How We Travel
We specialize in non-touristy, responsible travel.
Non-touristy meaning that we don’t just offer the usual, unimaginative trips where you and a bunch of other travel companions head off to quickly check-off and hit up the same, standard heavily visited tourist attractions, restaurants and routes as everyone else. Our uncommon trips are thoughtfully designed to visit more distinctive sites and local places to provide a special, more personal experience.
We travel responsibly meaning we don’t travel in big groups patronizing the big international chains; we travel in a small posse staying at independently-owned, eco-friendly hotels, eating at locally-owned restaurants, and using local guides and transportation services so that the money we spend stays in the communities we visit and our presence minimizes the impact on the local environment.
The features of a YOLO trip ensure that you have an unforgettable experience full of smiles and laughs that leave a lasting impact:
COOL, DISTINCTIVE PLACES & ACTIVITIES
We travel to cool, interesting and distinctive destinations inside and outside of the U.S. There are a lot of hidden gems out there that travelers don’t get the opportunity to experience because they aren’t typically offered on the standard buffet of travel destinations or travelers simply don’t know about them. We take the time to find these cool places with lots of character and share it with you.
And, even if we visit a well-traveled destination, we thoughtfully select a mix of truly important sights and less traveled, local places and activities. On trips with many other travel companies, you can end up being a self contained tourist simply going to all the popular tourist sights, seeing the standard places and doing the same activities with a whole bunch of other tourists and eating at the usual tourist restaurants serving food that is anything but authentic.
On a YOLO trip, you’re treated to personal, exclusive experiences exploring with locals and experiencing the best of that destination. You feel as though you’re on a trip visiting a friend in another country who is showing you around — pointing out the most relevant historical sights and interesting attractions, taking you to their favorite restaurants, sharing with you local, special experiences, and introducing you to other friendly residents.
We encourage travelers to slow down, explore and take in the experiences. On a YOLO trip you really get to know and learn about the destination you’re visiting including its people, culture and attractions. On trips with other travel companies, you can feel like you’re being herded around in a general, ordinary fashion on typical cookie-cutter tours flying through experiences & snapping photos just to say you were there.
LOCALLY OWNED BUSINESSES
YOLO is highly dedicated to supporting locally owned, independently operated businesses. We do this by using vendors from the local community and environmentally friendly businesses. We use local providers including guides, transport, hotels, and restaurants.
With this approach, the local community benefits from tourism jobs and the money we spend goes directly into the communities we visit. Most travelers end up supporting the big, international chain hotels and restaurants, which means most of their money is not staying locally.
ECO FRIENDLY PHILOSOPHY
Most mass tourism is generally not concerned with its impact on the local environment and people, and in fact, most travel tends to negatively affect the destinations. YOLO trips strive to support environmental conservation, sustainability, and low impact on the places we visit through our small group sizes, which keep our footprint small and by staying at local hotels that follow eco-friendly practices.
Even though striving to adhere to sustainable travel increases the time, effort and complexity in designing our trips, as conscientious world explorers, we whole-heartedly believe in the principle of traveling responsibly. YOLO is a proud member of Sustainable Travel International, a non-profit organization dedicated to environmental conservation education and outreach services for travelers and travel providers.
SMALL NUMBER OF FELLOW TRAVELERS
We travel in small groups typically about 10 people. Traveling in small groups offers a number of benefits including the ability to do and see more, greater accessibility to local people and experiences, more flexibility, personal and intimate experiences, better value and service, high quality, and ease of travel.
In a small group, we get to do and experience many things that big tour groups cannot such as traveling off the beaten track and having the ability to be spontaneous and flexible as we go along. And we see places that perhaps as an independent traveler, you wouldn’t and couldn’t visit because you simply may not know about it or have access, or it may be straying a bit out of your comfort zone and too far from the more established tourism routes.