How can you help?

We tell you all about it!

What is our story?

SwapTheRoad is a community web platform co-constructed BY, WITH and FOR recreational & adventure vehicle owners.

At the beginning of 2020, the Covid-19 crisis plunged the world into turmoil, stopping Sandrine, Julien & their 3 children’s road trip at the same time… And yes, that’s us 🙃

Confined to Paraguay, we decided to take the opportunity to put into action the project we’d had in mind for some time… Sure, we can’t travel any more, but the Internet is our best ally for contacting numerous travelers, and building what will later become SwapTheRoad!

Since 2021, we’ve been working every day to develop the platform and make SwapTheRoad better known. But other passionate travelers have also joined us… Some are “pioneer” members who published their vehicles among the very first. Others, who discovered the temporary exchange more recently at events or while surfing the web, have become true ambassadors for the brand. Today, they are all a precious relay for the growth of our community!

What is our mission?

Some of the many travelers who helped us build SwapTheRoad had already exchanged their vehicles… And apart from their valuable experience in this field, most of them told us that their main motivation was to be able to travel more cheaply.

That’s why we defined a very clear mission for the company, to keep us on course, guide our future direction and facilitate future decision-making…

Today, our mission remains the same: to democratize leisure vehicle exchange!

What is our corporate culture?

When we started the SwapTheRoad adventure, we were travelers first guided by a dream: to introduce our children to the world, in order to turn them into responsible adults, open-minded, indulgent and kind to others.

At 40 years of age, we didn’t suddenly wake up one day with a mad desire to become rich… We were simply driven by our passion: to be able to travel more easily in a recreational vehicle!

And we wanted to create a platform that would not only enable us to share this passion with others, but also to travel at a lower cost, while preserving our magnificent planet at the same time… Yes, this is also what collaborative consumption is all about!

Finally, we had the ambition of founding a company that would be like us, different enough from what we had too often experienced in other organizations… SwapTheRoad’s priority would be to respect and take care of our members, as well as our future employees!

What is our business model?

In order to democratize the exchange of recreational vehicles as quickly as possible and make this new way of traveling accessible to as many people as possible, we have opted for a “freemium” business model.

This means that Internet users can consult available vehicles, register, communicate with other members and even make exchanges (both reciprocal and non-reciprocal) completely free of charge!

At the same time, we have started to offer our members additional services to bring them added comfort and security. These optional services, which we’re sure to develop over the coming months and years, are intended to finance the first part of the company’s operating costs. The second part will be financed by the partnerships we set up with industry professionals.

What are the results after 3 years?

The community is developing day by day. Of course, it can’t go fast enough for us, but the best indicators are the growing number of visitors, published vehicles and available destinations. But the best indicators are the growing number of visitors, published vehicles and available destinations, as well as the first exchanges completed and the satisfaction expressed by our members, and the future exchanges planned for the coming months!

From an accounting point of view, the first item of expense is the development of the site and its functionalities. Other costs are both significant and essential. These include site hosting, referencing, maintenance and security. It’s also the case for communication, because even if we offer an innovative service, we still have to make it known… As for revenue, it’s currently limited to our own funds, hence this call for donations 😇

In short, we’ve invested an enormous amount of time and money to ensure that the platform meets the needs of our members, and that SwapTheRoad can develop to its full potential. Of course, the idea here is not to complain, as this is a personal choice that we fully assume… We’d simply like to make a more direct appeal to you, and assure you of our determination: we won’t give up, the adventure has only just begun, and we’ll be relentless in our pursuit of developing the SwapTheRoad community worldwide!

What questions are we often asked?

1. Why don’t you charge for access to the platform?

  • Quite simply because we committed to this at the launch of SwapTheRoad… Too many companies make their applications chargeable overnight, once their community is sufficiently developed. We don’t want to go down that road: we can make SwapTheRoad grow by keeping a free version, and with it the trust of our members!
  • Secondly, because charging for access to the site, or charging for exchanges once they’ve been validated, would be a real brake on our business… We need to make exchanges as easy as possible, so that this new way of traveling can become widespread!

 

However, we’d like to make it clear that just because we want to keep a free version of the platform, that doesn’t mean we’ll never charge for upgrades… As already mentioned, we’re likely to evolve our business model over the coming months and years. As a result, features that are available today may eventually become chargeable. It will be up to us, when the time comes, to find the right balance between features that are essential to facilitate exchanges and those that are necessary to finance our growth.

 

2. Why not advertise?

This is clearly an option we’re considering, but once again, not at any price… We don’t want the monetization of our platform to put too many constraints on our members’ user experience. Furthermore, as advertising only brings in a small amount of money, we need a high level of site traffic for this source of revenue to be truly relevant. Here again, we’ll have to decide when the time comes, when more users will be coming to our platform.

How can I make a financial donation?

We’ve set up a donation system via PayPal, to give everyone the chance to donate the amount they want, and to support all our activities.

Is it possible to donate your time?

Of course, and with great pleasure!

At the end of 2023, for example, we were present at a trade show as exhibitors. A couple of experienced travelers and members of the SwapTheRoad community with several exchanges under their belts gave us their support.

So, for 2 days, they were present on our stand and were able to share their experience and testify openly to the many visitors to the show…

This is a fine example of SwapTheRoad’s contribution and support. But there are many others, such as writing articles for our blog, or of course spreading the word about SwapTheRoad whenever the opportunity arises… After all, word-of-mouth is still the most effective way of promoting someone or something!

That’s why, if you’d like to help us, we recommend two things:

  • spread the word, because it’s said that we all know an average of 250 people
  • spread the word about our platform in traveler groups, whether on Facebook, other social networks or the many discussion forums

Is your financial donation tax-deductible?

Unfortunately, this is only possible in the case of a non-profit, general-interest structure. And even if you were to consider this type of structure, it wouldn’t necessarily be relevant, if the feedback from those who have already made a donation is anything to go by…

Indeed, the average amount is generally modest, and obtaining a tax deduction would not significantly increase donations.

How will my donation be used?

For your information, SwapTheRoad’s overheads (insurance, accounting) are minimal, and staff costs are non-existent (you guessed it…). However, all donations will be protected and allocated solely to our development!

You will be able to choose the use to which you wish to allocate your donation when you validate it. There are four possible solutions:

  • Financing operating costs (hosting, referencing, site maintenance)
  • Enhance communication to expand the range of vehicles on offer
  • Develop additional functionalities
  • Launch a mobile application

Of course, a tiny percentage of your donation will go to pay PayPal. But everything else will go straight into SwapTheRoad’s bank account, to be used as you wish!