The Tribe’s travel plans in 2023 are hot on our minds. We’re ready to start booking, dreaming, and coordinating how to meet up next year. Well, fear not Tribers, details about our upcoming whereabouts are just around the corner.
Before we get there though, this is an update on a new, simpler way to book trips with the Tribe.
The early access lists are being replaced. Now we’ll use deposits to book a room on Chapters, Colives, and Unplugged adventures as soon as the trip is announced. The new system will hopefully help us:
- announce trips farther in advance
- give you more confidence in the travel calendar by reserving spots earlier, so you can start planning your next move months ahead of time
- reduce uncertainty, understand interest, and let the team plan ahead more confidently
When the first 2023 trips hit the calendar, check out how to book your spot months ahead of time.
How to book early in 2023
Things will look a little different in 2023 than they did this year.
Ever since the pandemic turned everything on its head, the team shied away from letting the Tribe book spots before we confirmed exactly where we were staying and what the price would be. This way of doing things led to opening bookings only 2-4 months before we were set to arrive, which made it harder for you to plan. Navigating the uncertainty of the pandemic and trying to find accommodation when travel demand was skyrocketing also led the team to promoting trips that ultimately didn’t happen and it affected the calendar’s reliability.
Moving into 2023, the team focused on fixing these missteps and bringing us back to a simpler system. You’ll notice a few differences when the first trips go live:
- Going forward, when a trip lands on the calendar, it’s already open for early bookings.
- Rather than releasing a bunch of destinations at the same time, individual locations will be announced once the team hits a few milestones and requirements that give us confidence that a Chapter, Colive, or Unplugged adventure is possible.
- There will be a minimum of 3 Chapters running per time frame (and probably 4 or 5 at the beginning and at the end of the year) with more Colive and Unplugged experiences added in throughout the year.
- On the calendar, you’ll notice a few locations that say “To be released”. These are placeholders for the spots that the team is currently working on, so the Tribe has a general idea of where we plan to go before early bookings open up.
- In general, Chapters, Colives, and Unplugged adventures will be live well ahead of when we’re due to arrive. But there may be times when a last-minute trip is added to the calendar when a Triber turns us on to a location that’s too good to pass up or one of our partner properties has unexpected availability.
With these details in mind, let’s get into how booking trips earlier will all go down…
Book early & plan ahead
When a Chapter, Colive, or Unplugged adventure is added to the calendar, you’ll soon be able to book a spot right away, instead of having to wait until the page with details becomes available.
You’ll head to the landing page to learn more about the trip, our future home city, and when we’ll be in town. However, when we first launch the trip, the page will still be missing photos and descriptions of the accommodations and the exact price of the Chapter, Colive or Unplugged. That’s because, at this point, while we feel confident that we’ll find a home that suits our needs, the team needs more time to finalize the details.
From the Tribe’s feedback on the last survey, our accommodations aren’t the deciding factor in wanting to explore a destination together and booking a Chapter or Unplugged experience. This new system is here to help us all start planning earlier.
In a nutshell, booking a trip early will go like this:
- Book early: The destination is speaking to you and the dates work for your schedule, so you want to save a spot. Simply submit the booking form with your information, room preferences, and confirm you want to put one deposit towards saving your spot.
- Start planning: Your spot is secured! While you start planning for the trip, the team will finalize exactly where we’ll stay and how much it’ll cost.
- Reconfirm your booking: Once our accommodation is locked in and the prices are announced, all the early bookers have 3 days to decide if they want to keep their spot. If you decide not to reconfirm to the trip, your deposit is released to use for a future booking.
- Remaining spots are opened up: After the early bookers reconfirm their spots, all of the remaining rooms will open up to the community to fill out the group.
Deposits & early bookings
The early booking process is pretty much just like booking a Chapter right now. You’ll fill out the booking form and use a deposit to officially save your spot. Some other bits to keep in mind are:
- Booking early means you’re really keen to join the trip and since we can’t be in two places at once, you’ll only be able to book 1 trip within the same date range. It may become a battle royale if a month has two destinations you’re dying to visit.
- We’ll usually take 18 early bookings per trip, but we may have more spots available once we have confirmed our accommodation
- Spots are saved using deposits, just like booking a Chapter right now. If you have unused deposits in your account, one will be used to confirm your early booking. If you don’t have any deposits left, you can buy a deposit bundle to unlock a lower price or buy 1 deposit to finalize your booking.
- In the booking form, you’ll note which type of room, private or shared, you prefer and if you’d be interested in any upgrades if they’re available for the trip.
Confirm your booking
After booking early and putting down a deposit, your spot is secured. While you’re getting psyched for what’s to come, the team will be busy finalizing where we’ll stay. Once that’s locked in and the final prices are posted, it will be time to reconfirm your spot. Here’s how:
- Early bookers will receive an email alert that the remaining details of the trip are live! You’ll see photos and descriptions of where we’re staying and the final prices for Members, Nomads, Citizens, and Veterans.
- Early bookers will have 3 days to confirm their booking. You’ll fill out a brief form for the final booking, and we’ll send a few reminders as the deadline approaches so you don’t miss it.
- To cancel an early booking: the form will ask if you’d like to reconfirm your early booking. Simply answer “no” and you’re all set.
