While it’s also one of the most awesome things about traveling, one of the most stressful things about traveling is not knowing what to expect when you arrive. What’s the weather going to be like? What do people really wear? Does the hotel actually look like the pictures online?
A new site, Vidpal, is all about answering those travel questions — and more. Using maps of cities around the world, users can click exactly on the area they’re going to visit and see videos posted both by professional tour guides and normal folks living and playing in that city. If you need to get really specific — or you’re just missing a place from your past, for example — you can request that someone film a video for you.
It’s like an on-demand look into anywhere in the world you could possibly want to see or travel to!
The site is also a great resource for professional tour guides, giving them the chance to connect with tourists before they even land. They can show off their expertise, create cool videos, and drum up a little business all in one.
The site launched in beta of May this year, so things are still pretty new but the number of videos already uploaded (in their hometown of NYC, particularly) is pretty impressive. They’re currently boasting over 1,000 vids, including quite a few in places like Peru and Spain.
They’re also currently running a contest that will undoubtedly up that video count substantially. They’re looking for the best New York City-based video out there and the prizes they’re offering are seriously great. The winner will get to choose either a romantic weekend for two up in the Adirondacks, a ticket to a Broadway show, or a “USA Discovery Pass” to Niagara Falls. As a former New Yorker myself, I can say that the options to get out of town are so, so appealing in the dog days of August and, honestly, who would ever say no to a Broadway show?
If you think you have the skills to create the winning video, check out the full contest rules here or simply upload a video here. And if you’re a tour guide looking to boost business, someone who just loves their hometown, or a future tourist who wants a glimpse into what you can expect, check out Vidpal today.