If you want to experience your next vacation like a true local, you may want to consider the sharing economy experience.
In the past year, there has been a 15% increase in lodging sharing economy users, like those who use Airbnb to find local places to rent during travel.
It may be time to jump on the bandwagon if you’re looking for an all new, all local, travel experience.
Scope it Out First
If you’re going to share lodging with a local, either by renting out a room from a place someone is living in or renting a full home, you need to check it out first.
But, doing that when it’s there...and you’re here is difficult. This is particularly important if you're going to be spending a long time in the location you're looking to rent.
That’s where WeGoLook comes in.
WeGoLook's helpful “Lookers” can go scope out a rental you’re interested in, giving it a full property inspection by taking photos of the rental and its surroundings and provide a comprehensive assessment for you.
This type of due diligence can save you major headaches down the road.
...And Then Sleep Like a Local!
Airbnb is a great place to find your next vacation rental no matter where you plan to travel. But, these come at the cost similar to that of hotels most times, which can quickly eat away at your vacation budget.
If you want to spend more of your money on experiences than sleep, try Couchsurfing, which matches you to locals looking to give you a free place to stay on your journeys.
Eat Like a Local
Eating local foods is one of the best parts of traveling to new places. Often, local cuisine can give you a glimpse into the local culture and allows you to experience an important part of that locality.
Whether you’re traveling alone or with a friend, consider joining the locals for some of your dining experiences. EatWith lets you do just that.
You can choose to eat a home-cooked meal with a local at his or her home, join locals at a table at their favorite restaurant, or even browse events in the area for popular cooking shows.
Drive Like a Local
A quick way to blow your vacation budget is to spend your money on trains, subways, or rental cars from big corporations. Why waste your precious dollars when there are better, more affordable ways to drive like a local?
If you’re going camping or spending much of your vacation in a vehicle, you can rent an RV from a local through Outdoorsy. This is a much more budget-friendly option than renting from a big company.
If you need something a little more local, try a rideshare service like Uber. Locals can give you a ride for a small fee, or rent you their vehicles for you to use during your stay.
If you’re traveling internationally, try out Bla Bla Car, which is basically an international version of Uber.
Another great option is to use a car-sharing service like Getaround or Turo. These services allow you to rent vehicles from locals, who can also provide you with some tips on the best places to visit!
Have Fun Like a Local
Yes, you can even share your travel experiences with a local!
Why? Who knows more about the adventures that await you than the locals who experience them often?
Contract a local to be your guide with Adventure Local or Vayable. A local tour guide can show you hidden treasures that you wouldn't have found just by browsing the internet. And, the local tour guide can also give you some history and funny anecdotes too!
Dabble is also a good place to find some unique experiences in the city you’re traveling to, like local cuisine cooking classes, historical tours, dance classes, and more. The website has several large cities to choose from all over the United States.
Whether you're traveling with the U.S., or abroad, there are plenty of digital platforms out there that can help you live like a local. Try them out, you won't be disappointed, and you'll like save yourself a few bucks in the process.