Photo by Twenty20 photos.
Picture this: Josh is planning to visit New York City this January to attend a business-to-business nationwide cannabis convention. He’s never been to the Big Apple before and is unsure of how to research places to stay. And with two extra days to sightsee, he wants to know what activities and attractions are nearby and noteworthy. That’s where Tripscout comes in.
At its core, Tripscout is a travel inspiration and planning platform. Since 2015, it has expanded to the realm of social media and now offers a five-star iOS app. Easily accessible and chock full of information, Tripscout serves as a “personalized, always up-to-date travel guide,” according to their website.
Emerald spoke with Dorth Raphaely, chief marketing and content officer at Tripscout, who provided more details about the company’s origin, growth, goals, and usefulness to cannabis consumers.
The Tripscout Experience
Tripscout offers usability and convenience to its customers. One can sign up for an account on either the app or their website. This requires two simple steps: choosing destinations of interest and topics of interest, including “The Latest,” “Food & Drink,” “Deals,” etc. When a customer enables these preferences, Tripscout provides a personalized experience to each traveler. Users can change these settings at any time.
Additionally, if at any time a user wishes to travel to an area outside of these specifications, all they need to do is type that destination into the conveniently located search bar.
For cannabis consumers, Tripscout can be a particularly useful tool.
“If travelers are looking for cannabis experiences or products, they can search for that kind of content and find that content on our platform,” said Raphaely. On the Tripscout app, one can search within a destination to find more specific content. In areas where cannabis is legal, for example Amsterdam, searching for “cannabis” provides information about dispensaries, articles about how to find the best edibles, and more.
Guiding and Informing Travelers
As the delta and omicron variants rage across the nation, COVID-19 has made travel either impossible or unnerving. Tripscout addresses this issue with their “COVID Info” tab that appears after a user selects their desired destination. This section provides resources relating to local and state guidelines, the latest U.S. COVID data, and other vital information. In this way, Tripscout makes the stress of traveling in a pandemic more manageable.
Tripscout also offers more general topics on their homepage that are particularly relevant to modern travelers. For partners in search of a romantic trip, for example, the “Couples” tab offers a bounty of social media posts and articles relating to travel-for-two. Independent travelers can rely on the “Solo” tab, while parents can search the “Family” tab for places fit for the youngsters.
Ultimately, Tripscout is a resource for information and guidance for a variety of travelers, including roadtrippers to outdoor enthusiasts. From “Van Life,” “National Parks,” and “Camping” to “Beaches” and “Cruises,” Tripscout can provide assistance.
Worried about leaving an environmental footprint by traveling? Tripscout offers the “Sustainable Travel” tab, with tips and tricks on vacationing during a climate crisis.
Unfortunately, travel for members of the LGBTQ+ community can often be dangerous and limited due to international and national prejudices. However, Tripscout’s “LGBTQ+” tab highlights pride events and queer-friendly destinations for queer users and their allies, from ski trips and beach visits to nightlife.
The Social Media Expansion
When potential wanderers start thinking of a place they’d like to visit, they often look to social platforms like Instagram.
“Travel planning starts with travel inspiration, and there is no better place to get travel inspiration than looking at amazing photos, videos, and reels on Instagram of your favorite destinations or places on your bucket list,” Raphaely explained.
Currently, Tripscout operates brands for all the most important travel verticals and has upwards of 20 million followers across those accounts, with editorial and curation teams for each brand, reports Raphaely. Some of these are topic-focused. For example, one account — @Outdoor — shares the “best outdoor tips, tricks, and hacks” with interested users, while @Discover.Hotels concentrates specifically on gorgeous hotels around the world.
Their other accounts, like @Best_Airbnb, @WeLiveToExplore, @CreativeTravelCouples, @FeelingOfLuxury, and @Deserted.Places are meant to inspire, displaying photos and videos of incredible destinations. For example, @Dreaming_Travel recently posted a photo of the Eiffel Tower through a plane window, captioned “greetings from the prettiest tower on the planet.”
But Tripscout’s influence extends beyond Instagram. With accounts on YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter, the company “curates the best travel content” across major social media platforms. To accomplish this, the Tripscout team covers over 100 destinations and topics. They also pull content from over 3,000 travel sources, including articles and social media.
Furthermore, they do significant research to track what travel topics are currently trending and need coverage.
According to Raphaely, “during the COVID-19 pandemic, [they] saw a huge spike in interest in national parks, so [they] created [the @NationalParksGram Instagram account] and community and have seen it take off incredibly.”
This pattern repeats itself. “If we see people are interested in a destination that we don’t have an Instagram account for, we will start that account and community,” and address that need, Raphaely told Emerald.
While they highlight famed places like London, Barcelona, and Cairo, Tripscout also features up-and-coming travel destinations. To help decipher these travel trends, they monitor their app to learn where to direct their energy. When people use the Tripscout app, they are able to sign up for destinations they are interested in and would like to learn more about. By observing these trends, Tripscout learns which destinations are popular and which are unpopular.
The Whole Package…and More
After the pandemic has ended, cannabis consumers as well as those who abstain will be itching for a vacation. In the meantime, Tripscout can be an all-knowing guide in a COVID and post-COVID world, an ally on unfamiliar seas (literally).
Raphaely also shared that Tripscout has more exciting developments coming soon. “In the coming months, Tripscout won’t just be about travel inspiration, and planning, but will also be able to get amazing travel deals,” Raphaely added. “I can’t say much more than that, but stay tuned.”
Written by Moira Mahoney