5 Unique Travel Companies that are Changing Tourism

Tourism has always been around, of course – more now than ever, given the sheer range of travel available. However, there are some exciting changes on the horizon; made possible by the explosion of the integration of electronics with our everyday lives. There are apps for all kinds of things; these facilitate travel in ways few people saw coming.

If you haven’t taken a vacation in the past few years – now is the time. You’ll be amazed at the ease with which you can get to your destination, and the availability of tourist delights once you get there. Here are some of the companies that are making all this possible.

Central Park foliage photo-walk, Nov 2009 - 51

1. Bike Rental Central Park

There’s nothing like pedal-power to get you moving and experiencing all a city has to offer. More integrative than a bus ride or taxicab, hooking up with a company like Bike Rental Central Park – Tours & Sightseeing will familiarize you with the expansiveness of one of the nation’s largest urban parks. It’s really one of the most inexpensive ways to travel, too, with hourly and whole-day rates. You can do your shopping, trekking and plain old sightseeing with any of the many accessories offered by the company – baskets, support for children, etc.

If you’re in New York, you might want to hop on the Brooklyn bike tour or Central Park bike tour with other vacationers and a guide.

 

2. AiRBNB – Like Home on the Go

Somewhat similar to Uber, AirBNB got the brilliant idea to simply use pre-existing homes as hotels. In fact, they’re poised to replace some of the world’s largest formal hotel chains – if they haven’t already. People with nice homes gravitate readily towards AirBnB, where they can make money by renting out space in their homes to travelers. It’s one of the prime examples of just how much the now mobile app-centric world has affected some industries. How successful is AirBnB? They’ve tripled revenue since their inception.

Similarly, HotelNight is an app that lets you locate the most inexpensive hotels in whatever area you’re traveling to – no matter how last-minute your search is. In fact, it’s marketed specifically to people for last-minute accommodations and covers hundreds of destinations on dozens of countries so far. The app even allows you to send book reservations for someone else as a “gift.” HotelNight is changing the landscape of the hotel industry by hooking up with some of the biggest brands to facilitate late room procurement.

 

3. Peek Tours

The Peek app is, essentially, your very own digital tour guide. Even better, it gathers information on the most popular events in the cities you visit – as curated by other app users – and offers up tickets to the show. As such whether you’re in California wine country or the cobbled pathways of Paris, Peek can find events you might have missed. The only downside to the app is that it’s currently only available in the Apple Store, which means Android users are out of luck. That should, of course, change as they continue to expand their services.

Lyft

4. Lyft and Uber

Of course, you’ve heard of these revolutionary transportation services – unless you’ve been living under a rock. Uber and Lyft have all but replaced the taxicab in many cities, and are making their presence felt all over the world.

Recently, Uber has been embroiled in controversy and Lyft seems to be surging ahead. They both service tens-of-thousands of travelers every week by allowing regular people to make money by offering driving service. Just download the app, and you can have a driver within minutes (usually).

 

5. WeatherSphere Storm Alert

This is quite possibly the best weather app for the tourist – it’s tailor-made to keep you up-to-date on inclement weather at your destination, and at any stops in-between. In fact, this robust app taps into satellite information and complex calculations to help its users find their way around such weather. Have you ever wished you knew the exact moment when a storm would hit? Well, now you can know with WeatherSphere. Apps like these are frankly, changing the world and how we navigate our way around it.