It is nice to know that there is someone waiting for you when you arrive at a new destination. If you plan on spending some time in a city, why not pick the brain of an expert? The Global Greeter Network pairs a local guide with you, and a personalized tour is organized. They consider your age, interests, and neighborhoods to fine tune an itinerary that will please you. Best of all, it is free. Some of the groups encourage a donation while others frown on tips.
I recently tried out my local greeter group in Chicago. We were paired with a woman that knew what she was talking about, and had a ton of ideas to share. They even paid for our bus transportation. Remember to view the tour as a way to meet a local, and learn about some sights to see. If you go in expecting an all-encompassing tour of the city, you will be disappointed.
Although the greeter network is not found in every city, there are still ways to incorporate the idea. One idea is to stay at a bed and breakfast. Usually the accommodations are reasonably priced, and the people are very hospitable. My friend is trying out the Airbnb site. She will be staying with a Swedish woman before joining her tour the next day. Incorporating the opportunity to meet someone new with an abundance of recommendations is a smart way to use your resources.
Have you ever met someone that enhanced your trip beyond expectations?