The thought of travel is always exciting. Just imagining being in a new location, experiencing different cultures and enjoying breath taking sights is enough for one to learn more about the destination. OF course there’s the planning and the help of guide books but once in a while the best kept secrets waiting to be discovered are known by the locals. In my several travels around Southeast Asia, I would at times slam my guidebook shut and let the locals take me places and more often than not, it’s quite exciting where they take me. That’s the gist of the new online traveler’s market place called WithLocals. Connecting travelers with locals through food and unique experiences.
What is WithLocals?
The idea of Withlocals sprung from the personal experiences of founders Marijn Maas and Willem Maas. Marijn who took their honeymoon in Southeast Asia had a more memorable experience with his wife dining with a local family instead of their luxury hotels and restaurants. Willem on the other hand traveled extensively around Asia and employed knowledgeable local guides but was saddened by the fact that most of these guys are underpaid despite their skills. Withlocals is envisioned to empower locals and connect them with travelers looking for an authentic and unique experience in a destination.
Withlocals is a peer-to-peer marketplace where local host and travelers are securely connected. Local hosts are verified by ambassadors. Travelers can then choose from three activities:
- Eat Withlocals: Travelers get to experience culture and taste local delicacies prepared by a local in their homes.
- Tours WithLocals: Explore trails and discover sights not through the guidance of local hosts.
- Activities WithLocals: Looking for explore and expand your skills from cooking to jogging to pottery or even photography? Join one of the talented local host and learn from their activities.
WithLocals in the Philippines
It is exciting to note that having established its ground in other Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Nepal to name a few, WithLocals will be launching in the Philippines very soon. I think this way of travel of traveling with the locals would be so fitting in the Philippines as Filipinos are naturally hospitable and are warm to visitors. Do check out www.withlocals.com/locations/philippines for a more enriching experience in the Philippines. And for Filipinos, register as a host and share the beauty of our country.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.