If you’re looking for a more exclusive travel site than others, check out the recently relaunched members-only travel site, Safara. Although the company technically launched in early 2020, the pandemic hampered travel a bit, so the launch was put on hold for two years. But now it’s back and better than ever with even more features than before. (Also, the brand removed its paid subscription model, so it’s now free to join.)
Run by former members of the Resy team – the app where you can reserve a table at your favorite “go-to” restaurant – Safara offers a similar idea. But instead of restaurants, you’ll find a selection of hotels – thousands, in fact – from around the world, carefully selected in partnership with their members and other insider travelers. And Safara offers its members a plot of advantages. One of them is how you will get 10% back on all reservation. Whether you’re traveling for business or personal travel, you’ll earn money — in real dollars, not points — for future trips that cover part or all of your stay. So a work trip can essentially help fund your future vacation!
Also, the funds do not expire and there are no blackout dates. Members also benefit from a best rate guarantee – rates are matched to the prices of top travel sites. And if you’re looking for insider travel tips, guides, and recommendations for destinations around the world, from Los Angeles to Barcelona to Tel Aviv (and more), Safara’s blog has you covered. Topics like ‘A Food Blogger’s Guide to Barcelona’ to ‘A Travel Journalist’s Guide to London’, search and you will find. (Yes please.)
Asked about the inspiration behind creating Safara, co-founder and CEO Doug Schuessler says they saw a gap in the frequent flyer market (five or more trips per year). “While existing tools on the market tend to serve budget-conscious travelers very well, frequent travelers are surprisingly underserved,” he told TZR in an email. “For example, people who love to travel – and travel a lot – tend to prefer insider tips and recommendations over reviews. We proactively address this with content and the community (book your next trip with us and you will see what I mean).
Schuessler says he also discovered that a surprisingly high number of travelers weren’t loyal to a booking platform at all, or to a specific hotel chain – they preferred flexibility. So that’s where Safara’s value proposition comes in by offering members a 10% credit at any hotel every time they book. In this way, it is an incentive to book a detached house with Safara, he explains.
When you use Safara, you are also helping the environment, as they offer carbon offsetting for every trip — 100% of bookings made on the platform are carbon neutral. To do this, Safara calculates the carbon emissions of your stay based on factors such as hotel location, star rating and length of your trip. They then compensate by purchasing approved (and meaningful) carbon offsets that fund companies working on carbon recovery and/or sequestration.
As for other features and benefits, Schuessler says they’re just getting started. “We launch new features and initiatives every month – last month it was our climate sustainability program; next month it will be our iOS app; after that you will have to wait and see,” he says. “We have an incredible team of Square/Amex/Google/Uber alumni, and incredible investors, who all believe we can reinvent what will become a $1-2,000,000 a year industry over the next We launched our beta in March with less than 100 users – and have since grown to thousands of users, growing both bookings and users by more than 100% month over month in May. “
To join Safara, either another member must sponsor you, or you simply register on the waiting list. However, as a TZR reader, you can join without referral or waiting list, with this link. Pull out that bucket list.