The challenge: find a local guide to introduce you to the secrets of your next destination… for free.
The best way to explore a new place is to have a local at hand who knows all its secret little streets, delectable foods and urban legends that you won’t find in guidebooks. However, it’s not always the simplest thing to arrange, so we’ve prepared for you a detailed step-by-step action plan. As we have proven many times, the world lurks with free stuff if you only know where to find it.
How to find a local guide for free in 7 simple steps:
1. Call a friend who lives there. This may seem obvious but it’s worth reminding that we have several hibernating friendships that may be brought back to life if you just send a quick message and ask a show you around the place you are visiting.
2. Ask on social media. Maybe someone you know, knows a local (a friend of a friend of a friend…). Your social network expands further than you expect. Post your request on social media and see what’s going to happen.
3. Book a free walk with a local guide through Global Greeters – a website that brings together locals and tourists with similar interests; you can also volunteer as a tour guide for the city you live in).
4. Post in the group of the respective city on Couchsurfing.com. While Couchsurfing is usually used to find a free place to stay, the website has many more socializing options. You can see lists of locals and visitors to a particular city as well as people who are available to meet you for a beer, to visit the Cairo Museum with you or to show you around. The groups are another useful feature where you can discuss important issues or post a request to meet a local.
5. Post in the city groups on Facebook saying you are looking for a local to show you around and tell you stories. Search for groups like “[City] locals”, “[City] expats” or anything related.
6. Many towns organize free guided tours through their information centers (check and book well in advance).
7. Join a free walking tour (they have these all around the world. Google “[City] free tour”). The tour is free but you are expected to leave a tip at the end if you enjoyed it. The great thing about free tours is that they tend to be general or specialized, like Free Food Tour, Free Street Art Tour, etc.
If you like the idea, don’t forget that you can always become a volunteer guide for your own city!
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