You Live to Travel!
Both, Jen Fein and Bron Thulke, have extensive experience designing digital products. The idea of YouLi came to Jen after years of traveling the world as a digital nomad. As she was planning a wedding in Jordan, she realized the need for the travel software to plan a 30-person wedding trip with ease.
But it wasn’t just convenience Jen and Bron were after when they started building YouLi travel management platform. There are plenty of applications on the market that can help anyone plan a trip. They felt the need to support the emerging need for people to experience travel that transforms. Jen says traveling changed the way she sees the world. She has shared that with her network by leading trips, but wanted to share it with many more. Which means she needed to create a community of like-minded group leaders that wanted to share that feeling with their people.
Together, Jen and Bron realized that today’s networking technologies give people freedom to be who they want to be wherever they are. The world has become truly global, and the travel industry, specifically group travel is now playing a critical role in connecting communities around the world.
Travel on its own is no longer the purpose of a trip. More and more travelers are looking to gain new perspective, learn new skill, connect to people across the globe, and make an impact on the world. The idea of “travel as the consequence” is becoming increasingly popular (Source: Skift Survey, 2017)
It is no longer about getting to the destination to relax and observe. Travelers are seeking to get involved in the community, actively participate, and make the change they are looking for in the world. That is what the YouLi team calls “transformational travel”.
There are many examples of transformational travel among YouLi clients. Educational programs by The Hacker Exchange bring Australian students to Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv, and Singapore to practice entrepreneurial skills in the most advanced startup environment. Other examples include cultural exchange tours to Tunisia and Saudi Arabia by Almanar Consulting, social impact journeys around India by TribesforGOOD, extreme adrenaline & nature immersions by Best Life Adventures, and many other life-changing events, YouLi customizes the software to the needs of the change-makers in the field to empower their group trips.
Jen and Bron did not want to follow the concept of highly “robotized” global booking platforms. Their goal was to create the software for group travel events that treasure personal connections. Like the mentor relationships LifeChanger Org has with its youth challenge-takers. Every student is a part of family impacted for a lifetime, not just a single trip. As a small team, they were able to listen to every client and respond to their needs with flexibility worldwide aggregators could not provide.
So they took on the challenge to create the travel tech to help small travel businesses deliver top experiences and scale them without doing the work from scratch every time, and that involved:
Instant updates to personalized itineraries that could be set up to look different for each traveler
Ability to save trips as templates for future reference
Ability to assign tasks for travelers with automated email reminders
Branded registration pages with white-labeled domain to support the trip mission
Personalized views based on traveler’s status
Commission free payment options
Internal team communication - it takes a lot to deliver a transformational tour
Dynamic content reflection and offline downloads for mobile convenience
It took hard work, open collaboration, and strong commitment to bring that idea into vivid reality. It’s been over 3 years, and the YouLi startup is now an international team of 5, and a reliable SaaS (software as a service) platform that evolves together with its growing clients base. They are proving that the Transformational Travel Movement is a growing audience, connecting communities and changing the way we see the world.
If you are looking for travel tech to support your group travel events, Request a Demo with the YouLi team, and have your questions answered.
If you want to join the discussion with other unique travel businesses, YouLi hosts monthly online community meetups. Each meetup discusses a different topic around the struggle of building and scaling transformational travel events in a highly competitive environment. You can register here to join the conversation and get regular updates.