course!).
Then you have the option of customising your dashboard and verifying your profile with all of your social accounts.
You can then use your account to search for hotels across the globe and book directly through this platform.
You can also add your bank details to start earning a commission. You also have the option to invite friends and members of the travel community to sign up, where you can earn a referral bonus US$20 for the first stay they complete, as do they!
If this sounds great to you then here’s my code. If you use this to sign up, you’ll receive USD$20 towards your next stay!