Traveling like a local is so 2015, traveling with locals is all the rage now. There's nothing like dining and drinking with the people that know a city best. And it's as easy as downloading an app, making friends, and meeting up IRL. Here are six of the best apps for linking up with locals, and no, we don't mean Tinder...
Party with a Local
When you hit the clubs in a new city, you need both a killer crew and advice from people who really know their nightlife. This is where Party with a Local comes to the rescue. The free app connects you with like-minded locals and fellow travelers who share your passion for nights out, whether you're after an EDM club night or retro speakeasy. Connect on the app, then meet for drinks – simple as. The app is available in over 150 countries and has a community of over 100,000 party lovers, so wherever you are in the world, you’ll find yourself a drinking buddy (phew).
Withlocals is a genuinely cool app that calls itself a "marketplace" for connecting locals with travelers. You just enter your trip dates and location into the search engine, and a bunch of cool experiences offered by locals comes up. Think anything from niche food tours in Singapore to picking tea on Sri Lankan plantations. Not only are the tours 100 percent private, but when you pay for one, your money goes directly to the locals themselves. The free app is available in 12 countries in Europe and Asia, and also lets you ask locals for recommendations about their district. Say hello to your new fave brunch spot.
Vayable is an app that focuses on actual city insiders and what they can offer travelers. Every insider goes through an official valuation by Vayable, and once they're deemed legit, they create, curate and operate their own tours. Happily, these tours are nothing like your usual touristy ones; they include food tours in Queens, street art tours in San Fran to night photography tours in Paris. There's 850 destinations to pick from, which makes for a whole load of ways to have meaningful experiences with locals. Sweet.
Tripr is a pretty smart way of planning your travels, as well as catch ups upon arrival. The app lets you see and connect with locals and travelers before you arrive – submit your trip details and you'll see a stream of people who'll be in the same place as you. Okay, maybe that sounds a bit creepy, but it shows you just as many deets as dating apps – there's bios, interests, and mutual friends all listed. Once you've found a local or traveler you think you'd get on with, you can arrange to meet up. Whether you want travel advice, a buddy for day trips or something more (*wink face*), Tripr's got your back.
Whether you're traveling alone or with company, Eat With is one way to spice up meal times. The app gives you the opportunity to enjoy a home-cooked meal with a local host, and we totally rate it for its unique factor. Your host could be a home chef with a passion for cooking, an entrepreneur needing to practice their craft, or a trained cook who just loves hosting dinner parties. You can have breakfast with chefs in Tel Aviv to chocolate-inspired tapas in São Paulo. Basically, you can stuff yourself in the name of embracing a city's culture AND make friends while you're at it. Now that's multitasking.
We've saved the best 'til last. Jetzy might call itself "the first geo-location based, user-to-user social app", but what you really need to know about it is the rewards on offer. The app lets you chat with fellow travelers and locals (so far, nothing new), but in doing so you ean points that can be redeemed for pretty cool rewards, from spa vouchers to free trips to Tahiti. The more you use the app, the more you earn... so, get downloading. Cha-ching!