Traveling is an opportunity to learn through experiences, observing different cultures and lifestyles. It's also a chance to let go of your daily stressors and unwind in a foreign location.
However, the journey is not always easy. Between packing, booking flights and hotel rooms, and writing an itinerary, you might find yourself exhausted rather than invigorated. These 13 businesses aim to make traveling less trying and more relaxing.
Do you find traveling nearly impossible because of a pet? If you have no one to pet sit while you're vacationing, consider using PetTravel.com, a worldwide travel resource for pets. The company provides you with information on airline pet policies, pet passports, pet-friendly hotels, pet transport and more. No more stressing over your furry ones at home – bring them with you and plan exciting experiences to share as a family.
If you're a foodie, then you know that traveling means taste-testing exotic dishes and learning more about cuisine in the area. Using Flavour, you're able to connect with chefs and locals who know the ins and outs of the food scene in your destination city. According to the site, "Flavour is that friend who knows all the best places to go eat in a given city." Fuel your body with the best eats to keep you energized and cultured your entire trip.
Ever wish you had a professional photographer to snap pictures of you and your traveling companions during your trip? According to Flytographer, you can "meet with one of [the company's] local photographers around the world, have a stroll together and bring home the best souvenir possible – memories." Search for a photographer you like in the location you're traveling to and book a photo shoot via the company's website after you've finalized your trip details. When it's time for your shoot, your photographer will guide you around and take photos of your liking, from posed portraits to fun candids.
Love the water but not sure how or where to rent a boat while away? GetMyBoat provides a peer-to-peer marketplace giving boat owners the power to rent their boats and vacationers the opportunity to experience a yacht, speedboat or watercraft at an affordable price. It's a win-win for both travelers and boat owners: Boating enthusiasts get the benefits of worldwide inventory without the cost or headache of ownership, and since the average boat is only used 8 percent of the year, boat owners can offset the cost of their under-utilized asset by earning extra income from it, the site said.
Remove the hassle and pressure of planning activities on vacation with Peek. The site curates a selection of fun activities for you that you can book online or via the company's mobile app. You can also use Peek's travel Guides to see an overview of the top things to see or use the "Perfect Days" feature to book a complete itinerary with "insider tips and hidden gems from tastemakers," according to the website.
6. The Trip Tribe
If you're flying solo but would prefer to travel in a group or make new friends while on vacation, The Trip Tribe makes it easy. The company allows members to create a profile and search for trips. They'll use your profile information to match you with other travelers who share your interests so you can book a trip with like-minded people. When you view trips on the site, you can see which other members are going, as well as the dates, price per person and other important details. Some of The Trip Tribe's featured trips include "Thailand Island Hopping," "London to Rome Adventure" and "Belgium Beer Tour." [Want to see the world and get paid for it? Check out these great jobs for travel lovers.]
7. Welcome Beyond
Welcome Beyond is dedicated to travelers who prefer a unique vacation experience. Welcome Beyond strives to curate hotels and vacation rentals that are "truly original." These exclusive rentals range from quirky to posh and are easy to search for and book. Choose a country and region for your stay, and search by interests like architecture and design, nature and ecotourism and secluded retreats. You can also refine your search by accommodation type, with selections ranging from boutique hotels to private islands available in more than 30 different countries, including the United States.
Book a seat on a private jet with BlackJet. According to the company's website, "BlackJet members enjoy the convenience, reliability and private jet experience at prices you would expect from American, Delta or United first class." As with all flights, costs vary depending on your origin and destination locations and the date of travel, but prices start around $1,000. BlackJet memberships are limited, but free until you book your first trip – after that, there's an annual fee.
Travelers with a spontaneous streak will love Triposo, an app that gives you personalized suggestions for things to do on your trip while you're on the go. Users can book tours and activities via the app, as well as learn important information about their destination's history, culture, currency and language. Before you go on your trip, download Triposo's destination guide to your device, and while you're there, get real-time updates about what's going on nearby. Bonus: The app works offline too, so you don't need to search for WiFi to find your next activity.
Weddings are expensive, and honeymoons can quickly add up. Eliminate stress and lower costs with Wanderable. Rather than setting up a traditional wedding registry, couples can register with Wanderable, where their guests can contribute to their honeymoon fund. The company does more than just collect cash for your dream trip – Wanderable allows you to search destinations and organize your trip based on your interests. Wedding guests can also contribute to specific costs, like transportation, lodging and even special tours or events offered at your destination.
Most times, airlines will help you rebook a canceled flight and accommodate you. When they don't, AirHelp steps in. You can either use the company's online form or download its free mobile app to file a claim with your flight details, and AirHelp will communicate with the airline for you so you can avoid stress and confusion. The company will even file a lawsuit, if possible or necessary. If your claim is successful, AirHelp will take a 25 percent service fee out of the money you're awarded as payment; but if you lose your claim and you don't get paid, you won't owe AirHelp anything.
12. Stray Boots
Exploring a new city doesn't have to be about meandering around looking at tourist attractions. Turn your next trip into a real-life scavenger hunt with Stray Boots. Download the app, select and purchase the tour you want to go on, then activate it while you're connected to the Internet (you only need it to load beforehand; it can be offline during play). The app will guide you through your chosen city while you and your friends or family members complete challenges, answer trivia questions, take fun photos and earn points. Along with many popular U.S. cities like New York and San Diego, you can also participate in scavenger hunts in London, Paris, Copenhagen and Tel Aviv.
Additional reporting by Shannon Gausepohl and Brittney Morgan.