Shaka Guide vs. Gypsy Guide: Which App Should You Choose?
OK, we’re sure you’re thinking, “how can Shaka Guide write an article comparing itself to a competitive tour company?” Of course we’re biased, we love our tours! But, we also understand that you have options when you’re planning how you’d like to spend your time and money. Here, we’ve outlined the similarities and differences between Shaka Guide and GyPSy Guide’s Hawaii tours as objectively as possible! We obviously stand by our product, and we hope you’ll choose us to guide you on your vacation, but we want you to be informed so that you can make the best decision for your trip.
First, the similarities
Essentially, both Shaka Guide and GyPSy Guide™ do the same thing. Both apps use GPS to navigate you to popular sites while telling you stories along the way. The GPS will trigger audio points along the tour route, allowing you to have a guided tour experience in the comfort of your own car! Here are some other things we have in common:
1. The Apps Work Offline
This means you don’t need data, wifi or service. In some spots we visit -- like the Road to Hana -- service is spotty. That’s why it’s vital that the apps work offline.
2. Offline Maps
The tours play offline, but you’ll also have access to island maps that will work even when your service is down.
3. Freedom to Explore
The nature of both of our companies gives travelers the ability to explore at their own pace. You can stop at the spots you want for as long as you want while still enjoying the benefits of a guided experience!
4. Pre-selected Starting Points
Each app has designated spots where the tours begin. With this being said, both apps also allow you to join the tour at any point along the route.
5. History and Stories about the Destination
Both apps offer a guided experience for a fraction of the price. You’ll learn context about the places you're visiting.
Both apps offer toll-free, customer support phone numbers. We get that our product can be tricky to understand and that it relies heavily on technology. That’s why at Shaka Guide you can send us an email, chat with us via our website, or give us a call — the same is true for GyPSy Guide™.
7. Multiple Tours
Each app has multiple tours for every island! This means you can spend more days exploring new places.
Now, the differences
While the technology and premise are the same, each app has unique characteristics that are important to your overall experience. We understand that every traveler is different, that’s why we want to share these with you. Have a look through the list and see which app sounds like the better fit for your vacation!
This is a key difference between the apps — Shaka Guide has music woven into the storytelling as you drive along the route, GyPSy Guide™ does not. Here at Shaka Guide, we’ve hand selected licensed music to compliment each tour. Why? We want to showcase the beautiful music of local Hawaiian artists! We think that song is just one of the many ways you can become immersed in the storytelling and connect with the Hawaiian culture.
2. Number of Tours
In total, Shaka Guide has 21 tours in Hawaii. GyPSY Guide™ has 14. The way these tours are displayed is slightly different too. On the Shaka Guide app, you’ll see each tour listed individually as separate tour routes. With GyPSY Guide™, all the tours are along one route, but there are side trips that designate the different road trips the app offers.
3. Fixed versus Flexible Schedule
Yes, both Shaka Guide and GyPSy Guide’s™ tours give you freedom to explore on your own terms. If there’s a spot you’d like to skip, you can. If you’d like to spend more time at an awesome beach, hike or historic site, that works too! However, the way these tours are designed is different.
At Shaka Guide, we’ve created our tours with a clear beginning, middle and end. We did this so that we can give you timely recommendations — just like a real tour guide — along the route. We’ve estimated roughly when you might be looking for lunch recommendations, tell you about the nearest bathrooms, and share spots to skip if you're short on time — all as a way to give you a curated experience. Basically, less planning on your part. Once you start the tour, we take it from there.
GyPSy Guide™ tours are a bit more flexible, they’re designed so that you can start/end anywhere or go anywhere along the route. Remember how we mentioned that they have side trips? Their tours are designed as one mega tour with side trips so that everything falls along one major route.
The choice is really your personal preference — some people like the structure of a Shaka Guide Tour while others like the ability to dot around the island and listen to GyPSy Guide’s™ audio along the way.
4. Tour Directions
The freestyle nature of GyPSy Guide™ tours allow travelers to take the tours in either direction. This is great if you’re looking to plan your day in a specific way. For example, if you have an activity planned on the North Shore of Oahu in the morning and want to have the tour guide you back to Waikiki for the afternoon.
Because each Shaka Guide tour is told in a narrative way, they have designated start and end points and most tours are not designed to be done in multiple directions. However, we solve that by offering a similar tour in the opposite direction (sold separately). For example on the Road to Hana, you can choose between the Loop tour which travels clockwise starting in Paia or the Reverse tour which travels counterclockwise and starts on the backroad to Hana. Both tours visit the same spots, it’s just based on your preference.
