The company has created a new digital membership platform with more affordable prices to allow beginners to test the waters before committing to a month-long journey. But the question is whether this is enough to turn would-be digital nomads into real bookers.
Remote Year, a travel company that lets employees work in a different global city each month, has launched three new membership packages in a bid to encourage more startups to join its programs.
The significantly lower priced Remote Year Membership Platform also includes a revamped digital platform and marketplace to help grow the online community.
The company, which was purchased by Selina in 2020, offers guests select stays of a month, four months or a year.
Previously, those guests could only really gain access to its 8,000-strong community after making a reservation — which included an $850 upfront payment for a one-month program worth $2,000 in total. The 12-month remote year program required a $5,000 deposit and monthly payments of at least $2,250.
However, the company has already lowered the barrier to entry in a move it hopes will encourage startups as more employees consider working remotely.
Its new “community membership” now costs $19 per month, while its Explorer Pass costs $49 per month and the top-tier Nomad Pass costs $99 per month. These new subscriptions then offer various discounts on his “travel cards” – his work trips from anywhere that cover 80 destinations around the world – as well as other benefits.
The existing remote year will be “gifted” with either a community membership or a travel card based on their level of travel with the company.
Making the jump
Remote Year is the latest travel brand to develop its subscription model. CitizenM recently launched a low-cost plan called M+ starting at $12 per month that provides 10 percent off hotel stays, among other features and offers.
Luxury vacation club Inspirato, meanwhile, intends to target corporations with a new “Inspirato for Business” platform.
Remote Year’s CEO said the company decided to launch the new membership platform after customer feedback.
“A lot of people really wanted to try this lifestyle, but they were a bit like ‘where do I start, how do I connect?’ I’ve never done anything like this, so how do I get out of my comfort zone?” said Sean Prime .
Its contact center also received requests from people asking if there was a way to join its community, while customer success teams were asked if they could speak to someone from the “RY nation” about their experience, Prime added.
A revamped “RY Nation Hub” will now provide access to “an extensive network of traveling professionals, centralized resources and events to stay connected,” the company said.
The platform includes resources such as destination guides, job boards, apartment rental boards and 150 curated groups of work and travel resources related to location, identity, interests and profession. The hub will also stream digital series and seminars on topics relevant to traveling professionals, such as how to lead a remote team or manage finances on the road.
A new ‘RY Travel Marketplace’ will also sell things like airport transfers, SIM cards, apartment cleaning, gym passes, language courses and Covid tests to members, as well as travel.
Three-month festivals are also planned in destinations such as Morocco, Greece, Brazil and Thailand.
Prime, who previously served as chief operating officer and chief product officer at Selina, says no other company has been able to combine a community-based membership platform with a travel marketplace.
Remote Year also believes that membership packages will now appeal to companies that want to offer telecommuting opportunities as an employee benefit.