Anywhr

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Anywhr's brand logo. Photo from Tech In Asia.

Anywhr (official website) is a Singapore-based travel agency which provides users a customised mystery travel destination and itinerary based on their preferred region of travel, dates, accommodation and theme. The service seeks to provide personalised trips to travellers looking to find unique and unconventional places to visit.[1] Founded by Zelia Leong and Felix Tan Hong Ming in 2017, Anywhr is under the National University of Singapore’s NUS Enterprise programme.[2]

Background

The founders of Anywhr, Zelia Leong (left) and Felix Tan Hong Ming (right). Photo from Web In Travel.

The start-up was inspired by Zelia Leong’s solo backpacking trip to Europe. She had bought a one-way plane ticket to Stockholm, Sweden and proceeded to travel to other European destinations like the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland and Ukraine from there. She did little planning for the trip and soon realised that she had the best experiences visiting non-touristy areas.[3]


Zelia and Felix met as colleagues at the German e-commerce firm Rocket Internet. Anywhr soon materialised after they realised that they were both spontaneous travellers. As Anywhr picked up momentum, both founders left their jobs to work on Anywhr full time.[4]

Expansion

It was reported in September 2017 that Anywhr had been having month-on-month doubled growth since it was launched in January 2017.[5] Since its launch, Anywhr has built a customer base of a few thousand travellers with a team of 20 employees based outside of Singapore. They have also started marketing globally in European countries like UK and Germany.[6]  

Additionally, Anywhr has been working with Oxford University’s Psychology department to better understand underlying psychological trends that influence travellers’ tastes and preferences.[7]

Services

The Anywhr envelope package. Photo from Bridestory.

Anywhr covers the booking of flights and accommodation on top of the creation of a customised travelogue for the user.[8] To ensure quality visits, Anywhr partners with airlines, local hotels and homestays for better rates. Travellers will be able to state their preferences on Continent & Duration, choose their Theme, Flight, Accommodation and opt for Upgrades.

Trip customisation

Users can select from 3 themes - Adventure, Experience or Getaway. The ‘Adventure’ theme is for those willing to immerse themselves in nature, while ‘Experience’ caters to travellers willing to experience a new culture. ‘Getaway’ targets those hoping to indulge and relax during their trip.

Users can also make a selection from four regions offered - Southeast Asia, Asia, Europe and North America. Additionally, travellers can choose from various types of accommodation (hostel, homestay, hotel) and the type of rooms (shared, female-only, private) they will be staying in. The service comes with free travel insurance, which can be upgraded, and an option for airport transfer.[9][10]

Trip preparation

Prior to the actual trip, travellers will receive an e-mail providing hints about the weather, packing list and what time to be at the airport. A week before departure, an envelope will be sent out to the traveller. This envelope includes a travelogue and S$30 worth of destination currency.[11] The customized travelogue includes all the details of the trip such as flight and accommodation information and activity suggestions.

Media coverage

Year Media site Article title
2019 The New York Times Can’t Decide Where to Go? Leave it to These ‘Surprise Vacation’ Planners.[12]
2018 Now Boarding by Changi Airport How to leave the travel checklist behind while avoiding the pitfalls of travel[13]
Travel Daily Media Reclaim adventure by going Anywhr[14]
2017 Hype & Stuff Anywhr: Select A Travel Budget & This Singaporean Startup Will Plan A Surprise Destination For You[15]
Channel News Asia Singapore travel start-up Anywhr maps out surprise trips for vacationers[16]
Vulcan Post This S'pore Startup Wants To Send You On Trips - But Not Tell You Where You're Going[17]
Lady Boss THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED: Q&A WITH ZELIA LEONG, CO-FOUNDER OF ANYWHR[18]

