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Make Easy Cash as an Indie Tour Guide

Travel Jobs
by Eileen Smith Feb 21, 2012
“Monetize your expertise” and show travelers what your city is really like.

CONSIDER IT ANOTHER ARROW in your expat quiver. In addition to cutting hair, giving beach henna tattoos, teaching English, and other assorted odd jobs you can do from your home away from home (or even just your regular home), there’s guiding. Vayable is a platform that lets you offer yourself up as a tour guide of your city or town, for cold hard cash.

It’s got a couchsurfery-element to it, but instead of giving your couch, you give expertise (for a price you set) while leading tours around where you live, taking people to secret haunts, hikes, or whatever it is you do wherever you are. All you do to get started is upload a picture and description of the service you offer, and wait for people to take you up on it. Afterwards, feedback (called “vouching” on the site) is key, as most people won’t want to spend a few hours with you until you prove yourself.

Some cities are already rife with guides-for-hire. San Francisco is full of people that want to take you on bike rides, to microbreweries, stand-up-paddleboarding..and 111 other activities. Other locations are less well-represented, including where I live — Santiago, Chile — where the current number of Vayable tours is a well-rounded zero.

I suppose I could design a tour to take people to my favorite sandwich spots, offering up on-the-spot interpreting, photo walks, escorting (not that kind of escorting) people to events, or teasing out the intricacies of the bus system here. Though on a recent (non-Vayable) walking tour of Valparaíso the other day, I was kibbitzing with the guide (also a friend of mine), and I could see how after doing the same tour dozens of times, all that repetitive explanation could make this secret introvert want to close up shop pretty quickly.

But since you set the price and timing of the tour, it might not be a bad way to bring in some extra cash if you’re a born indie tour guide just waiting for a simple platform (that’s got a lot of eyes on it) to hang your sign on. * Check out Vayable.

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