The “Free Independent Traveler” (FIT) is a term I came across reviewing an article for work, and I immediately found it very accurate. The idea is that modern travelers rely less and less on pre-organised packages, tours and all-inclusive agency bookings. People create their own holiday experiences, DIY style, mix-matching various service providers to create hyper-tailored holiday experiences.
You prefer using comparison websites to find the cheapest, most convenient flight possible. You browse the internet to find the coolest, most hip and unconventional things to do during your city trip, based on other’s comments and experiences. Sometimes, you just decide to let yourself guided by the moment, only book the main things and leave the rest to improvisation or local recommendations.
Because I can’t help it, here are a few products and business models surfing on the FIT wave:
All-in, hyper functional wearables like the iWatch, Google Glasses or other smartwatches are you best friends to survive and plan in an unknown location.
Have you heard of “braggies“, these selfies where you brag about where you are? Of course you have. And so have hotel chains who encourage them for rewards, and so the creators of the Braggie app. Even buses in Glasgow have their own selfie competition.
Cooking and dining with locals is the next cool thing. Bookalokal started in Brussels and is now worldwide. You can also have the full experience by staying at locals and letting them show you around (like Hospitality Plus Scotland).
Experience websites that tap into emotions with great visuals and user experience. You too, you will want to go to Tennessee after checking the Tennesse Vacation website, I swear.
Lastly, I’m not going to offend you by explaining the sharing economy.
Have fun, FIT people!