Top 10 Alternative Traveling Companies of 2017 Everyone Should Know About

  1. Lyft


    Lyft is a taxi-car service much like Uber, except it has only recently started gaining popularity. 1 Though it is still less popular than Uber, it is generally easier to request a ride and have one available without the need to wait for a long while. You can request a ride to a specific destination, as well as add a stop before you reach your destination.  This is especially useful for us who procrastinate or simply don’t have sufficient time to run necessary errands.


    Another distinctive feature of Lyft is that you can take a shared ride, instead of simply requesting a car with four seats for only yourself, you can cut the cost of your ride by taking a shared ride. This simply means that it is possible someone will be headed in the direction of your destination or may have a stop on the way. Because of the only recent increase in popularity, you’ll probably be by yourself most times, even in a “shared” ride.  In addition, you can see where your driver is from start to finish, how many minutes it’ll take your driver to get to where you are, and if they are there. You’ll get a message notification or call when your driver is there, and you have about 3 minutes to get out to your car.  You’re never charged before the ride ends, and you always have the immediate option to tip and/or review your driver’s service. Drive with Lyft and get yourself some extra cash, while briefly acquainting yourself with diverse persons along the way!


  1. Couch Surfing


    Traveler on a budget? Like, a strict budget? Do you want to travel but don’t know how to do so inexpensively? Do you like meeting new people and immersing yourself in your preferred destination’s culture? Look no further! Couchsurfing is an online platform that connects persons willing to host in their homes with travelers. 3  Hosts may be verified or not, but that does not determine if they are great hosts or not. Many hosts without verifications typically have references or reviews on their profiles.  Sign up, spruce up your profile, and browse hosts or wait to be requested as a host.


    Couch Surfing offers hosts from over 14 million different destinations, so you are almost certain to find someone hosting in your preferred destinations.  As the name suggests, Couch Surfing does allow for the possibility that you may sleep on someone’s couch, but there are filters that allow you to search via a variety of search filters including but not limited to:  gender, location, age, and if there is an availability of private bedrooms, shared bedrooms, etc.  Many people allow you to stay for free for a few days or so, but others may ask for compensation.  Either way, this is always an option for the budget traveler. It also presents social opportunities like joining an event that interests you.  Generally, you’ll see college students and young adults as the predominant users of this platform, especially as travelers, but there tend to be a good variety of persons of different ages and backgrounds as hosts.


  1. Airbnb


    Similar to Couch Surfing but distinct in the combination of budget and luxury, Airbnb allows all travelers to lease or rent short-term lodging (i.e. vacation homes, apartment rentals, homestays, hostels, etc.) thus appealing to a wide variety of travelers.  It is not rare to see an option for as low as $10 a night to one as high as $300 a night, nor is it rare to see a low-cost but quality lodging option. 2  This uniqueness and diverse focus attracts travelers young and old, and it’s not rare to see this variety whether one is hosting or being hosted.  The options for privacy, even for the budget traveler. Live in a home in a rural setting or near a body of water, like the sea.  With Airbnb, the options are endless!


  1. Pack Up and Go Surveys


    Are you looking for an adventure? Something spontaneous but carefully planned out without the use of your own time? Do you desire to take a stress-free adventure within your budget? Pack Up and Go is a travel agency that organizes three-day surprise trips around the United States for its clients. 4 Eliminate stress and allow yourself to embark on a surprise journey to a place you may not have gone otherwise.  


    To start, you answer a few questions about your budget, dates, some travel preferences, and traveler information.  After they book your trip and accommodation to best match the information given but most importantly, your budget.  You’ll receive an e-mail a week before your departure with all of the necessary information for your trip, including but not limited to:  luggage size restrictions, the weather forecast, and recommended items to pack.  A few days before your trip, you’ll receive an envelope with your trip info including everything from getting your ticket or boarding pass to recommendations on nightclubs and cafes once you reach your destination, but you are not supposed to open it until you arrive at the designated location.  And that’s all there is to it!


  1. Skedaddle


    Whether you are headed to a concert or discovering a new city, travel anywhere with Skedaddle! This is another ground transportation traveling service, except this service takes you on a specific route with people who desire to go to the same place as you.  For instance, if you desire to go to the Brooklyn Half Marathon, you simply search this route and reserve a seat.  When at least 10 riders reserve their seats 48 hours in advance of the event, routes will be confirmed prior to departure.  


