Guide Books and Maps Are Démodé—Rent a Local Friend
If you are travelling alone or if you have no idea where you are going; if you don’t know where to check for directions and how to get places—if only you had a local friend to ask…
Guess what: You can now rent a local buddy. Thoughtful journalist Alice Moura from Brazil first came up with this simple but very useful idea, which is already an official service. She created the website rentalocalfriend.com where one can literally rent a local friend from the visited place. Since he is local, the “friend” will be able to show you hidden gems and make you blend in with the culture, so you can experience the local spirit to the fullest.
This service is totally different from the usual organized guide tours and excursions which are quite limiting and not synchronized with the personal preferences.
“I thought mostly of backpackers. But many clients are elderly people who like personalized service. We also have families that don’t like inflexible tours, and young people who want to know trendy places,” Moura said at news.com.au.
The local buddy can take you anywhere you want according to your preferences and taste. He will take you places that are not popular tourist spots and only locals know of.
Moura created this service after she had been a traveller for years and discovered that the best way to explore and understand a culture is when she was interacting with locals. Then, she wanted others to experience the same.
The service is quickly gaining popularity and is now available in Brazil, USA, Portugal, Spain, UK, France, Italy, China and India.
Moura said that many clients have remained friends with their guides and had a lot of fun.
Here’s what somebody had to say about “Rent a Local Friend” at rentalocalfriend.com:
“During these days I can say I felt like a local. I had the opportunity to know the highlights of the city at the same time that I have discovered some exclusive and unique places that just Paris citizens know. I did not want to go that deep on history and monuments, but to have a nice general feeling of the city, so renting a local friend was really my best bet! My local friend was easy going, fun and really kind. It was a great pleasure to have him on that afternoon!!”
Roberta Figueredo, Brasil