Every day spent sitting in a cubicle at work marked just another day the founders of Off The Grid Excursions (OTG) were planning their next trip. “We wanted a break in our day-to-day routine,” says co-founder Jaclyn Carron, who had caught the travel bug at an early age.
After all graduating from Northeastern, the group settled down into careers. Yet, the corporate world was suffocating, and much less scenic than the beaches of Lima, the shores of San Ignacio or the Grand Palace in Bangkok. So, they decided to ditch the suits for the sand, opting to share their passion for travel with more people.
They first started drawing from places they loved to visit the most, spending a month in each of the destinations to figure out which spots were worth adding to their itineraries. Although must-see sites have their place, OTG also mixes in local culture, pairing each small group with a local leader who’s responsible for taking visitors behind the scenes of each city.
Once visitors hit the ground, OTG takes care of everything, including private transportation and at least two meals a day. OTG also arranges for travelers to have lunch or dinner with a local family, perfectly pacing the trip per each destination. “They won’t want to hit the ground running right when they land,” Carron says, admitting that, by the last day, all people want to do is relax. Their itineraries take both sentiments into account, and you can often find a beach day planned for the last leg of the trip.
Each of OTG’s trips run once a week, with the exception of Morocco, because it’s too hot to visit in the summer. As the months progress, the team will start coordinating other destinations, asking, “What else are people looking for in our trips?” For now, what OTG does offer is a more intimate experience, and a local perspective, at a price Carron says is on par with their competitors.
Carron points to Northeastern’s student-run venture accelerator IDEA as an instrumental part of the process, helping connect the team to both a financial investor and advisor. “IDEA provided us support as a new venture, connecting us to the right resources and capital,” Carron says.
With that new capital, Carron has been able to pursue what she feels most passionately about. “For me, it’s travel,” Carron admits. “Regardless of what it is, though, travel is a great way to find it.” Want to break out of the everyday routine? Recognize new things about yourself, or have new experiences? Travel can help you do just that.
And OTG can help you reconnect — with yourself. To the team, getting “Off The Grid” is a state of mind, a philosophy. They write, “It’s about enjoying life, feeling free and having some fun along the way.” So, why not put down your iPhone? It’s time you start planning a vacation instead.