App for That

Travel App Lets Users Create Their Own Tours — And Get Paid

It's also apparently great for marriage proposals.
A sample Stray Boots tour. (Stray Boots)

A sample Stray Boots tour. (Stray Boots)

Stray Boots, the travel app that lets you download interactive tours, is now making room for user-generated content.

Founder Avi Millman started the company back in 2009, after a family trip to Rome.

“We were visiting a bunch of different locations like the Pantheon, the Colosseum — I felt like I was sort of on a scavenger hunt, checking spots off on my list,” he told Betabeat. “It struck me that tour guide experiences are just extremely passive experiences, and not particularly social. If you could turn exploring a city into a game, you could make it a lot more fun, engaging and social.”

So Mr. Millman created the app Stray Boots, where boring, guided walking tours are transformed into interactive scavenger hunts. For a much lower price than you’d pay for a human tour guide (each Stray Boots tour is only $5 – $12 each) users can embark on quests like “East Village Dessert Tour” or “Times Square and Broadway: Bright Lights, Dramatic Sights.” Weird how tourists actually want to go to Times Square, huh?

Until now, Stray Boots has designed the tours itself. But starting today, users can also create their own tours.

They can opt to keep them private and share them amongst friends and family — like, “Jordyn’s Kraaaazy Passover Pub Crawl,” or “Dear Boyfriend, Here Are Stores Where You Should Buy Me Stuff.”

They can also submit them to go public, and Stray Boots’ staff will review them, and — if they’re high-quality, and don’t propose any lewd or illegal activity — they’ll become available to all of Stray Boots’ users. The best part? If your tour is approved, you get 50 percent of the money every time another user pays to download it.

Mr. Millman said the decision to allow user-generated content came after Stray Boots received a ton of requests for adorable personalized tours.

“We got a ton of requests for everything from bachelorette parties to wedding proposals,” Mr. Millman said. “Guys are like, ‘I want to use your platform to propose to my girlfriend.’ Now we can say you can absolutely create anything.”

Follow Jordyn Taylor on Twitter or via RSS. jtaylor@observer.com