When Zostel launched in 2013, they got here in with an purpose to make budget-travel and backpacking accessible to an entire era of Indians who have been already on a gradual weight-reduction plan of journey posts on Instagram. The photo-sharing platform had launched solely three years earlier than that, however had already seen the likes of Russian photographer Murad Osmann’s #followmeto development — pictures of a sure aesthetic, from locations like Barcelona to Bali — go viral.
Now, six years later, Zostel has launched ZoZo Bus, a neat advertising and marketing technique and logistical extension to their already-existing community of youth-focussed budget-travel motels. In essence, the ZoZo bus is a 12-15-seater bus, with a volunteer information from Zostel, which takes you on a pre-planned journey, to a handful of locations in a selected area.
To even launch this idea although, Zostel did a test-run in early July — by means of a name on Instagram. “Board the coolest bus on the evening of July 5th and begin the trip with games, songs, and a lot of random fun,” they posted on the finish of June. The slide present of images for this began off with a woman in a slender Manali lane, again (and backpack) to digital camera, looking in the direction of hill-homes and the towering mountains on the far finish. Its harkening again to the #followmeto and #wanderlust, simple.
Whereas this test-pilot was a brief journey, the ZoZo Bus goes on longer 10-day holidays too. Just like the one beginning this weekend, for 9 days to Spiti; simply final weekend, the Bus did a three-day journey to Pushkar. You’ll be able to come solo, or with a couple of pals, however the thought is for “people to make new friends, and to communicate and evolve as a person,” says Aviral Gupta, the corporate’s chief technique officer.
Prateek Verma, a 22-year-old videographer primarily based in Delhi, had stumbled upon Zostel’s name for the Manali pilot, and determined to hop on — it might value him solely ₹5,500 inclusive of journey and keep. He remembers having crammed out a type previous to becoming a member of, through which he answered a couple of temporary questions on why he desires to be part of this journey and what he might deliver to the group.
“It was a mix of people between the ages of 20-27, and some of them were travelling to the mountains for the first time,” he says, recalling how the Bus, whereas simply one other traveller from the surface, was achieved up with dreamy fairy lights and posters inside.“A lot of us were solo travellers, except for one couple and two friends from Mumbai. The girl who was in the mountains for the first time actually stayed back for longer and did not return with the Bus,” he provides.
That’s the different characteristic that Zostel is utilizing because the ZoZo Bus’ USP: Whereas the Bus and the motels you keep at throughout these journeys are all Zostel properties, the itinerary they supply is simply a tough information — you might be free to sleep in, or chill at a café as an alternative of going climbing as recommended.
“It’s all very DIY,” says Gupta. Over time, they’d seen how these staying at Zostels across the nation would most certainly ask for native suggestions as soon as they bought to a brand new place. “We just standardised that… it’s like a Zostel on wheels.”
At the moment, the place to begin for all these journeys is Delhi. They hope to increase to different components of the nation too, maybe with Mumbai as their subsequent port, for journeys to different ‘millennial-favourite’ locations like Goa and Gokarna.
“The goal is to create the best travel ecosystem around. We will be customising the trips — future buses will have convertible bunk-beds, in-house pantries and toilets, possible self-drive options — all creating the culture of camping and caravan-ing in India,” Gupta concludes.
The subsequent ZoZo Bus goes to Bir. Extra on Zostel.com/escape/zozo-bus