App for That

This App Will Help You Plan a Fabulous North Korean Vacation

Sign us up for everything! (Screengrab: iTunes)

Few things are more stressful than planning the perfect North Korean vacation. Which Kim Jong Un statues are most fun to visit? Which buildings are tourists strictly forbidden from entering? Which stores are best for purchasing “authentic” North Korean gadgetry?

Thankfully, there’s a new app called North Korea Travel, which aims to help users plan trips to the secretive country — or just learn more about it, without having to trust the country’s highly reliable state-run news site. Read More

App for That

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

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.” Read More

Tourist Season

Vayable Launches a Concierge Service, Because Alcatraz Sleepovers are No Longer Enough for People

Those people on the tour bus sooooo want to join that homeless man-guided walking tour (Photo: blog.vayable.com)

If you’ve ever hoped of touring Paris’s sewer system in the dead of night accompanied by a lovely French homeless man, then you and I have a slightly different definitions of the word “vacation.” But for more adventurous travelers, Vayable might be able to make your unorthodox dreams come true. The San Francisco-based travel start-up announced a few new features today, including concierge and improved international payment services.

Y Combinator-backed Vayable, which launched in April 2011 and opened an office in New York a few months later, offers over 2,500 unique travel experiences to its users in 600 cities around the world. Some special souls have used the site to spend the night on San Francisco’s former prison island –Alcatraz – while others have gone on tours of the Tenderloin neighborhood in San Francisco guided by a homeless man. Read More