- To confirm: fully fill out the form to recommit to your spot
For all early bookers who reconfirm their spots, it’s business as usual as you prepare to travel with the Tribe. Tribe Support will send along an invoice and full payment is still due 8 weeks before our arrival. However, if you book early, reconfirm your spot, and then decide to cancel your booking later on, your deposit will be forfeited and we’ll follow our cancellation policy for refunding the final trip payment.
If you decide not to reconfirm an early booking, no worries, things change! Your deposit will be released for future bookings and another Triber has a chance at joining the trip in your place.
Updating the deposit policy
One of the goals of the early booking process is to better understand each trip’s interest and give us all more confidence in our future travels. To take this one step further, our 2023 trips will follow a slightly updated policy for deposits only.
After the accommodations and pricing are announced for any Chapter, Colive, or Unplugged adventure, the remaining spots will open for bookings. Any reservations made at this point will have a 48-hour grace period to cancel the booking and not forfeit a deposit. So if you decide to cancel your booking within 48 hours, the deposit used to save your spot will be released for a future trip. However, if you cancel after the grace period, the deposit will be forfeited and any other trip payments will be refunded according to the same 2022 policies.
This update also comes with flexibility: if a new destination is announced that tickles your fancy but you already booked a Chapter during the same time period, that’s OK. You can transfer your booking to the new Chapter without penalty. Also, all members will have 1 “free” cancellation per membership year to not lose a deposit. So, when you want to cancel a booking after the grace period and more than 8 (Chapter & Colive) or 12 (Unplugged) weeks before our arrival, your deposit will be released to go towards a future booking rather than be forfeited.
See a full breakdown of the updated policy here:
- The final full payment is due 8 weeks prior to the trip starting for Chapters and Colives.
- The final full payment is due 12 weeks prior to the trip starting for Unplugged adventures.
- You can transfer a deposit to book another trip running during the same time frame without penalty
- You have a 48-hour grace period to cancel a trip booking and not forfeit your deposit. If a booking is cancelled within 48 hours, the deposit will be released for a future trip.
- You have 1 “free” cancellation per membership year. If you cancel the trip after the grace period and 8 weeks before our arrival, the deposit is released for a future booking. Not applicable from April 14th, 2023, any longer.
- Cancelling 6+ weeks before arrival: 100% refund of the final trip payment. Your deposit is forfeited if you reconfirmed an early booking or if you didn’t cancel within the 48-hour grace period. Otherwise, the deposit is released for a future booking.
- Cancelling 4-6 weeks before arrival: 50% refund of the final trip payment. Your deposit is forfeited if you reconfirmed an early booking or if you didn’t cancel within the 48-hour grace period. Otherwise, the deposit is released for a future booking.
- Cancelling less than 4 weeks before arrival: No refund. Your deposit is forfeited if you reconfirmed an early booking or if you didn’t cancel within the 48-hour grace period. Otherwise, the deposit is released for a future booking.
Details on our first Chapters, Colives, and Unplugged experiences of 2023 will land on the calendar tomorrow! They’ll be the test runs to discover what’s working well and what can be improved in the new system. As we move through the year, we’ll learn how to make reserving spots on WiFi Tribe trips even more seamless and this is our first step to getting there.
What are the milestones and requirements the team is reviewing before adding a destination to the calendar?
We have a larger team of location researchers going into 2023 than we ever have. Those extra hands are helping with due diligence and will be researching locations much further in advance than we were able to in 2022. The factors that will give us confidence in adding a spot to the calendar are things like: number of housing options that fit our needs, housing availability given seasonality, affordability of available options, and responsiveness of our future landlords. If all these boxes are checked and we have a healthy list of potential housing options, a destination gets the green light and is added to the calendar.
Is there a deadline of when pricing and accommodations information will be finalized for each trip?
The goal is always to announce pricing and housing details ASAP. Internally as a team, we’re aiming to finalize these decisions at least 14-16 weeks before the trip starts. This is a self-imposed deadline, but by taking a more measured approach in launching trips, we’re confident we can hit them. The first few 2023 trips will show us what’s working well and what’s getting in the way of hitting this goal so we can adjust.
Can I transfer my early booking deposit to another to another trip before the recommitment period and not lose my deposit?
You have the flexibility to transfer an early booking to another trip running during the same time frame without forfeiting your deposit. We expect this will happen with releasing locations piece by piece. To transfer an early booking deposit to another trip with the same dates, simply send an email to Tribe Support at firstname.lastname@example.org and fill out the other trip’s booking form to note your preferences.
Can I transfer regular booking (i.e. booking after the trip’s housing and pricing is released) deposit to another trip and not lose my deposit?
Transferring a regular booking deposit or an early booking deposit is the same in our eyes, and it follows the same process. You have the flexibility to transfer a booking deposit to another trip running during the same time frame without forfeiting your deposit.
When is my deposit forfeited?
Deposits are forfeited when a trip is cancelled, not when transferring a booking to another trip running on the same dates.
For early booking deposits, it will be forfeited if you reconfirm your spot during the 7-day recommitment window and then decide to cancel the trip later on.
For regular booking deposits, it will be forfeited if you decide to cancel a trip after the 48-hour grace period. Remember, all regular bookings have a 48-hour window where you can cancel a booking without losing your deposit.