YowTRIP helps make it a WowTRIP
SACRAMENTO, California—October 4, 2007—Now traveling alone doesn’t have to mean going solo. YowTRIP is a free online social network tailored to travelers seeking an adventure companion, digging for one-on-one travel tips they can only get from someone who’s been to their destination, or needing a place to hang their backpack when they get there.
Launched September 1, YowTRIP is the creation of CEO Felipe Coimbra, a software engineer/developer with a passion for travel. Born from a simple desire to help like-minded world travelers expand their horizons, literally, YowTRIP is Coimbra’s labor of love and not a labor for profit. You don’t need an invitation to join and it’s absolutely free.
A native of Salvador, Brazil currently residing in Sacramento, Coimbra realized the need for something like YowTRIP during a trip to Canada.
“That was a country I’d wanted to visit for a long time, but I had never traveled alone and I knew there had to be other people traveling solo and maybe going to the places I wanted to visit,” he explains. “So I got online but couldn’t find any good site that allowed me to get in touch with these people.”
He did a gut check and set out to explore Canada alone, meeting several people who indeed were in the same boat and interested in meeting fellow travelers, a discovery that became even clearer when he toured Europe.
“In fact, about 40 percent of world travelers travel by themselves, but still more end up giving up on their plans because they’re afraid of going alone” says Coimbra. “I met many interesting people and that trip was one of the best experiences of my life, so on the plane home I started building YowTRIP in my head.”
Four months of late nights and long weekends later, Coimbra raised the curtain on YowTRIP. By matching up travel plans, the service connects people heading to the same place or who are coming to each other’s town. Members can find a travel buddy, a free place to stay, and a local to show them the city. Further optimizing their adventures, they can post photos, videos and travel logs for their friends and family to travel along via cyberspace.
Committed to the growth of YowTRIP and the power potential of a social network, Coimbra distributes a monthly e-newsletter ( www.yowtrip.com/ynewsletter), is building up site content and new memberships with an iPod giveaway contest ( www.yowtrip.com/ipod), and in September made his first experiment trip, crossing the country to New York City to start the buzz. “My sole purpose was meeting people and telling them about YowTRIP,” he says. “I also established contacts with hostels and was able to try out the site’s capabilities for blogging and adding photos and videos.”
In November Coimbra will attend the Silicon Valley New Tech monthly meeting to share YowTRIP with other entrepreneurs and investors in the Bay Area. He’s planning a long-awaited trip around the world next year, from which he will blog the entire journey via YowTRIP. His goal is to have a large enough network that he can stay at other travel enthusiasts’ homes during the entire trip.
“Some of my friends say I created YowTRIP just for me and it’s partially true ... I am the most active user! I’m very excited about it and look forward to people’s feedback and maybe meeting them on the road someday.”
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- Felipe Coimbra
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