7 Startups that are Changing the Way We Get Our ‘Adventure’ On


Explore like never before.

Whether you want to visit somewhere new or take a staycation, these start-ups are changing the way we explore.


For travellers with high standards and a big budget, One Fine Stay has a portfolio of achingly cool properties in some of the most fashionable cities in the world, including London, Paris, Rome and Los Angeles. Setting it apart from other letting sites, only one in 10 hosts who apply make the cut, and only after meeting the site’s chic credentials. onefinestay.com


A travel start-up aimed at millennials, designed to offer top-notch service on a budget. Journy acts as your personal concierge, handling everything from table bookings to hotel recommendations – all for US$25 a day. First, users take a survey about their taste and converse with a concierge over email, who plans their itinerary, which can be viewed on the Journy app (it even sends you reminders if you need to be somewhere). It’s currently available in Australia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and beyond. gojourny.com


When staying in a city, the Bellhop app acts as a concierge in your pocket, offering local tips and physical services such as taxis and food deliveries. Whether you’re staying in an Airbnb home, a hotel or an apartment, the app caters to travellers’ needs – be that booking a tour, tickets to a show or a table at a sought-after restaurant. Its partners include Uber and Viator. bellhop.me


The latest start-up to morph the Airbnb model, Overnight is an app catering to travellers who want accomodation at the last minute. Currently serving Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin and New York City, hosts are asked not to limit their calendar – so, in theory, a guest could book a room at 8pm and arrive an hour later. The ‘same-day stay’ start-up supports spontaneous travel. joinovernight.com


In Japan, the word omotenashi loosely translates to mean ‘selfless hospitality’. This is one of the cornerstones of Relux, a members-only booking service that selects and vets hotels and traditional ryokan inns across Japan, including many in Tokyo. With a customer-first ethos, they guarantee the lowest prices in Japan or will refund the difference, and every booking earns reward points that can reduce the cost of your next trip. rlx.jp


Launched out of its founder’s Brisbane home in 2011, with 2.5 million readers a month, The Urban List is the go-to site for restaurant, bar and shopping recommendations in Australia and New Zealand. Want to find the best coffee in Melbourne, a florist in Perth or the trendiest cocktail bar in Sydney? The website’s team of international cool hunters will guide you in the right direction, with options for every budget and taste. They call it: ‘Daily inspiration for a life, optimised.’ theurbanlist.com


No money is exchanged when you book a room via The Room Xchange. This Aussie start-up matches hosts with guests willing to help with household chores like cooking, dog walking or gardening. For a mid- to long-term stay (minimum three months), you must be willing to do two hours of domestic work each day in exchange for your food and accommodation. theroomxchange.com

Amy Molloy




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