Financial Travel Tip #104: Free Tours & Local Friends with Global Greeter Network

by Nora on December 28, 2013


A free tour and a new local friend, you say? Yes, please!

Along the lines of hospitality exchanges like couch surfing where you connect with locals who are enthusiastic about hosting you, here is another such tool: Global Greeter Network.


Global Greeter Network Basics

Global Greeter Network is a volunteer association of independent “welcoming programs” located around the world. The volunteer greeters will show individuals or small groups around their home town and answer any questions you have. Although they are not professional tour guides, many Global Greeter Network chapters provide some degree of training so greeters can provide quality services.

There’s an ever-increasing list of destinations served by the Global Greeter Network, with new chapters opening when local volunteers put up their hands to start one. You can check out the destinations that Global Greeter Network currently serves here and click through to the relevant site to connect with a greeter.


Unlike hospitality exchanges, the Global Greeter Network isn’t about free accommodation. Instead, it’s about meeting a local whose interests match yours, and allowing them to show you a piece of their home town.

Bonus: You may well make a new friend out of the deal as well.


Note: If you like this concept, you may also want to check out HerMail, which is a similar free service exclusively for women.


Have you ever used Global Greeter Network? How was the experience?




{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Deia @ Nomad Wallet December 28, 2013 at 4:24 pm

This is a great concept! Just like a traveler might prefer to stay at a hotel, someone who wants to meet travelers might prefer to meet up downtown for a day trip rather than having a houseguest. I’ll have to try this someday. 🙂


2 theprofessionalhobo December 29, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Hi Deia – I agree! I give it a shot when I’m in a relevant area myself.


3 Rachel Cotterill December 29, 2013 at 3:42 am

This sounds like a great idea – I think I should sign up 🙂


4 theprofessionalhobo December 29, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Let me know what happens when you do!


5 Steve December 29, 2013 at 7:45 am

A great idea that is worth checking out.


6 Raja Adnan Safdar December 29, 2013 at 8:50 am

I am just loving your idea it will not only let you enjoy and see all places but also keep your privacy by staying at your own.


7 Josie December 29, 2013 at 10:15 am

Thanks for the great resource Nora! Love this one and will definitely use it in the future.
Happy New Year!


8 theprofessionalhobo December 29, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Thank you all for the comments – please do reply again in the comments if you use Global Greeter Network and let us know what your experience is like!


9 Janine December 29, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Oooh, this seems like a great idea. I’ll have to try this out on my next trip.


10 Sylvain December 29, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Yes, I used similar networks in the past.

Another tip is to become active in an international organization (like the Lions, Rotary, Toastmasters, etc…), you’ll have an instant network of contacts all over the world. Plus will give you a way to promote your blog at the same time 🙂

I’m member of an organization like that (Mensa) and I received plenty of help in Mexico… yes, walking city tours and meals (I just attended one breakfast this morning with 16 locals)… but also lifts to go outside the city to visit sites that would be hard to reach by commute.


11 theprofessionalhobo December 30, 2013 at 6:18 am

Great tip, Sylvain! I’ve attended both Rotary and Toastmasters meetings around the world and it has been incredibly helpful – and fun.
My involvement with Rotary was particularly useful in 2008 when I started an international NGO to help the victims of Cyclone Nargis in Burma (I was in Thailand), and again in Australia when I was caught in the Australian Victorian Bushfires of 2009 and helped local Rotarians with aid work. In both cases I was offered friendship and hospitality as well by my fellow Rotarians.


12 Elena January 3, 2014 at 1:05 pm

I must have missed that post! Nora, I have long admired your courage and intelligence, but I really think this speaks as to your character. The world is better because you are in it.


13 theprofessionalhobo January 3, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Thank you so much, Elena! Wow.
Yes, I’ve had a few adventures along the way, that’s for sure!


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