5 Things About Guidrr & the Future of Travel

As we get ready to attend the kickoff of the Skift Future of Travel forum in New York City, there's been a lot of internal discussion among our team around the question - what do we stand for? The reason that matters so much to us is that we don't aspire to be just another app, or just another travel company. Our visions are far, far bigger than the exact size of our travel boots right now. Perhaps they always will be. 

As we hit go on the clock for approval by the App store, it seems like the perfect opportunity to share a little of what we care about and stand for. 

One, authenticity. Our creators join us because they create quality content that's original in thought and perspective. They aren't trying to build content for everyone - but rather content for someone - a real traveler or local who wants and can benefit from their unique travel perspective. Using our platform, their knowledge turns into a valuable product worth paying for and becomes an affordable, turn-key way for them to offer on-demand knowledge to the global market. And for curious travelers to consume it. 

Two, directly rewarding the creator - the micro-entrepreneur. Rather than trying to build a blockbuster app where we're the editor, curator and sharer of a content farm, we're all about giving the reins to those who are the real holders of travel knowledge and influence - people in every language, around the world, sharing because they care. We succeed every time they do, not just when one product hits a home run. 

Three, being transparent. We share our pricing and format openly with creators, so they can see how it's possible - and in fact, smart - to start turning peer influence more directly into earned income. Avoiding reliance on a brand sponsorship and ad model in favor of an in-app purchase model is our way to show not tell how influencers can become a new gatekeeper to travel purchase, with Guidrr as their platform partner. 

Fourth, proving it's not just technology first, but also people first. We strive to connect creators with each other via private channels like our newsletter, make introductions and help make each creator more successful, as a part of Guidrr. This way, we all win. Our best way to do this is by listening hard to creator feedback on our platform and app, and striving to make things better, one step at a time. We don't like to over-build, because our tech philosophy is feature-light and purpose-built to do a few things well, not a lot of things poorly. (But, build we will .. our pipeline is already full of useful beautiful ideas and features submitted by creators). 

Fifth & most importantly - no Freemiums. It's time those with valuable knowledge and information to share - those who take the effort to package it ion something beautiful and timeless - are able to earn a reward for their efforts and their daily hustle. Each time a creator posts, each time they write a blog post or put another freemium into the market, we also believe they should create products worth paying for. Because we believe in #NewTravel - where micro-entrepreneurs with influence can be the future gatekeepers of travel, even beyond it's content. 

So here's to #NewTravel and here's to an awesome week in NYC with the people of Skift. Thanks for extending us a startup ticket to learn, listen and share! See you this evening. 

 

#NewTravel - One Story at a Time

As we watched our app ship off to the approval process, our founder took the chance to get away and explore a new part of the country and build a local guide, meeting more of those on the ground driving peer-to-peer travel, what we call #newtravel. 

Planning a trip - especially a weekend escape - can be daunting. It's important to pick the right place to stay, know which places to visit and which to avoid, and to maximize the measure and minimize the stress. Those who take the time to do so, like frequent travelers, bloggers, instagrammers, and nomads, can share because they care by building a Guidrr guide, so others can more easily walk in their shoes and travel as if with a friend. 

For our team, peer-to-peer travel also isn't necessarily staying in the big box hotels, eating exactly what others do - traveling like a tourist. It's more about forging your own path, which can include choosing to stay in a place that has a local owner, a travel micro-entrepreneur with more than just a space to offer, but also a story to tell. That's being a traveler. 

Our host, Ray, was a little shy about having his photo taken, so we took permission to take the one above while he was turning away to pick a leaf from his lemon tree, to show us the local scent. 

He's a professor, and a long time entrepreneur who bought his property as a second home, but decided to add on to it and create a B&B. Once he was finished, it become a family business of sorts. During the week, he has hired a local to help greet and work with guests but on weekends he's often there himself along with family members. 

