July 5th, 2012
There's a new new generation of travel-sharing Websites that are matching travelers with knowledgeable locals for interesting, real and mostly very inexpensive experiences all around the world, maybe even in your town.
This is quite possibly the best way to go travelling in order to experience exactly what you want. For instance when an Australian businessmen (and amateur photographer), found that he had a morning of leisure at his disposal in San-Francisco, he realized that he wanted to see the less flashy side of the city. A simple internet search and he landed on Vayable.com. The site exposed him to a walking tour led by an author who spent 15-years documenting the city's street art scene. It was that easy, a few clicks on the computer and he was able to snap photos he otherwise would have missed out on.
What are your interests? Shouldn't you experience them abroad too?
Here are some other sites that could provide you with the information you require:
One of the newest players in the field, CanaryHop started in March with a slick YouTube video starring the "Saturday Night Live" star Andy Samberg, who is also a founder of the site. In it, Mr Samberg awakens to find he's had an array of surprising experiences that could have been scenes from the Todd Phillips movie "The Hangover."
Berlin-based Gidsy, was founded by brothers from Amsterdam, Edial and Floris Dekker, who came up with the idea when they wanted to pick wild mushrooms for a risotto but didn't know how to distinguish edible from poisonous varieties.
"Google-ing around," Edial wrote in an e-mail, "we found that it was nearly impossible to find someone to schedule a mushroom picking tour."
Thanks to hgh-profile investment funds from the actor Ashton Kutcher and others, the platform has grown in its first year to include offerings in nine cities such as Istanbul, San Francisco and Hasselt, Belgium. Gidsy charges its hosts and organizers a 10 percent fee and withholds payment until after the activity to encourage accountability.
Are you ready to walk down a path that most haven't? Where would you go and what would you do, tell us in the comments section below?