This Is Like Airbnb, but for Travel Guides

It's Called Wild Bum, and It's a Growing Network of "Guide Architects"


You've booked your summer vacation or travel-related adventure.


Really great.

Super exciting. what?

You have to Google. You have to Yelp. You have to peruse a litany of only-occasionally helpful articles with the phrase "top ten" in them. You may even have to ask that friend of a friend that you don't really like if he has any good restaurant or bar recs.

Or you can use Wild Bum. Yes, Wild Bum. It's not an actual person, but instead a growing network of personable "guide architects" who are crafting all manner of place-and-time-specific travel itineraries and overviews. It's basically like Airbnb, if your host was offering up choice intel instead of a room that's not quite as nice as it looked in the pictures. 

You'll start by either visiting Wild Bum's website with a destination in mind, or using their search function to generate trip ideas, based on the season, your budget and the type of travel experience you're looking for (romantic, solo, active, weekend getaway, etc). Currently, Wild Bum has over 200 guide architects—passionate locals who have created hundreds of guides for cities across the globe. Though every one is different—there might be a general guide to a city like Breckenridge, or a more specific guide for something like a foodie weekend in Mexico City—they adhere to a digestible template, and provide insider-y tips on packing, where to stay, where to eat, cultural know-how, hidden gems and more. 

And yet why, one might wonder, should you trust these folks? For one, each guide undergoes a stringent review process, and is required to be updated every year. But the real reason is: the guide architects are getting paid. The price of a typical guide costs somewhere between 25 and 100 bucks, and the writers split the profits 50/50 with the site. So other than probably genuinely caring about showing you a good time, they have a monetary incentive to please you. 

Of course, many would balk at paying any money for information you could find yourself online, provided you had the time. Wild Bum claims their guides save people 20+ hours of research, though said research is often part of the fun of planning a trip, and trying places in new cities you find through one channel or another can be more rewarding than crossing off spots on a list (although the two are not mutually exclusive). 

Still, it's reasonable to assume you'd spend just as much if not more money on tourist-y guides or tours one way or another. Plus: it might be difficult to find a specific guide to Santa Barbara Wine Country, or coffee-drinking in the Berkshires, or a Utah road trip.

Which was definitely not something you knew was really a thing until now. 

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