Find hosts around the world with the free and flexible Couchsurfing network. Couchsurfing focuses on cultural exchange, rather than monetary transactions and is for designed travellers and hosts who want to connect and enhance their experience in the local area. The site also offers meet ups for travelers around the world, whether you’re couchsurfing or not.
There’s no place like a home for the holidays, even if it’s someone else’s. HomeExchange is a clever service which links homeowners together to stay in each other’s houses on trips. This option allows for the privacy of a hotel or holiday rental as well as the comforts and intimacy of home. HomeExchange saves you money on a more personal holiday experience, as well as facilitating a relationship between locals of different areas to ensure a local and authentic experience for everyone participating.
Use Homestay.com to find local host families to enhance your experience of a new area. With locations around the world the Homestay.com community offers a tailor made local experience for travellers, and an equally unique and gratifying experience for hosts.
A working holiday is a great way to experience a new place and to get to know locals and other travellers, plus, you’ll save loads on accommodation fees. A two-year subscription to the Workaway network costs 23 Euro, and gives you access to hosts around the world offering room and board in return for work, ranging from hotel reception to farming to childcare and more.
If you want to experience remote areas, WWOOFing is a working holiday network that puts you in touch with organic farms around the world. In exchange for room and board, you’ll help out on the farm where needed, and in the process learn not only about the local culture, but also about food production and organic lifestyle.
Use trip4real to connect with local experts for an authentic experience while on holiday. You can browse various tours and experiences offered by locals, connect with them, and enjoy a unique and personal day or night out with someone who knows what’s hip in their neighborhood.
7. Spotted By Locals
Spotted by Locals offers you a real deal travel experience. People who call your holiday location home have chimed in and provided honest and useful tips on making the most of the area. Check out 57 city guides across Europe and North America compiled from local tips to discover true gems.
MydistriKt curates guides to local areas by people around the world. The clever app allows users to designate any area and add their favourite places creating unique guides by every user, so you can find tons of site-specific tips shared by people who know the area to choose from.
9. Field Trip
Field Trip catalogues the most interesting, unique, and underrated places to eat, drink, and explore. The mobile app notifies you every time you’re nearby something cool, which means you have plenty of options, and also means you’re free to explore anywhere and let the app do the work.
For off-the-beaten-path adventures, Trover is a must-have resource. Travellers and locals can upload their photos and offer tips based on their favourite experiences, making it easy for you to browse through authentic, tried and true experiences to make the most of your trip.
11. Like A Local
Like A Local helps you skip the tourist traps and find the real gems in over 50 cities around the world. Simply plug in your location to the app and you’ll be offered a long list of local haunts and under-the-radar excursions to take instead of hitting a queue.
Vayable employs local experts as tour guides and facilitators for unique experiences around the world. Guides offer creative and local expertise for singular experiences – whether you want a local pub tour, authentic local cooking class, photography walk, or any number of experiences that only someone who knows the area could offer.
This simple app helps you avoid flashy tourist restaurants in favor of local favourites. You can search by area and kind of food, read reviews, and get a sense of the atmosphere. Restaurants are handpicked and tested by LocalEats staff to guarantee authenticity and quality.
For a delicious and authentic culinary experience while traveling, consider using EatWith rather than booking a trendy restaurant. Search by location and food type to find a private dinner party catered by a professional chef or local cuisine enthusiast.
Feastly facilitates unique food experiences for travellers by connecting them with locals for cooking classes, dinner parties, and food-related socials. The service makes it easy to experience the local culture as well as bond with locals and other travellers.
16. City Socializer
Find like-minded friends while travelling by using City Socializer. Join or facilitate meet-ups with fellow travellers and locals in cities around the world for a unique experience tailored to your interests and schedule.
Share a meal and make a new friend on your travels using Colunching. Plug in your location, budget, and schedule to find someone nearby to meet up with.