Adventure travelers now have another option in their never-ending quest to find the best travel deals online. The newly launched website Offmap promises to cutout travel agents and resellers, partner directly with local guides and use innovative technology to deliver trips at deeply discounted prices. Judging from their first few offerings, they just might be on to something.
The site just launched yesterday and requires visitors to create a login profile before they can view the available options. That can be accomplished either by logging in using your Facebook account or by supplying an email address and password. Once you gain access you’ll be able to not only peruse the trips that are currently available, but also invite friends to join the site and read the Offmap Blog as well.
At the moment, Offmap has three itineraries for travelers to consider. Those include a trek through the Peruvian Andes, an active summer escape to Iceland and a short kayaking tour of the Hudson Valley in New York. Trip descriptions give Offmap members a good idea of what to expect on their journeys and include a daily schedule, a list of what is included and information on the tour leaders.
All of that is very interesting and helpful of course but what is likely to catch your eye most quickly are the prices. Offmap says that they can offer up to 70 percent off similar trips from other travel companies and it is hard to argue with them based on what they have available at the moment. For instance, the trip to Peru includes six nights lodging, most meals, a three-day trek through the mountains and a tour of Machu Picchu all for just $850.The Offmap team says that they can achieve these prices by partnering directly with local tour operators and eschewing chain hotels for smaller boutique lodging. But they’ve also come up with an innovative way to engage travelers in a more independent fashion too. Each trip comes with a custom built, interactive guidebook that is currently available as an iPad app or in PDF format. (An iPhone version is coming soon!) These eBooks don’t require an Internet connection to work and include detailed maps, suggestions for self-guided sightseeing tours, tips on dining and nightlife and hints from past travelers. Using the app and local guides, travelers are actually getting an interesting mix of both independent and guided tours.
The site will have just a few travel deals available at any given time and once they’re booked, they’re likely gone. That means if you see something you like, at the price you want, you should book it quickly. You’ll also want to check back on the site on a regular basis to see what new travel deals are available. Check them out at Offmap.com now.