Inside.co is cutting “around the world in 80 days” down to 18.
This travel startup introduced its portal for $10 travel guides today, which aim to give you the feel of a new place in just three days.
Inside was founded by Andrew Hyde and Brady Becker, two Boulder-based serial entrepreneurs who wanted to combine their love of startups with their love of travel. The result is Inside Travel Guides.
“Brady and I travel a ton, and we thought we could present a better travel guide,” Hyde told VentureBeat. “Our ideal guide included local authors with current information, looked beautiful on mobile devices, and is designed to be used on the road, and finally encouraged more people to travel. Our mantra is ‘never feel lost,’ and our guides match authors with locals that want to make sure they have a great time in their city.”
As Hyde said, the Inside guides are written by locals, available on mobile devices, and eliminate a lot of the process and guesswork from planning a trip. They provide a day-by-day, and place-by-by itinerary.
Hyde said that all Inside’s writers are presented with this challenge:
“Imagine visiting your best friend in a city you’ve never been. Unexpectedly, they’ve had to travel out of town. They left on their counter with instructions on how to have a great time while they are away — their day-by-day guide makes you feel welcome and directs you to those hidden places you’d never find on your own. This is what you are writing for fellow travelers.”
The goal is to make you feel like a local is showing you around. However this passage, as well as others on the site, had typos in them, which is something Inside will need to address if they want their content taken seriously.
People take billions of trips every year, and young people are leading the charge. A recent report found that of the $1.08 trillion (with a “t”) spent on travel in 2012, $217 billion came from young travelers. They are traveling more, staying away for longer periods of time, and spending more money.
Travelers of all ages are forsaking traditional trip planning resources like guide books and travel agencies for digital tools. According to a market research study of the travel marketplace, 80 percent of travelers conduct Internet research ahead of time. A Google study revealed that the average leisure traveler visits an average of 22 different websites.
Here we have a situation where people are clearly using the Internet to plan trips and require more efficient ways to do so.
Of course, droves of travel startups have come before Inside. Peek, Vayable, Mygola, AnyRoad, Wanderfly, Wander, Trippy, Gogobot, and TripIt are just a few of the companies in this space. There are also legacy players like Expedia and TripAdvisor, and the haunting specters of those that couldn’t make it, such as iGottaGuide and Tripl. Oh, and Pinterest also has a special travel section right now.
Inside enters this foray with 35 guides in 17 cities. Guides include an “eats in three streets” guide to San Francisco, a whirl around Reykjavik from a born and raised local, and a photographer’s tour of Nairobi.
All the profits from the guides are split between Inside and the authors 50/50. This could be a way for aspiring travel writers to earn a little extra cash, although $10 for a three-day guide seems a little steep.
Hyde is the founder of Startup Weekend and an original employee of Tech Stars. Becker previously founded Brightkite, which shut down, and Forkly, which is in the process of shutting down. After a couple failed startups from both of them, we will see if this one gets anywhere.
“I want to see more people travel more,” Hyde said. “I think the world would be a better place if people walked a few miles in other countries and experienced how connected and different the world is. More often than not, people are not traveling, or when they are, they fall into the tourist traps and don’t have those amazing experiences. If you have fantastic travel experiences, you travel more and hopefully bring friends and family.”
Inside just launched today and has not raised any venture capital.