A new travel hack that will save you money on your next hotel stay

One of the hardest things about every vacation is figuring out the best place to stay. There are many factors to consider before booking accommodations—proximity to attractions, spacious rooms, balcony overlooking, amenities included, good sheets—the list goes on. Of course, the first thing that prevents us from booking this hotel is us truly Want is a high price. Luxury doesn’t come cheap… but it can come at a discount thanks to the latest Tripscout product launch.

Tripscout, the social media travel empire that has amassed over 30 million followers across several of its Instagram profiles, has delivered the best travel hack in a long time. Now, you can get insanely discounted hotel rates with a simple direct message. All you have to do is send a message directly to the Instagramhotel account that says “hotel”. Within seconds, you will receive a dedicated link offering hotel discounts around the world up to 75% off.

To find out more about how Tripscout’s new hotel booking platform works and how it can save travelers money, we spoke with Tripscout founder, Konrad Waliszewski. Read on to find out everything you need to know before booking your next hotel.

Can you start by explaining exactly what Tripscout’s new hotel booking platform is?

We are building the first hotel booking platform for Instagram, and there are two really interesting elements to this. One of them is the fact that we have long realized that people are searching on Instagram for travel inspiration and travel planning, long before anywhere else. We wanted to update the whole experience of how people plan and book travel, a more social media experience. The second thing is that there is something really interesting about the industry. The interesting thing about the travel industry is that every online travel agent, booking website, and hotel website are bound by these rate parity agreements as everyone has to publicly advertise the same hotel rooms for the exact same price.

This is why everyone has the same room at the same price. But the main nuance we took advantage of is that you have to “publicly” advertise that price. Notably, as long as you’re an OTA, you can charge whatever you want to that room. What we realized is that we could become an OTA and have a DM channel with 30 million followers across our accounts that are growing at 2 million followers per month. So we realized we could give people really compelling hotel deals by giving them a special booking link. So it’s a booking link that takes them to a booking website and that’s exactly what they know.

It is like everyone else, except this booking link is personal and cannot be shared and cannot be indexed by a search engine. So it’s your link and basically every hotel in the world, but with 25% to 75% off thousands of them. We’ve decided that we can return pretty much all the savings back to the traveler. By sending a message directly to the account hotel and sending the word “hotel”, you will get this personal link. It basically allows you to book hotels at a massive discount compared to what you find anywhere else, including the hotel website.

Chloe Caldwell

What makes the new Tripscout platform stand out from other booking sites?

A social media angle for sure. But the main thing is just the fact of how much people can save because we are able to get this stuff to you via a DM, rather than just an open website. Especially nowadays, hotel prices are very high. When we really like to delve into our customers and followers, we’ve found that everyone wants to travel more. But the first drawback to doing so is that it is very expensive. We wanted to find a way to help people travel better, travel more, spend less, and do it at scale. That kind of put us on this long journey, which was the product we ended up building.

We want people to be able to spend less and be able to travel more. How can you save some money on the hotel you are going to book, but then how do you book those hotels you find on Instagram that you really dream about and you never thought you could afford? Due to our huge social outreach, we were able to work with thousands of hotels and suppliers in order to offer those crazy deals because they wanted to reach our audience.

We work with a range of different suppliers, so we get the best discounts on our website. This is compared to the best publicly available rate – what do you expect if you go to a hotel website or go to any of the other popular booking sites everyone goes to. We are constantly comparing it to them. For some rooms, we have the same price. But for many of them, we will give a 50% discount. Fabulous. And then we will have a few dozen from 25% to 50% off. You can always find a better price and we will tell you what is the market price compared to ours.

Chloe Caldwell

Do you have any specific tips for first-time users of the platform and how they can get the most out of it?

The biggest tip is flexibility only. Simply go to hotel, DM and the word “hotel” and explore the destination and dates you have in mind. People are now more flexible than ever. The problem most people face when booking travel is that they choose a specific place and then pick a specific date and then try to find a flight and hotel that matches that exact time and place. What I would actually say is just play with it, look at the places on your list, and ask yourself, “Where do I want to go?” Because nowadays people have more flexibility.

There is a possibility that you will go somewhere longer, and you do not even have to take a vacation. You can go to work remotely from that location. I would say play around and see what’s available. Then I was also looking at flights. You can find those places where you like, “Man, I’ve always wanted to go here.” And then I found there was a crazy 60% deal for this really cool place on the beach with such a great view, and coming back to it that way. I would recommend that people don’t dig themselves into a specific place and time. Browse around and see what’s possible.

Chloe Caldwell

I tested it and it is really a great travel hack. Why should people be excited to use this in the future?

When we were doing our tests, people were in a daze. They’re like, “I’m going here for a few days and I just saved $300 or $500.” I think it’s the best travel hack out there in a long time. Perhaps the best way to save money while traveling. There is this exact legacy in the travel industry, which is all dominated by a few companies that have been doing the exact same thing since the invention of the internet. And they haven’t really changed that paradigm. The reason it gets really expensive is that a lot of people don’t do it.

And secondly, they have to spend a lot of money on advertising. Booking.com and Expedia together spend $12 billion annually. Fabulous. So a lot of their profit margin goes to paying for advertising only. We do not pay for advertising because of social media. We have 30 million followers growing at a rate of over 2 million followers per month. We will not spend this money. We will continue to grow organically and pass on all these savings to the client. It’s a very new way of doing things. I hope people end up traveling a lot and traveling better while spending a lot less.

What inspired you to start Tripscout in the first place? And how has its exponential growth journey been over the past few years?

I am a frequent entrepreneur, but travel has always been my passion and obsession. I have traveled to 100 countries. I had a travel blog in the early days of blogging and don’t do it anymore, but I got deeply involved in the travel industry and the travel community and became friends with a lot of really great creators. I just saw a real fundamental shift taking place in our society’s relationship to travel – why we travel, how we travel, what we hope to get out of the experience, and how we share those experiences with our friends. This all looks radically different over the past ten to fifteen years. But if you look at every single travel product and service you use, nothing has changed in more than 20 years. Maybe except for taking an Uber from the airport or booking an Airbnb.

I thought we could create something for the modern traveler that was built in the modern age. We started building products and ended up giving my personal cell phone number to my first 250,000 customers. I was like, “Hey, any time you travel, text me, call me, email me anytime. If you’re traveling, there’s a chance I was, and I’m happy to be of help.” Through this, I learned a lot about how people plan trips and what their pain points are. This was one of the reasons we see people searching on Instagram before they do anything else. When it comes to planning a trip, they went and wrote a destination Instagram for visual inspiration.

We basically created the science of SEO for Instagram and built a hundred different brands. We built a community around that. We partnered with a bunch of creators and ended up building a following community of 30 million. Once we did that and helped people get all these experiences and trips planned, we realized that there is a lot of value in travel. Traveling has changed people’s lives, opened their minds, made them better people, and gave them truly wonderful and enjoyable experiences. Then we asked why not travel more?

So we knew that finding a way to make it affordable would be the next big step. To take advantage of affordability, people were seeing these really cool places on Instagram, but not many people were able to book those places. We wanted to find a better way. We’ve had a really smart team working on that for a while until we came up with this approach.

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