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Travel Companion

Planning your next journey is getting a lot more convenient thanks to a new generation of adventure-focused startups.

SLIDESHOW

Wild Terrains helps plan group travel experiences for creative women like this group trip to Mexico City, seen here and on the next page.

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Peek founder Ruzwana Bashir moved to Silicon Valley with the idea for Peek and landed backing by Eric Schmidt (Innovation Endeavors), Jack Dorsey, David Bonderman, SV Angel and CAA.

Photo: Michelle Drewes

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Hoping to hunt with eagles, book a helicopter ride in Hawaii or plan the ultimate girls’ trip without having to plan? There’s a place for that. “I went to Istanbul for the weekend, and I wound up spending 20 hours planning. It didn’t make sense that something like Open Table for travel didn’t exist for activities,” says Ruzwana Bashir, co-founder and CEO of San Francisco- based Peek—a one-stop shop for discovering and booking activities, tours and more. The platform’s expert team helps run down recreation opportunities. They also partner with tastemakers like Wolfgang Puck and Tory Burch to create unique, full- service insider itineraries.

If luxury is your cup of tea, then lifestyle firm Elevate&CO is for you. “We love new challenges—like discovering an emerging destination such as Baku, Azerbaijan. We usually send a staff member to scout out and prepare the locations prior to the guests arriving,” says the firm’s founder, Suzie Sims. With high-net-worth, high-profile and highly private clients, Elevate&CO is what Sims calls an experiential firm focused on navigating cultural and geographical differences. “Our vision,” she says, “is to spread, promote and inspire cultural tolerance globally.”

“Solo travel is out, and group travel is in,” says Wild Terrains founder Lauren Bates, whose company caters to female adventures. “We design group travel experiences that connect like-minded women around the world and support women-owned businesses in our destinations,” adds Bates, who says the idea for the company came to her when she tried to take a last-minute vacation with women-only travel groups. “I was really disappointed by what I found— only activity-specific trips centered around things like yoga, trekking and surfing,” she says. Hence, this new territory for travel. The experiences begin at $1,850 per person and include itineraries packed with women-owned hotels, pop-up dinners curated by female chefs and activities led by local creative women.

  

Originally published in the April issue of San Francisco 

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