"Working Without Borders" Empowered by YouLi Travel Software

YouLi empowers unique group retreats and family experiences that require preparations. Customer experience is the key, and the right booking and group management software is critical for success.

"We are the world's first company providing 1- to 4-week coworking retreats for families with culturally immersive programming for kids and teens. If you need to work, you can tackle your projects in an inspiring environment with like-minded professionals, while your children experience fun educational activities with locals."

Working Without Borders started with a simple, doable idea: "design a pilot retreat in Tahiti, a place we know and love, that would give parents a way to experience the reality of working from paradise with their children". Now WWB is a fast-growing travel company with a strict application process to get in.

"Before starting Working Without Borders in 2021, in the midst of this pandemic I had done many different things in my career  - I had financed eco-tourism resorts, worked at the private sector arm of the World Bank, I had developed solar energy projects in different parts of the world, worked with different kinds of startups, but basically during the pandemic my family and I moved to Tahiti and while there I was fortunate enough to really get to reflect on what do I want to do next. The relationships and the friendships we were developing there, it all culminated in working Without Borders retreats."

The Challenge

Sam Keller, the founder, and CEO of Working Without Borders, has asked the YouLi team to help him create a professional presentation of the brand, that would help him run multiple retreats a year with minimum hustle and a lean team. As a result, the WWB team received a premium website design, an advanced booking platform with trip CRM and a mobile app for outstanding customer experience.

"Going from vision to execution I basically sounded off the vision to a number of folks who whom I respect, and that ranges from friends to people I had networked within the group travel industry to get to the point where I felt like this has legs I'm getting such positive feedback here, that we've got something here, and other CEOs of travel companies are saying “Hey this is a viable niche, man. We've had inquiries ourselves like, we can tell you there would be demand for this”. So in my case at least it was not one of those instances where everybody is telling you “it's crazy it'll never work”, right? We've all heard those stories, and many of those companies do eventually work. In my case I didn't have that challenge, many other challenges, but people at least said like “Hey man, this is on trend, there's demand for this this, this could really work”. So that's how I then moved from refining the start to figure out how I can do this. And it was through networking, particularly like the Transformational Travel Council where I then learned about YouLi and I thought “Oh wow, there's a off the shelf software solution that could enable this and make it feasible.”

The Group Travel Solution

Working Without Borders website
"So first and foremost it was YouLi, and in conjunction I worked with YouLi to develop a custom website. So it was really website development and then plugging in YouLi, and then we eventually had a MailChimp account, so that we can build up a community, and it people receive our newsletter. We then use the software system Zapier to connect YouLi with MailChimp so that as people express interest in our trips or register for them that information goes over and to MailChimp and they're signed up for the newsletter. More recently we got an accounting system, Xero, so now we’ve got books that also integrates with YouLi, which is helpful obviously, so invoices and payments and all that stuff automatically gets pushed over into Xero. We were also using social media platforms - that's not necessarily software, that's just relevant websites.  And that might be the full stack of software for the moment. And Stripe for the payments, because YouLi got the integration there, so that’s where we found it."

YouLi features that empower Working Without Borders:

  • High-performance SEO optimized website with integrated itineraries
  • Flexible bookings processing with 0% booking fee
  • Mobile app for travelers
  • Interactive customizable itineraries and templates with trip CRM automations
  • Built-in team collaboration tools
  • Integrations: accounting, stock images, analytics & marketing funnel
  • Professional community for networking and consulting

"I would say if you're contemplating starting a group travel business, if it's group travel then YouLi ought to be a good fit. YouLi can work whether you want to have it such that people can just go to your website and sign up and pay, and now they're booked, they are client of yours. Or, like my company, you want them to apply, and you want to be able to interview them and review their application, and then decide whether or not, they can accommodate that approach as well.
I think because YouLi can help ventures to create a custom website and make it look super high end and all that if they want to go down to that approach, or you can just enable them to very easily get something up and running so that they can start marketing and booking trips. It can work for either approach - either you've got deeper pockets and you can spend to have a custom website, or you want to go really lean and bootstrap, it can work in either way and then you guys [YouLi] are really responsive to questions and inquiries and all of that, and you've got one hell of a Resource Center, so it can help people figure out how to use all this stuff.
And then there is these various consultants that are available to help you develop what you refer to as “Tasks” - things clients will need to do to get ready for the trip,  or Dashboards, so that you can really understand where people are coming from when they come to the site and they express interest in different trips. You guys have stable arsenal of people who can help these clients.
An additional thing I would say is “Man, if that's really what you feel like your heart and soul so draws you to developing a group travel business, whatever your niche is, whether it’s family or adventurer, you name it. I would encourage you to take those instincts very seriously because it can be one hell of a path and the fact that you guys [YouLi] exist mean that it could really be a viable path.
Without a software like YouLi this would be a nightmare. Trying to get everybody to sign a waiver, and send in all this different information, “Oh my God, forget it!” But with YouLi, it's not a nightmare, it's more of a viable, fun, fulfilling path, so yeah I would encourage folks to really think about pursuing that dream.”

The Recognition

Only few months after launching his website powered by YouLi, Sam already got features in Wall Street Journal for the outstanding customer experience his team provides. YouLi is proud to be part of the success of this amazing travel and educational company.

wall street journal about working without borders
WWJ about Working Without Borders

Join YouLi Community of group travel professionals to participate in webinars and LIVE discussions with Sam and other inspirational adventurepreneurs from around the world.

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