No, that’s not a typo!
Two Rs are intentionally included to make the name of this fascinating new idea and company memorable. In fact, we think it’s about to revolutionize the way we think about travel!
Here’s the skinny:
We love new and engaging experiences, go on vacations, travel the world, plan long weekends away, but usually end up seeing and doing the same things as everyone else—paying dearly for packaged tours with “hundreds of our closest friends.” We ride crowded buses or plod along the streets, thoughtlessly following a guide’s flag or umbrella. Imagine that you could tailor your own precious moments exactly as you want for a personalized, one-of-a-kind TOURR—tapping into the insider knowledge of someone who lives and breathes that location everyday? What if you could customize your own itinerary whenever and wherever you want?
But TOURRS is even more than that. In addition to creating your own custom itinerary, it allows you to use your own insider expertise to offer a unique experience to someone else. Basically, you become a tour designer, making money by sharing those special places that you’ve visited with others. How cool is that?
On a Friday in June we were offered a prototype TOURR in the San Diego area to test the idea—it was fantastic! Ours was a driving tour, but of course, they can also be designed for walking, crawling, horseback or whatever. We were given a packet with a unique itinerary that matched our interests (a little like Mission Impossible), along with maps and directions to guide us from point to point. It was our personalized scavenger hunt.
The first stop was an incredible coffee shop/restaurant that we probably wouldn’t have found on our own—an old Victorian train station in Encinitas called “Pannikin.” The place was buzzing with activity as the locals arrived for coffee, pastries, and heartier breakfasts. We love architecture, food and people, so the first stop was a perfect match and an unforgettable start for our customized adventure.
From Encinitas, we drove along the coast through beautiful La Jolla, to arrive at the Scripps Aquarium. From cliffs overlooking the Pacific, we admired the incredible work the institute does on a regular basis—researching and protecting creatures of the sea, as well as the environment that impacts their lives. Everyday, they engage young and old alike in the fascinating story of our underwater universe. It was definitely an inspiring part of our day.
By then, it was lunchtime, so we followed our breadcrumb itinerary to the nearby “Torrey Pines Gliderport,” perched on the 300-foot high Pacific bluffs. Cool breezes lifted the sails of brilliantly colored para-gliders into the air where they hovered above the distant beach below. We learned that the gliderport had been there for some 85 years and that it operates completely and silently off the grid.
What a wonderful itinerary! But because TOURRS is completely flexible, it allows for deviations too. We wandered at our own pace and took de-TOURRS as our interests unfolded. With no group to follow or schedule to be kept, it was truly a personalized, customized experience. So in the spirit of adventure, we took a side trip to Solana beach to check out the “Belly Up” concert venue we had heard about. Nearby artists communities hold particular interest for us, so we explored those as well. The drive along the coast was fantastic as we headed south, toward our evening cruise around the San Diego Bay. As new residents in the city, we had no idea that the bay was so large and diverse.
But our adventure, wasn’t over yet. Our last designated stop was in the neighborhood of “Little Italy,” where we had dinner at an incredible open-air restaurant called “Ironside.” Since the eatery was recommended by a local TOURRS expert, we expected that it was going to be tried and true. We were not disappointed. Delicious!
Now for the feedback:
After having experienced a TOURRS itinerary, participants are invited to candidly rate the adventure and make comments. We were sold on the idea, and have since decided to join the growing list of special tour guides around the world. Why not share our favorite hideaways and secret itineraries with fellow adventurers?
You too can find the little-known hidden gems of the world, while trading a few secrets of your own through TOURRS. The way to travel and enjoy the world is about to change!