Safara, The Members-Only Curated Travel Site, Relaunches Just In Time For Summer

Where to next?

by Natalia Lusinski

If you’re looking for a travel site that’s more exclusive than others out there, check out the newly relaunched members-only curated travel site, Safara. Although the company technically launched at the beginning of 2020, the pandemic put a bit of a dent in travel, so the launch went on hold for two years. But now it’s back and better than ever with even more features than before. (Plus, the brand removed its paid subscription model, so it’s now free to become a member.)

Run by some former members of the Resy team — the app wherein you can book a table at your favorite “go-to” restaurant — Safara features a similar idea. But instead of restaurants, you’ll find a curation of hotels — thousands, in fact — from around the world, carefully selected in partnership with their members and other insider travelers. And Safara offers its members a lot of perks. One of them is how you’ll get 10% back on every booking. Whether you’re traveling for a work or personal trip, you’ll earn money back — in actual dollars, not points — for future trips that’ll cover part of your stay or all of it. So a work trip can essentially help fund your future vacation!

Plus, the funds don’t expire, and there are no blackout dates. Members also get a best-rate guarantee — rates are price-matched from the top travel sites. And if you’re looking for insider travel tips, guides, and recommendations for destinations around the globe, from Los Angeles to Barcelona to Tel Aviv (and more), Safara’s blog has got you covered. From topics like “A food blogger’s guide to Barcelona” to “A travel journalist’s guide to London,” seek and you shall find. (Yes, please.)

When asked about the inspiration behind creating Safara, Co-Founder and CEO Doug Schuessler says they saw a gap in the market for frequent travelers (five or more trips per year). “Whereas the existing tools in-market tend to serve the budget-conscious traveler extremely well, frequent travelers are surprisingly underserved,” he tells TZR in an email. “For example, people who love to travel — and travel a lot — tend to prefer insider tips and recommendations rather than reviews. We solve for this proactively with content and community (book your next trip with us and you'll see what I mean).”

Schuessler says he also discovered that a surprisingly high number of travelers weren't loyal to any booking platform at all, or to a specific hotel chain — they preferred having flexibility. So that’s where Safara’s value proposition comes into play by giving members a 10% credit back at any hotel every time they book. That way, it’s incentive to single-home your booking with Safara, he explains.

When you use Safara, you’ll also be helping the environment, since they offer carbon offsetting for every trip — 100% of bookings made on the platform are carbon neutral. Safara does this by calculating the carbon emissions for your stay based on factors such as a hotel’s location, star rating, and your trip duration. They then offset by purchasing vetted (and meaningful) carbon offsets that fund companies working to recapture and/or sequester carbon.

As for other features and benefits, Schuessler says they’re just getting started. “We launch new features and initiatives every month — last month, it was our climate sustainability program; next month, it will be our iOS app; after that, you'll have to wait and see,” he says. “We have an incredible team of ex-Square/Amex/Google/Uber alums, and some incredible investors, who all believe that we can reinvent what will become a $1-2T per year industry over the next decade. We launched our beta in March with less than 100 users — and have since grown to thousands of users, growing both bookings and users more than 100% month-over-month in May.”

To join Safara, either another member has to refer you or you just join the waitlist. However, as a TZR reader, you can join sans referral or waitlist, with this link. Get out that bucket list.