This post was last updated on April 29th, 2015
We’ve now been living just outside Dominical, Costa Rica for about two and a half months. This time has been an interesting learning experience for us. While we LOVE Costa Rica and are still very serious about making it our home base for the next little while, Dominical itself…well, it’s just not the perfect match. Luckily we have about 13 weeks of travel coming up, and then we move into a new house outside San Isidro. We’re so excited about all of the fantastic adventures we have in store, as well as the opportunity to dive in to a new location in Costa Rica!
But while Dominical might not be the perfect place for us due to a variety of reasons we’ll explore in another post, one of the things that has been great is its location. Dominical is just off the Coastal Highway and conveniently situated between San Jose and the Osa Peninsula. As such, we’ve had TONS of visitors pass through town, stay in our guest bedroom, and join us for dinner and drinks on the beach. We’ve been so inspired by all of the travelers and entrepreneurs we’ve met here. These encounters have certainly encouraged us with all of the side projects we’ve been investing heaps of time in.
One such pair of traveling entrepreneurs that we had the opportunity to meet—and would like to highlight today—are the founders of Project Expedition. We met Jeremy and Tim, two of the three innovators behind the project, when they were passing through Dominical for travel research purposes. We had the chance to hear about Project Expedition firsthand, and were incredibly inspired by the massive mission and leap of faith the team are taking to pursue their passion.
What is it?
Project Expedition is a comprehensive travel marketplace where travelers can search for tours and activities within an exhaustive selection of local service providers. The platform features tons of information about the destination, while also highlighting off-the-beaten-track and local businesses who offer unique tours and activities.
The goal is to empower travelers by providing unparalleled access to destination information and vendors that would otherwise be invisible. Once you’ve reviewed and compared all of your options to find your once-in-a-lifetime adventure, you can inquire for more information—or, depending on the business, sometimes even book your expedition right from the platform!
Jeremy and Tim explained to us that their inspiration for the project was a direct result of the frustration they felt while planning their own trips. They would look for information on TripAdvisor, compare results on Google, try to navigate the less-than-ideal websites of small + local tour operators…the whole process just seemed more complicated than it should be. If you’re a traveler, you’ve probably been there too. Trip planning takes tons of time and effort. And while we love to circle must-visit destinations on a map or get lost in travel literature, please don’t ask us to pull out a spreadsheet to cross-compare tour prices and features.
But how does it work?
Currently travelers can search Project Expedition for tours, activities and off-the-beaten-track adventures in Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Belize and Guatemala. The small team will be expanding the destinations on offer, but it is a work in progress :)
One of the best things about Project Expedition is the way the data has been so meticulously organized. When you arrive on the homepage, you can type any destination or activity into the search bar. You can also add tags for the country or type of activity you want, such as hiking in Costa Rica.
Since most of you know by now I am a pretty avid yoga practitioner, I decided to search for yoga in Nicaragua—a country we are visiting in just a few weeks! Once I clicked search, I was taken to a new screen where my results were organized by Tours & Activities, Businesses, and Sights & Attractions. There were quite a few options that popped up, but I decided I was particularly interested in a Relax and Realign Class. I could click for more information, which then brought me more details organized by Summary, Prices, Details, and Itinerary. I could then directly click to visit the Yoga Retreat website, or choose ‘Request Info’ from Project Expedition.
If I didn’t find what I was looking for, or if I want to further refine my results, I have my search options still accessible on the lefthand side of the screen. I can go back to the drawing board, or further optimize my choices for my price range, specific sights & attractions, and more.
So already you can see that we have tons of options for searching for the specific tour or activity that works for us, with the ability to compare results all within the same browser. Pretty cool!
But there’s more.
Say I know where I want to go, but I have no idea what I want to do there. Project Expedition has you covered for that, too. You can search for a sight or attraction, such as a National Reserve or a beach, and then click ‘Explore’.
This will lead you to information about the destination, photos, first-hand reviews from other bloggers who have already visited, and tours and adventures available in the location. From there you can keep exploring and find the activity that is right for you!
Register or Create A Blogger Profile
If you really want to join in the fun, you can also choose to create a profile. This will allow you to submit reviews monitor any bookings you make on the site and keep track of your activity. Note that if you ‘Request Information’ about any of the tours, you must have a registered profile so that the Project Expedition team knows how to get back to you! If you are a blogger, you can also apply to become a Travel Expert. Upload photos, write reviews, and get links back to the original content on your personal blog!
All reviews and photos are verified by Project Expedition before going live, so you can be sure that you are actually perusing through expert travel advice.
What We Love
We get asked to review new travel apps and platforms literally on a weekly basis. Rarely do they capture our attention or warrant a review. But we have to say, we really love Project Expedition.
For starters, we love that this is not another social media network or app that depends solely upon the information of its users. The Project Expedition team has spent what I can only imagine to be countless hours aggregating all of the information that travelers might need to intelligently and efficiently plan once-in-a-lifetime adventures in a single place. All you need is right there in a single tab.
While Project Expedition does make a commission off of some of the tours that are bookable directly on the site, that is not a qualifying factor to being featured on the Project Expedition website. That means real, unbiased information that is not purely influenced by a monetary relationship.
And finally, the extreme organization. These guys know what they are doing when it comes to data, and all of the information has been beautifully and meticulously organized.
Notes To Improve Upon
Project Expedition is a new site, and as such, there are still ways in which the platform can grow and improve.
This was the first thing I mentioned to the founders, so I know they are working on it, but I would have loved a ‘Get Started’ tutorial. There is seriously SO much information on Project Expedition that I found myself getting a little overwhelmed the first time I opened it up. However, once you start playing around with the site, it is all very intuitive and easy to manage.
More photos! Again, this will come with time as the small team continues to gather more detailed information about the tours and activities and fill in all of the information for each destination. But as most travelers can agree, we love being able to actually see where it is we’re headed and what it is we can expect. Photos for me are a priority.
Finally, and this is really getting a bit picky, but I definitely want the option to be able to book more on their actual platform. Again, Project Expedition is brand new, so I’m sure this will come with time as they continue to build relationships with businesses and brands around the world. (That is why they flew all the way to Costa Rica on their own dime, after all…) But I’m impatient and I already love this site, so I can’t wait to be able to have more bookable options right at my fingertips.
We’re really excited to have connected with the Project Expedition team, and we can’t wait to use this website to help us plan all of our adventures in Central America.
And we’ll be sure to keep you updated on any of our great discoveries on our upcoming Nicaragua trip!
What travel resources do you use to help you plan your travels? Does Project Expedition look like something you would use to help you on your adventures?
We were compensated by Project Expedition to review their new app. We were not asked to write a positive review – all thoughts and opinions are, as always, our own.