Hire a local guide, be a local guide. Travel is better with people in the know.
Name: Showaround app
What it does: The new app accompanies the already established travel website showaround.com to pair travelers with 50,573 local guides in 5,400 cities in 192 countries. The guides can be hired by the hour to give travelers a more personal look at his or her city.
Available: In the App Store, requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Android version coming soon.
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What’s hot: Prices for guides are reasonable and vary depending on the location and the person providing the service. Use the setting button in the app’s upper-right-hand corner to set your price range, language preference and activities you are interested in. There’s even an option to filter your guide by male, female or couple. If you want to be a guide, you can set your own price. When I searched for a local guide for a trip to Nashville, I found a travel lover who offered to show us how to avoid lines at the honky-tonks, how to find the best skyline shots for photos and where to find the original Nashville hot chicken. Stephen charged $27 an hour, but I would be more likely to spend more for him than other guides who charged less because he was more specific describing what he had to offer.
What’s not: There are a couple of confusing parts. You have three options when you first open the app: to take the tour, skip it or click a button to sign up with your Facebook account or email address. If you just want to browse and see what the app is about, click “Skip.” If you want to dig right in and sign up to be a guide, click “Sign up.” Either way, you can deactivate your local host status from the profile page once you are in the app.
— Jen Leo