You can read guidebooks and blogs, watch YouTube videos or travel documentaries, but often the most comprehensive insight into a destination can come from the locals themselves.
I want to introduce you all to ViaHero – a platform that connects travellers with local “Heroes” who can help you plan a trip. Travellers choose a Hero in their destination of choice, register their interests and intentions for travel and the Hero prepares an itinerary specifically catered to the needs and wants of the traveller.
Travellers then get a completely customised guidebook that includes daily itineraries, travel arrangements, a tailor-made app and unlimited contact with the Hero.
For example, I could specify to a Hero that I was vegan and environmentally conscious, and they would prepare an itinerary that featured all the best local vegan eateries and eco-conscious activities for me. I could then access that guide on the platform when I arrive at my destination.
According to ViaHero, “travellers can save an average of 18 hours and $345 per trip, with more money directly supporting locals”.
The platform offers two plans. The basic plan will set you back $30USD/day per group and the premium plan $40USD/day. This means for a one-week itinerary you’re looking at a cost of around $210USD – which can be divided into the group.
To put it in perspective, that amount could easily be spent on accidentally opting for the well-known tour run by a high-margin tour company who pays to have their advertisement on the first page of a Google search.
While I haven’t yet used the platform, others seem to like what they are experiencing.
“Our Hero was able to send us to off-the-beaten-path locations that we never would have found,” says one review. “Our Hero helped make what could have been a challenging trip to plan, very easy,” says another.
I’m impressed by ViaHero’s focus on tourism dollars spent locally. Relationships with locals often correlate to direct support for local communities and businesses, leading travellers like us away from the saturated areas and into the backstreets – the local deli instead of the famous restaurant, the contemporary small bar instead of the frequented nightclub.
With Heroes spanning across Europe, Asia and the Americas perhaps planning locally-focused travel has never been easier.
Plan your next trip with ViaHero or find out more information by clicking on the banner below.
Are you a local who wants to be a Hero and help travellers explore your city? Apply to be a Hero here
This article contains affiliate links meaning I may receive a commission should you book using any of these links. I only affiliate myself with companies and organisations that I trust to be ethical and sustainable so I know you’ll be in good hands. Any of the profits I make go towards continuing to share with my readers how they can travel responsibly and help support the causes they care about.