Traveling to a new place is not always as romantic as the travelogues on websites like Medium make it out to be. Even if you put aside the pain of planning a journey, rallying your friends and actually getting there, after you’ve reached and explored some, the eternal question is bound to crop up – where do we go now?
Perhaps look at the list of places you gathered while doing your research, or ask at the hotel’s reception or even look at Google Maps or other such travel apps. There are options but none of them frictionless.
There is a reason why even after the smartphone revolution and the availability of crowd-shared data of any place across the globe, travel guides still remain in business. Because, we as humans, demand a personal touch for products and services. Travel is no different.
Rent-A-Guide has one of the biggest networks when it comes to pre-packaged tours given by private guides. They offer more than 5600 tours in 81 counties. And Rent-A-Guide is not a mere repository. It is a booking website which provides an end to end experience.
So you can book a tour from the site without worrying too much about any wrongdoings. If you do run into any problems, the customer support is happy to help.
From Viator’s homepage you can search for travel guides for your destination. Viator will show you its repository of travel guides, their reviews, portfolios and descriptions. If something fits, you can directly mail a travel guide from here.
Shiroube is one the bigger local travel sites. It not only offers guides for different places but sorts them out according to interests as well. Shiroube’s network spans more than 3000 cities. Search for a place and the website will list all the guides in its database.
You can see their information, what languages they speak, how much they charge and most importantly, what activities they offer. You can mail a guide directly from this page and get a conversation going.
4. Whos My Guide
Whos My Guide starts you off with a dropdown menu listing all the available countries. Pick the one you are traveling to and the website will list the major cities where its guides are located. You can read through all their submitted content, compare individual guides and mail the one that fits you best.
5. Tours By Locals
Tours by locals is a site that combines the best of tours and guides. Here, guides provide you with packaged tours across the city, ranging from days to weeks. All the itinerary is detailed, along with the price. You can check out the ratings and reviews for specific tours by local guides before booking something.
Always Travel Safe
The websites listed here are trustworthy but you can never be too safe. Always ask for proper identification before dealing with a guide from a place you have never been to. You should also ask for a guide license (especially in countries where corruption is rampant).
Some websites ask for a deposit before booking the time slot. Make sure it is just a token amount and nothing more. Never agree for a full payment beforehand.
How do you travel like a local? Let us know in the comments below.
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