Even as a veteran vacation planner, I’d often wished there were an easier way to get all my trip planning done - maybe a magic button? Something that makes a perfect trip whether I’m planning for a couple, a family, or a girls’ trip. Then I discovered a style of travel that promises stress-free days and an authentic local experience for my clients. I’ve got to tell you, “locally hosted” may be today’s best-kept secret in travel.
What is “locally hosted”, exactly? It’s not an escorted tour—you won’t find yourself squeezing onto a bus at 7 a.m. every day with lots of strangers. Nor is it a solo trip where you’re totally on your own. It’s a happy kind of hybrid—an “untour,”.
Here are my top five reasons why a locally hosted vacation may be perfect for your next adventure:
1. No need for a vacation after your vacation
Even when you work with a great travel agent, the nitty-gritty of your vacation can still be a bit intimidating and stressful. But during a locally hosted trip, you’ll be met by someone with sign and a smile, ready to help you get to the next place. And if you’ve ever tried to catch a train abroad, you know how valuable a little insider info can be to help you find your platform, decipher foreign signage and to know whether or not (and where and how) to validate your ticket. As for transfers, private car service will get you from the airport or train station to your accommodations in style.
2. Local Hosts
Picture a concierge, guide, friend, Siri and Google rolled into one—basically, the very embodiment of reassurance—and you’ll start to get an idea of a local host. He or she will greet you at the hotel with all of your trip information in hand including maps, her recommendations and customized logistical info—and most important, the times you needed to be ready for your scheduled activities and transfers. Your host will also give you her personal cell phone number, so just in case you need directions, a restaurant recommendation or someone to translate with a cab driver, she will be available.
3. Sightseeing sans flag-following
Your local host will coordinate your can’t-miss sightseeing adventures. You’ll be with smaller-than-typical groups and your own expert local guide who will get you where you need to be and help you understand the context of the sites you visit. You will also get skip-the-line access (which can mean saving hours in places like Rome) and other VIP perks. Your local host can also arrange optional tours and excursions based on your interests.
4. The perfect amount of time, whatever that may be
Unlike traditional escorted tours that have you following a leader from town A to town B on a fixed schedule, a locally hosted trip lets you choose how long you’ll be spending in A or B—and whether there will be a C, D or E.
5. Curated and planned by experts
Locally hosted trips are typically part of a portfolio of travel options offered by larger travel companies, based on feedback from their guests and decades of local expertise. That’s how they know how to be ten minutes ahead of the crowd almost everywhere they take you, and to allow enough time for the experiences you’ll want to linger over. The hotels are chosen equally thoughtfully, with an eye to quality and location. In most places, you can choose from a few hotel options, so you can pick the one that suits you.
A locally hosted trip is perfect for you if…
It’s your first time in the destination: You can get your bearings in a new place more quickly and go beyond the guidebook with the local resources and contacts at your disposal.
You’re tight on time: Local hosts plan your days do avoid wasted time in a destination so you can experience more while resting assured that all the details have been seen to by people in the know.
You love local experiences: The Local Host adds a personal “locals-only” touch, helping you find the secret spots that boilerplate tours will miss.
You are traveling with family or a large group of friends: No one has to be the point person while you travel, so everyone can relax.
You’re planning an extended trip: You can plan a two- or three-week trip across multiple cities or countries all at once without ever having to research how to get from points A to B to C to D.
Does a locally hosted trip sound perfect to you? I’d love to help you select the perfect program and itinerary- simply reply to this email or click here to schedule a complimentary planning consultation.