It’s not always easy making connections with local people in your travel destinations, especially in big cities in foreign countries, but don’t be intimidated. The Web is ready to help you link up with proud, friendly locals just about anywhere in the world. These sites can get you started.
GUIDES AND GREETERS
In cities around the world, you’ll find guides, both professionals and even better, volunteers, who will spend a few hours or a day with you, showing you the place they call home. The volunteer guides often do what they do at no charge.
MEET OTHER TRAVELERS
If your time and travel plans are flexible, meeting other travelers exploring your destination can be as enjoyable — and beneficial — as hooking up with local residents. And who says you can’t do both?
Want to break the ice with some fun and knowledgeable locals? Try breaking bread with them.
There’s no better way to get a feel for a city than to walk it, especially in the company of friendly local guides who want you to show the place they love, and why they love it.
LODGING WITH LOCALS
Skipping the hotelm/motel scene in favor of staying in a local home or apartment has two big pluses. One, it’s often a lot cheaper. And two, it gets you out of commercial zones and into local neighborhoods, where you see firsthand how folks really live. Local flavor, real cheap.