Ray's story started in South America in Venezuela, where his family emigrated from South Asia, took a turn toward Italy, where his extended family settled and still lives - and then turned toward the US. which he now calls home. He's lived in his local area for more than 30 years and his B&B, unlike a big box hotel, is a reflection of his own roots, named for his birth language, but also greeting guests with his adoptive tongue. 

 The saying at the door of Ray's property welcomes guests in his adoptive tongue, but that's just part of the story of this special spot. 

The saying at the door of Ray's property welcomes guests in his adoptive tongue, but that's just part of the story of this special spot. 

While we visited, we learned this language professor turned peer-to-peer host keeps improving his own ability to connect with guests. In fact, he's taught himself Japanese, to better host and welcome guests from that country. 

Building on his success from owning one property he's also extended to build and rent another, which he offers to those looking for more than one room. 

We celebrate stories of peer to peer travel because they better tell the story of our new world. No matter where you come from, and where you are going, you can always enhance the travel experience of another traveler by taking the time to share your story.

So, thanks for sharing yours, Ray and we can't wait to include you and your beautiful properties in a coming Guidrr guide from our founder @travelswithaassia.  

Sign up here if you'd like to be part of our initial launch list.

And here's to #NewTravel!

 Ray, a B&B owner in Napa Valley, picks a leaf from his local lemon tree to share the scent with guests. He's been in the area for more than 30 years. 

Ray, a B&B owner in Napa Valley, picks a leaf from his local lemon tree to share the scent with guests. He's been in the area for more than 30 years. 

We Are The... ? Getting to the Elevator Pitch

In the space of just a few months, our team announced we were joining a cool new on-demand accelerator to build an MVP for some sort of a travel guiding thing. (This is paraphrasing what people said back to us). To be honest, we had a pretty clear vision all along but decided to show and not tell what we meant. 

Now we're well on our way with a live platform, and a beautiful product off to the Appstore (as a leader at one local Dallas company we admire put it, beyond an MVP to a MLP - or a product you can really love.

So today, we're pleased to share a little more about who we think we are, in language that can simplify our big vision down to something easily understood by those who pitch and those who hear the pitch thing. 

We're the Etsy for Travel Influencers

Like Etsy, a company we greatly admire, we see the potential in peer-to-peer business, and in the growing world of influencers and micro-entrepreneurs.

We have built our product to treat each creator's knowledge as a valuable asset - not just a thing to give away. As our founder said the other day to a blogger she was having coffee with after our soft launch, it's time to stop with everything travel content being a freemium. Things beautifully crafted deserve to be both shared & valued - the funnel going deeper for those who have invested in giving others a peer to peer perspective into their world, like influencers, bloggers and instagrammers.

That's the philopshy behind our model of a offering a free app, so our creators can offer downloadable, self-priced guides to those who already admire and follow their unique perspective on the world. 

Like Etsy, we believe in giving back to our community. That's why the lion's share of the revenue for Guidrr guide sold returns to each creator. If you are a Guidrr creator, it's our goal to treat you as a real business person, no matter the size of your community. We look at your creation as a craft, and are honored to help you sell to the global marketplace. 

We're busy crafting our launch announcement and it will include ways we support and give back to the #NewTravel community, and it will reveal more about our Wanderslush Fund. 

Here's to #NewTravel and our big vision to be the little start up that could.

To our amazing global community of creators who have already joined us on this journey - YOU are why we exist. Thank you!

Thanks also to our awesome DFW startup advisory board and to our Co-Build tech team and those busy working on building our community one creator at a time. We're all in this together

If you like our vision, and have knowledge to craft & share inside our simple, intuitive private platform, and like the idea of becoming a global seller using Guidrr, do apply here

On Lisa, #NewTravel - and Our Coming Launch

This week, we wrap up app testing and ready for app store submission, while also prepping for conferences, meetups, and some exciting launch-related announcements coming soon.

These past few weeks, our team has been asked many questions about our process, product and business vision. This week's post seemed like a perfect place to share one part of our perspective, which isn't that of a traditional travel app or a mass travel solution. 

