_ Normal 0 false false false /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} When it comes to traveling the world and visiting new and unfamiliar places, sometimes you just need a little help finding your way around. This is where a personal tour guide comes in. Local tour guides are incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to a destination simply because they live there! An abundance of websites have recently come forward with programs that match traveler to tour-guides from all over the world. Some better fit than others, a popular few stand out from the crowd:

Privateguide.com is a website with a fairly simple design that allows you to search for local tour guides by location first and then by rating/reviews/etc. The website focuses on finding you a personal tour guide based on the destination of your choice (though destinations are fairly limited). Guide-profiles are helpful for checking out the rates and background of the guide and also provide reviews from previous customers.

Localguiding.com is similar to private guide in its approach to the traveler-to-guide matching process. You enter a destination and are provided with a list of local guides. What is different about this site is that the focus is on the type and location of the tour as opposed to the guide himself.

Viator.com offers a broad spectrum of travel information about destinations not limited to tours and guides. This site, while helpful to travelers, does not advertise its tourservices as much as it should. It has a better range of locations as well as a more satisfying guarantee on the quality of the tours and guides it is promoting. Viator is also a great source to check out commercial tours and activities in popular destinations.

One thing you definitely want to be careful of when finding a personal tour guide is credibility. Most sites will backup their guides with verification of certification and if you are not satisfied with your tour they will provide a full refund, but none the less, checking customer reviews and ratings is a helpful precaution.

If it’s in a major city that you are looking to catch more of, checking out a specific tour is your best bet. The big cities have some really unique tours to offer, like BiketheBigApple a 3-5 hour tour that covers a surprising amount of NewYork. Other cities with some really cool tours are SavannahGA, CharlestonSC, PhiladelphiaPA, and WashingtonDC.

Ellen Studer


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