Travel agency Elsewhere makes authentic, local travel easier than ever


As you seek to explore the world once again, you might find yourself looking for trips that offer deeper, authentic, and off-the-beaten-track travel experiences. This is where the travel agency Somewhere else Between.

Elsewhere was founded by tourism industry veterans Alexis Bowen and Craig Zapatka, who have spent over a decade working in the industry. From tour guide skills in the field to operations management in the background, they know the world of travel inside out.

Born at the start of the pandemic, Elsewhere presented a chance to turn the travel industry downturn into an opportunity. The result: a brand new travel agency whose mission is to help people travel better, more responsibly, more authentically and have unforgettable moments.

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Bowen and Zapatka are on a mission to provide authentic and personalized travel planning services. Their goal in creating Elsewhere is to connect travelers directly with local experts to create experiences that dive deep into destinations while ensuring tourism dollars go to residents of the places people visit.

“Our trips allow you to see below the surface of a destination. We organize extraordinary trips – trips off the beaten path and trips that allow opportunities for authentic exchange,” Bowen said. “Our goal is to open travelers’ eyes to unique insights and ethically memorable experiences.”

One of the biggest challenges in planning an international trip that delves into more authentic activities and itineraries is time, which not everyone has the capacity to commit.

Elsewhere understands this, and with its on-the-ground support and expert knowledge, it can save travelers a tremendous amount of time while providing experiences that would otherwise be inaccessible even to seasoned travel planners.

Begin: Plan an unforgettable trip with Elsewhere

Work with locals

One of the pillars of Elsewhere is local knowledge.

The company connects you with certified local travel agents who not only live in the destinations they serve, but are also fully and completely immersed in those places.

Their years of experience and time spent building close personal connections with their local communities allow them to deliver unforgettable and “unGoogleable” experiences, whether tracking jaguars in the Pantanal region of North America Sud or learn how to make traditional Japanese knives with a craftsman. They are authentic and immersive experiences that create memories that last a lifetime.

“When you go on a trip with Elsewhere, you get trusted, up-to-date recommendations, like when you ask a trusted friend for advice,” Bowen said. “Our local experts invite you into their communities, introduce you to their culture, and guide you to less touristy places and experiences that only they can show you. That’s a surprisingly big differentiator in the business, but that’s what that makes our trips so special.

Tiago Rodriguez, the charming Portugal Elsewhere expert, has nearly 20 years of experience in the travel industry under his belt. He’s known for going above and beyond for his travelers, as he did recently when planning a couple’s honeymoon.

Tiago Rodriguez from Elsewhere. SOMEWHERE ELSE

After learning that the bride’s grandparents had married in Portugal, Rodriguez took it upon himself to bring the newlyweds to the town where his grandparents were married. However, he didn’t stop there. He asked around for other ties to the bride’s family and, through his network of friends and locals, located someone who remembered the grandparents and took them to the specific church where they got married.

With these kinds of direct connections, whenever you have a question, idea, or just some aspect of travel you want to talk about, you won’t have to deal with call centers, long response times, or to third parties. You will speak or interact directly with the local business expert.

Local economies

It’s not fun to talk about, but the sad reality is that sometimes the travel industry has caused significant damage not only to the planet, but also to members of the communities that travelers visit. Elsewhere believes in the power and importance of seeing the world while being aware of the impact the travel experience can have on communities. Like doctors, their credo is: First, do no harm.

One in 11 people work in travel and tourism globally, but many don’t earn a decent wage. The bulk of tourism revenue in many traditional models ends up in the pockets of large corporations based outside the destination.

The typical international travel for US travelers can leave as little as 10% of their travel dollars in the destination visited. The root of the problem with the industry is that this business model perpetuates systemic problems, like low wages and poor working conditions.

When you travel with Elsewhere, you’re helping fight against this economic drain by eating, staying and visiting local businesses.

“At Ailleurs, we [prioritize] ‘local’ at every turn so your tourism dollars flow back into communities, giving them access to long-term local revenue,” Bowen said.

“We thoroughly audit our entire supply chain, prioritizing appropriate wages and safe working conditions. We prioritize women and other underrepresented members of society and ensure access to equal opportunity and career advancement.

How Elsewhere Works

To start planning one of these authentic and meaningful travel experiences with Elsewhere, you start by filling out an online form travel request. This 10-question form is enough for Elsewhere to start connecting you with a local expert.

Once that connection is established, the next step is a Zoom call to kick the planning into high gear. From there, the local expert will do all the heavy lifting to create a personalized, one-of-a-kind trip for you.

Elsewhere, traveler Kyle Smith described his experience working with one of the company’s local experts to plan a trip to Italy like this:

We spoke with Andrea [Gambino] twice over a year ago and i just told him about us and what we love to do and he took it from there and planned the most amazing trip. …He was so knowledgeable and helpful. It made the trip even better.

One of the local Elsewhere guides, Andrea Gambino. SOMEWHERE ELSE

Another Elsewhere client, Jane Ellen Miller, wrote the following in a review of her trip to Costa Rica:

[F]from ziplines to suspension bridges, from coffee to waterfalls, from volcanoes to sunset cruises on a catamaran, [our local expert Guillermo Aguilar] had us covered. This was our daughter’s 6th birthday trip (she’s been asking to see the Monteverde cloud forest for over a year…no, really) and [he] even gave him small gifts along the way.

When Elsewhere is involved, having the journey of a lifetime can be very simple.

All you have to do is choose the location, then speak to one of Elsewhere’s fabulous local experts. They’ll create an itinerary based on your preferences, then they’ll book everything for you – all the way through. Platform from elsewhere.

The world is waiting for you, so what are you waiting for?

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