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6 alternative travel companies helping you explore the world your own way!

From house & pet sitting gigs to one-on-one workshops with talented & hospitable artists, the following 6 travel companies are helping you see the world in more ways than one. Each with a brilliant concept of its own, these social platforms have been designed to connect humans all around the world and make travel a deeper, more meaningful experience for both visitor & host.


Now you may notice that not all of these companies lists options for Goa (yet).


Therefore, we hope that by sharing them here we can not only introduce them as a great option for locals looking to get out, but better yet as opportunities for locals to pull more people in and connect them to Goa in a positive way.


So take a look and maybe there is something here to excite & inspire you either at home or on the go!


Colva beach by Julia Lidfors



1. Trusted House Sitters


"Helping pet lovers travel"

Whether you're a pet owner or pet lover whose been deprived of the privilege since you started travelling, the Trusted House Sitters platform is soon to be your new favourite tool! Similar to Airbnb, this site allows you to connect with people looking to to let out their spaces however instead of payment, they are looking for pet sitters. So if you're on the move and want to find a temporary home with all the comforts (and cat hair) of home, this is the place. Pet owners can list their properties according to the date & time of their travels along with the pet(s) they are seeking to have sat. While travellers can plan their next trip according to location & the pets they'd like to share it with. Amazing right!? (Annual membership fees apply.)


Currently one listing for house/pet sitting in Goa found here!



2. VAWAA


"Vacation With an Artist"

It's easy to travel around as a history buff and find what you want. But what about those of us less interested in historical sites and rather looking to connect with a place according to our own specific interests or craft. Perhaps you're a ceramist looking for inspiration or a puppet maker on a mission for new material. One can certainly wander the streets, google searching for local shops, studios & schools to see where you end up. However that still limits the experience to that of an observer, simply taking inspiration to then revisit it once at home. So why not skip a step and turn your vacation into an opportunity to create on the spot!? With VAWAA it's now possible to not only be inspired while on the road, but actually connect with a local artist and explore and learn a new technique. And with 23 countries, listing 67 different artists (two of whom are from Goa) we're sure there's something you might like!


Check out Joanne's Goan / East Indian Cuisine course here & Thomas' ceramic studio workshop over here.



3. Cool Cousin


"Discover cities through locals"

We all know how much better it is to be guided through a new city with the help of a friend. Especially when they know exactly what you like and can guide you to all the secret, local spots tailored to your tastes. So what to do when you know no one at the other end of a long and tiring flight? Check in with Cool Cousin of course! Locals from all over the world are listing their favourites spots to make it easy for you to get the most out of their home city. Plus, with their detailed profile descriptions, it's super easy to find someone with a similar lifestyle, interests & diet as yourself. So you know you'll be following recommendations you can trust.


As of the moment, there are no Cool Cousin's listed in Goa. So if you're a local and believe in connecting travellers to the best of the best, we highly suggested you sign up!



Arambol beach by Noa Rodov via Gemtrack



4. Gemtrack Travel


Making your slow & sustainable travel dreams come true

Gemtrack creates custom travel plans to fit your lifestyle and support the very communities you visit. Sharing insight into many of our favourite places and creating brilliant content to back up their claims, the Gemtrack team's exploration of Goa is extensive. Not a fan of pre-planned travel? Take a moment to check out their site and the kinds of stories they tell and we guarantee you'll warm up to the idea. Plus their knowledge & expertise is by no means limited to Goa, as they'll be able to point you in the right direction throughout Bali, Lombok & Sri Lanka as well!



5. Home Exchange


"Warmer welcomes, anywhere in the world"

We all know it can be hard to leave the comforts of home. The last thing you want is to spend a great deal of money to go on vacation only to be disappointed by the places you stay. Especially when you have a family and the thought of booking a room in an unknown hotel is less than ideal. However with Home Exchange you can forget about all of that and head straight into the comfort of someone else's home! With over 400,000 homes in 187 countries to choose from, it's never been easier to discover the world all with the simple exchange of your home. The service works on a membership basis and then points are collected each time you host which can then be used to book your own trip. Sounds fun right!?


Find charming Goa homes right over here!



6. Help Exchange


Volunteer with locals in exchange for your stay

Have you ever wanted to live on a sheep farm in New Zealand, run a bakery in some quaint French town or volunteer at a monkey sanctuary in Goa? Well, thanks to the creator of Help Exchange, it looks like you can! The HelpX concept is simple: people looking for an extra hand around the house, farm or sail boat for that matter are able to list their needs alongside the accommodations and set up they offer in exchange for labour, while the hopeful traveler is able to identify volunteer opportunities that suit their schedule and skills. It's a win win for both parties and a sure fire way to get to know a region of the world. No over crowded tourist traps here! And plus, for those who don't have a home to exchange, your best bet is yourself!




Do you have a travel site or app to suggest?

We'd love to hear from you and share your tips with our readers! Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments section below or connect with us via email as well!

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