Anyone who has known me for more than a couple of minutes knows that traveling sets my soul on fire. Since I was old enough to travel on my own, I have no doubt spent thousands of hours online and at bookstores researching travel destinations and planning imaginary trips for my hopeful future. Eventually, I was able to make some of these imaginary trips a reality. Over time, I have been asked by family and friends to help with trip planning too. I have often perused travel agent jobs, wondering “Just how do I start this as a serious business?” Well, I have come to realize that travel agents are mostly people who have taken some sort of courses on booking platforms, perhaps purchased a “build your own business website” package, and spend countless hours on the phone arrange prepackaged tours and cruises. As a traveler seeking unique experiences, I find this situation disappointing.
What about travelers with lived experience and undying obsession over finding and sharing the best of the best options across the globe…places unspoiled by mass tours…places where the locals eat, drink, and get merry? Is there a place in the world of travel planning for these people? Whether you are planning your first adventure or your hundredth, surely you can agree that these are, in fact, the best people to consult with when planning a trip. So, imagine my elation when I learned “There is an app for that!” Trec is a new platform bringing local and experienced (through means of actual travel) “travel experts” and travelers with questions together through a direct messaging platform.
How does it work? You’ve heard of these online therapists you can text any time, right? It’s a bit like that…having your own personal travel roadie, available whenever you need. Simply search for Trec in Facebook Messenger or WeChat and join. Once you set-up your account, you can connect any time by entering your question, choosing your travel expert, and chatting interactively about the topic. Really! Trec will match you to experts that suit your needs based on their location, interests and skills, and immediate availability. Then you can select an expert from the list of recommendations based on your ultimate preferences and desired rate. Trec aims to ensure that travelers are connected to the best expert for their needs to find the best fit for both the traveler and the expert.
Let’s talk rate. For about $4, you can go to Starbucks at Barnes and Noble while you try to make sense of and categorize all of the information in hundreds of travel books all more-or-less providing the same recommendations. Or…you can spend 5-15 minutes receiving personalized information from someone who has a real love for and has either lived or traveled extensively in the area. My bet is on Trec for individualized itineraries and discovery of places less known and must-do activities.
Plus, once on the road, you’re one click and a message away from receiving live support during the course of your trip. In the Uber after dinner looking for a nightcap? Log on and ask about nightlife spots and events in the city tonight. Need to pick up some last minute gifts before heading to the airport empty-handed? Chat with your expert to receive recommendations on great shopping options in the area. It really is that simple! Travel agents…watch out! This platform will lead the way in the future of tourism. Go ahead…join Trec to start planning your next trip…or to receive “rescue” travel advice for your adventure right now. Visit http://www.trec.io/ or search for “Trec” on Facebook and WeChat.
Do you share my passion for travel and consider yourself a low-key travel agent? Join as an expert with my code “trec10tif.”