The company has set up a new digital membership platform with more affordable prices to let beginners test the waters before committing to a month-long trip. But the question is whether that's enough to convert digital nomad wannabes into actual bookers.
Remote Year, a travel company that lets employees work in a different global city every month, has launched three new membership packages in a bid to encourage more beginners to join its programs.
The significantly lower priced “Remote Year Membership Platform” also includes a revamped digital platform and marketplace to help it grow its online community.
The company, which was bought by Selina in 2020, offers guests curated stays of a month, four months or a year.
Those guests previously could only really gain access to its 4,000 strong community after making a booking — that involved an advance payment of $850 for a one-month program, which costs $2,000 in total. Remote Year’s 12-month long program required a deposit of $5,000 and monthly payments of at least $2,250.
However, the company has now lowered the entry barrier in a move it hopes will encourage beginners as more employees contemplate working remotely.
Its new “community membership” now costs $19 a month, while its explorer pass costs $49 a month and top-level nomad pass costs $99 a month. These new subscriptions then offer various discounts on its “travel passes” — its work-from-anywhere trips that cover 80 destinations around the world, as well as other perks.
Existing Remote Year customers will be “gifted” either a community membership or a travel pass based on their level of travel with the company.
Making the Leap
Remote Year is the latest travel brand to evolve its subscription model. CitizenM recently launched a low-cost plan called M+ that starts at $12 a month, which provides a 10 percent discount on its hotel stays among other features and offers.
Luxury vacations club Inspirato meanwhile intends to target corporations with a new “Inspirato for Business” platform.
Remote Year’s CEO said the company decided to launch the new membership platform after customer feedback.
“A lot of people really wanted to try this lifestyle, but were a little bit ‘where do I start, how do I get connected? I’ve never done anything like this so how do I step out of my comfort zone?'” said Shaun Prime.
Its contact center also received requests from people asking if there was a way to join its community, while customer success teams were quizzed over whether they could talk to someone in the “RY nation” about their experiences, Prime added.
A revamped “RY Nation Hub” will now provide access to a “vast network of professionals who travel, centralized resources and connection-maintaining events,” the company said.
The platform includes resources like destination guides, job boards, apartment rental boards, and 150 curated work and travel resource groups related to location, identity, interests and profession. The hub will also stream digital series and workshops with subjects relevant to traveling professionals, like how to lead a remote team or manage finances on the road.
A new “RY Travel Marketplace” will also sell things like airport transfers, SIM cards, apartment cleaning, gym passes, language classes and Covid testing to members, as well as the trips.
Quarterly festivals are also planned in destinations like Morocco, Greece, Brazil and Thailand.
Prime, who was previously chief operating officer and chief product officer at Selina, claimed no other company had managed to combine a community-based membership platform with a marketplace for traveling.
Remote Year also believes the membership packages will now appeal to companies wanting to offer remote work opportunities as an employee perk.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated Remote Year had 8,000 members.
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Photo credit: Remote Year helps employees work in a different global city every month. Aleh Tsikhanau / Unsplash