To me, one of the most interesting facets of travel – apart from seeing a new place – is that you get to meet people. If you really want to take back a correct picture of the place you are visiting, you want to be sure that you also interact with actual locals and not just tourists like yourself. How do you get to meet locals while travelling by yourself and have no friends in the area? Today’s Travel Tip is from a fellow blogger Maria, who blogs at this very interesting site.
We live in such a globalized world that it’s super easy to find a friendly local to show you around or have a beer and a casual chat wherever you are in the world. All you need is to know where and how to look for them.
I am not a great fan of tour guides because they often tend to follow schedules, lack flexibility and all in all are just doing their job. What I love is having a local (a friend or a friend of a friend) everywhere I go to rely on for insights and tips, but I don’t have friends all over the world (yet). So what I do is use platforms like Global Greeter Network and MeetUp to meet locals who are more than happy to welcome and show around visitors to their cities.
Global Greeter is all about filling a short form pointing your interests like architecture, history or local cuisine, and then the website matches you to a local volunteer who wants to show you around. Unlike many other platforms, this one is completely free, which means you are not expected to leave a tip at the end. After having met tens of amazing people around the world, I became a Global Greeter local guide in my own city.
MeetUp is another hub for cool, open-minded people that meets locals and visitors who share the same passion. Everyone can organize an event (a meetup) and invite all people at this location to join. It could be anything from a yoga class, slacklining in the park, language exchange or a book club. If you don’t find an event you like, you can simply create your own.
Meeting locals instead of hiring tourist guides is one of my favorite ways to travel for free and how I can afford to travel almost every week.
Do you do something similar when you travel? Share your tips and thoughts with me in the comments below!
About the author of this post: Guest blogger Maria Angelova is a 20-something “traveling disaster” roaming the world. She’s crazy about mirto from Sardinia, speaking in foreign languages (mostly if she can’t) and studying fortune-telling.