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.
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.
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.
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!
Great Falls Park
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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!
Disclaimer: this was written in partnership with Skedaddle and REI. As always, opinions are my own.