Travengers AU is an Australian company providing neurodivergent young people with opportunities to travel while building social networks, skills, and confidence—and to educate others about autism and other hidden disabilities. Founded in 2020, Travengers provides supported group travel in addition to social events and virtual travel. At its core, the company exists to make travel possible and enjoyable for this historically overlooked and underserved group of individuals.
The UnTours Foundation provided Travengers with an investment in 2023 to support the company’s growth into new cities, specifically by boosting marketing efforts and capacity and advancing its impact measurement.
The Travengers AU Origin Story:
Travengers was inspired by founder Agnes Abelsen’s younger autistic sister and was launched after many years of frustration with the lack of opportunities for young people with hidden disabilities. Many young neurodivergent people find it hard to make friends or to build independence, while many also dream of visiting new places and having a fulfilling social life. For some neurodivergent people, things like traveling can feel overwhelming with the uncertainties, changes, and planning that come with it. Being excluded or struggling to fit in over time can also cause loneliness, anxiety, and other challenges.
Everyone deserves the opportunity to feel connected, travel, experience the world, and be appreciated and accepted as part of a community. Travengers builds social networks that enable young people to travel while they build skills, confidence, and connection. The company’s vision is a world where travel and social connection are possible for all young adults and where people with hidden disabilities are accommodated, accepted, and appreciated for who they are.
How Travengers AU is Making an Impact:
20% of the world’s population is neurodivergent. Among neurodivergent youth, young adults are 4 times more likely to have clinical depression or anxiety and are nine times more likely to die by suicide compared to their neurotypical peers. Travengers makes travel and social connection possible for underserved neurodivergent individuals. Its trips are designed to create a strong sense of community among travelers and are highly supported by Travengers personnel. The company employs Support Guides to accompany each trip and social event, averaging one guide per three travelers. Many Travengers’ travelers can go on trips with support from Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme, which often covers 80-100% of trip costs. At the time of funding, Travengers had served over 110 neurodivergent young people through 290 events and 38 trips–and counting!
Beyond providing trips and social experiences, Travengers challenges existing mindsets around neurodivergence and disability, and aims to increase acceptance, inclusion, and participation. The company leadership includes both neurodivergent and neurotypical individuals, all with experience in creating social impact through travel for underserved individuals.
How You Can Connect with Travengers AU:
Learn more about Travengers on their website. You can also follow them on Instagram and Facebook to receive updates and share their stories on your own platforms.