September 18, 2014

Peer-to-peer, local, authentic: these are all buzzwords permeating the travel world—with no hints of disappearing any time soon. Our latest P2P find takes a page out of Vayable, a worldwide marketplace of local-led experiences. The Barcelona-based Trip4Real, which launched last year, is solely focused on Spain, with 3,000-plus activities in 50 cities, from popular spots such as Barcelona and Madrid to small towns in Basque Country.

While some of the listings are what you’d expect—flamenco tour in Seville; tapas tasting in Madrid; visiting wineries in Rioja—others truly provide an insider experience. Want access to Barcelona’s underground dance parties or after-hours music venues? A local DJ will take you on a three-hour nightlife crawl for $50. For around the same price, you can go for a run with Olympic marathon runner Nacho Cáceres and his trainer in Barcelona. And in Cantabria, you can sign up for 12-hours of surf lessons for $140, visiting a five beaches in as many days.

The website is incredibly easy to navigate: You can search by city, and then within different categories (adventure, food, culture, water, etc), duration, price, and number of people (from less than three to more than 20). My biggest complaint is that I wanted more from the host bios; some included nothing more than a name, which makes it hard to trust that person with your time and money. Though rest assured: Emily Elwes, the Trip4Real communications officer, says they do send someone to test out all of the activities. As for the pricing, hosts set their own, and they all seem reasonable (some even feel like a steal).

Trip4Real seems to be poised for expansion, and there are plans to grow within the next six months to other major European capitals. They recently raised around $1.3 dollars (“A miracle in Spain,” says Elwes). And last month, the eight-person team flew to San Francisco to meet with the founders of Airbnb (as well as other influencers including Twitter and Pinterest).

While there’s no on-the-record word on a Trip4Real partnership with Airbnb, all signs point to it. When you book a room in Barcelona, you’ll get an option to search for activities via Trip4Real. And though you can’t navigate to it from the home page, an Airbnb branded page exists on Trip4Real’s site. If we had to guess, this is just one of many European partnerships the peer-to-peer behemoth will be going after.

Brooke Porter Katz is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.

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