There are people who prefer traveling in a group, and there are those who prefer traveling alone. Those who decide to travel privately usually look for a private tour guide to help them navigate the country they are visiting.
People are continuously opting for solo travel to experience a more relaxed vacation that they can experience at their own pace. According to the Visa Global Travel Intentions Study, solo travel in 2015 increased by 37% from 16% in 2013. The rise of solo travelers is continuously increasing, leading to the rise in the demand for local guides. As much as local guides are present, it can be tough to look for the good ones, especially if you don’t know where to look. Below are 5 ways in which you can choose a guide for your vacation.
Tours by locals
There are quite a number of local websites for guides on the internet, but most of them are not of high quality, which causes many people to refrain from using them. As much as there are bad tour guide websites, there are a few sites that are reliable. An example is Tours by Locals which gives you an opportunity to link up with a local tour guide in over 130 countries. The site is not the best regarding design and content arrangement, but once you search for guides, you will be able to customize the search by city, region and a list of guides will show up.
The list will give you a chance to look at their backgrounds, their reviews from different clients who have worked with them, and you can initiate a communication with them before booking your vacation. The website “Tours by locals” has existed for the last 10 years, and the guides listed on the websites have to undergo frequent background and reference checks using the Thomson Reuters world check.
In the quality sites, there is usually a list of rates that are charged per individuals while other guides state their rates per hour. If you are traveling and you cannot see the rate on the site, you can message the individual and get to know the charges.
Global Greeter Network
People who are going for a vacation and they want to get a guide for a budget can use a worldwide organization. It’s a simple process: local boards of tourism match residents with visitors who want to be shown around for free. There are plenty of places that are part of the Global Greeter Network; these places include Chicago, New York, Haifa, Israel, Buenos Aires, Italy, and Naples.
You should also be aware that the knowledge of the town also varies with the guide you pick. An expert in museums may not be available in this network; you will have to look somewhere else.
Viator is a website that is owned by the company TripAdvisor. It offers affordable tours and activities practically in most of the countries. The guides listed in this site undergo review by the travelers who have worked with them, and you have the option of contacting your guide before you even book, so that you to seek out relevant info, create a personal connection and customize your tour as much as you can.
This website also offers professional guides who have green tags. Although the company offers guides for small groups and solo travelers, it does not do background checks on the guides.
This is a fun and great way to search for tour guides who are teachers, local artists, chefs, photographers, graphic designer among others. In this site, there are clear photos of the guides together with their reviews which are submitted by previous customers. The best part about the website is that if your guide does not show up, you will be refunded the money.
Home-swapping sites and vacation rental
Although websites like Couchsurfing, HomeExchange, and Airbnb are not used for private tours, you can also use them to find them. You can find a host who will leave you a list of restaurants you can visits and activities you can do in the city. If you are renting a home, ask your host to give you ideas of where to go or someone who can show you around.
Additionally, you can also try out a website called MeetUp which allows people to attend local events and activities for free. Although you might have a different agenda that does not include attending the event, you can text the leader to ask around for a member who can show you around.