Local Guddy: Exploring D.C. Like a Local
GIVEAWAY ANNOUNCEMENT (CLOSED)
Local Guddy is giving one of my readers a free tour of up to $25 in London, Barcelona, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Berlin, or Madrid. If you have travel plans in any of these cities, a Local Guddy tour will be a great addition to your itinerary.
To enter, just fill out the form below. Make sure to include your email so I can get in touch with you. I will only use email addresses to contact the winner. For extra points, make sure to follow me on social media. The giveaway ends September 17th and I will contact the winner directly the next day.
It seems like these days there's an app or tech idea for everything and tourism is certainly no exception. There are so many options to choose from that it can be overwhelming and you don't always know which ones are best for you. Travelers are familiar with well-established sites like Airbnb, but it's nice to see what new, innovative ideas are out there and worth using.
Recently, I tried out Local Guddy, a new online platform that makes it easier for travelers to explore their city of choice by connecting with a local resident tour guide. If you're a solo traveler, or anyone who likes to make personal connections, this website might be for you. If you're not a traveler, but you know your home city well and would like to share it with visitors while getting paid, you can sign up to become a tour guide.
Local Guddy is a website that connects travelers with four different types of local tour guides, or "guddies." Local Guddies are general city guides, Hommy Chefs cook homemade local foods and host travelers for dinner or breakfast, and Pub Crawlers and Food Walkers are exactly what they sound like.
I booked a Local Guddy tour called Do DC Like a Local with Victoria, who is also a blogger at The V List. The booking process was easy - the traveler proposes a date and if the guide is available, the tour is booked, payment is made online, and a meeting place and time is set. Victoria was a great tour guide - she is from the DC area and we had natural conversation with no awkwardness, which I often worry about since I can be a pretty awkward person myself. The tour started at the Hirshhorn Museum, where we walked through the powerful Ai WeiWei exhibit, Trace at Hirshhorn.
The next option was to take pictures at the Capitol and Washington Monuments on the National Mall, but being a local myself, we skipped that part and instead decided to drop into the Museum of African Art. Afterwards, we walked up 7th Street to find lunch, settling on China Chilcano, a José Andrés restaurant serving Peruvian food. We then moved on to Red Velvet Cupcakery, a local cupcake bakery which Victoria said is her favorite. It was a nice surprise (because I hadn't read the fine print) when Victoria bought us our cupcakes since the cost was included in the tour price of $30 per person.
The last part of the tour gave us the option of visiting the National Harbor in Maryland, the U Street corridor in DC, or Pentagon City in Virginia for shopping. We went with the National Harbor, which I had last visited over a year ago when most of what you'll see there now hadn't been built yet. After some walking through the streets of National Harbor, we relaxed at a wine bar for happy hour drinks.
A nice thing about the tour was the fact that Victoria provided an agenda, but allowed some flexibility depending on preferences which is something you can't always get from an official tour guide company. The tour wasn't rushed so we were able to enjoy a stress-free Sunday in the city. Even as a local, I enjoyed the tour and thought it was a great end to my weekend.
Although this was only one tour in one city, there are some really interesting tours available in other cities. A $20 per person tour in Barcelona includes photography by the guide, who is an amateur photographer. If you're a little more adventurous, a $30 tour in Berlin explores street art and abandoned buildings. Local Guddy seems to be more popular in Europe at the moment, but like so many other companies that use tech to provide less expensive, direct services to users, I wouldn't be surprised if it begins to grow in the U.S., as well.