We exist to serve those with peer-to-peer knowledge, influencer and a travel experience to share. Unlike with mass travel, where magazines, web sites and large companies attempt to set one "perfect" pathway through a place, we believe that each and every one of us has a unique pathway, based on our own interests, preferences, and favorite things to do.

This was driven home when we spoke to Lisa Condie, an inspiring travel writer who moved to Italy solo, selling her home and taking a bold step to make travel her life - without knowing the outcome in advance. She shared how she was inspired by those who responded to her writing on her move, to start a boutique tour company that helps women over fifty travel solo to discover themselves. Called Find Yourself In Tuscany, the company is a result of Lisa's own journey to discover her life's purpose - and share it with others.

We met Lisa at our soft launch just last week, and she's beginning to create experiences for Guidrr in one of her personal favorite towns outside of Florence (we won't give the town away!). During a call with our team she asked the question: "Should I also be creating Florence experiences if I'm not the biggest influencer in the city?" Our answer: Of course! We discussed how Lisa's experiences were unique, and would appeal to those who already follow her journey of over-50 solo travel. Unlike mass travel, which attempts to set a single pathway, we believe in inspiring authentic creators to develop guides for every traveler, every city and every travel interest and need. (You can apply here if that vision inspires you).  

Now, instead of building her own app to serve her niche but loyal audience, Lisa's experiences can be shared and serve her audience, inside the Guidrr app -- which will aggregate peer to peer travel guides from influencers and travel micro-entrepreneurs like Lisa, around the globe. It's our vision that the Guidrr product and platform can help to support and grow Lisa's audience for Find Yourself In Tuscany, while also introducing new audiences to her fresh, honest and appealing travel perspective, voice and business solution. We continue to add more influencers to our global list each of whom has their own pathway to share, inspiring even more wanderlust. 

We look forward to your Guidrr guides, Lisa! Thanks for being a supporter and advocate. And thanks also for submitting your beautiful travel quote - we made it into an Instagram post and graphic, which we share below. Here's to #NewTravel! 

 Thank you Lisa Condie of @FyiTuscany for submitting this beautiful travel quote. We couldn't agree more! 

Thank you Lisa Condie of @FyiTuscany for submitting this beautiful travel quote. We couldn't agree more! 

Graci, Florence Friends!

This was a September to remember, as we celebrated the story of Guidrr's journey to market with a soft launch last week with friends new and old in beautiful Florence, Italy. Why Florence you might ask? In one sense, this was symbolic. The business model was first discussed and validated with a local Florence influencer, and it seemed apt to return to the place the concept of Guidrr was fully born to celebrate it's go to market. But in another sense, Florence is a key city to illustrate the benefits of Guidrr both for influencers and travelers. A highly saturated tourism market, Florence has so much to offer the traveler willing to move off the beaten path. It's back streets, it's lesser-known monuments and its local foods, shops and vistas are true gifts for the curious traveler. What better place to soft launch than a city that invites 16 million tourists, most of whom never ever venture to the other side of the Arno, visit a true local artisan shop or ever speak with a bone fide local? We believe, and hope that together we can forge new pathways through a city that today shows most of its visitors just one mass travel story. As we joked with one local tour guide who shall remain un-named -- Florence is so very much more than checking the box at the Uffizi! 

With our vision of #newtravel, Guidrr is about the belief that we should not have to follow a prescribed path set by others who would have travel exactly as they do. That's called tourism. Instead, we're in the business of supporting those who are creating and growing peer-to-peer travel, where we can travel as if with the knowledge of a friend, even if we're traveling solo. 

Our soft launch event, organized for us by local blogger Nardia, of blog Lost in Florence, was an intimate, invite-only event gathered together creatives, artists, singers, business owners -- a beautiful mix of city influencers -- to introduce them for the first time to the Guidrr business model and vision.

