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Traveling doesn’t always mean having to fly half way around the world to gain a new experience. I have been home for a few weeks and I got to experience something new, a travel adventure if you will, so close to home.

For the second year in a row, REI had closed its doors on Black Friday to encourage people to #OptOutside. This year they partnered with Skedaddle to give free rides in cities to National Parks so that those who wanted to #OptOutside would have a ride to do so.

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Skedaddle is this amazing app that I had never known about. What REI and Skedaddle did was put in a public route, which is simply a ride to the destination and a ride back on a luxury coach. I was able to select the route I wanted to be on and it gave me all the details about dates, pick-up and drop-off points, times and even a map that shows the distance between your starting and ending point.

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The opening screen of Skedaddle
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You can pick a route you would like to join
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Details of your selected route

When I arrived at my pick-up point, there was a luxury coach waiting for all the riders. The driver was professional and extremely kind. He explained once we arrived to Great Falls Park where he would be dropping us off and that he would pick us up at the exact same spot, just so there was no confusion.

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Skedaddle couch to Great Falls Park

What is really nice about the Skedaddle app is that you can log in and see public & private routes that are available, some for free, and you can see routes that other people have created that are looking for like minded people to split the cost with. Think festivals, outdoor adventures, winery tours, even cross country road trips!

For example, I live in the Northern Virginia area and about 3 hours outside of the city is skiing and snowboarding resorts. I could create a ride for people to go to one of those resorts on a certain set of date(s) and the cost is split across the passengers. This allows people not only to do a ride share but to save money on doing it with others.

Bonus: You make new friends!

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Current routes being offered from Washington, D.C.

Great Falls Park

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I love that I was able to enjoy a new experience so close to home. I live about 45 minutes away from Great Falls and I had not spent any time out that way.  I felt in my element as a traveler and loved being able to get outside and explore new areas.

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Fall is in its last stages right now so the park is still showing the some of the amazing colors it offers. The park has a visitors center where you can learn more about the wildlife, the park itself, a gift shop, restrooms, and a theater for showings.

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The park also offers a plethora of hiking options. If you don’t want to hike but still want to see the falls, it is very easy to walk. Riding with Skedaddle gave us 6 hours to explore as many trails and waterfall views as we desired.

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Remnants of fall left 
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Kayaks braving the waterfall 
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Overview of the falls
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Light hiking
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Stunning scenery 

Overall, the concept of both #OptOutside and Skedaddle are excellent. I had never participated in an #OptOutside event or used the Skedaddle app. Now I am sold on doing this every year.

Additional Information:

  • You can download Skedaddle for free
  • Skedaddle works on both iOS and Android
  • Currently only offered in North America
  • You can join a route or create your own
  • When you create your route, you get to ride free (as long as enough people have joined your route)
  • You get to explore new places, meet new people and do new things!

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Disclaimer: this was written in partnership with Skedaddle and REI. As always, opinions are my own. 

36 thoughts

  1. I love platforms like these! I am all about meeting new people, saving money and finding ways to reduce my environmental impact. I like the fact that is a ride sharing app which means that instead of multiple people taking their own cars, you car pool which is way better!

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  2. What a great idea! I love REI generally so this makes me support them anymore. Also, I’ve been to Great Falls park – I have friends who are majorly outdoorsy living in nearby Potomac. WE took the kids there ln the fall.

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  3. How cool is that!? I love REI and the way they’re partnering up and encouraging what they stand for! I just love it and it’s better for the environment because of the ride-sharing! So cool! Thanks for sharing more about this service. It’s one I’ll have to try!

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  4. Wow, what a cool concept! I love what’s coming out in the digital world that supports travelers. Actually, in the Philippines, I found out they have a sharing option for their Uber cars! It kinda seems like that! This is legit so great for foreign tourists headed to the States wanting to cover more ground. I’m gonna recommend this to my friends when the come visit me in Boston! 🙂

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  5. This is a pretty legit app. I did not know about it though I was aware of the #optoutside movement. I am very much for people go outside and explore and having actual face to face social networking. Thanks for this. I will definately check out this app.

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  6. What a great idea, I loved the way they teamed up to encourage people to opt out of Black Friday shenanigans. Hopefully, the app just grows, a great way to meet like-minded people. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Skedaddle sounds fantastic! I’ve never heard of it, but I can definitely see it being useful for taking groups from Los Angeles up to Big Bear Mountain, or out to the desert, or to the big concerts nobody wants to go to because parking is such a nightmare. Plus, there are so many national parks within a couple of hours of here, I’m betting it would be hugely popular with people just looking for a more economical way to get out of the city. I’m going to check into it. Thank you!

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  8. I love the OptOutside movement! We skip shopping and go outside every Black Friday, this year was no exception! I love the ride share addition. Now go outside!

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  9. First of all, I’ve never heard of this app, but sounds awesome! I’ll have to see if it’s in Europe since that’s where I am now. But I’m originally from an hour west of DC myself and have never been to Great Falls either! Meanwhile, a former intern of mine seems to be there every other weekend. Looks beautiful and peaceful and the kind of place I would have enjoyed spending time. I enjoyed reading, so thanks for sharing!

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  10. This is such an awesome idea! Embarrassingly enough, we didn’t try ride sharing apps until a few months ago. We loved it! We have been wanting to do more exploring and sight seeing throughout the National Parks in the states, this sound perfect since we sold our car before moving abroad!

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  11. That’s pretty awesome you got to do this with such great brands! I have never heard of Skedaddle but I will download it and test it out! Love your photos too, looks like fall is still around in your area.

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