Withlocals.com: Discover the Philippines with a local

It was during the mid 90’s when I started publishing my travel tales online and during those days, I rarely travel to unfamiliar places. I prefer traveling to destinations where I have friends who lives there just to make sure somebody can guide me and give me ideas about places to go, eat and stay.

Learn how to make local lanterns
Learn how to make local lanterns

As I continue traveling, I started exploring road less traveled destinations alone. Backpacking alone might not be for everyone because of its risk factors. In this article, I will share some secrets on how you can overcome your fear in solo backpacking. Travel has taught me a lot and here are some of the pointers that can help you get going:

Ask tips from fellow travelers

Experienced travelers can give you tips about travel requirements like Visa etc, what to bring, what to do and where to stay.

Find interesting nature escapes you wont find in guidebooks
Find interesting nature escapes you wont find in guidebooks

Read travel blogs

While buying travel guide books are really helpful, online travel guides and blogs are the best resources available today. Travel Bloggers are providing complete experience and details about the destination you are planning to visit.

List your target places and bring a map

I know all the Do-it-yourself travel itineraries and maps are available online but creating a list and bringing an actual map will save you just in case your target destination does not have a 3g signal.

Ask a local

My first solo backpacking trip was in Banaue Ifugao and I must admit, I was not really prepared during that time. Good thing I started asking my Bus seatmate about her destination and her travel plans. I learned that she is an Ifugao and she is also heading to Banaue. While on the road, I asked her about places to go, food to try, local customs and affordable place to stay. If talking to strangers is not your cup of tea then you better go out of your comfort zone, it will help you make seamless and memorable trips.

Melo Villareal with friendly Ifugao Ladies
Melo Villareal with friendly Ifugao Ladies

Befriend a local

Once you reached your destination, you should start making friends with locals. Find local coffee shops and start a conversation with the in-house Barista. Not only can they give you details about the kind of coffee they brew, they’re also willing to share tips about local restos and anything beyond coffee. Interacting with locals can really enhance your trip. Who knows, he or she might invite you to in an interesting local event that will let you discover the indigenous culture and local food landscape. Locals are the best source of offbeat travel tips you wouldn’t find in printed travel guidebooks.

I recently found an interesting website called Withlocals. This website is a marketplace that connects travelers from every corner of the world with locals in any part of Asia offering unique travel experiences and home dining opportunities.

I’m actually interested in signing up as a local host. As a Filipino travel blogger and a foodie who have been exploring various places in the country with a goal of discovering the culture, tourists spots and food landscape, I believe I can help travelers find the best dining experience in the country.

Visiting the Philippines soon? Connect with a local travel expert by signing up at Withlocals.com Philippines. Theres nothing like eating a local street food and exploring the archipelago with a friendly local.

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