Over the last couple of days, Travello users, Tom Cunningham and Natalie Otto, have appeared in international news that has been published in countries such as the UK, Poland, Germany, France and China, to mention some. In the news, they wrote about how the two went on a 5 week trip together, as strangers. They were the winners of Travello’s Ultimate Oz competition, that aimed to bring two strangers together on a trip worth 25,000 AUD for 5 weeks. The international media found new angles to portray the trip that was organized by Travello….
It started with an international competition, and the goal was to find two strangers who would travel together. To many people this might sound like a crazy idea, to spend so much time with a person you have not even met before, but Travello wanted to show that strangers can have the trip of a lifetime together.
However, popular news sites, such as the Daily Mail and Unilad, portrayed the trip a bit differently…
The stories published on the Daily Mail and Unilad quickly made their way to news sites in countries such as; France, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Australia, China, Vietnam and several others – talk about international coverage!
Have a look here:
But no matter how the media portrayed their journey, Natalie and Tom both agree that the Travello trip was the adventure of a lifetime, and they are both very happy that they took the chance to travel with a stranger and got to discover some of the best places Australia has to offer.
Even before Natalie and Tom started the journey they appeared on the popular Australian TV show, the Today Show, to talk about traveling together as strangers. They were even brought on TV for an interview – in separate locations!
Have a look at the interview below;
With the exposure on TV, there were plenty of people eager to see how they would get along, so the pressure was on when they both arrived in Cairns and finally met in person.They had both been a bit nervous beforehand, but quickly relaxed when they finally met and realized they would get along. They set out on the road and started their journey that would take them from Cairns and all the way down to Sydney.
During the trip they both slept in the JUCY camper van; a car that is fitted with a bed, fridge and a pop-up tent on the roof, so that they each had their own place to sleep in. When they didn’t sleep in the car, they stayed at a range of different accommodations. From the social and popular YHA hostels, to luxurious private villas in Whitsundays – they got to experience it all!
Many people who followed their journey were wondering if there were any romantic sparks between Natalie and Tom, considering all the time they spent together, but Natalie has a boyfriend, so they just became very good travel mates.
“Nothing happened, and the only romantic elements were the locations we stayed in. But what I will say, is if she was single, I would ask her out in a heartbeat after this trip” Tom said when asked about any romantic moments during the trip.
But the lack of romance didn’t stop the two of them from having an amazing time together. During their trip along the coast they experienced everything from skydiving over Byron Bay, to snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, flying in a seaplane over the Whitsunday islands, and abseiling off cliffs in Brisbane, just to mention some. The many hours in the car was a great way to get to know each other, and when it finally was time to say goodbye in Sydney 5 weeks later, it was with tears in their eyes and a promise to stay in touch.
Solo traveling is increasing as traveling is becoming more available to people around the world, and thus the global travel community that is offered in the Travello app is helpful for travelers who are keen to meet locals or other travelers in different destinations. Who knows, maybe you will find a new friend on your next trip and together create the adventure of a lifetime! Sign up on Travello to find out…
Tom is from country Victoria and currently living in Sydney. He recently returned from a trip to Utah in the US. Tom is a great photographer, videographer and drone operator, so he's looking forward to capturing some amazing footage for your all t o share across your socials as well. Make sure you check out some of his footage he shot from Kokoda and PNG for taste of whats to come!
Natalie is from the USA but has recently moved to Melbourne! She is a former TV news reporter in the US so she is certainly comfortable in front of the camera telling her stories about the adventures with you all. She is also an avid video producer and videographer as well, so you can expect some interesting edited videos from Natalie at some point a long the journey when they get a break!
It’s a question which does stir up quite a bit of debate. However, many backpackers all around the world actually embark on a journey all the time with a stranger that they may have only just recently met.
You only need to Google “Travel with a stranger” to find hundreds of links to blogs and articles outlining the benefits of travelling with strangers and how travellers have met great new travel buddies and mates for life from doing so.
We need to point out though, we are talking more so about organic travel experiences that bring two strangers together, not companion based/dating-type travel sites that attempt to put strangers together for companionship. No, we are talking about the experiences where travellers find themselves in situations where fate brings the two together and they decide to take the plunge and travel together. That could be two travellers or even just a traveller that has met a local too.
Solo travel is a hugely popular category, and in fact female solo travellers are well supported all around the world with likeminded groups, forums and of course apps. Travello also caters for this segment of solo travellers of course but also female travellers with a private Female Travellers group too, connecting females that are travelling now or in destinations where they will be travelling to as well.