For the Big Island, we’ve designed our South Island Epic Coastal Journey and North Island Jungle Adventure Loop to be done in multiple directions without having to buy a seperate tour. These have mostly the same content but the stops are in a different order depending on where you start the tour and which direction you choose.
Price is another key difference between the apps, below is a side-by-side comparison.
Bundles - Multiple Tours
|Shaka Guide||Price||GyPSy Guide™||Price|
|Oahu Driving + Walking Tour Bundle - 6 Tours||$29.99||Oahu App - 3 Road Trips||$12.99|
|Maui Driving Tour Bundle - 6 Tours||$29.99||Maui App - 5 Road Trips||$14.99|
|Big Island Driving Tour Bundle - 5 Tours||$29.99||Big Island App - 4 Road Trips||$12.99|
|Kauai Driving Tour Bundle - 4 Tours||$29.99||Kauai App - 2 Road Trips||$12.99|
|N/A||N/A||Hawaii Collection - All Road Trips||$39.99|
|Shaka Guide||Price||GyPSy Guide™||Price|
|Classic Road to Hana||$19.99||Road to Hana||$9.99|
|Volcanoes National Park||$14.99||Volcanoes National Park||$12.99|
|Haleakala National Park||$14.99||Haleakala National Park||$4.99|
PLEASE NOTE: Shaka Guide has an additional 18 tours that are sold individually. All of the driving tours cost $14.99 and walking tours cost $4.99.
Yes, Shaka Guide tours cost more than double GyPSy Guide’s™, but we'll explain why below.
6. Tour Highlights
This is another key difference between the apps. Shaka Guide apps have tour highlights and GyPSy Guide™ apps do not. The tour highlights feature restaurant recommendations, activity suggestions, scenic spots, hikes, beaches and snorkel spots along the tour route. None of these are paid recommendations but sincere tips that we hope are helpful. The tour highlights work offline as well, so if you’re in a remote part of the island with no service you can still find local spots to grab lunch or learn about the hike you’re about to embark on.
Both the Shaka Guide and GyPSy Guide™ apps have excellent reviews, but it’s the number of reviews that differ, here’s the breakdown:
Number of Reviews by App on App Store + Google Play Store
|Shaka Guide||GyPSy Guide™|
|Maui||14,000 +||1,900 +|
|Oahu||1,900 +||500 +|
|Big Island||1,500 +||800 +|
|Kauai||2,700 +||700 +|
Number of revews as of February, 2021
If you’re planning on spending a full day on either tour, the person guiding you is an important part of your trip! You should know a little bit about the different narrators. Personally, we get reviews that people love our narrator, but we’ve also seen that he’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Our voice is very playful, upbeat, engaging, and humorous (even if at times he tells dad jokes). He uses pidgin — which is a colloquial language here in Hawaii. Here are some key pidgin words you might want to learn before you visit!
GyPSy Guide’s™ voice is very different. We’d describe him as playful as well, but a bit more professional and to the point.
Again, the choice is yours. Some people don’t like the casual nature of our narrator, while others love him!
9. Made Locally, in Hawaii
A core difference between Shaka Guide and GyPSy Guide™ is where the tours are produced. All of Shaka Guide’s tours are made locally, in Hawaii. We live here, we love the islands and we love sharing the stories of our home with travelers.
10. Road to Hana Comparison
We compared the amount of content in terms of audio length for the popular Road to Hana tours. Below is what we found:
|Audio Tour Length||Shaka Guide||GyPSy Guide™|
|Road to Hana Tour||4 hours 20 minutes||2 hours 35 minutes|
The above table shows that Shaka Guide has twice the amount of audio content compared to the GyPSy Guide™ tour. That means from music to narration, you’ll have more to listen to throughout your Shaka Guide drive. We’ve done this as a way to create an engaging driving experience. Even though this comparison is only highlighting one tour, similar differences in terms of quantity of content are present in other Hawaii tours between the two brands.
Why does Shaka Guide Cost More?
So why is Shaka Guide more than double the price of GyPSy Guide™? There are a few reasons we have a higher price point, which we’ll outline below:
- Double the content: You can see from the graph above, we have almost twice as much audio narration to keep you engaged on your road trip.
- Tour highlights: We’ve researched these additional spots so that you can make the most of your trip.
- Curation: Again, we’ve designed our tour to be a curated experience so that there’s less work for you!
- Music: We feel that the music we’ve licensed for our tours enhances the overall experience.
Whichever tour you choose we hope that you have an amazing trip to Hawaii and leave a deeper connection to the islands. Have you taken either the Shaka Guide or GyPSy Guide™ tours? If you have please feel free to send us an email or message us on social media to let us know what you think!