Via, book a guide before you go

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, a site launched in September, has the potential to make a lot of happy connections by pairing travelers with tour guides and tours.

What’s hot: Finding a guide and planning activities before you get to a destination takes away some of the fear of choosing someone on the spot. The site says it checks guides’ references. If you have a bad experience, you can let everyone know. You’ll get ideas on what to do once you get there. Browse by destination and activity.

What’s not: Navigation bars would make it easier to get home. Exercise due diligence before you hire a guide.