Vayable Writer’s Program: Represent Your City

Vayable Writer's Program

 

Are you a passionate and experienced Insider? Vayable is now looking for Insiders to write about their city for City Pages through our Vayable Writer’s Program. As a writer, you will be featured on the landing page for your city, receive a $50 travel credit, be the voice of your city for Vayable, plus other perks!

We already have great pages for San Francisco, Paris and New York. Want to add your city to the roster? Fill out our submission form here.

We look forward to hearing your unique perspective on your city!

 

Sharing Stories of NYC at Vayable’s Secret Summer Party

Last week, we threw a party for our NYC-based Insiders. For many, it was the first chance they’ve had to rub elbows with other Vayable community members, to exchange tips-and-tricks between Insiders, and to hang out with the Vayable staff (that’s us!). It was an amazing time. A quick summary of highlights:

Things kicked off with Andrew Linderman, Vayable Insider and blogger on The Story Source, telling us how to incorporate stories into your Vayable experience.

At our NYC Meetup, we got to meet some new NYC Insiders, see old faces, and chat with some of the most creative people in the city over free drinks and light bites. It was great to see people from our NYC community get to know each other and share their city stories. Check out our photos of the event, Vayable sway, and our first ever (totally awesome) Vayable zines…

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Big thanks to Kinfolk for hosting, and we can’t wait to see you all next time! For anyone who missed Andrew’s speech you can watch our livestream here.

Insider’s Guide to the Worlds Happiest Destinations

In celebration of the United Nation’s International Happiness Day, we asked Insiders  from the 10 happiest cities on the planet* to tell us what makes their cities so special. Here’s what they told us.

* According to Anholt’s Nation Brands Index

10. Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is sometimes referred to as the Paris of South America. Buenos Aires has taken created a cosmopolitan center from the best art, culture, food, history and spirit of its immigrants and allowed it to flourished into a city that literally never sleeps. Buenos Aires is a place where exclusivity and luxury clash on poverty, and the differences can be found on every corner.

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9. Paris

Like all great loves, Paris never bores and never ceases to challenge. The city’s reputation to intrigue, fascinate, captivate and bewitch people from all over the globe continues to this day. In 2012 the city received over sixteen million visitors, more than any other city in the world with the exception of London, host of the Olympics. Paris’ culture, gastronomy and glamorous history have always dared people to dream. There are no signs that these ambitions are slowing, as the city strives to make itself more attractive each day. The world is changing, and Paris is reacting beautifully.

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8. Rome

To be sure, the saying “when in Rome, do as Romans do” is referring to the incredible wealth of activities in present-day Rome, not the Rome of the past. So relax and enjoy the historical monuments in the center of the city: the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon or the Vatican with Saint Peter Basilica; or visit museums such as the Galleria Borghese with extraordinary collections. Soak in the sunlight on your face outside a café, and enjoy long lunch or dinner with good food and wine for a good price.

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7. San Francisco 

We inhabitants of the secluded Isle of San Francisco are a peculiar mix of meta-hipsters, thriving geeks, endangered hippies, power bottoms, professional dog walkers, Marina MILFs, cloud sourcers, ass-less chaplains, green startups and green upstarts, car sharers, obsessive burners, bay-to-breakers and even a few quivering republicans, all coexisting in our disparate yet overlapping universes as we manifest our strange destinies in concert.

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6. Madrid

Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain, located on the Manzanares river. It’s found landlocked in the center of the country and has a population of roughly 3.3 million, making it the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Paris.  Residents here are made up of an eclectic mix of Europeans and US expatriates. The streets and cafes are full of French business men, retired German couples, young middle-class British families and US college students studying abroad, as well as a large chunk of locals. Madrid is always brimming with a huge number of tourists visiting from all over the world, rushing between landmarks, snapping hundreds pictures along the way.

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5. Melbourne

Discover hidden secrets and get local tips on this unique bicycle tour of Melbourne. This stunning tour will have you pedaling through some of the hippest and most scenic places in the city, including graffiti-covered alleyways and the legendary Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Cycling the safe, scenic bike paths of Melbourne with your local guide is an experience you’ll be sure to write home about.

