On the road with RatPack Travel

Many of the companies that work with Hero have amazing stories about how their business started and developed over time. A great example is RatPack Travel, a boutique backpacker travel platform operated from a pimped-out bus ‘on the road’ somewhere in Australia.

Sam Finley founded RatPack Travel in 2016, after travelling Australia and New Zealand on a 2 year working holiday. Sam had been working in the travel industry and believed there was an opportunity to create a new online travel platform for backpackers travelling Australia and New Zealand.

“My goal was to create an awesome online platform to give backpackers the personalised service, honest advice and value they deserve” said Sam.

RatPack Travel began its journey in the popular tourist destination of Byron Bay on Australia’s East Coast. Sam was working at a backpacker hostel while developing his concept for the future of the business. After approaching the owner of the hostel to ask if he could use some space in the office to open his travel shop, the RatPack Travel HQ was born.

Needing a technology solution to automate his sales, payments and reporting, Sam teamed up with Hero. “Before switching to Hero we had to book everything manually” he says. “It was all very manual and long winded! I would meet the backpacker usually in person, and I’d call the tour operators to check availability, prices and then book it in. I’d then have to record everything in a spreadsheet to track commissions and later pay suppliers. With live availability on Hero and automated payments, this has totally changed everything!’’

The beachside location and laid-back vibe in Byron Bay was exactly what Sam had in mind for RatPack, however as his business grew, larger corporates moved into the area and it was time for RatPack to find a new location. This resulted in buying and renovating a 1970’s Toyota Coaster bus which is now their very own office on wheels! It doesn’t get any more adventurous than that! ; )

Sam developed RatPack’s website to provide customers with a platform for planning and booking their trip with live rates and real-time product availability. And RatPack’s team expanded, with a crew of young, experienced travellers who want to help others get the absolute best out of their big adventure on the other side of the world.

RatPack provides its customers with a tailored travel experience and personalised itineraries to suit their travel plans, budget and time frame. “We provide tours and activities that are fun and social and have a 5 star reputation. We’re always there for their customers, before, during and after their travels and we believe in providing a personalised service” says Sam.

And Sam believes Hero has helped his business grow. “The team at Hero are legends and always help us out when we need them! Whether it is updating a product or assisting with the integration with our website. Also, the live chat feature is really useful for our team. The services offered by Hero are extremely reliable, user friendly platform, which suits our needs very well and the support offered by the team is great!”

RatPack has undergone an immense transformation, from a small travel desk in Byron Bay to a popular online travel platform with a global team. This is an accomplishment that they are (deservedly) very proud of. Their success came quicker than they had planned, but they’re very happy with the results seen so far. “We’ve learned that sometimes you have to roll with change and not resist it. Everything happens for a reason and we are the living proof of that.”

To learn more about RatPack Travel, visit www.ratpacktravel.com and check them out on Facebook and Instagram. And, if you spot the RatPack bus while on the road in Australia, call in and say Hi!