Enlightened
Exploration

We're building a modern guide to traveling in the 21st century.

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Enlightened Exploration

The TL;DR

  • Traveling is the bee’s knees and more people are spending lots of 💵 on it, but it still isn’t easy.
  • There are a lot of great travel gear, apps, and tips, but sifting through the junk to uncover them sucks. We do it for you.
  • You’re busy. To respect your time, we focus strongly on quality, being concise, and being entertaining.
  • Our recs are constantly updated and based on usage and reading an ungodly amount of reviews.
  • People often overlook the negative impact of traveling, so we include special sections that make it easy to travel responsibly.
  • We fund ourselves through referral fees, but only if we’d recommend it in the first place.
  • 5% of profits go towards conservation and travel scholarships.
  • Our mission: to make it easier to experience and understand the world.

Why We Exist

We believe in traveling. We believe in how it exposes you to different people, cultures, and sights. It opens minds and changes you for the better. Inspires you in your life’s work, like it did for Steve Jobs and Gandhi.

Travel's also just fun. And glamorous. And one of the few ways to turn routine activities, like finding a place to get coffee, into an exciting adventure. Plus, think of all the likes.

Easy, however, is one thing we'll never call traveling. You can spout the “not all who wander are lost” cliché bullshit, but the truth is for every traveler where that might be true there are many who are actually lost. It's hard to pose for a selfie when there's a mountain of details to figure out.

The world is also increasingly connected and global, meaning people are spending more money, time, and energy on travel than ever before. It’s a great way to spend your life’s resources, but many aren’t aware how much better their experience could be with just a bit more effort. You work hard for your money. Wouldn’t it be nice for it to go further?

That's why we created Wanderprep. We want to make traveling easier and a better return on your investment. We want to make you a smarter traveler.

What We Do

There are so many things out there to make traveling easier and more enjoyable: products to buy, apps to download, services to use, travel hacks and tips to remember. The problem is finding these today is a chore, and discerning which ones are actually worth your time takes even longer.

Wanderprep sifts through it all and distills it down for you, but in a way that respects your time and attention.

You see, there are hundreds of travel sites out there. You probably know a bunch. Some are great, some are terrible. Ultimately though, we see ourselves less in competition with them and more in competition with what we all increasingly have less of: time and attention. It's like we're being slapped in the face constantly with every email, notification, and message. Slap. Slap slap. Slap.

We wanted to create a different kind of resource made for today’s Internet generation. Where instead of celebrating every additional minute you spend like many platforms do today, we celebrate you spending less time with us because you got it quicker.

Our Approach

We focus on a few main areas: quality, brevity, and wit.

Quality

Not the most nor the newest, just the best. We’d rather give you 4 great options than 20 mediocre ones. We want to be like that good friend with impeccable taste whose recommendations you trust so much you never do further research. Or that timeless boutique downtown that’s always thoughtfully curated 😍. Quality with a human touch.

For each type of guide, "the best" means something different. Visit each to learn more:

Brevity

More substance in less words. We think most people would rather just be told the answer than dig through 10 paragraphs for it, hence the popularity of things like TL;DR. We try to write concisely and frame products/apps based on their use case or the problems they solve so you can quickly understand how they fit into your life.

Wit

ayyy that’s lit af fam 💯. We promise not to write exactly like that, but we do believe language evolves and we aren't afraid to insert the occasional pop culture reference, emoji, meme, pun, etc to connect better with today’s audience. It’s a privilege to have someone’s attention, so we hope to at least be entertaining.

How We Decide

We decide on what to recommend through two main ways:

  1. The good ol’ "spend a lot more time researching than normal people": understanding what’s important for a specific category, going through both professional and amateur reviews for items in that category, and talking to people experienced in that category
  2. Personal usage and testing

It's not 100% scientific, but we do take into account publications that take a more scientific approach and happily link to them for you to dig in more.

Our goal is for our guides to stay relevant and to always have the best solutions for each scenario whenever you visit. There'll never be annual "best of" lists since we're always that. This means we're constantly updating, strongly focus on quality, and don't assume newer is better. It's usually much clearer if a product is good if it's been out long enough anyway. Markets don't lie in the long run. If something has just launched, we'd need to use it before we'd recommend it.

We know we can always be better though hence the suggest links everywhere. Please send in suggestions, edits, fixes, or other ways we can improve. We read them all and will give you some ❤️ on Twitter if you have a great suggestion.

Responsible Travel

We believe being a better traveler also means traveling more responsibly.

