Bespoke Local Travel Guides


Two new travel websites are targeting travelers who want to live like a local but don’t have much time to research and plan their trip.

Rentalocalfriend.com is a simple idea, conceived by Brazilian-Portuguese journalist and experienced traveler Alice who believes the only way to truly get to know a place is to spend time with the locals.

Alice created the website as a way of connecting travelers with educated locals to enhance their holiday experience. To “rent a local friend” travelers must first fill in a short survey describing their interests, be it food and wine, nature, nightlife, photography or indeed fashion and style. Then Alice’s company will propose a personalized itinerary and suitable guide. Prices vary by city and if a personal guide is not required the detailed itinerary will be delivered to the traveler’s hotel/apartment.

Tripbod.com does not offer a personal guide on the ground but is a detailed planning service linking time-poor travelers to a growing network of vetted local contacts, in more than 30 countries. The local expert, or “tripbod”, then provides an online trip-planning service based on the customer’s specific request.

The full service includes a suggested itinerary, Skype and online chats and an annotated Google map, based on a questionnaire filled out by the customer. Tripbods are chosen for a special interest such as volunteering, art, ecology or slow food, and undergo a series of safety checks, including personal and professional references.

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