Tourism is one of the most gratifying industries to engage in, especially if you are a traveler yourself. It’s exciting to show off great places. However, there is so much coordination necessary to run a travel agency.
But imagine running a tour group where instead of dealing with hotels, bus or plane tickets, transfer transportation, the customers would get on a vehicle that would be all of that.
Despite the increasing appeal of glamping and Recreational Vehicles (RVs), there have only been a few efforts to mix the two, and even with the comfort of sleeper trains, as a commercial endeavor. Some adventurers have ventured into this business, fueled mainly by their passion for traveling. But none had taken it beyond a backpackers’ usual fare.
We have pieced together some ideas from glamping and RV road trips to come up with suggestions for a mobile hostel.
Designing your Recreational Vehicle
Some RV dealers would customize according to your specifications. Although most of the ready-made ones are designed for a family of two to maybe a maximum of four, you could have it adjusted to accommodate more people. You could remove or change some features, like the mini living room, to replace them with more beds. Maybe you could even ask them to remodel an old bus.
You could also try remodeling a bus yourself, but given the extensive works. It will take time and would still cost money if you don’t know how to do the basics. Among these would be the electrification of the bus. You would need chargers for each of your clients and a heating or cooling system. You would also need some plumbing. While DIY videos look fun to do, if it doesn’t meet safety standards, you couldn’t open your RV for commercial purposes.
Your rest spots
While in some countries, you could park on the side of the road for the night, it would not be easy in the U.S.A. Know the rules whichever country you wish to open your routes.
But even if you are allowed to park on the roadside, you have to invest in rest stops. These should provide amenities that your customers couldn’t fully enjoy on the bus, which includes a nice bath and shower, a full kitchen, and a lounging area. It would be a good jump-off point for adventures in that locality. For example, if you have canoeing in your itinerary, have a rest stop near the body of water.
Your rest stops also provide the glamping side to your hostel. Since they are fixed structures, you could make them luxurious. You can set up a pavilion for social activities. Hostels usually have a set of fun schedules for their clients. For example, they do margarita nights, beer pong, karaoke, or trivia night. You can organize something more luxurious like wine tasting, international cuisine nights, and other activities to compensate for the cramped space in the RV.
From around the world
This concept isn’t yet that popular, but some have already tried it out. In South America, the Rolling Hostel Bus was created in 2015 by a group of travelers in Argentina who loved outdoor adventures. The bus has the basic amenities of a hostel, except that they’re smaller. Each boarder has a bunk and locker. A small kitchen is available, and there’s even a sitting area so that the occupants don’t need to stay in bed the entire trip.
The Nomads Bus has been around for three years. Run by a couple with a child, they offer trips to different parts of Europe. The bus, which also serves as the moving house of the family, is very homey, their small kitchen equipped with all cooking necessities. They offer six bunks for travelers, and their dining area can be reassembled to become a big bed. The roof of the bus has also been outfitted with trunks so that passengers could sit out while traveling.
In the Philippines, they have the Travel Hostel Bus. Travelers can opt for different experiences in the northern part of the country. Most of the trips are just a few hours away from the country’s capital, and the trips either take one to two days. Unlike the first two examples where they go from one place to another, this hostel bus only has one destination per trip.
Hostel buses are an exciting possibility, especially after the pandemic. People would be dying to explore places far from where they had been cooped up for a long time.