By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: I’m not interested in taking an organized tour when I travel but I would like to meet a local. Do you know if there is a site on the Internet that helps people hook up with locals when you travel? I remember reading some cities do offer some kind of program where I need to contact them. Any details are greatly appreciated.

A: Cities like New York and Chicago offer a popular greeter program where you can see the sights and sounds of the city through the eyes of a local. A free program for tourists, these volunteer guides can serve as an invaluable resource when you are new to the city.

I used the services of both NYC’s “Big Apple Greeter” and the “Chicago Greeter” and as a result found some fascinating neighbourhoods I would not have normally come across through a regular visit there.

For more information on these programs visit and

Looking at the broader picture when it comes to hooking up with a local during your travels, I came across Like-a-Local is the brainchild of Esther Weeber, Marieke van Os and Mandy Mooren.

They came up with the idea during one of their many city trips. This web site first featured Amsterdam and now has added several other countries such as France, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom.


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