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Getting a Free Local Guide

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Why traipse around an unfamiliar city on your own when you can get a local to guide you instead? And the best part is, in some cities, it’s free.

So if you want to get a local guide without busting your travel budget, check out these services.

Chicago Greeter will line up a local to spend a day with you for free, sharing such local wisdom as which L-train boasts the best views of the city.

In New York, Big Apple Greeter offers walking tours of some of the city’s well-known and lesser-known neighborhoods with locals who live in them.

Overseas, Goodwill Guides of Japan lead tours of little-known sites like fishing villages and family-owned pottery shops.

The tours are free, though you’ll have to pay any admission fees or meals for your guide.

And finally, run by the local tourism board, Jamaica’s free Meet the People Programme finds local guides for everything from jerk-chicken shack meals to reggae beach parties.

Find more money-saving tips in our budget travel section.