Even if you’re the masochistic type who enjoys planning their own travels, it’s a tedious endeavor. Between scouring traditional travel guides, making sense of crowdsourced reviews, and combing your social media feeds, there’s more destination information available now than ever. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. One company promises a new way to travel by relying on local, in-the-know experts in each destination to create hyper-personalized guides for every traveler.
To start, travelers share their personal preferences — what sort of foods, culture, and activities they like — with ViaHero. They then choose a “Hero” who matches their likes, dislikes, and overall travel style. Their Hero works with them via email to hammer out the specifics and incorporate any existing travel arrangements into their final ViaHero itinerary. Finally, they compile everything into a single, personalized guidebook (here’s a sample) that’s accessible offline. For travelers who appreciate traveling independently, but with a little help from an in-country local, it’s an affordable alternative to an in-person travel guide. In ViaHero’s words, it’s like a “backstage pass” to their destination.
ViaHero has been quietly making a name for itself in select locations, including Puerto Rico, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico City, and Japan. Last month, the company announced it’s adding Los Angeles and New York City to its roster.
The best part — what sets ViaHero apart — is that the daily fee includes unlimited correspondence with your Hero on the ground.
Pricing is straightforward, with travelers paying on a per-day basis. The Basic Plan is a flat, $30 per day per group for up to four people. That includes a personalized guidebook with a custom daily travel plan, transportation arrangements, and links to all local recommendations, activities, and booking services. The best part — what sets ViaHero apart — is that the daily fee includes unlimited correspondence with your Hero on the ground. If you get lost, need additional recommendations, or have a question about, say, tipping in the destination you’re visiting, the Hero can help.
For $40 per day per group, the Premium Plan includes all of the above, plus a custom map with your Hero’s recommendations, end-to-end phone support throughout your trip, and restaurant reservations secured in advance. That may seem pricey, particularly if you’re planning a longer journey of two weeks or more. But, it’s a steal when you consider how much an actual personal travel concierge might charge. Just knowing you have someone local to call if things go sideways during your trip seems worth the price of admission. ViaHero also promises a full 100% money-back guarantee if you’re unhappy with your personalized travel guide.
While you’re out and about, here are the best free travel apps you should never journey without.
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