We were pleased to share the evening with Creative People in Florence co-founders, who launched their new studio space on Via de Mezzo in the Sant'Ambrogio neighborhood that night and hosted our group. Thanks Sara and Anna for your hospitality and it was a pleasure to discover a new neighborhood, coffee spot and local market, in addition to your studio space. We can't wait to share a Guidrr guide to Sant'Ambrogio, and to welcome your own local guides to our mix. (To get them as they launch, sign up here). 

Graci Firenze. Here's to together building #NewTravel - where influencers like you can share with followers how to walk in your shoes, across the whole of your city -- and your world. Thank you for being a part of our story. 

 We soft launched Guidrr over operatives, at a newly opening studio space on Via de Mezzo, hosted by Lost in Florence's Nardia and Creative People in Florence cofounders Anna and Sara. 

We soft launched Guidrr over operatives, at a newly opening studio space on Via de Mezzo, hosted by Lost in Florence's Nardia and Creative People in Florence cofounders Anna and Sara. 

The Art & Science of a London Layover

The fun of getting somewhere (in our case, to a soft launch this week in Firenze) is only further fueled by the chance to stop over somewhere else along the way. Only those with serious wanderlust will understand this urge. For us, the journey is just as much fun as the final destination.

A big part of what we've coined as #NewTravel is the chance to explore cities in bite-size pieces, and to travel more frequently to satisfy weekend and short stay wanderlust, leveraging all the opportunities of the peer to peer economy, like local recommendations and local hosts offering Airbnbs. Cities make a perfect canvas for quick visits -- and are a convenient way to drink in a place while getting over jet lag. It's no surprise that it there's even a popular new travel TV show on 36 hour concept - years after the New York Times began its popular travel writer series on short city stays. 

A little about how and why we did our London layover, this time around: 

1. We grabbed a last minute fare from Delta and Virgin (part of their new partnership) and hopped across to London from Texas at about half the normal cost of a round trip. London in September is stunning and so much nicer (in our humble opinion) than August - which has hordes of summer tourists. As schools open again and most of us return to work, the city takes on a post summer hue - still bright, but less edgy, and more well rested. 
2. We spent barely 24 hours in London (well, counting our return leg it will be closer to 36), but chose to base ourselves in just one neighborhood, and drink it in. Our founders' guide to this beautiful locality will follow. 
3. Resist the urge to sleep. By forcing yourself to stay awake, you can settle in to the local vibe. A short nap (20 or 30 minutes) is an acceptable mid-day escape but avoid the temptation to sleep away part of your precious layover hours -- but also don't go crazy trying to see every corner of a place as complex as London town. 
4. Plan an anchor evening event. In our case, the event was personal, but it would be a good idea to take in a play, concert or fine dining experience as a way to stay awake and experience the city by night. London is worthy of far more than 24 hours, but it's complexity can often lead to stress for travelers. Rather than going wide, go deep. Think like a local and travel slowly, on foot or to connecting areas by local train. In a place like London, if you pick your borough right, every corner is an opportunity for discovery. 

Weekend guides to major cities written by bloggers and peer influencers are a big part of the Guidrr brand vision. If you're someone who knows a place deeply and well, we can't wait to see your step by step 24, 48 or 36 hour experience come to life. Go ahead - apply & be a part of #NewTravel. You don't have to your own TV show, to be a Rick or Bourdain, to be a force in the industry. They paved the way - now it's your turn follow and create experiences that serve those who wish to walk the world in your shoes, with your unique perspective, peer to peer. 

More on our soft launch in next week's blog! 

Beautiful Firenze: Here We Come!

The Guidrr story comes full circle next week with an apertivo hour soft launch Weds Sept 9 in Florence, Italy (location to be announced soon!).

Not so very long ago, our founder set out on a mission to understand the gaps and opportunities for those who love to travel - and those who influence travel experiences. Rather than experiencing places as a tourist, she sought to live and get perspectives like a local - and along the way met a local blogger from Lost in Florence, Nardia - today one of the first members of Guidrr's growing creator community. She learned about the needs and gaps for local influencers, and the initial concept of Guidrr was both vetted and further grown. 

