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Building Friendships Through Travel with Lee Thompson

Lee Thompson is on a mission to build one million friendships through travel.

Thompson is the co-founder of Flash Pack, an innovative tour company that caters to busy professionals in the 30s and 40s. He joins this episode of the Gather and Go podcast to tell us how friendship creation became the secret sauce of this innovative tour business.

Lee shares insights on how to use travel experiences to help busy people build life-changing friendships. Plus, we have news about delays in passport applications; a Road Tip about how to start conversations with strangers; and a Hot Minute about whether your group should start traveling abroad.

Insights from Lee Thompson:

On the importance of group dynamics:

“We focused on a group dynamic and realized that the people you travel with are just as important as the trip itself. Everyone expects you to deliver a brilliant adventure, but we have an obsession with the people you travel with and realize that’s the most important factor.”

On the power of travel friendships:

“If you make a new friend, it is life-changing. Your whole life can change from that point. We feel like the world needs to be more connected… Every time we build an adventure, on Day Two there’s an activity that throws you out of your comfort zone. It makes all these people who have never met each other have some common ground. There’s no better way to fuel a friendship than a shared adventure.

On creating great travel value:

“Would somebody be able to look at this trip and find it difficult to do themselves? In the group tour format, you can do things that would normally be reserved for the rich and famous… A customer should be able to look at our trips and see really good value for money. And we give our pack leaders quite a bit of extra budget just to be able to do loads of cool stuff on the trips.

Resources Mentioned in This Episode

Learn more about Flash Pack at

Connect with Lee Thompson on LinkedIn.

Apply to attend our Louisiana River Region FAM tour at

Key Moments From This Episode

1:02 — Travel News: A passport application backlog

2:28 — Road Tip: Questions for making new friends on the road

6:29 — Louisiana’s River Region FAM tour

10:31 — The first date that launched Flash Pack

14:19 — How Flashpack attracts young professionals to group travel

17:52 — Combatting loneliness through travel

20:05 — Creating a million friendships

23:27 — Curating travel experiences that build relationships

29:56 — How great guides facilitate friendship

30:17 — The value proposition of friendship-building travel

44:49 — Hot Minute: Is it time to take your group abroad?

About the Podcast

Gather and Go with Brian Jewell is a tourism podcast that helps group travel leaders plan, promote and lead better trips. Each episode reaches thousands of professional tour operators, travel agents and the volunteer group leaders they serve. The audience also includes destination marketers, museum leaders, church travel leaders and other tourism enthusiasts around the world. Each show includes a featured conversation with a smart and influential travel leader. You’ll also hear travel news, road tips and more. New episodes are released about twice monthly.

You can find Gather and Go wherever your listen to podcasts or subscribe by email.

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