April 23, 2016: two lifelong friends with a passion for travel partnered with one goal in mind: to simplify travel forever. Today, they are still working hard to make their vision a reality.
As a three-year anniversary special, Travel Talk sat down with Mo Elsaadi and Sha Khorshidpanah, co-founders of the company and dug deeper into what this company is really about. Read the full interview below!
What is the story behind the name "TravelMo"?
Mo: After college I was over partying and didn’t really care for my job so I started to travel. I fell in love with the idea and started traveling any chance I could. Whether it was 48 hours in NYC or 6 days in Nicaragua I was down for any and every opportunity to get up and go. So much that people would joke and ask what city I was in whenever they would text me. I kept wanting to travel more so I joked around with the name TravelMo as a play on travel more. I originally posted it on my snapchat as a joke saying “Why travel less when you can TravelMo” then thought more and more about it and it stuck with me.
TravelMo is huge on the "Don't Stress" motto. Why do you think people get stressed out when it comes to planning travel and how does TravelMo take that stress away from the traveler?
Mo: The more options you have the more overwhelming it is to plan something. When you go to an Expedia or Priceline, you’re given so many options, it gets hard to choose. You’re forced to go down the wormhole of reading reviews and going through endless pictures just to make your decision even harder. It becomes a damn research project trying to figure out what airline you should fly or where in town you should stay. Don’t even get me started on trying to figure out what to do when you’re there. At TravelMo we make it simple for you. We give you 2 options based on what you’re looking for. We read the reviews, do the research, deal with the hotels/airlines and everything else in between. As you reject/accept the quotes we learn more about your style so that we can create the ultimate experience for YOU. Once it’s all booked we create a custom guide filled with the top tours, attractions, restaurants and nightlife. We do all the work so all you have to do is go and enjoy yourself.
Starting a company from the ground up can be discouraging at times. What keeps you going?
Mo: Traveling. When it comes to a start-up you need to be passionate about your craft. You really have to live and breathe your mission or you’ll get eaten alive. Travel is a passion of mine so I try to get out at least once a month and explore. Every time I come back from a trip no matter how long or short it is, I’m refueled and ready to get back on the grind. Sometimes just getting away for a little will help clear your mind and get you back on your A game. Not to mention, when you do something you love and believe in, it's not hard to find the motivation to keep going.
You've done a lot of great things in the past three years. Can you tell us about your favorite "TravelMoment"?
Sha: When I think back to the day Mo and I were on a trip and we threw around this idea of starting a travel company, it still gives me goosebumps. Here we were two guys in their mid-twenties putting little savings we had into this concept . A lot of napkins were written on during that weekend getaway, but the more we wrote down, the more excited we got. After a lot of no sleep nights, TravelMo went from being an idea to a company within a month’s time! Fast forward to present day, when I think about all the trips we’ve inspired; the honeymoons, family gatherings, friend getaways and more, it makes it all totally worth it. That day where this all came to life is one TravelMoment I’ll never forget. The process of letting go of all the negatives that came to mind and just trusting our passion for travel and inspiring others of the same, is something I always remind myself of when I relive that “TravelMoment”.
What is the "end goal" for TravelMo?
Sha: Ever take a trip and think back to those unplanned or unexpected adventures that came up that you went along with? Often, those are some of the most memorable experiences. At TravelMo we take a similar perspective to long term planning. We have a clear goal of providing the most seamless one stop travel solution for our customers while keeping that small family like and personal feel. That includes a world class digital experience combined with customer service that’s seconds away. At the same time, we want to be agile to try new things, be open to new ideas and always stay aware of that next unexpected adventure we can pursue.
What is your dream destination?
Mo: I grew up on Rocket Power so I've always wanted to travel to New Zealand. Only it's not a matter of IF, just when.
Sha: Oh man that’s a hard one. Given kangaroos just fascinate me, I’d love to take a trip to the Australian coast. The thought of surfing, eating amazing food, sweet accents and kangaroos. Yeah.. sign me up.
Could this be hinting at the next TravelMo Trip?! Stay tuned!