To celebrate our journey from an idea discussed over apertivos on a little artisan street called Via Santo Spirito, all the way to a full blown product, we are taking Guidrr back to its roots and introducing the company's #newtravel vision in Firenze, with Nardia as our local host. 

But it's not all travel and truffles at the Guidrr Dallas HQ this week. In fact, it's tech and testing that's got us busy. At our advisory board meeting, we'll take a big step this #TravelTuesday to do our final app sign off before sending off V1 to the app store for submission, filled with beautiful guides from creators around the country and the world. 

As of now, our creator community already spreads across 7 countries, and 4 continents. Not bad for a lean startup that opened its doors for business 3 months ago, with little more than a sketch on a napkin, but a wealth of insights from real travel people around the world.

All thanks goes to our amazing creator community - here's to you, and here's to #NewTravel.  

Florence, here we come! 

ps: There will be a number of excuses to drink cappuccinos at local creation coffees the same week. Sign up if you want to attend one in Florence, or your own city

Creation Coffees: A #NewTravel Hack for Guide Creation by Local Influencers

Since we blogged about our creator private platform launch last week, we've seen a lot of interest from locals in creating Guidrr guides to share what is awesome and beautiful about their city, their neighborhood, their public space. 

These inspiring #newtravel ambassadors are in line to have access to Guidrr, by way of local "creation coffees" where demo our platform and show aspiring creators how fun and easy it is to use.  Thanks to all those who attended our first coffee today -- your access is on its way. 

Can ever really a know a place -- even a city we call home -- until we see someone else's way of navigating it? Is it possible to navigate places as if we were walking in someone else's shoes? Those are the questions we are answering with our vision for Guidrr. 

If you are curious about how to create step-by-step guides on Guidrr, join our creation coffee mailing list, and we'll let you know when we're running one in your city or neighborhood! 

And sharing a fun update with our followers and friends -- we're off to New York City this fall to be at the Skift Future of Travel forum. A big thanks to the founders of Skift for extending a startup ticket to us -- Brooklyn and NYC here we come! NYC friends - save the date for our #NewTravel meetup in NYC (location to be announced) the same month and hope you can join us! 

 A photo from our archives - NYC here we come! 

A photo from our archives - NYC here we come! 

ps: If you want to apply to create and share travel guides on Guidrr, click here!

Of Apps, Travel Hacks & Nomads: Community Pre Launch Inspiration for Our Team

Hello followers and friends: It's been a busy week here at Guidrr HQ. Not only did we launch our private creator platform this week, but also had the opportunity to demo our product to a tourism board who loved our simple, cost effective and peer to peer method for connecting local influencers with travelers and city visitors. For those in our creator community already submitting guides - thank you for our early belief in Guidrr and its solution for travel micro entrepreneurs. 

Meanwhile, on the app front, we're busy preparing to submit our app for approval - if you applied to create experiences and haven't yet heard from us, please be patient with us as we finish out our tech process this week. We'll be in touch - and you are in line! 

Among the technical progress, our first #newtravel meetup also happened last week. We had the chance to hear from Nomad Urvi Bhandari about how she combined work and life. She shared some insights about the stages of travel -- all the way from being a settler, to a traveler, to a true nomad and educated us about how to move along the spectrum toward true location independent life.

But she wasn't the only one who taught us something- it was all the other attendees, too. We were humbled by who shared their stories, from an Indian professional from a small town who has taken his love of motorbike exploration from home state, to across the state of Texas; to a local foodie chef who travels the world finding inspiring recipes and brings them back to his small hometown restaurant twenty miles from downtown. (A great spot to host an upcoming meetup!). Then, there were the many women in our group who dreamed of traveling solo or shared stories about their trips around the world. Each with stable jobs, but hungry for how to find the perfect recipe for inspiring, safe, affordable travel. We also had a few true travel hacking experts in the room - they already have found ways to game the fares and the locations using points, and other tricks and want to both share and learn more. Next time around, we think we'll be having a small group meal exploring a new neighborhood with our chef friend learning how to get a cheap airfare to a nomad-friendly destination. Join us at our online Meetup group (already more than 100 strong!) to see live events vs Periscope or to create a meetup group in your city. 

