|by Beth Collins||Adventure, Innovations||1|
Lots of companies profess to take their customers’ advice into consideration, but YokmoK goes a step further: This adventure travel company based in Madrid invites past customers to go on in-the-making guided expeditions and help shape the itinerary. In exchange for a discount of about 25 percent of its rates, customers—actually, on these trips, they're called ambassadors—are expected to weigh in on every aspect of the expedition, like where to go, what to include, and how to keep it fun.
Because the trips aren't yet perfected yet, there are bound to be glitches—wrong turns, not enough time at one place, too much at another—but that’s part of the fun. The itinerary the group comes up with is offered to the public the next year.
The 2009 exploratory trip is a 7-day trek in the Swedish Lapland, which is 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle. YokmoK classifies the trip as red-black, meaning you have to be in pretty great shape to take part—and to enjoy yourself along the way (their color system is just like what you find at ski resorts: green is the easiest, then blue, then red, then black).
Not quite ready to go for the black? The company offers plenty of easier treks, too. The trips to the French Alps ($1,267, or €990) and Spain's Canary Islands ($1,100, or €860), for example, are both classified as green, or easy. They're not exploration trips, but since you have to be a past customer to be invited on those, the outings are great ways to get in on the action.