Make New Travel Friends with Tripping

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Mar 21, 2012 / 0 comments

Does your idea of a great trip include getting off the beaten path, meeting locals, and learning the inside scoop about a culture or place? Mine does, too. Our most memorable travel moments are those that include interacting with locals on more than a superficial level. Whether it is meeting for coffee, taking in a concert, or spending the day at someone’s home, talking and laughing and playing new card games, these are the moments you remember when you think about visiting a place.





We've partnered with the hospitality network,, to create a network of Wandering Educators, all around the world. And, it's FREE. Sign up - host someone in your home, or meet them for coffee. Share your city with new friends. While you're traveling, meet up with fellow Trippers for coffee, bike rides, a home stay, a play date with your kids - the sky is the limit. There are many networks on Tripping - from Wandering Educators to volunteers, Peace Corps, family travel, and more. We don't partner with and give our highest recommendations to many organizations - this is one. You'll find the orange tripping button on our home page, and in our weekly newsletter - click to connect with But I think once you sign up, you'll be addicted to meeting, hosting, and enhancing your travels with Tripping. I know I am!





We spoke with Anis Salvesen, Marketing Manager at Tripping, to get the backstory, learn how to best utilize Tripping, inspiration for travel, and more. Here's what she had to say...


Anis Salveson



WE: Please tell us about Tripping...

AS: Tripping is a social travel site that connects travelers with local people for tips, shared cups of coffee and home stays in over 175 countries. By providing a safe and easy way for travelers to engage in cultural exchange, Tripping can transform a simple vacation into a meaningful, life-changing experience. In addition to connecting travelers with locals, Tripping also aggregates and offers local home rentals. From Fijian bungalows to New York City lofts, travelers can use Tripping to step off the tourist path and stay in unique local spaces in over 15,000 cities worldwide.


WE:  What was the genesis of your site?

AS: It's a great story.  Jen O'Neal, Co-Founder and CEO of Tripping, was inspired to start the community when she was living abroad in London and was frequently hosting travelers.  She hosted dozens of visitors in the year-and-a-half she lived there.  In talking with her guests, whom she hosted through various hospitality exchange sites, it became clear that there was a need for a site that made it safer and easier for travelers to connect with local people. In 2009, Jen recruited Nate Weisiger, her former colleague from the online ticket sales platform StubHub, and Tripping was born. The site formally launched in 2010 and has since spread to over 175 countries.


WE:  How can travelers best utilize Tripping?

AS: Great question.  The best way I can answer that is through examples.  One Tripper I know from San Francisco uses Tripping to meet local people during her business trips.  At the end of the day, rather than going back to her hotel room or grabbing dinner alone, she goes out with local Trippers and their friends to their favorite restaurants.  Another Tripper I know in Boston is a huge foodie and uses Tripping to get tips on the best local taco trucks/farmers market stalls/restaurants and sushi bars whenever he travels.  A Tripper I know in London, an expat who recently moved there, used Tripping to find a short-term place to stay when she first arrived.  Not only did she have a place to stay while looking for the perfect flat to let, she ended up becoming fast friends with one of her hosts and was immediately 'adopted' by her host's circle of friends.  That ability to create a sense of community and facilitate those connections between like-minded individuals, as well as the possibilities for stepping off the tired tourist path via a vacation rental, is what makes Tripping such a powerful tool for travelers.


WE:  What have been your best Tripping moments?

AS: Ooh good - you let me pick more than one.  My husband and I hosted a Tripper from Israel last year, and then this year he came back to the Bay Area - this time for a few months to be part of a startup accelerator program.   He contacted me out of the blue to ask me where in San Francisco we had gone to have Mexican food when he stayed with us, since he wanted to go back to the same restaurant.  We ended up joining him for tacos and beer and had a really fun evening sharing our love of food, technology, and travel.

I can keep going all day, but I'll allow myself to share one more fondly-remembered moment.  Last summer we hosted 3 Austrian Trippers who were making their way around the world during their gap year. They had taken a multi-day bus ride from New Orleans via Las Vegas, so by the time they arrived at our home, they were ready for a quiet evening.  It was a Thursday night and instead of just watching the Thursday night lineup on NBC or whatever people watch, we were sharing a big meal, laughing almost to the point of tears at their hilarious adventures, and oohing and aahing over their beautiful pictures. The fact that they were recent students meant they were traveling on a tight budget, so being able to offer our spare room, in a small way contributing to making their travel dream possible was an honor (and so much fun).





WE:  What Tripping stories have inspired you to travel?

AS: I am constantly inspired, but probably one of the most inspirational stories was from a Tripper in Denmark who is in a wheelchair and has made it her life mission to inspire others with disabilities to get out of their comfort zones and travel. I have spoken with her several times on Skype and every time her passion for traveling and inspiring others to do so has been contagious.  You can read more about her via an interview on our blog.





WE:  What might readers be surprised to find out, about Tripping?

AS: Let's see.  The first thing that comes to mind:  I don't think most people know about our question and answers section. Travelers can go to Tripping Answers and post a question which is seen in the Q&A section of other like-minded travel sites. This gives travelers access to the collective knowledge of over 1 million travelers and locals.  It's a great place to find inspiration when planning your next adventure as well as for helping others get the inside scoop.

Another 'surprising' fact about Tripping is that in addition to connecting with local people for cultural exchange via our site, travelers can also find local vacation rentals.  This means that families, for example, can skip the cookie cutter hotel experience and instead stay in a 'real' neighborhood, where they can shop where the local people do, meet their neighbors and set up play dates with local Tripping families.  And every booking goes to support our community.


WE:  Thanks so very much, Anis, for sharing the awesomeness that is Tripping.



This is part of a Group Writing Project at Families on the Move. Read more about meeting locals on your travels:

Pick Up Lines for Travelers by Keryn at Walkingon Travels

Going Local  by Bethaney at Flashpacker Family

Perpetually Barefoot: Becoming A Local by Gabi Klaf at The Nomadic Family

How To Travel Like A Local- Bret at Green Global Travel