As our technical lead for Guidrr said the other day (his favorite place to go is Alaska, by the way), "I guess #NewTravel is a "thing."" Yep, it is - here's to NewTravel and here's to #wanderlust. 

(see you next week - and some fun visual notes from our meetup, below!)

 Thanks to Christy, our Intern, who took live visual notes during our first #NewTravel meetup! 

Thanks to Christy, our Intern, who took live visual notes during our first #NewTravel meetup! 


First #NewTravel Meetup Happening This #TravelTuesday

Travel is something many of us dream about (let's be honest - even obsess about), but who is already living the dream? Who is leading the way to #NewTravel - a life where work and leisure are not polar opposites, but all part of the same life story? 

To answer that question and build more ways for people to learn how to travel and experience the world peer-to-peer, we have launched a Meetup group. Its already at nearly 100 members, and tonight we host our first event in Dallas at a local coworking space - Nod, where our team also offices.

We're thrilled to see the response and engagement with this Meetup and promise to share out the content and learnings for those that couldn't make it in person. 

Urvi Bhandari, a bone fide nomad, will talk about how to travel and live like a nomad, sharing her travel hacks and life philosophy. We'll also share more about our vision to help people travel more. We're pleased to share that Urvi is also our newest Guidrr creator - we can't wait to see her guides to nomad life around the world. 

Our goal is to build #NewTravel meetups around the world. Do reach out to us here if you'd like to help us to build a world that's about owning less and doing more. 

Here's to #NewTravel!  

Urvi Bhandari is a bone fide nomad speaking at the first #NewTravel meetup

Our Creator Platform Launches Next Week: Guidrr Countdown to Launch!

It's been a wild, wonderful ride for the Guidrr team these past few months. Since we shared our vision with you at the start of the summer, we have built a #newtravel mobile product and also connected with tour guides bloggers, instagrammers and Airbnb hosts around the world, all ready to begin creating content for their audience on the Guidrr platform. We also recently launched our #NewTravel Meetup - and hope you can join or create one in your city. 

Our creators are walking the streets of Dublin, Sao Paolo, Dallas, Paris, Florence and more as we speak snapping photos, and videos, and creating their guide content. In each case they will be sharing their own unique perspective on the city or place they love. They are providing useful and impossible-to-search insight - things like: where to turn to see a unique spot, how to order the right perfect item on a local menu, which tourist lines to avoid. For the travel addict, this stuff is addictive. 

Our founder, @travelswithaassia, happens to be in Paris this #TravelTuesday - and she is in the process of building this guide.. all about how to get away from the madding August crowds and really absorb one of the great cities for travel. 

     

 

 

She also took the time to meet with local tour guide Patrick - a French-American raised in Geneva, who was educated in history at the Sorbonne. He's developed a passion for the Roman history of Paris and shares his insights in a walking tour. 

 Patrick is a French-American who does Roman history inspired tours of the city - he's also a food critic and blogger with a fun Tumblr on Paris restaurants. 

Patrick is a French-American who does Roman history inspired tours of the city - he's also a food critic and blogger with a fun Tumblr on Paris restaurants. 

He mentioned that he's got so much content, and as a freelancer, not a lot of time to provide tours. He was a perfect fit for Guidrr - anot all of us can afford to pay someone to walk us around (our own wallets felt quite a bit lighter after a few paid tours). With Guidrr, the city will open up, at a fraction of the cost, and with a beautiful array of perspectives. And, local experts with passion can build income from their knowledge. We can't wait to share them!

