Why traveling with a local makes for a much more fulfilling experience. If you’re like me and my friends, the resort life isn’t for you. Sure there are benefits to the all-inclusive-guided-tours-hotel lifestyle, but if I want fantasy I’d go to Disney world. If I’m going to hike in Machu Picchu or lounge in the sandy beaches of Jamaica, I want it to be with a person that knows all the non-touristy spots. Why you may ask? Well for starters, it insures a unique experience. I know that my time spent exploring any location is best done with the people that live there. If you’ve been to one resort, you’ve been to them all, and usually the best and most interesting part of the trip is usually the events you end up doing outside of the hotel. Why not enhance the experience by partaking in the lives of the locals? Swimming where they swim, eating where they eat, it’s only logical that they would know where the best places are located.
Now that I have convinced you, let me provide you with a few methods on how to do that:
The most obvious way is to leave your hotel, and make some friends along the way. It would help if you know the language of the location you’re trying to explore. That could prove difficult, especially adding a danger factor.
A convenient way to side-step all that is to visit these websites, that in some way facilitate the local experience:
ToursByLocals’ states that they, “connect travelers with local tour guides who are keen to share their knowledge, experience and expertise.”
Rent a Local Friend, actually allows you to rent a professional local by connecting you to a network of people that have signed on and have been screened by the website in order to be local tour guides. Don’t worry I won’t tell anyone that you rent a friend.
Vayable offers “experts [that] have [an] insiders connections to help you build your dream trip with all the extras that make it memorable. Whether picking grapes in Champagne or swimming with the wild sharks in Belize, [they] can make it happen.
My last recommendation is to contact family or the family of your friends that may live in a destination you would like to vacation. Ask them to show you around. I’m sure all they’ll expect as payment is for you to cover all the expenses as well as fork-over everything you’re carrying in your suitcase.