Peek Delivers Travel Memories Without Headaches
The last time I planned a trip, it went a little something like this:
Flight: Found a good deal on Travelocity, booked it, paid for it, the whole thing took about an hour, including research time and picking the perfect seat via Seatguru.
Hotel: Checked HotelChatter, Jaunted, and Concierge.com for cool hotels, then looked for a deal via Jetsetter, Tablet, Vacationist and Voyage Prive, and compared prices at Expedia, Travelocity, and Hotels.com. Finally booked it on Expedia. All in it took about two hours.
Everything else: Spent weeks canvassing friends; searching through Conde Nast Traveler, Wallpaper, NYT, and Travel + Leisure articles; and skimming through Yelp reviews. Made a list of finds. Eventually turned that list into a spreadsheet. A spreadsheet, people! I hate spreadsheets. Called to book a hiking tour, a farm tour, and a horse-riding tour. Tried to book restaurant reservations on OpenTable and managed with a couple of places. Called to book the others. Total time spent over the course of three weeks: At least 20 hours.
That last bit is where a new travel site, Peek comes in. Officially launching this summer, Peek will connect travelers with a variety of memorable experiences—everything from the more expected, must-do things like Alcatraz tours in San Francisco to more unique, top-shelf activities like a champagne breakfast and balloon ride followed by an olive oil tasting in Napa. The site will also allow travelers to browse through itineraries created by both travel writers and local experts. Peek will link various tours and sights with write-ups they’ve received in well-known travel pubs (no more checking T+L, Traveler, the New York Times, and National Geographic to cross-reference and see who’s covered what, hooray!), and will include a good number of lesser-known finds… the sorts of experiences that you only hear about from friends because the operator doesn’t have a website. The idea is to connect travelers with the stuff great travel memories are made of and to make it all easy to find and book online. It seems like such an obvious need, it’s almost hard to believe that no one’s built this site yet.
“When you go on a trip, even if you stay at the most amazing hotel and fly first class, it’s generally not the flight or the hotel you remember, it’s what you did with your time there,” says Peek CEO and co-founder Ruzwana Bashir. “My memories of paragliding over Rio, or exploring the favelas, are what come to mind when I think about my trip to Brazil, not the hotel I stayed in. And yet finding and booking these took several calls and hours of research, and every time I mention it to a friend who’s been to Rio they say they wished they had known about it before they went.”
Bashir previously worked at both Gilt Groupe and Art.sy, which helps to explain why a site that hasn’t even launched yet has already scored nods from the New York Times and Business Insider. So far it’s looking like it will actually live up to the hype.
Peek will launch on the West Coast first, with more domestic and international locations coming online soon. In the meantime, the site is coming out today with a sneak preview of the sorts of things it plans to offer, in the form of its Insider’s Tribeca Film Festival Experience (you’ll need to sign up here to get more details or to book it). Priced at $1,000 for two, the experience includes a private lunch at the legendary Per Se with Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Craig Hatkoff, tickets to the festival’s Filmmaker & Industry Party, passes to film screenings of your choice, and massages at decadent Shibui Spa at the Greenwich Hotel (owned by “the other” festival co-founder, Robert De Niro). Bashir says Peek will be rolling out more news and sneak peaks over the coming months, so it’s worth signing up, even if you’re not into the Tribeca thing.
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