Budget Travelling in Style

A conversation with the founders of Poshpacker

Anna Kojzar and Tania Cruz are the makers of Poshpacker, the first booking website for hotels and hostels that have that “special something”. With their catchphrase “it’s our mission to bring style to budget travel”, at poshpacker.co you can find unique accommodations such as design and art hotels or other extravagant places to stay anywhere in the world that don’t cost a fortune. We spoke to Anna and Tania about their new start-up.

Why do travellers need yet another booking website?

Tania: “The way we travel has changed a lot in the past 20 years. Especially with millenials! Young travellers aren’t just looking for a place to spend the night, they’re looking for accommodations that will be an experience in themselves, connected to the country and its people. It’s very hard for travellers to find a really extraordinary and at the same time comfortable place to sleep that doesn’t cost that much. That’s what distinguishes us from other traveling platforms. That’s exactly what we provide, and work around that niche.”

How did you get the idea for Poshpacker?

Anna: “The idea came to us while I was doing my Master’s degree in Barcelona, which is where I met Tania. We travelled a lot together at that time. We always looked for cool, trendy hotels or hostels that didn’t cost much, but that were still comfortable, which sometimes got to be very difficult. We wanted to change that.”

What do accommodations have to provide to get onto your website?

Anna: “When we acquire new, suitable hotels, we have five criteria that need to be met, known as our “Poshpacker P’s Philosophy”. The first, of course is the “Presence”, the outside and inside, i.e. how the hotel is designed, what the atmosphere is like. Then we look at the “Privacy”, the private spaces. Do they have single rooms as well as dormitories? Do the guests have their own bathrooms? Beyond that, we delve into the “People”, we look at the employees and the guests. What are the people like? Can you get to know people in a pleasant atmosphere? Next is “Perks”, are we impressed by the services the hotel provides? Is there free Wi-Fi, is breakfast included, etc.? Finally, we examine “Price.” When they offer all that at a good price, then the hotel has a good chance of getting onto our website.”

Do you have a hotel or hostel that meets all these criteria?

Tania: “Yes, we even have a great example here in Berlin: the Generator in Mitte. It has an amazing design and is located in the heart of Berlin, where good design is highly valued. The hostel is covered in colourful graffiti, so it’s really authentic. Plus, there’s a bar and a café, where you can meet other guests. Guests can also book a single room if they want. For all that, it has still kept its backpacker feel. This hostel fulfils all the criteria in our concept of accommodations.

What are you hoping for from Techstars METRO Accelerator?

Anna: “By participating in the Accelerator, Poshpacker can continue to grow and we can learn a lot. We’ll get help navigating the industry and reaching new customers. With mentors who work in the industry day in day out and the expertise they have, this program is exactly the right place to develop our business.”

Where do you want to be with Poshpacker a year from now?

Anna: “We want to stay rooted in travellers’ memories, especially with the millenials. That way, we hope to get more customers for our service, and to increase the bookings on our website.”

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