    Get picked up right in your neighborhood and travel in high-quality vehicles (usually bus) with fellow “Skedaddlers,” those who are going to the same event as you.  You can pay in full or split costs with your friends. 5  Add stops along the way with private routes.  So not only do you find a convenient way of traveling, but you meet many people along the way.  You should never be lonely, even when you initially travel alone!  Ask about their private routes for parties, weddings, and other special events. Receive the best value within minutes of your request.  Routes are as low as $1. Download the app to check it out for yourself!


  1. Chariot


    Chariot is a ground transportation service like Uber and Lyft.  Focused on providing a self-sustainable, faster and stress-free mass transit commuting option, Chariot is working to clean up traffic congestion through the idea of personalized, comfortable, and flexible commuting experience.  Thus, Chariot wants to take the place of unreliable local bus systems to get you to where you need or want to be in a timely and comfortable manner.


    To get started, you will want to download the Chariot app. check in, and reserve your seat—all seats are guaranteed! There are 14 seats in each chariot, so you’ll know when the vehicle is full. 6 No more standing on the bus or waiting around hoping that there will be a seat available for you! Riding costs varies depending on the time of arrival of your Chariot.


  1. LifeStraw


    Going someplace where clean water is limited, contaminated, or gained by taking precautions (i.e. boiling it)? Don’t stock up on water bottles and other bottled/canned beverages. Instead, shop LifeStraw, which provides affordable water filters in a variety of forms.  These filters may have one or two stages, but the most important feature of this company is the versatility in water filter products. 7


    LifeStraw products include but are not limited to:  water filter straws, Go Bottles with 2-stage filter processes, and portable water filters. You can shop online or find them in Wholesale Home Improvement, Amazon, DICK’S Sporting Goods, and Walmart. Prices typically range from $15 to $500.


  1. Embarque


    Known as a “chauffeur” service versus simply a ground transportation or commuting service, Embarque offers a luxury option of commuting with high quality and fuel efficient modern vehicles within the U.S. Their mission is environmentally and consumer-friendly with safe, reliable, smoke-free and carbon balanced vehicles.   Their vehicles consist of US EPA Smartway and Smartway Elite Certified vehicles and the equivalent in markets outside of the U.S, and are subjected to frequent inspections to ensure the upmost efficiency and safety of their transport options. 8 They offer two travel options:  Transfer (travel between two geographic locations) and As Directed (just tell your driver where you want to go until you are done).  Transfers tend to have a flat rate though this depends on driving time and locations, for which hourly rates may be available. For the As Directed option, you would need to make a reservation and then as soon as you get in the car, you just direct your driver in the directions or location that you desire to travel.


    Due to the recent development of this service, only 20 locations are serviced from 19 physical offices. Most places are serviced in California, but there are other places around the U.S. on every coast/region.  It is best to check the website for which cities, so as to know in advance if Embarque services your city. If Embarque does not service your city, according to the website, Carey Worldwide Chauffeured Services are available, which offers premium chauffeured transportation in more than 1000 cities.  The Embarque App is available for Android and IPhone users.


  1. Groupon


    Groupon is a game changer when it comes to saving in general, especially traveling.  Save on local goods, services, and more, as well as all-inclusive (with airfare) vacations! Categories to search include:  Featured, Nearby, Goods, Getaways, Sale, and Categories (which gives you all of the categories not just the most popular ones.) Whatever you seek, Groupon is almost certain to have a discount coupon for it.  10


    Specifically, in relevance to traveling, Groupon offers a variety of traveling options from 3-day to a week, all-inclusive to certain excursions and restaurants.  Popular trips include Dominican Republic, Punta Cana, and Italy.  There are even a lot of local hotel deals wherever you are, so whether you are looking for discounts on local or international lodging, services, etc. Groupon should have you covered. Gift a Groupon to a friend as well. Simply by it and send it to them via e-mail. Download the app today to see what the hype is about and check out with faster purchases.


  1. Durgan Travel Services


    Durgan Travel Services specialize in traveling arrangements on cruises—YES CRUISES-- for groups but allows individuals to join many of their group departures.  Primarily a European tour operator, DTS arranges tours and individual travel throughout Europe with Italy being its top destination. Furthermore, DTS’ capabilities span the entire globe, so it is likely that you can travel within the U.S. or near the U.S. as well.


    Though very few Americans know about this service, it has been around for over 45 years.   DTS works with all cruise lines throughout the world.  Book a trip today with family, church members, sports team members, etc.  Travel packages are customized to meet exact specifications and stay extensions in a certain destination can be arranged even if the group returns home during the scheduled return date.  Signature European tours include a 7-night or longer stay with daily sightseeing, all or most meals, 4-star hotels, best priced air flights, full-time escort, and bilingual staff members. 9 They have a separate division for individual traveling that takes care of those more specific-necessary needs.