With so many options coast to coast, planning a road trip can turn into an overwhelming experience instead of an exciting adventure. But Chelsea Koglmeier and Tatiana Parent are turning that frustration into a flourishing business.
Parent and her co-founder James Fisher were living overseas and regularly visited the United States to take long road trips. However, along many of their stops, they grew frustrated with the lack of useful travel resources. Particularly for finding independent places to visit, and syncing travel advice with navigation.
At one point, they were using 10 different websites and tools to plan their trips and find places of interest along the way. “We were spending too much time planning and not enough time living,” she explains. So, Koglmeier and Fisher launched Roadtrippers in June 2011.
Fisher and Parent moved from Great Britain in 2011 to focus on their company. In July 2011, The Brandery, a Cincinnati based startup accelerator, accepted Roadtrippers into its program. The Brandery’s aim is to helps new businesses with securing funding, gaining mentors and networking with business professionals. Then, in March 2013, Parent hired Koglmeier, who is now in charge of Business Development.
Today, Roadtrippers is a free and easy-to-use website that helps clients plan unique and customized road trips. The site and app are there to help travelers find everything they need in one location. Koglmeier says the idea behind Roadtrippers is to provide a straightforward search process for travelers to add excitement to their experiences and prevent as many frustrations as possible.
“When you’re traveling for fun with friends, family, significant others or on your own, you should have access to the best off-beat attractions, places to stay, restaurants and to be able to navigate to them,” Koglmeier says.
Recently featured in Travel + Leisure, Fox News, BBC Travel, The Huffington Post and Forbes, Roadtrippers is quickly gaining popularity. The site itself recently broke more than one million unique visits to their website. As a matter of fact, there were more than 4.6 million visits to the Roadtrippers website in June including 518,000 unique visitors. There were also 43,000 people who signed up for free membership with Roadtrippers.
They’re constantly attracting new visitors too, Koglmeier says, as 54 percent of their total visitors this month were new to the site while 43 percent were repeat visitors.
|Roadtripppers helps you plan your next road trip.|
They’re also growing internally. Koglmeier says they’ve gone from a team of four last summer to 13 full-time and 15 part-time/interns this year.
The Roadtrippers app was recently re-designed to better mirror the functionality of the website. Koglmeier says it will be live by the end of July. The website and app is undergoing many other updates with a great deal of streamlining on the website’s back end development. “So, even though you can’t see it, you’ll feel it as we continue to make changes to the way you use the website,” she adds. “We also created a white label trip planner for Travel Oregon that will be live by the end of July.
Koglmeier says they’re working on enhancing the quality and quantity of content on locations all over the country. They are also beginning to look at international options, in order to bring in data from around the world and provide additional options for travelers.
Visit the Roadtrippers website www.roadtrippers.com to learn more about the business or to plan your next road trip. You can also download the Roadtrippers app on your smartphone.