OfftheGrid, a new app that just launched, aims to provide tourists a Tinder-like experience by letting them swipe and communicate with other like-minded travelers while also learning about interesting new places to go. With the app's help, users can post about upcoming trips, schedule meets with other users, and share images and videos of their trips.
The "Discover" tab's Tinder-like function, which lets users vote on images of individuals from around the world by swiping left or right, stands out most. OfftheGrid is a bootstrapped startup, which means it is independently funded and does not rely on outside funding.
Ethan Serbantes, 25 years old, started the startup to build a specialized social platform where travelers could interact and quickly locate new experiences after getting the travel bug.
Travel has changed due to social media, and Gen Zers and millennials with wanderlust frequently turn to Instagram for inspiration. In a poll of more than 2,000 Americans conducted by the travel company Arrivia between December 2021 and January 2022, it was discovered that 60% of Gen Zers and 40% of millennials utilize social media to get travel inspiration, for instance.
However, the entrepreneur pointed out that looking up destinations online takes time. Although everyone shared their holiday spots on Instagram, Serbantes claimed that the places he went through on the social media platform lacked sufficient information for anyone who genuinely wanted to travel there. Scrolling over selfies and other things that have nothing to do with the location doesn't help.
Serbantes learned from his own travels that it could be challenging to meet new people when traveling alone. According to research by the vacation booking site Klook, 49% of respondents were anxious about traveling alone because they didn't want to feel lonely in a strange country.
OfftheGrid was created by a team of six other individuals, according to Serbantes, to "address the fragmented travel planning process and lone traveler concerns."
OfftheGrid provides a forum for travelers to interact and exchange stories. Users can share photographs and videos on the app's home page and view those of travelers they follow.
Users can connect with other travelers using the "Trips" page of the app. When someone posts their destination and expected stay, others can connect with them to offer any advice or set up a meeting. You are only permitted to message so many individuals each day. The traveler needs to utilize coins once more after talking to three persons to chat more.
Travelers should always take precautions to keep themselves safe when visiting foreign countries. While interacting with new people might be enjoyable, you should still exercise caution while meeting up with them.
"Safety is a main priority of ours," Serbantes said.
The software enables users to confirm their Facebook account, email address, and phone number. OfftheGrid doesn't yet have a method for verifying profile images, but according to Serbantes, the business is working on putting a photo identification API. Additionally, OfftheGrid intends to introduce a blue checkmark system for verified profiles.
However, dating apps have demonstrated that consumers need background checks. As a result, Match Group started to include the feature in its applications this year, like Tinder, when users started to report horrifying incidents of violence, stalking, and assault. Travelers must be cautious about who they communicate with and meet because OfftheGrid lacks such a function.
A discovery tool for interacting with a map that displays the app's most popular and trending material, the "Explore" tab on OfftheGrid is also available. Users can navigate to a certain place by using the search feature, which includes filters for "Wildlife," "Parks/Trails," "Shopping," "Museums/Galleries," and "Food."
According to Serbantes, the company has several future ambitions for the app. This features a subscription-based business model that enables users to interact with as many individuals as they like and unlock photos. The app's tool for planning trips based on liked photographs is also in development.
A new "Locals" section under the "Trips" tab of the app will allow users to locate locals they may get in touch with.
Serbantes mentioned that OfftheGrid might eventually hold monthly picture contests. The winning images are those that have the most geotagged likes. The specifics of the rewards have not yet been determined. The travel app is suitable for users 18 years and older and is available for download from the Google Play Store and the App Store.