Here's to #NewTravel! 

It's A Small World After All

This week, we traveled all the way from the Rhone Alpes in France back to Dallas (ha ha - we wish!). We did welcome Rhone Alpes adventurer @SydneyMartinie, an American in France who is based in Lyon, and renovates homes in the city, to our community. She's so popular in Lyon that she and her husband are superhosts on Airbnb - which tells us she knows a thing or do about enjoying this iconic French city. 

 Welcome to our creator community @SydneyMartinie

Welcome to our creator community @SydneyMartinie

And here in Dallas, we had the most amazing coffeeshop conversation with Dawn, a new blogger, instagrammer who has spent the last decade of her life perfecting how women can and should travel. She's got a beautiful story of how she plans trips (all the way down to a printed trip guide with recommendations and places to eat), to her method of finding information from locals. She's a natural to join our creator community - and bring the audience from her solo travel blog Fenomenale along. Here she is shown with her daughter - they recently took a trip to Florence together and snapped this post at Ponte Santa Trinita. In her inaugural blog post Dawn shares that she chose the name for her blog because "Fenomenale is Italian for phenomenal."  

 Welcome to our creator community Dawn! 

Welcome to our creator community Dawn! 

Meanwhile, we got chatting on Instagram with @MsDallasMaven, a social media marketing guru who has a loyal following around the top things to do in our home city. Welcome to Guidrr Stephanie - we're going to have lots of fun working with you to sip our way through the patios of the city and more. 

 Welcome @MsDallasMaven - can't wait to see your local experiences for this city we call home!

Welcome @MsDallasMaven - can't wait to see your local experiences for this city we call home!

We're having the most amazing Skype conversations around this whole wide world. Bloggers, tour guides, instagrammers and Airbnb hosts share so many common goals. That's why we're humming this tune all the time at our offices: "It's a small world after all." 

To make it even smaller for people who love to travel as much as we do, we're also announcing our #NewTravel meetup group this week. Join, and even inspire yourself to create one in your city. Let's make this #NewTravel thing happen - for real. For everyone. Be inspired by our travel hacks (like how to travel often, and cheaply).

Thank you for being a part of our story and our creators' success. Guidrr is grrowing!

Here's to #NewTravel!

Oh What a Week It's Been!

When you are readying as a team to launch something new, and different, time isn't just spent on product features, it's also spent on conversations. 

We've had just such a week of conversations - both in person and online at our Instagram - and what a fun week it's been, with a huge jump in followers and conversations with the global community of #newtravel micro-entrepreneurs. 

We've talked with Airbnb hosts, interested in using Guidrr to promote their neighborhood and discovery of their properties. There are in places like Lyon and Seattle - showcasing how universal the needs of the #newtravel industry are. 

We've talked with travel authors, who were struggling to identify how to take their walking tour content to new millennial audiences and into the App Store world, and who are ready and waiting for Guidrr's app launch. In one author's words, "I have lots of content to create - I'm intrigued by how you solve my problems. And, I don't have or want to deal with tech - so I like that I don't need tech skills to make this happen for my publishing business."

More conversations occur every day with bloggers, and we welcomed many new applicants this week, from places as far-flung as Ireland, and Brazil, to name just two. Through reading about our story and through the voices of other bloggers who are talking about us, they reached out and shared kudos and excitement. Thank you! 

We had a long post from a writer and software engineer in Toronto. She said, "I would love to share how I experience Toronto and how there's more to the city than the CN Tower, Nathan Philips Center and the Zoo." She shared a series of ideas on our Instagram and intends to apply to create experiences. 

Probably the highlight of our week was this beautiful postcard from Firenze. Written by a content creator in that city, it shares the story of how Guidrr can help bloggers and instagrammers succeed and grow their business. Thanks Nardia and hope you are enjoying #Sicilying! 