Our latest competition is an invitation to the adventurous at heart. We would love to match two individual strangers together for a trip of a lifetime around Australia. However entrants are actually open to both individuals who would love to win and travel with a stranger as well as two mates or even couples as well. It’s one heck of a trip from Cairns down to Sydney and the Adelaide up to Uluru on a 4-6 week adventure together!
It includes Airfares, accommodation mostly with YHAs, a JUCY camper van, spending money, travel insurance and a whole heap of adventures along the way in every destination. The whole trip is worth over $25,000 for the two winners. For a full outline of prize details make sure you check out the competition entry page here – https://www.travelloapp.com/travelmates/
All you need to do to enter is submit your details along with a 1-2 minute video explaining why you or you and your mate or partner would be the best travel mate in the world for this adventure! So you can enter as an individual wanting to be matched by us to a new travel mate for this adventure or as a team of two already.
We are looking for entrants from Australia as well as anywhere around the world. We’d love Australian’s to enter as we’d love to be able to match up 1 Australian with an International for the trip, however entrants are open to teams from anywhere around the world as well.
If you are an aspiring travel blogger, photographer or vlogger then this prize is right up your alley too, as the requirement of this trip is that you will be sharing every experience not only on the Travello app but also across our social channels and of course yours as well. So this will help springboard an intense travel content challenge for you.
To give you a small taste of what the winners will be up to, over the coming weeks we will be doing a few small teasers from a couple of the destinations that the winners will be visiting. The first one of these we did on the Gold Coast recently. We approached the Surfers Paradise YHA to find us two backpackers that would be up for a full days adventure.
The day started with picking up a JUCY Champ camper van and heading over to the Surfers Paradise YHA to pick up the two backpackers. From there we hopped in the JUCY van for a quick chat to find out a little more about them. The two lucky backpackers were Anniken from Norway and Emanuel from Argentina. They then got to experience a Surf lesson thanks to our prize partner GetWetSurf, a SUP lesson thanks to Go Vertical SUP Hire and an exhilarating jetboat ride thanks toParadise Jetboating!
Here is a bit of that action that we captured so that you can get a taste of all the fun the winners will have!
THANKS AGAIN TO OUR COMPETITION MAJOR PRIZE PARTNERS:
Congratulations to the best of the best in the backpacking industry for 2016 in Australia and NZ!
If you’re travelling around Australia or New Zealand in 2017 then why not start your search with a quick look over the recently crowned winners of the 2016 TNT Golden Backpack Awards. This list will help fill up your travel itinerary as you travel around Australia and NZ in 2017.
First up, we’d like to congratulate The Whitsundays for taking out the award for best destination in 2016! Most backpackers have The Whitsundays on their Australian travel itinerary and who can blame them with all the tropical adventure that can be had up there. Whether it’s sailing around any of the 74 stunning islands, learning to dive on some of the best reefs in the world, catching a see plane to see it all by air, camping on a secluded island for a couple nights or simply making the most of any of the water adventure activities, The Whitsundays has all your tropical playground experiences covered.
If you are wondering whats on at The Whitsundays over the coming months be sure to check out their events calendar here – What’s On – The Whitsundays
The award for best overall backpacker accommodation for Australia went to Base Sydney. With it being one of the most centrally located budget accommodation options just minutes from Darling Harbour along with it’s girl only floor called The Sanctuary, Base Sydney is certainly a popular choice for many backpackers, especially for downing a few cold drinks at their party den called The Scary Canary. However if you are travelling beyond Sydney, Base has you covered across many parts of Australia and NZ.
While the award for best overall tour activity in Australia was won by Skydive Australia. What better way for backpackers to take in the sights of Australia than from the air, with the 15 premium dropzones across Australia, which include the following options:
NEW SOUTH WALES
Byron Bay, Central Coast, Hunter Valley, Newcastle, Sydney – Wollongong
Airlie Beach, Brisbane, Cairns, Mission Beach
Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Yarra Valley
Perth City, Rockingham, York
Congratulations to all of the other winners listed below from the 2016 TNT Golden Backpacker Awards:
If you’d like to read a bit more about the winners above be sure to check out the summary in the latest digital edition of the TNT Magazine . We hope that this list helps you get started on planning your big Australia and New Zealand backpacking travel adventures!
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