References / Citations

  1. “Anywhr”. Anywhr. Accessed on 14 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.anywhr.co
  2. Jocelyn. “Reclaim adventure by going Anywhr”. Travel Daily Media. February 22, 2018. Accessed on 14 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.traveldailymedia.com/reclaim-adventure-going-anywhr/
  3. Tang, See Kit. “Singapore travel start-up Anywhr maps out surprise trips for vacationers - CNA”. Channel NewsAsia. November 12, 2017. Accessed on 14 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/singapore-travel-start-up-anywhr-maps-out-surprise-trips-for-9213020
  4. Tang, See Kit. “Singapore travel start-up Anywhr maps out surprise trips for vacationers - CNA”. Channel NewsAsia. November 12, 2017. Accessed on 14 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/singapore-travel-start-up-anywhr-maps-out-surprise-trips-for-9213020
  5. Lin, Cheryl. “Local destination unknown travel agency doubles growth every month since launch”. Today Online September 1, 2017. Accessed on 14 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.todayonline.com/lifestyle/travel/local-destination-unknown-travel-agency-doubles-growth-every-month-launch
  6. Trew, Marissa. “Anywhr takes its mystery travel planning model everywhere - WIT”. WiT. January 16, 2019. Accessed 14 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.webintravel.com/anywhr-global-expansion-mystery-travel/
  7. Trew, Marissa. “Anywhr takes its mystery travel planning model everywhere - WIT”. WiT. January 16, 2019. Accessed 14 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.webintravel.com/anywhr-global-expansion-mystery-travel/
  8. How, Clara. “This girl was not told about her holiday destination and this is what she discovered”. Her World Plus. September 2, 2017. Accessed on 14 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.asiaone.com/travel/girl-was-not-told-about-her-holiday-destination-and-what-she-discovered
  9. “Trip Customization”. Anywhr. Accessed on 14 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.anywhr.co/customise
  10. Owen. “Anywhr Review: Is Surprise Travel For Everyone?”. My Turn To Travel. July 17, 2018. Accessed on 14 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://myturntotravel.com/anywhr-review-surprise-travel/
  11. How, Clara. “This girl was not told about her holiday destination and this is what she discovered”. Her World Plus. September 2, 2017. Accessed on 14 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.asiaone.com/travel/girl-was-not-told-about-her-holiday-destination-and-what-she-discovered
  12. Amy Tara Koch. “Can’t Decide Where to Go? Leave it to These ‘Surprise Vacation’ Planners”. The New York Times. March 9, 2019. Accessed on 14 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/09/travel/suprise-travel-vacations.html
  13. Leu, Matthew. “How to leave the travel checklist behind while avoiding the pitfalls of travel”. Now Boarding by Changi Airport. April 18, 2018. Accessed on 14 June 2019. Retrieved from: http://nowboarding.changiairport.com/go-global/how-to-leave-the-travel-checklist-behind-while-avoiding-the-pitf.html
  14. Jocelyn. “Reclaim adventure by going Anywhr”. Travel Daily Media. February 22, 2018. Accessed on 14 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.traveldailymedia.com/reclaim-adventure-going-anywhr/
  15. Leu, Matthew. “Anywhr: Select A Travel Budget & This Singaporean Startup Will Plan A Surprise Destination For You”. Hype & Stuff. Accessed on 14 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.hypeandstuff.com/anywhr-travel-surprise-destination-singapore/
  16. Tang, See Kit. “Singapore travel start-up Anywhr maps out surprise trips for vacationers - CNA”. Channel NewsAsia. November 12, 2017. Accessed on 14 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/singapore-travel-start-up-anywhr-maps-out-surprise-trips-for-9213020
  17. Tan, Priscilla. “This S’pore Startup Wants To Send You On Surprise Trips!”. Vulcan Post. February 21, 2017. Accessed on 14 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://vulcanpost.com/601830/anywhr-singapore-startup-travel/
  18. “The Road Less Traveled: Q&A with Zelia Leong, Co-Founder of Anywhr | LadyBoss”. Lady Boss. June 15, 2017. Accessed on 14 June 2019. Retrieved from: http://ladyboss.asia/the-road-less-traveled-qa-with-zelia-leong-co-founder-of-anywhr/