Monday, March 24, 2014 Going Local With Locals

Immerse. Have we not heard this countless times from seasoned travelers? And have we not thought of this as — now let's be honest here — a gargantuan task to fulfill? 

When on the road, going local is how I usually roll. Many years of backpacking taught me how to trust in the good of humanity, in good karma and in the positive vibes of the universe. This idiosyncrasy of mine, and of fellow nomads, may be difficult for holidaymakers to comprehend. Undecipherable even, for the wary. 

So how do we introduce this so-called "immersion" to occasional vacationers who lack time, extra dough and well, credence?
The Pasar (Market) Tour in Malaysia organized by local Khairun Halina. comes to our aid. 

TheWithLocals 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's an online platform that helps build personal relationships between travelers and locals, that could begin even when distant from each other, at the click of a mouse.

Locals sign up as hosts and offer services for reasonable rates, and travelers sign up to "book experiences". These experiences are sorted into three categories:  

EAT Withlocals, wherein you get a real taste of the local culture by dining with a family in their home; 

TOURS Withlocals, wherein you get to discover off-the-beaten-track sites under the guidance of your host

and ACTIVITIES Withlocals wherein you don't just observe locals do their thang, you get to learn/do them yourself too!

"But it ain't for free!", I hear you say. believes that "every person is good at something and that there’s no greater way to earn a living than by doing something you are passionate about.". The site provides an opportunity for people, especially locals in developing countries, to boost their income by showcasing their skills and sharing their knowledge. You might have spent money on a travel agent before, and hey, this isn't really any different. Okay, except the middle-man's slashed. And isn't that a good thing?

Yes, the best things in life are free, but ain't it better if you're able to help out others?

Ultimate experience. You may find it here.
Head over to their website and learn more about, quite possibly, the future of travel. 

Get in touch directly with the locals. Try to immerse, even for a fleeting moment.

[All photos courtesy of]



Alvin the Tupa  said...
March 25, 2014 at 8:45 AM

My favorite staycation buddy? Can I say TWO? lol, I love travelling with my hubs Rowan and/or my best friend Marga.

Jeff Zapanta said...
March 25, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Tough question, really. :) I usually travel with friends of different characters.. lol Seriously though, I don't have a favorite travel buddy yet. But I wish to have my elder sister to be my travel buddy (and treat her to this staycation) as I know she loves to travel but she's just too comfy in her comfort zone, which is work-house-mall-work. I wish to give her another view of what's life beyond these. :)

Emilie Canapi Prades said...
March 25, 2014 at 1:59 PM

My fave staycation buddies are my hubby and my 2 kids. Of coarse, hubby and I can't go out without our kids because no ones gonna take good care when we leave them at home... ^_^

carol said...
March 25, 2014 at 4:53 PM

My favorite staycation buddy is my husband. Great time to relax and have some fun away!

Vicky Dalina said...
March 25, 2014 at 6:17 PM

My favorite staycation buddy is my husband. A relaxation moments is not complete with out him! :)

Cen Dalina said...
March 25, 2014 at 6:32 PM

My favorite buddy is my best friend, partner, soul mate, and that is my wife. :)

Melodenia Vera said...
March 25, 2014 at 6:36 PM

My favorite staycation buddy is my daughter. :)

Melodenia Vera said...
March 25, 2014 at 6:37 PM

My favorite staycation buddy is my daughter because she takes care of me. :)

Dyudi Bera said...
March 25, 2014 at 6:41 PM

My favorite staycation buddy is my partner because life is much fun and happy with the two of us enjoying and laughing together.

Cristina Dalina said...
March 25, 2014 at 6:49 PM

My favorite staycation buddy is my life partner because with my partner every little or big moments makes it more perfect. :)

Kristel Valino said...
March 25, 2014 at 11:00 PM

My favorite staycation buddy is my bestfriend/boyfriend Bryan. Simply because we love spending time with each other. *cheesyyy* =))

Gene Garciano said...
March 26, 2014 at 12:27 AM

My favorite staycation buddy is my wife.. Love spending time with her esp. that I have to make up for the lost time when I come home.

soloflightEd said...
March 26, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Love the concept of their business! magandang paraan para kumita ng pera ang mga locals! :) said...
March 26, 2014 at 5:41 PM

Yes, great concept. Maybe you can offer your knowledge and service also there in UAE when it's available na there someday :)

soloflightEd said...
March 26, 2014 at 7:43 PM

Gay, may Tama ka! lol. nagbabalak ba? haha. or kapag medyo matanda na tayo and then pag meron na ito sa Pilipinas and we can entertain travellers, andami nating pwedeng ifeature. magandang pangpromotion sa blog din. hehe.

naisip ko bigla na para maiba yung feature, ang ipopromote natin ay Videoke nights starring Shakira. lol said...
March 26, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Hahaha! But of course, Ed. Videoke is sooo Filipino! Uwi ka na at makapagparty naman kami for you :)

Aleah | said...
March 27, 2014 at 2:43 AM

They're really very aggressive in marketing using local blogs eh? I wonder how they'll do, given that they're competing with CS, which is free?

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