We all spend way too much time researching travel, right? Well, in our latest travel startup spotlight, TRVL hopes to monetize your travel obsession. TRVL empowers you as a travel agent and pays a commission when you arrange travel for you and your friends. Our TRVL review will give a brief overview of the program and whether we think it’s useful for travel nerds like ourselves.
TRVL: The Basics
First and foremost, the TRVL is platform is limited to hotels only. Of course actual travel agents have access to flight and other travel inventory as well.
Ok, so are you ready to pick that dream hotel for you and friends, what’s next? Go ahead and sign up, the platform is free and open to everyone. Once you sign up, TRVL provides you a large inventory of hotels around the world to choose from. TRVL partners with Booking.com and Hotels.com, so you’re likely to find any hotel you need.
The TRVL home page advertises commissions up to 10% on bookings. Of course that type of language usually means it’s rarely going to be 10%. I decided to search for a one week stay in my hometown of Scottsdale, AZ to see what type of commissions were actually available. My commission results (below) usually came in around 5%. Keep in mind that TRVL has access to discounted room rates, so the price you or your friends pay is identical to those on Hotels.com and other Online Travel Agencies (OTA’s).
In the results above you’ll notice a “share” link. That’s what you’ll use to offer any deals you find to your friends or “clients”. You’ll be provided a unique link, or options to share via most social media outlets. If one of your clients competes a stay, you’ll then be rewarded with the commission.
TRVL: Is It Right For You?
I like this platform for some uses, and others not so much. I would be very hesitant to advertise travel booking services to close friends and family. What if they didn’t like the hotel as much as I did? I’d hate to ruin a friends vacation over a few bucks in commission.
However, group travel is an area where I think this platform has a ton of potential. In my 20’s I spent countless hours planning bachelor parties for friends. I’d do the research, find a hotel and then everyone made their reservations independently. With TRVL, once I found a place, I could have simply provided a link for everyone to book. Another scenario could be church, or youth travel groups. Inevitably somebody ends up doing all the leg work with travel organizing. Why not let them earn a small reward? Alternatively, any proceeds could be funneled back into the organization.
The more I think about it, the more I like this opportunity. Of course as points and miles nerds, we probably wouldn’t use TRVL for our own vacations, but it does fill a void for group travel. Just remember that hotel stays booked through OTA’s typically don’t earn points, so book your own reservation separately!