Apart from the well-known sites, a truly unique travel experience involves seeing things other travelers don’t, and that means mixing with the locals. Mixing with the locals can be arranged! This service is offered by several individuals and companies in a multitude of locations. “Rent a Local” or “Rent a friend”, hook you up with a local who takes you around town according to your tastes and interests, to places only a local would know about. You get to meet locals in their own homes, see secluded areas which you would otherwise never find, dine at a neighbourhood diner and discover secret beauty spots. Avoid the hustle and bustle of the tourist areas and maximize your time, as your “local friend” will know just where to take you. It is like a private guided tour with the difference that this friend takes you to the places that are not in the guide-book, you are not with other travelers and the tour in planned according to your interests and pace. It’s like a friend showing you around their own town.
I have found “Rent a local” type businesses in the following countries, but there may be more available, so check out the web according to your destination.
San Paulo, Brazil, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Lisbon, Portugal, London, England, Paris, France, Shanghai, China, New Delhi, India, San Diego, USA, New York, USA, Maui, Hawaii.
All year round, depending on availability of your “friend”.
Prices are per group (of up to 5 and in some cases 6).
Vary from location to location. Can be as little as €70 for a full 8 hours in Lisbon, to $70 per hour, per group in San Diego. London £70 for 4 hours, Shanghai $90 for 4 hours.
Paid in cash at end of day. Cost does not include food, entrance fees, transport.
Can be on foot, public transport, or a rented car you provide, or they can rent you the car in some locations.