Some of our best adventures have come at the recommendation of friends, family members and even internet strangers. That steak we can’t stop thinking about from Turks and Caicos, a waterslide in the middle of the Costa Rican rainforest, the eccentric and charmingly brilliant golf pro at Divi Aruba—we’re constantly learning about unique, off-the-radar things to do in new and even beloved destinations, and they almost always make the next trip a little better than the last.
But what happens when very few people are actually traveling? Even as the explorers among us get back out there and very safely return to our favorite destinations, things are very different. Most resorts might have reopened their doors, but some restaurants and businesses have remained closed, which could leave us with holes in our itineraries and wondering if it was even worth it.
Enter: Allcall, a modern travel platform that aims to fix these problems by providing equally authentic and enjoyable vacation options.
“It felt like there was a massive gap in value for the services out there to plan and book a great vacation,” founder Natasha Hoskins told us. “Travel is so integral to my world view and has shaped so much of who I am, and a lot of people around me feel the same.” Thus, her goal became using “meaningful travel experiences that change the way we see the world” to inspire and fulfill people in search of the best vacations at a time when travel is limited.
Of course, the depth of inspiration begins with the type of trip. Searching for black-owned restaurants in Manhattan or the Bay Area? There are itineraries for those. Looking to hit the road from New York City to Maine and hoping to enjoy the best of everything in between? Start your engines. Want a Kauai vacation that will blow your parents’ childhood trip away? Say aloha to new ideas.
Natasha says the driving force behind launching this platform stemmed from the frustrations of planning a trip from scratch. “It took so many hours, screen-shotting Instagram posts and texting friends for recommendations, emailing past coworkers asking for recommendations for Italy or Paris,” she recalls. “Getting to that point of a great vacation took a lot of legwork, and the best recommendations always seem to come from a friend of a friend who is in the know.”
A lot of that frustration was caused by so-called travel websites that claim to offer authenticity but simply do not. She knew there had to be an easier way to plan unique and distinct experiences for people, and so came the idea to connect those would-be travelers with other people just like them who have already done it and can offer not only the best of some locations, but the things ordinary visitors might never learn about.
It isn’t just as simple, though, as asking so-called influencers for advice. There’s an application process for determining who among us is qualified to be a tastemaker, and while anyone in the world can apply, the Allcall team will do its homework. After all, when people are asking for tips on just about any destination in the world, would-be travel guides need to deliver. But when it comes to their own backyards, they really need to bring the A-game.
“A lot of the requests we’re getting from members right now are for some Caribbean, some Mexico, but a lot of domestic travel, upstate New York or long term stays somewhere a little warmer,” she explains, “but we are getting requests for major post-Covid, post-vaccine trips.”
One such trip that is being planned is for a member who wants to go to Israel for three weeks this summer. How it works is Natasha sends out the Bat Signal for a guide who has experience with Israel, and in this case the call was answered by a fashion designer who has lived in Tel Aviv her whole life and can name great places to visit in her city, as well as the best locations in the north and even camping sites in the south.
“We really are anywhere, our members can request anywhere in the world and we will plan a great trip for them,” the founder says.
Membership to The Club is currently limited, so interested parties can join the wait list in the meantime. If anything, it gives everyone a little more time to narrow the focus on that next big dream getaway, making it easier for Allcall to deliver on its promise.