Have family or friends coming to Philly, but don't want to do the same old thing? How about an "on demand" tour with Zeeno? I took one - here's what I thought!
It’s a company that provides local tours of Philadelphia…with a twist. You can order it on demand. Think of it like a ride hailing service for tours.
How do you use it? Well, two ways - through the Zeeno website or through their app. You'll see in a minute, but first…
What’s with the name?
According to its website, "Zeeno is defined as the smallest measurable amount of human interaction and while time spent traveling may be fleeting, we seek to give it a lasting impact through authentic connections between travelers and locals."
How to Use Zeeno
The easiest way is to download the app.
Here's the cool You Tube video that shows how to use the app..
And, here are screen shots I took from my phone when using the app...
Nick doesn't have a green bar under his name, so he's not available.
Brittany has a green bar under her name, so she is available.
I click on Keshler, who's also available, and I see the tour he offers and his rate. I can either schedule a tour for later or go now!
As you can see, it's pretty easy to use!
I took the Undiscovered Philadelphia tour with Keshler, who grew up in Philadelphia. While this tour goes by the same popular locations (Independence Hall, etc), the focus is more unique. For example, even though I went to school in Philadelphia, there were tons of places I hadn't visited or wasn't aware of, like all of the "pocket parks". They're very small parks or green spaces in the city that may just look like tiny parks, or might even look like someone's back yard, but they're really public areas! I also learned about some of the more obscure facts of Philly's well known places, like the less than upscale history of the upscale neighborhood of Society Hill.
One of the other cool things we did was just poke our heads into places I never thought to enter, like the Curtis Building. The building was one of the largest publishers in the U.S. - think Ladies Home Journal and the Saturday Evening Post. The lobby has a spectacular glass mosaic call the Dream Garden, designed by artist Maxfield Parrish, and executed by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany Studios. Take a look!
The Bottom Line
I had a lot of fun with Keshler. Besides tour chat, we talked about travel since we’re both avid travelers.
So, would I recommend the tour? Yes and no.
First, why this is a great tour:
(1) If you live in Philly and have done all of the tourist attractions - the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Constitution Center, the Museum of the American Revolution, etc., and now you're looking to connect with locals or for something a bit more unique, this is a good option.
(2) If you have friends or family coming from out of town and you don’t want to do the things in (1) for like, the ump-teenth time.
(3) If you have to organize a gathering - girls/guys outing, a reunion, etc.- or if you're just moving to the city and you’re looking for something with a local touch or looking to meet locals.
(4) And,the biggest plus is that it’s on demand, so you can take the tour when it’s convenient for you!
Why it may not be the tour for you:
(1) Since each tour guide sets his or her tour price, there’s no fixed price. It's just something to be aware of. On the flip side, it gives you the freedom to choose the tour that matches your budget.
(2) If you haven’t done all of the standard sights and have limited time, this may not be the best choice since you probably want to see that cool stuff, too. BUT, you can set up a private tour with Zeeno to do those popular things!
(3) There’s a lot of walking so if you, or someone in your group, isn’t so mobile or needs to take a lot of breaks, this may not be the tour for you.
Bonus: If you sign up for a tour and mention Traveleidoscope, you'll get $5 off your first tour! How do you get that deal? Just call Zeeno at 1-866-944-8814 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Disclosure: I received a complementary tour (i.e., compensation) from Zeeno in exchange for this post and have a financial relationship with Zeeno whereby I may receive additional compensation if you choose to use Zeeno. Even though I received compensation for my post and may receive additional compensation, my opinion is an honest review of the product and presents no conflict of interest.