When I travel around the world, a few things are extremely important to me as I explore:
- I want to experience the destination in an authentic way – seeking out the little hidden restaurants, shops and off-beaten path places that make it unique.
- I want to meet as many locals as possible to hear their stories, further connecting to the culture
- I want to support the locally-owned businesses (especially social enterprises) to make a difference
- I don’t want too much of a binding daily schedule
Achieving these things is not easy. Even when I scour guide books and the internet for tips on the best restaurants and attractions, they often miss that personal connection that I am looking for. Or, they promote group tours leaving me with a binding schedule and a group of fellow-travelers that I am chained to for the duration of the trip. Have you ever felt this way as well?
Enter Pocket Guide – the trending travel app that is making my meaningful, deep travel a little easier.
PocketGuide is an award-winning audio guide app for iPhones, Andriods and tablets that has a huge library of audio tours for round-the-world travel.
Side note: this is not a paid advertisement and does not contain any affiliate links. I just wanted to tell you about this great tool cause I am excited about it.
Why I love this travel App
What I love most about PocketGuide is that the app allows storytelling, helping me to achieve my 4 most important travel goals with one tool.
Take Dublin, Ireland for example: I want to sleep in and start my sightseeing at a time that is convenient for me. After too many coffees, I open up PocketGuide on my phone and peruse its library for the city. I am interested in Dublin’s music, so I select “Dublin’s Music Trail.” Then I plug in my headphones, push play and off I go, guided by the help of a GPS-enabled route map. At each stop, audio narration pops-up, sharing insider-knowledge about each pub, bar and music store. If I feel like it, I push pause and explore on my own. Or, I leave the storyteller in my ear as I go into each stop. It’s unobtrusive and convenient, yet full of interesting insights that I wouldn’t know without its help!
Within the 150 cities currently featured on the App, you can go on foodie walks, author-led tours to places within their novels, and much more. PocketGuide is GPS-centric, works indoors and outdoors, works in online and offline mode, and is multi-lingual.
But is it better than a tour with real human beings?
One of the reasons why I love touring, is because you get that local insight. But, it is a challenge to sign-up, pay the fee, arrive on time, and stay for a certain duration with other strangers and your guide. This is sometimes great if you are on a specialized outing to a social enterprise where interacting is part of the experience. I also love supporting local guides and companies when I can. But sometimes, it is nice to plug in your headphones and listen to narration for 3 minutes, then hit pause while you walk into café for a coffee and pastry break. PocketGuide connects you to real stories, but allows for flexibility.
I don’t think that it should replace real, in-person guided experiences with great companies and local causes, but it can supplement those for the perfectly balanced trip. For those times when you want to explore on your own, PocketGuide is there to help you not miss out on the interesting parts of the city that require insider-knowledge.
Be your own Storyteller on the App
I haven’t tried it yet, but another cool things about the PocketGuide App is that it allows you to create your own video and audio tours to share with your friends or the PocketGuide community. It’s a fun and easy way to create video memories of your travels. You can also use it to share local knowledge with your friends as well, like your favorite running route, your regular pub-crawl, your local restaurant recommendations or even your dog-walking path. If you have got a route and a story to share – PocketGuide makes it easy.
As I continue my round-the-world travels, I am going to be using PocketGuide. I will also be trying out its personal video and guiding tool to help share my stories with all of you.
So what do you think of PocketGuide? Do you think it’s the future of touring? What do you think it will do to the local guiding industry?