In 2016 Jonathan Jaffe started Travendly, a group travel company for young professionals. Managing editor David Hoekman talked with Jaffe about the company.
Q. How did you come up with the company’s name?
A. It’s the words “travel” and “friendly” put together.
Q. Why did you establish Travendly?
A. I had already done a solo backpacking trip through Europe when I was younger. Now that I was working, I thought it would be more fun to travel with a group of people my own age. And since a vacation costs several thousand dollars, I wanted to be sure I was traveling with like-minded people. But I couldn’t find a tour company that gave me exactly what I was looking for. I saw a need and filled it. I thought, there have to be people out there like me who want to travel together.
Q. What sets Travendly apart?
A. The big differential is that we offer group tours for young professionals. We also have an application. You have to apply to be considered for one of our trips, and we use the information to create the groups. We want to make sure the people are going to like the trip and are compatible.
The concept is to use travel as a means to create friendships. It’s a really powerful experience. You come out of a trip with new friends. It’s cool to come off a trip with more than just pictures.
Q. What’s the biggest challenge facing the company?
A. Continuing to grow. We’re a small company and a young company. We’re a baby in this industry, and it’s an industry that’s all about trust. Some tour companies have been around for years and years. We have to advertise, and we work hard to deliver a superior experience. We want 100% satisfaction and people appreciate that.
Q. What’s your best tip for fellow tour professionals?
A. It sounds trite but listen to your clients.
Q. What’s the next big thing for Travendly?
A. We would like to hit every continent and have more of a global presence. I would like to have trips to Australia, Vietnam and the Azores, and I would love to do more trips to South America.