Lonely Planet Writer

Going away with friends? New website for group leaders makes trip planning easy

Group leaders working on a voluntary or even semi-professional basis know all about the headaches of organising that trip away for themselves and their colleagues.

Yoga travel group leaders are using the WeTravel website
Yoga travel group leaders are using the WeTravel website Image by Grand Velas Riviera Maya / CC BY-SA 2.0

Now help is at hand thanks to WeTravel. The Software and Service company platform is aimed at ordinary folk trying to organise holiday outings and excursions for family and friends.

Young people, in particular students are using the new site to plan their group trips
Young people, in particular students, are using the new site to plan their group trips Image by Jan / CC BY-SA 2.0

Everything from school reunions to day trips, yoga retreats to surf camps are catered for following exhaustive research by WeTravel over an eight month period.

The  group leaders can manage and promote their outings free of charge. People intending to travel can then join, and through the WeTravel’s website can then register and pay securely.

The idea has caught on with over US$5 million worth of group trips have been transacted by travellers up to now. The sizes of groups vary, with the biggest so far having 500 people on a trip. Over 20 countries have been visited with a large student segment using the platform to organise their expeditions.

The website has also become a favourite with yoga teachers planning retreats for their students. Seeing the demand in these areas, WeTravel has launched special landing pages for yoga retreats and student travel. The company’s three co-founders Johannes Koeppel, Zaky Prabowo and Garib Mehdiyev are immigrants who have travelled themselves to 80 countries and who speak 15 languages between them. They set up the platform during their time studying at UC Berkeley. CEO Johannes Koeppel said they found there was software and service for travel agents and tour operators but not for everyday group leaders. The company is happy for organisers and travellers to use its services totally free of charge. It is able to make money by selling relevant travel products once people books their trips on its website.