Hi, I'm Drew. Welcome to People Like Us!
About 12 months ago I got an idea for a travel app that I wanted to develop. I'm an old dev (go back to COBOL if you know what I'm talking about, that's old) but I've done a fair bit of app development with both Android & iOS but absolutely no web development.
Nevertheless, I thought I'd teach myself as I went along and this is the result. I released it yesterday and put up a couple of posts on Reddit to put it out there. One was deleted immediately (thank you Travel mods) but the other had a bit of a run on the Laravel sub (the app was developed with the Laravel PHP framework).
Too techie, let me move on.
The concept for my app is a home swap network in which you can set up your own communities. My and my wife’s grand plan is to spend 3-6 months of the year travelling once we finish full-time work. I’ve spent the last 2 years learning Italian (not very well but I try hard). Ideally, a good part of that retirement plan would be spent in Italy. We love the place.
About 12 months back we were discussing what we wanted to do in retirement and how we’d actually afford it. Airfares are not too bad (even from Australia) but accommodation costs are crippling and, while we’re away, our own house just sits here idle.
That took us to thinking about home swaps and we investigated the various networks that are already available. They’re really pretty good. They mostly seem to cost about $200/year and that’s expensive up-front, especially for some people, but it’s good value if you do a lot of travel.
The thing they don’t have is the ability to set up your own groups, your own communities.
I know a lot of people overseas. I wanted to set up the “Drew Home Swap” network, just for us (hence the name). I figured that if I got everyone that I knew onto the network and then got them to put their friends on it too, kind of 2 degrees of separation, that would be a pretty good network. Maybe even a thousand people.
So that’s what I did.
About half way through doing it though I had the epiphany (it seemed like it at the time, we’ll see whether or not that turns out to be the case) that other people might want the same. I changed the model so that anyone can set up their own “circle” of friends and invite whoever they want. You can have public circles where anyone can sign up or private circles where you’re the admin and you say what goes. In either case, you can also say whether others can invite their own friends or whether only you can.
I’ve got an idea that I might set up a marketplace for circles where you might have a local club or community and look to “twin” with a similar circle overseas. I figure that a lot of people may have the wish to do this but not know people overseas to get started with.
That’s in the future though. For now, you can list your own home, browse through properties, book a trip, message each other and so on.
This is literally Day 1 (well, 2). I’ve got 10 samples on here and my own home. Not much of a community yet but we’ll see how it goes. If you want to come to Sydney, it’s a nice place. ☺
Please go ahead and use it. It’s completely free. You can register today and go right ahead. I’m really happy to take suggestions, feedback and constructive criticism.
So if you're reading this, thanks. If you've got ideas, send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll reply, I promise.