posted by Guest blogger - Janice Waugh | 0 Comments
This is the third guest post from Janice Waugh, author of The Solo Traveler’s Handbook, now in its 2nd edition, and publisher of Solo Traveler, the blog for those who travel alone. She speaks on solo travel and has been a go-to person on the subject for CNN, the Oprah Blog, the LA Times and more. To keep up to date with Janice make sure to follow her on Twitter and like the Solo Travel Society on Facebook.
Landing in a new city solo can be intimidating. Finding a guide to introduce you to the city is a great first step. When your guide is a local and free - well, you’ve hit the jackpot.
Here are five ways to find a free local tour guide.
1. Check the city’s tourism site
Tokyo, Toronto, New York... many cities offer free local tour guides. Frequently called greeters, these are people who love their city and volunteer to show it off to travelers. Even destinations like The Bahamas offer this service. The trick is to research and book your guide before you go. Don’t be afraid to let them know your interests. Specialty guides can often be arranged. Whether you’re interested in architecture, food, history or something else, the organization will try to match you with the perfect guide.
2. Check out hostels
Even if you’re not staying in a hostel, check out the programmes the nearest hostel offers. There are often free tour services where the guide is working for tips rather than a wage. Hostels often promote the best free local stuff a city has to offer.
3. Google “free tour guide” and the name of your destination
Want to plan in advance. Do a bit of Google research and you’ll discover companies like Sandeman’s and others that offer local guides that work for tips. You tip the guide what you feel is right for the tour you got.
4. Use Meet-up.com
Are you into local beers, learning a language, social media…? There is a meetup on just about anything that interests anybody. Sign up for a meetup that will take place while you’re at your destination for a great way to meet locals who share your interests. If it’s a group on the move, like walkers or cyclists, you’ll get a unique tour of the city as well.
5.The Expat Community, your University Alumni, service organizations...
There are numerous expat websites, communities and clubs all around the world. Find them at your destination and you’ll find a welcoming community. Alumni and service organizations such as the Rotary Club are also great opportunities for travelers. If you are a local member of any organization with an international network, you have an avenue to a free local guide.
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