Have you ever looked up which restaurants and bars in your hometown have been voted the best according to travel review websites?
The number three restaurant in London, (according to one aggregated review site), is an American diner. The reviews appear to come from Americans who enjoyed the Philly Cheesesteak – a dish that hails not from London but from Philadelphia. What I mean is that by using these websites for travel tips, you're going to find great places to visit in a new city, but great places according to other tourists.
As a card-carrying member of the younger generation though, it's likely you're looking for something a bit different. Instead of finding the places other British people like in Madrid, for instance, you want to know where the twentysomethings from Madrid are hanging out. Ditto for the millennials from Madrid, who probably don't want to spend their time in London at the Angus Steakhouse in Leicester Square.
So, how to find the most interesting and diverse neighbourhoods in other cities? Well, having a local friend with local knowledge is obviously the dream. Other than that, (very up to date) Lonely Planet books can be useful, and Culture Trip does a nice job of highlighting bars and restaurants. Some bloggers and Instagrammers are pretty good. But it's not always easy, and putting "hipster cafe near me" into Google Maps as soon as your plane lands is a really quick way to make you hate yourself.
“I travel because I love to fill up my eyes with new sights, colour combinations and mostly to go on an adventure. I really enjoy noticing the small differences, and often prefer walking around different neighbourhoods all day to visiting sights and museums. I take my mju ii with me wherever I go, developing the photos when I’m back is like a second holiday!” @lizzie_kingdom #staytrippin ✈️🌍
Get ready, then, for Trippin – the brand new app designed to help millennials and Gen-Zers travel in the way they want to travel. It's the brainchild of DJ, singer and songwriter Yasmin Shahmir, app developer member Kesang Ball and Sam Blenkinsopp - an experienced marketing exec who cut his teeth at adidas. All love travelling (and spend a lot of their lives doing it – their Instagrams are unbearably beautiful) and finding new places.
Trippin is designed to highlight the kind of places young people want to visit on holiday. It is user-generated and curated by similarly minded travellers and locals. It works like Spotify in that each city has a number of 'playlists' that you can save to your phone (users can and should make their own). These playlists can feature anything: a cool museum, a good park for beers, a bookshop café... The idea is that future travellers can then use these playlists to help guide their own holiday.
Although it's still in its infant stages (Trippin launched about two months ago), there's already a number of guest-curated playlists. Want to know Grace Neutral's favourite tattoo shops around the world? There's a playlist for that. Where does rapper Chuck Inglish recommend getting good BBQ food in Chicago? Check his playlist.
As with most user-aggregated concepts, Trippin will only get more useful, the more content people add to it. At the moment it's focussed on a few main cities – namely London, Lisbon, NYC, Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam – but as its content grows, fingers crossed it'll soon be in every city you visit.
We spoke to Yas and Kesang about how young people travel today, their app, and their favourite places you need to visit now.
How do we travel differently from older generations?
Yasmin: I think the main thing is that we’re hungry for our own experience. We don’t want a package holiday or an itinerary, we want the tools and inspiration to empower our own unique adventure.
Kesang: The rise in low-cost airlines and sharing economy has made travel way more accessible for our generation. The world’s quite an uncertain place right now, we’re not saving up for material possessions but instead focusing on our own personal growth and exploring the world. We want to feel new things, push ourselves out of the clasp of our usual environment and go Trippin!
What positive impact has this had?
Kesang: We’re a more conscious and well-informed generation and we crave authenticity. Everything is pretty streamlined; you can book an entire trip – flights, a place to stay, a cab – all from your phone. However, tech can only take you so far! The best travel tips I’ve ever received are the ones which my friends have given me, that’s why Trippin is designed to facilitate that exchange.
In an increasingly fractured society, how important is connecting with different groups of people all around the world right now?
Yasmin: To really travel you have to be open and go with the flow. If someone asks if I want to go somewhere, meet someone, try something – I just say yes. I’ve ended up in some insane places and situations because of it. House parties in Manila, crazy artist studios in Shanghai, this house in Buenos Aires that was a hoarder's paradise. The best was this one time in San Diego when a guy called Chad invited me to a Grateful Dead tribute band gig. It was in this little neighbourhood called Ocean Beach that’s stuck in the '70s; everyone’s a little older with long hair and everyone was wearing something tie-dye. It was so trippy and awesome. Having experiences like that in places so far from home and the friends you make as a result is the best.
How do you reach out to a community in a new area?
Yasmin: Talk to locals and ask them about their home and their culture, show an interest in their story. People love to share stories and it’ll always be better than anything you can find in a guidebook.
What about language barriers?
Yasmin: Smile!!! And just try and learn a few words and use them. It’s a sign of respect to at least try to speak the native language and you’ll find people will be super patient and helpful if they see you making an effort. Unless you’re in Paris, haha.
What's one of your best tips when visiting a new city?
Yasmin: If you’re looking for clubs or spots to dance, head to the record shops and talk to the people that work there, ask them where you can find the vibes you’re after. They always know what's up when it comes to music.
What about money? How do you stop travel being expensive?
Yasmin: I use my Monzo card when I travel, it’s pretty good to be able to keep track of how much I’m spending while away. I use Snap Eurostar to get cheap trains from time to time. Airbnb is obvs the one for finding the cheap places to stay and usually your host can point you in the direction of some places to explore.
What place was a huge surprise for you when you visited because of how great it was?
Yasmin: I wouldn’t say I was surprised because I definitely was excited to go there but Mexico continues to steal my heart. I’ve been there 10+ times now and the more I see, the more I want to go back! The people are so warm and welcoming, the food is insane and everything is just so colourful and vibrant.
What's the 10-year plan for Trippin?
Yasmin: For the next few years we want to keep building and evolving our app to be the ultimate travel app in the game and definitely want to keep creating and curating amazing photography and film with the help of our community that inspires people to stay Trippin! In 10 years I hope that we’re in a position to provide opportunities to travel for people who haven’t felt the magic of it before, that would be the ultimate trip…