Couchsurfing.com, which connects travelers looking for a
place to stay with those offering to share their home,
and Viator.com, which finds and books tours and travel
experiences, had a baby, Tripzaar would be their bright
and smiley first-born.
it does: The website is an online database of friendly
hosts who want to give travelers a local’s tour of
their town, for a price. View and book a trip itinerary
complete with a local resident guide before you step off
the plane. Adventure levels vary.
hot: Itineraries tend to be well thought out and more
complex than a general four-hour tour with a local
guide. I was drawn to the seven-night surfing trip in
Costa Rica ($1,675) that included accommodations, daily
surf lessons, two yoga sessions, breakfast, airport
transfers, as well as two adventure tours to local
waterfalls and an off-road Jeep tour. Click on
"View Trip" to see the day-by-day itinerary,
guide description and photos of what to expect. Make
sure to take note of "What’s not included"
so you know when you’ll be on your own or will need to
pay additional fees.
not: I wanted to see a global map of trips offered or
thematic categories in a drop-down menu. As I was typing
cities in the search bar, several major cities in the
U.S. and Europe had nothing. And the trips can vary, so
you might see one trip with accommodations but not in
another. Read the trips as if you are reading an
anthology, and don’t be surprised if you skip some
trips to dig into the ones you really like. The site is
young, but bookmark and check before your next