Discovering cities like Beijing, Barcelona or Sydney (to name some of our favorites) doesn’t have to be a challenge. Sure, you can check out the hidden gems on your own, but why not have a local tour you around? As much as technology is great for getting you from point A to point B, there’s nothing like having a personalized experience by someone who actually knows the city (and is a real human being).
So to help you find the right tour guide at your next destination, here’s a list of five websites where you can hire a local tour guide that will make your trip so much more memorable and worthwhile.
Rent-A-Guide has over 15,000 activities in 110 countries that the company has packaged together, and are given by private guides. You can choose special activities or customized tours—whether it’s for a company excursion, large group or a single family. They give you the option to sign up for guided tours, excursions and sightseeing tours that you can book with a few clicks of a button. With over 250,000 satisfied customers, it’s one of the best local tour companies in the world!
Viator offers tours in 15 countries and 15 cities, a much smaller base than Rent-A-Guide. However, you have the ability to really personalize your experience by reviewing individual tour guide profiles, their qualifications and reviews from other tourists. They even give you the option to get in touch with the guide if you have other questions or requests via Viator’s messaging system. Their site states, “The possibilities of experiences with Viator Private Tour Guides are limited only by your own imagination.” Not sure what their limitations are, but they seem to be quite flexible!
Shiroube is Japanese for “to be a guide”. They offer tours in 3,000 cities worldwide, and has been featured on Fast Company, Huffington Post Travel, ABC News and a few others. The site allows you to select your interests, age of tour guide and their sex. Once you’ve picked out your guide, you can then shoot them a message to go over tour details.
Shiroube is also unique because you can use local guides to help you with your business. For instance, you can hire someone to help you with an exhibition or trade show in that city by selecting the “for business” in the search preferences.
Who’s My Guide
Who’s My Guide gives you the ability to choose a certified guide in about 25 different countries. Each guide is categorized by their speciality, be it culture (history, art, music), nature (hiking, birding, forests), water sports (sailing, canoeing, white water rafting), gastronomy (cooking classes, food, wine), extreme activities (4×4, outdoor survival), or fishing. Who’s My guide seems like a great go-to site to find locals that are experienced in the activities you want to do, making your trip that much more fun and memorable.
ToursByLocals has 1,792 guides in 147 countries, offering you extremely customizable and private tours. They have also been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Yahoo Travel and The Telegraph.
Going on a cruise? You can also book a private shore excursion for Princess, Celebrity, Norwegian, P&O Cruise Lines, plus 16 others. The guide will pick you up from the port in a private car or van and take you to your next adventure. Don’t worry, you’ll always make it back in time before the cruise sails away!