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4. Amsterdam

When you think of Amsterdam you think of tulips, windmills, clogs, canals, bikes, Vincent van Gogh, the Red-light district and, of course, our infamous coffee shops. But Amsterdam is so much more.

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3.  Barcelona

Set along the Catalan coast by the deep blue Mediterranean sea is one of Europe’s most stunning cities: Barcelona. Its rich history of trade and commerce continues to thrive today as Barcelona can boast of being Spain’s most cosmopolitan, temperate and eminently visitable city. Its streets are lined with reminders of long-gone times, and the bohemian influence is in evidence in its stunning architecture, most notably in the world-famous works of Antoni Gaudí. The region can also name such creative heavyweights as Picasso, Dalí and Miró amongst is more famous sons.

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2. Sydney 

Sydney’s beginnings and development from it’s early days as a convict colony right up to the major developments that have made Sydney the world city that it is today.

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1. Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is one of the most visited cities in the southern hemisphere and is known all over the world for its natural settings, Carnival, Samba, Bossa Nova and beaches.

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Exploring Coffee in Kauai

By this time of the year, most of us are thinking of warmer weather and rays of sunshine. One place that often comes to mind is Hawaii. An island of contrasts, from white sand beaches to jagged mountains, Hawaii is a wonderful place to escape and explore. If you travel to the island of Kauai, you’ll also discover the largest coffee farm in the U.S. The picturesque landscape is a great place to relax and learn how your cup of joe is grown, harvested, and roasted. Take a look inside the Kauai Coffee Plantation with the travel team from Sample the Culture.

 

If you make it to Kauai, be sure to experience the local culture as well. Our insiders can take you swimming in bamboo hole or guide you through a Jurassic tunnel tour.

Your Travel Questions, Answered

This afternoon, Jamie Wong, Vayable’s founder & CEO, spent some time over at Lifehacker answering readers’ questions on ‘how to travel like a local.’ In case you missed it, we’ve summed up some of our favorite questions and answers below.

Zach: Airfare seems to be the most expensive part of a trip, especially when trying to fly to the opposite side of the world. What’s your number one tip for saving money when planning a vacation?

Jamie: This is my specialty. :-) Airline loyalty programs are your #1 ally. Most of them also offer credit cards and you get what amounts to a full roundtrip ticket when you sign up. Do this. Be diligent about racking up miles, and then smart about how you spend them—take full advantage of the layover privileges if possible, as well as the no-change fee policies (aka: extend your trip!) Another way to do this is to look for great sales, like companions fly free, and plan a trip around that. Air France once had a special offer: if you booked a mileage trip to Cuba, your companion flew free. We did this and it was one of the most memorable trips of my life —-all because Air France was promoting that route. As far as searching OTAs (online travel agencies), one of my secret weapons is yahoo travel. Bizarre, i know, but for some reason they consistently yield the cheapest airfares.

Skylar: I love trying local foods but get nervous sometimes about how my stomach will react when in foreign countries. Do you have any tips on how to sample the cuisine without getting sick on vacation?

Jamie: I can totally relate. I have the weakest stomach and can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen ill. However, there are some amazing tricks that can help prevent this and now has me fearless when it comes to even the smallest hole-in-the-wall street food in a developing country: Grapefruit seed extract! Start taking it about 2-4 weeks before your trip and then throughout your trip. I went from the girl who got sick from a salad in Barcelona to someone eating Yak meat in the mountains of tibet and fishball soup in tiny food stalls in the hidden streets of Hanoi. Another thing that helps is green drinks. You can buy it in powder form and just add water or juice. Bring it with you and start your day with a green drink to increase your immunity.

Mifune: When I was in Seoul last year, I was fortunate to have some really amazing experiences, thanks to friends who lived there; I can’t imagine traveling to a foreign country without the benefits of help like that. The people we knew in Korea were very close friends, so we already had a good, very personal connection with our guides. If using a matching service like Vayable, what are some good things to ask to make sure that your guide is a good fit for your personality?

I recommend you start by looking at which experiences look most interesting to you —-99% of the time the people offering those experiences will be a good match based on the shared interest. Then read their bio and reviews and you’ll get an even fuller picture. I find reviews to be a really wonderful way to get others’ perspectives on the experience.

 

Have a travel question for Jamie? Leave a comment below, and ask away!

