Interview: Paul from Bamba Experience

In interviewing Paul from Bamba Experience, he discusses the hop-on hop-off travel pass as well as being a part of the Bamba Foundation.

1) Do you feel your degree in Entrepreneurship and Marketing as well as traveling enabled you to better understand what independent travelers would like when they book through Bamba Experience?

No, I dont really think studying Marketing and Entrepreneurship helped me understand what clients like when they book through Bamba Experience. I am a natural traveler and I feel I understand my clients much more because I am one of them. My degree in Entrepreneurship and Marketing did help me enter the business world with a broader mind and understanding of what to expect in the real world. I also feel that I have applied lots of what I learned in Babson directly into Bamba Experience, and it has helped me develop and grow my business.

2) What is your most popular pass?

At this point our most popular pass is the Andean Ways from Lima to La Paz. And our most popular product is the Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu or the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.

3) Is it the hop-on hop-off bus pass?

The hop-on hop-off pass is our main business and it is our most popular line of business.

4) If yes, is it because backpackers and like minded travelers alike can set their own pace with this pass?

Correct, our passengers prefer to have more flexibility when traveling and want to travel independently (not a guided group tour). Our passengers want to have the independence to choose where they want to go, how long they want to spend in each place, what type of accommodation to choose and who travel with. Our concept was created to make independent travel easier for people, but without loosing that sense of adventure of traveling on your own.

Some other travelers are short on time and want a two week trip through Guatemala, and we help them plan the trip with buses, activities and the accommodation that they want (Hostels, 3 or 4 Star Hotels). This is very similar to the hop-on hop-off because they travel independently, but with the security that everything is pre-booked for them and they forget about planning and figuring what is the best for them.

5) Do you feel it enables the traveler to experience the chance to meet with locals since public transportation is included with this particular pass?

Besides the flexibility we try to create a Bamba Experience where passengers have the chance to interact with the local people by traveling in public transport, but also by going to activities such as sleeping with a local Maya family in Panajachel, or going on a 2D/1N Trip in Lake Titicaca to sleep with the locals.

6) How did you choose Guatemala Sana and The Jatson Chumig Welfare Special School as part of the Bamba Foundation?

I had the opportunity to volunteer with these organization and they opened my mind to help. We believe that helping other opens your mind and life to new things. Both of this organizations are great and we hope to keep helping them in any way we can in the future. We are planning to expand our Foundation and help other communities in Mexico and Peru in the near future.

7) What is a typical day like for you?

There are many different days for me, but most of the time I am in the office, making sure that my Happy Team is doing their job, and helping them whenever a problem arises. Other times, I am traveling and testing services with our different providers (transport, tours and hostels/hotels). Other times, I am analyzing how the business is going, customer reviews and making sure to have new innovative ideas in order to grow the business.

8 ) Are you still hands on with the company?

Yes 100%, I am working Full Time as CHO (Chief Happiness Officer) in Bamba Experience and most important decisions come through me. Every day I check sales, operations, administration, marketing, product development and customer service areas!

9) Do you continually strive to think of ways to improve on the Bamba Experience?

This is exactly what I spend most of my time doing! Not only in the office, but also in my spare time.

10) What advice would you give someone who has never backpacked before and doesn’t know if the hop-on hop-off pass would be right for them?

I would tell them that the Bamba Experience hop-on hop-off travel pass is a great option for them if they have never backpacked before because it is exactly the same as traveling on your own, but you have Bamba to help you A) Plan your trip based on your preferences B) Organize your itinerary so you can make the most out of it with tons of included activities C) Give you a concierge service while traveling so you can make changes while traveling, ask any question that you need and receive great recommendations on places to see, things to do and places to stay in each destination.