In the interview above, Jamie Wong, Co-Founder and CEO of Vayable, talks about why she started Vayable, who the guides are, how she built a community and some notable experiences listed on the site including the controversial homelessness tour.
While Jamie was living in New York, friends came to her for travel tips and occasionally she would show them around the city Her travel tips became a blog and that led her to realize there were others like her that would be willing to give tours around their cities. So, she created Vayable to be a platform that connects you with locals who offer some kind of experience you ﬁnd interesting. Categories include arts & culture, food & wine, adventure, and more.
There are plenty of interesting experiences listed on the site, but one stands out. A homelessness walking tour in San Francisco. You can even see what it’s like to go homeless for a day. Tim Ferriss said it gave him “a much needed perspective/ appreciation reset.”
Vayable has the opportunity to facilitate cultural learning in places you visit or even in your own city. Unlike most travel experiences or tours, you can see and leave reviews for your guide. And guides are passionate about the experiences they list. That beats signing up for a more lackluster experience you’d ﬁnd advertised on sites like Orbitz or local tour companies.
Like AirBnB, or European equivalent MyGuidie, Vayable is helping its guides earn extra income. If you’re someone who has a passion like hiking or local art, you can take travelers on your adventure and charge a price you see ﬁt. As with similar marketplaces, Vayable takes a 15 percent cut of everything booked through the site.
So, now you too can explore the side of Los Angeles most usually never see or ﬁnd out what island life in Bocas really is like (hint: it apparently involves scuba gear and dancing shoes). The choice is yours.