Live, Eat, and Travel Like a Local

Live, Eat, and Travel Like a Local

 

Part of the thrill of travel is living and experiencing things as the locals do. Our friends over at Nomadic Matt have complied a great list of travel sites and services to connect you with natives. Whether you need a place to stay, a car to rent, or just want to take in the local culture and landscape, here a few sites that can help you make the most of your next trip. For the full list, check out the post at Nomadic Matt.

Airbnb
Why stay in a hotel when you can stay in someone’s home? On AirbnB, locals open up their homes to travelers for rent, and you’ll have a local host to help show you the ropes of your new destination.

Camp in my Garden
This unique service connects campers with people who let them camp out in their backyards. It’s mostly available in the UK and Europe, but the site is quickly expanding. 

EatWith
Get out of the hotel bar and join a local for dinner. EatWith enables travelers to enjoy organized dinner parties with locals and home-cooked meals.

Wondering where to travel next? Check out some of our top Vayable experiences for some inspiration. 

Announcing two special community events in Paris & Barcelona

You love to travel. We love to listen.

At Vayable, we are constantly inspired by the questions, “Why do we travel? How can we travel better?” Join our conversation!

You are invited to meet our community and Vayable CEO and Co-Founder Jamie Wong at one of our two very special events this Friday, 19 July at The Workshop in Paris and this Sunday, 21 July at The Antic Theatre in Barcelona. We will have drinks, light bites, good company, and an open ear. We want to hear from you.

Click on the events below to RSVP. Friends are more than welcome–please have them RSVP also! We will be gifting $25 Vayable credit for everyone who brings a friend, and for their friend as well.

We look forward to meeting you!

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For any questions do not hesitate to contact us by email: party@vayable.com

The Tesla experience. You can have it too.

We all heard the news, right? Yesterday Tesla announced their earnings report, where they surged past already frothy expectations in revenue and profit, bringing the stock price to an all-time record high. In the midst of all the buzz and excitement, we can’t help but ask: how many of us can actually put down a cool $70k and get one of our own? We certainly can’t.

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Collaborative consumption services make it a bit easier to afford those dream luxuries like convertibles that cost about as much as your entire college tuition. You can rent it out on services like Getaround, or if you prefer to keep other people away from the wheel, you can drive people around through Vayable. You’d also be bringing joy to the masses because now everyone can get the Tesla experience too!

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Still don’t think its in the cards that you’ll own a Tesla in the near future? You can get the Tesla experience by exploring great city of San Francisco with Getaround founder, Jessica Scorpio. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even be able to pitch her your startup idea while you’re at it.

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And the winner goes to… Buenos Aires!

A few weeks ago, we launched Vayable Destinations, a resource for travelers with insider tips provided by our guides and community. You voted for your favorite guide, and the winner is… Buenos Aires with 277 Facebook likes! A cosmopolitan mix of Europe and South America, its dramatic tango, political ups and downs, and opinionated porteños make the city anything but boring. Notable runner ups were Austin in second place is 116 likes and London in third place with 92 likes.

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Aigul, the contributor, is a Russian expat and journalist living Buenos Aires. Be sure to go on her street art tour if you happen to visit Buenos Aires! She got a sweet cash prize of $300 as well as, of course, bragging rights. We met her as well as other guides and community members last week in Recoleta. Enjoy the photos from our event!

Vayable Runs for Boston

We were deeply saddened by the tragic events of last week at the Boston Marathon. Stories of people turning back  to help those in need and runners going straight from the finish line to donate blood at the hospital serve as a reminder that we, as a community, in the face of adversity, are resilient and good to one another.

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We’ve been touched by the outpouring of support from our community. Our guides around the country have volunteered to lead runs as a fundraiser to help people most affected by the events of April 15.

On Sunday, April 28 no matter where you are and what shape you’re in, we will all run for Boston. Sign up for Vayable Runs for Boston by booking the event in your city. Over the week we’ll keep up updated by amounts raised by each city. All proceeds (including fees) go to the One Fund Boston.

Don’t see your city but want to lead a run? Sign up here to lead your own! Anyone can make a difference by just going on a run!

On April 28, we are all runners, and we are all Bostonians.

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