Our team is off this weekend for a quick tour of Mexico City. Our process is to first see, smell, hear and feel the city. Only then do we try to serve its micro-entrepreneurs. So, we're off to eat some great local street food, and take it all in. Follow along on our Instagram account and Twitter @Guidrr. 

Here's to #NewTravel!

  Here's a snippet of a lovely conversation happening on Instagram about Guidrr. We love to see this happen! 

Here's a snippet of a lovely conversation happening on Instagram about Guidrr. We love to see this happen! 

The Story Behind Our #DreamExperience Challenge

Our #DreamExperience challenge connects travelers with a desire to have a unique travel experience, to a real travel person - like a local instagrammer or blogger - that can help fulfill it. It's been so much fun for us. Our very first challenge came from Andy in Austin. He challenged us to find him natural, outdoor self-guided experiences in Reykjavik, Iceland, where's traveling later this summer. 

Because Guidrr is about real people and their travel guidance, it isn't about focusing on the same old "top-ten" list for tourists. To help Andy, we discovered Kaelene, a blogger and instagrammer originally from Oregon, who moved to Iceland and started blogging about unique, hard-to-find experiences to cheer herself up during her first, long, Icelandic winter. Some of the things she discovered and shares, aren't just new to tourists but also other locals in Iceland.  

Kaelene's Instagram account and blog are a visual treat for those who want off-the-beaten track natural, outdoor experiences. Not only will Andy will get his step by step Reykjavik self-guided experience for free when our app launches later this summer - we're also hoping he and Kaelene also make a real, peer-to-peer connection when he visits. 

Why not challenge us with a #dreamexperience you have always wanted to take with us? Perhaps we could bring it to life for you and enrich your next trip. 

"I so enjoyed discovering Kaelene's beautiful perspective and unique view on Iceland, and speaking to her to ask her if she was willing to answer Andy's challenge," says Aassia Haq, founder of Guidrr. "Now, I can't wait to add Reykjavik to my own travel list. I'm excited to see Kaelene's self-guided experience, and to share it with others can benefit from Andy's original challenge."


Guidrr is for #NewTravel

In this first post, we're sharing our travel world view -- our desire to serve what we call #NewTravel: 

  • Travel has changed - it's not about that once-in-a-lifetime trip, that cruise or climb up the Tower. It's now become a lifestyle and it's a lifestyle that many of us want to live everyday. It's also one that many of us are willing to abandon some of the weight of physical ownership to experience. Less house, less car, less stuff -- and more time to experience. 
  • Rather than just moving people, we believe the future of travel is about serving its micro-entrepreneurs, emerging new local, digital influencers that will shape how people experience trips (that's you bloggers, #igers, P2P hosts, guides, chefs, artisans, street artists, writers, photographers, drivers -- real travel people with a following)
  • We are being liberated from a world in which work is tied to a desk. In fact we are not too far from a future in which the majority of us will be self-employed. We are creative, interesting people who believe that being a bit of a nomad isn't such a bad thing. In fact, this may be the thing we strive for the most, the thing that brings meaning to our work day. We want to meet interesting people, grow our community, and enjoy unique experiences that can only happen when work isn't a chain, but rather a rope we use to climb to our next life adventure. 
  • In this brave new world, travel can happen even without a passport, even without a visa and even with more dash than cash (though we still hope more of the world can hop on a plane, train or automobile and actually go somewhere). Somewhere may be a experience in your own city otherwise inaccessible to you, or an experience offered by someone you discovered in a far-flung part of the world. 
  • Travel is all about being mobile, so #NewTravel is about how we can put more of the world in our pocket in a way that's built for the purpose of experiencing everyday. 

At the end of the day, our sole promise to you is that Guidrr exists to serve & share the world as it is seen by #NewTravel. We serve the local influencer who shapes how we experience destinations. And we serve the curious traveler who wants not to just check the box, but to actually discover.

Let's do this together. Let's do this no matter what our language, country of origin, or interest. Let's discover, create, experience and share this world together, peer to peer. 

Deep breath. The travel journey has begun.