WithLocals is now in the Philippines!
Being a practical mom, I would often go for packaged deals that offer hotel and transportation bookings at a discounted rate. But over the years I discovered that there is a more practical and more fun way to travel and that is by vacationing with a friend in their hometown.
Since Filipinos are hospitable by nature, they usually welcome their friends into their home like they would a family member. And there is no better way to get the best travel experience than immersing yourself with the locals.
For me, traveling is more than just rest and recreation or visiting popular tourist spots. It can also be a learning experience if you take time to discover the culture in the area.What I like about hometown visits is that you get to travel with friends or people that you enjoy being with. You also get the opportunity to know them better through their family and make new friends as well.
It took me a couple of hours to remember the names of my friend’s cousins and childhood friends during my trip to Ilo-Ilo. But after spending some time with them I remembered more than just the names. I got to know a bit about the town’s history, beautiful but little known nooks around the town, places where they used to play as kids, town trivia and some local gossip too.
Cuisine is another important aspect of my travel. When I went to Iloilo I made sure that I got to taste the La Paz Batchoy and Binakol. Another advantage of being a guest of locals is that you don’t have to go to a restaurant to enjoy authentic local dishes. You get to enjoy home cooked meals from recipes that are probably handed down from generations. These are perks that you’ll never get in a packaged tour.
I would not say no to a first class hotel service, but it is nothing compared to being treated like family by people that you barely know.
The beauty of this arrangement is that it works both ways for the hosts and the house guests. During our short stay we discovered new things together and endeared ourselves to each other. We also expressed our gratitude for their hospitality by giving them tokens before we left. Among all our trips, the best travel experience that we have come from hometown visits when we stayed with the locals. I have my bucket list of places to visit and even though I’ve already been to some of them I still have a long way to go to see them all. Whether here or abroad I would gladly have a local help me get the best travel experience in their town.
True to our hospitable nature this experience is not exclusive to our fellow Pinoys. We encountered some foreign nationals who are also staying with local hosts for their vacation. Just like me they discovered that it is more fun to experience a new culture in the company of locals.
With that, I am happy to announce that WithLocals will soon arrive in the Philippines.
The Withlocals website is a marketplace connecting travelers from every corner of the world with locals in Asia offering unique travel experiences and home dining opportunities.
It is sorted in 3 Categories:
- Eat with Locals
- Tours with Locals
- Activities with Locals
I am excited to go visit another Asian Country soon and be with the locals there. I feel that it is more economical and that you will truly experience travelling and dining if the people that will guide you are truly from that place.
Doing this will help these locals financially and also they will have a chance to learn more about other people who will visit them and the country that they came from.
As of now, WithLocals are serving 7 Asian Countries:
I would love my family to experience this, I can’t wait for WithLocals to launch here in the Philippines soon!