Travel is often viewed as pure fun, which isn’t false. It is a lot of fun. Cue stereotypical spring break beach scene. The problem is the sense of escapism that mindset can produce. The feeling that once you’re in a foreign place where no one knows who you are, consequences matter less and you can do whatever you want. Where since you’ll be leaving, nothing you do there will have an immediate impact on your life so fuck it.

We get the allure, but the world is an interconnected place where everything we do has an impact somewhere. A common one you might hear is how much carbon flying emits (answer: a lot, but it's thankfully decreasing as airlines become more efficient and can be less than driving in some cases). Or lesser known ones: like how sunscreen contributes to dying reefs, too many tourists crowd out local residents, or that tipping too much can hurt a local economy.

Like everything in life, there are two sides to every story. We're obviously big fans of the travel lifestyle and aren't trying to be strict debbie downers, but we think it's important to bring awareness to its often overlooked less glamorous side. Know your impact.

To do our part, we’ll provide recommendations that make it easier to travel responsibly. Some examples: focusing on gear that lasts longer to combat throw away culture, offsetting your carbon footprint from flights, or reef safe sunscreen (coming soon).

Our hope is by us making it easier and with our readers paying more attention, together we can make a difference towards creating a more holistic view of travel. It’s certainly better than nothing.

Is there an area of travel you think deserves more focus? Let us know »

Our Team

You may have noticed the usage of “we” above. It technically should just be “I” (at least for now).

Hi, I’m Jono and I created Wanderprep. Wanderprep combines a few of my passions: travel, obsessive research, design, writing, and trying to make the world a slightly better place. Having lived most of my life in California, I’ve now gone on to visit and live in over 35 countries (part of it with Remote Year) and hope to one day travel to not just another country, but another planet. #elonmuskgetatme

You can find me on Twitter at @jobosapien. Slide on up into my DMs 📩.

Our Business

Wanderprep is an indie publication in the sense it's completely self funded and everything is done in house: all the writing, coding, and design. This grants us the independence to write what we want and ultimately provide what we think is a better, more honest product to you, our reader.

We want to be around for a long time so we can continually write new guides and update existing ones so you always have the most up to date recommendations. To do that, we need to make money and become a sustainable business.

The main way we’ll do this initially is with affiliate links, which are basically referral fees. How it works is when you buy a product or app through a link of ours that happens to have an affiliate program attached to it, such as for a product sold on Amazon or a paid app on iTunes, we get a small cut of the proceeds. We like this model because it aligns interests: if you find value in our recommendations, we make money. If you don’t, we don’t. It’s better than paying up front for a product or service you’re unsure of. We also don’t make any money if you return the product.

Do we only recommend things with an affiliate program? Not at all. We first and foremost care that the recommendation is actually good. If it happens to have an affiliate program, cool. If it doesn’t, like many of the newer direct-to-consumer brands, not a big deal. We think long term this is a better way to build trust with readers.

We plan to explore other ways to make money, but we promise to never do spammy, in your face, auto playing ads. Yuck 😖.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Giving Back

Wanderprep will donate 5% of profits to worthy causes because we think it’s important to give back to a world that’s given us so much. Details to be finalized, but it’ll likely be at quarterly intervals and centered around these two ideas:

  1. Conservation: Travel's fun but not if there isn’t anywhere beautiful to travel to anymore. This is especially evident in our oceans, which are overlooked due to their vastness and how little we see of them. By 2050, scientists expect the ocean to contain more plastic than fish, many popular fish to be be extinct from overfishing, and all corals to be gone (today over 60% of the Great Barrier Reef is already gone). It's bad enough the UN hosted its first ever annual Ocean Conference in 2017. We want to bring more awareness and help find solutions to these problems by donating to high impact groups like Ocean Conservancy.

  2. Travel scholarships: Travel isn’t cheap, so unfortunately not everyone can despite all the growth and educational opportunities it offers. To help those that can’t afford it, we’ll fund travel scholarships: flights, housing, and a food/activities stipend plus help with planning so they can fully experience a new place, expand their mind, and have fun. Afterwards, we’ll ask for a short blog post with pictures of where they went and what they learned.

We’re open to other ideas too, so please send them in. The first giveaway will be around December 2017.

Our Mission

Our long term mission is to make it easier to experience and understand the world. To help unlock the world and all its wonders so you can find your best self. Wanderprep is our first step in that direction.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. — Marcel Proust

Have questions or feedback? Let us know »