It’s always a unique story when a global company is founded by friends with a double-decker bus and a passion for adventure. It’s even more remarkable when that thirst for exploration results in a company that promotes travel on multiple continents.
That company is Topdeck Travel, which bills itself as the number one provider of epic trips for 18- to 39-year-olds with trips spanning Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, the Middle East and North America.
Maria Eilersen, global PR and communications manager for Topdeck, talked with RewardExpert.
Topdeck launches with an idea and a bus
In 1973 a young Australian named Graham “Skroo” Turner saw and bought an old double-decker bus in a used coach lot. After advertising a bus trip to Morocco in a London pub, a group of adventurers literally hopped on board and began the start of something special.
Demand skyrocketed and was difficult to maintain, leading to the operation of a fleet of 25 buses and coaches on European tours.
“In 1986, the company stunned both the coach and adventure travel industry by successfully running an ‘impossible’ overland tour: from London to Kathmandu by double-decker bus,” Eilersen said.
Even though the trip took longer than originally anticipated, Skroo and his pal, Bill James, proved their company’s worth. The next year more than 30 trips were taken, instantly establishing Topdeck in the travel business.
A focus on millennials
After 44 years travel continues to change. “Topdeck embraces the local experience across six continents, traveling by bullet trains in Japan, tuk-tuks in Thailand and catamaran in the Whitsunday islands,” she said.
Authentic experiences — for solo travelers or groups — are offered to news destinations and cultural habitats, from homestays in Morocco to cooking classes in Vietnam.
A balance of activities and free time to explore makes traveling its own unscripted adventure.
“Unlike competitors, Topdeck is rooted in a passion to share travel experiences — a trait that drives all aspects of the business from road crew through to the product managers who design the trips,” Eilersen said. “More importantly, Topdeck offers incredible value, a balance between included activities and free time to explore, along with knowledgeable trip leaders who you’ll never see reading from a script.”
Where the deals are, and what the future holds
While Topdeck doesn’t yet provide airfare to those outside Australia, the company boasts access to better rates. This leads to more activities, meals, local accommodations and hassle-free transportation.
As trends evolve, Topdeck is ready to meet the demand. Eilersen said Topdeck projects to carry 100,000 passengers by 2021. This will be accomplished via innovation and adaptive trips.
That includes a surge in Bali for the young and health conscious: yoga lovers, surfing aficianados and bikers. Topdeck introduced the Bali Active Trip for travelers who want to stay active in the coastal village of Canggu, or want to get physical on land.
The Bali Island Hopper was one of Topdeck’s best sellers in 2016. The company is currently running a Mega Sale with discounts of up to 15% off.
For more information visit topdeck.travel or follow them on social media @topdecktravel and #topdecktravel.