The organisation of a travel to a foreign country is where the actual travelling begins. From the very first moment that you choose your destination and start thinking of the things you would like to do there, your travel has already begun!
Many people buy for example a book that describes the destination, others look-up usual travel forums for ideas, recommendations, views and reports. The common factor with all travellers being that in a limited time period, the vacation period, the travellers are striving for a unique and memorable experience.
Doing the homework and looking-up written material is important and it gives the travellers a very good basis. The only drawback of written material is that it is extracted from ‘past’ experiences. This is obviously very useful, however in the fast paced world we live in today, travellers need also to get up to date information, the ‘today’ information.
In this context more and more travellers are looking to get in contact with locals. Either via personal connections or via professionals like for example local tour operators or travel agency representatives. Generally the personal connections are best thanks to the high degree of confidence. However these are difficult to find. On the other side there are many reviews on the Internet that may enable the travellers to get an idea of the quality of service that a certain operator is providing. The drawback with that is that it enables the travellers to only compare the already known operators and excludes the ones who are just starting up and who may provide a much better service.
The main source of information thus becomes the direct interactions between the travellers and an actual person. Communication is key for all human relations, and travelling is no exception. The best source of information for a traveller becomes the direct interactions with a local service provider who will showcase what he/she has to provide and try to customize it for the exact traveller needs. By getting in direct contact with local providers or tour guides, the travellers will not only be able to compare the offerings but also to get to know the actual person who will take care of part or all of their vacations.
The traveller will then have to take the time of sending emails, or talking with the local provider in order to plan the vacations. For this, the travellers have to start by being as precise as possible when it comes to explaining their budget, expectations, key areas they wish to visit and so on. On the other side, they will have a person who will do the best he/she can to meet these requirements.
It is only when the traveller follows this process that he/she begins to have an actual ‘local connection’ that will live on after the vacations.
Travelling is about peace of mind and creating experiences. The help of locals adds massive value and definitely helps the traveller reach these goals.
Tarek Habib is a new technology expert who has recently launched www.guidexplorer.com a tour guide centric website that enables travellers to get in direct contact with local tour guides.