seedlingsIt’s summertime in much of the world and that means millions of travelers are looking to escape from their homes and find new ones while they’re exploring new destinations.

This week we look at new ideas for short-term rentals with startups creating membership-only services, employing text messaging travel agents, or connecting hosts to tour operators and other travel brands. It’s an exciting time to be involved in short-term rentals but also one rife with challenges related to legal obstacles and discrimination backlash. There may or may not be easy solutions to these problems, but a flood of new ideas will help on the path to solve them until the spaghetti begins to stick.

OneRooftop uses travel agents to recommend vacation homes through text messaging.

>>SkiftTake: Technology wise, there’s very little barrier to entry with OneRooftop. Travelers that aren’t savvy with messaging apps, for example, only need to know how to send a text message to start a conversation.

Custom Travel Clubs is a provider of travel club platforms and solutions, offering a bevy of bespoke experiences including personal assistants and 24/7 access to travel agents.

>>SkiftTake: Travelers look at travel agents as solution providers, crisis responders and personal assistants. A platform that can take on all of those roles and then some becomes more relevant in a traveler’s mind.

Getaway is a booking site for wooded cabins located within two hours of major cities.

>>SkiftTake: There are plenty of travelers that appreciate seclusion but we’ve seen time and again that most travelers are simply unable to unplug and recharge without dragging work and their daily lives on vacation with them.

TravelUnion is a membership-only short-term rentals booking site focusing on business travelers but also catering to leisure travelers.

>>SkiftTake: TravelUnion is looking to be right where a company like Airbnb has either been wrong or not perfected its product. But with Airbnb, as with any maturing company, it takes a while for growing pains to work themselves out and once they do, competitors will have a harder time differentiating.

TourConnect is a network of travel brands such as hotels, hostels and short-term rentals, tour operators and travel agents that helps all parties communicate and share information.

>>SkiftTake: TourConnect recently signed on AccorHotels Australia and with hotels wanting to get deeper into experiential travel and providing their guests with branded and local experiences a solution like TourConnect is sure to be appealing in the years ahead.

For all of our SkiftSeedlings collection, check out our archives here.