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Dine in local homes and live like a nomad with these experiential travel platforms

Never travel the same way twice

By Dannon Har | Aug 29, 2017

  • Dine in local homes and live like a nomad with these experiential travel platforms
    Taste authentic homecooked cuisine in Hong Kong. Credit: BonAppetour
  • Dine in local homes and live like a nomad with these experiential travel platforms
    Join Thai monks during alms-giving. Credit: WithLocals
  • Dine in local homes and live like a nomad with these experiential travel platforms
    Feast on Catalan cuisine in a former Barcelona copper factory. Credit: EatWith
  • Dine in local homes and live like a nomad with these experiential travel platforms
    Go on bike tours through local markets in Vietnam. Credit: WithLocals

Technology has freed us from the shackles of the travel middleman and enabled us to travel the way we want. And thanks to a whole new bunch of accessibility platforms, getting connected with destination experts for a taste of local living has never been easier. Here are some worth the bandwidth.


Pioneers of the social dining scene here back in 2013, BonAppetour is now the go-to platform for those looking to have a taste, literally, of home-cooked meals prepared by locals in their own homes. They have since introduced new ways for travelers to explore each city’s F&B scene as well, by offering hosts the ability to list food tours, drinking trails, workshops and more.
Best for: A solid selection of local dining experiences.


From a fashion tour in Paris to a food trail in Bangkok showcasing Gordon Ramsey’s favorite street eats, tours designed by locals of every kind can be found on WithLocals. And like most sharing economy marketplaces, trips offered here are led by everyday people rather than professional guides. You can find many European and Asian destinations being covered here.
Best for: Insider tours led by locals.

Me to We

Looking to have a vacation that is more meaningful? At Me to We, you can combine your wanderlust with a journey to places like India, Kenya and China where you can work on community projects (like building a school) that actually have a long, lasting impact on the lives of others as you explore a new sense of place.
Best for: Voluntourism.

Nomad House

For long, extended trips that last for a month at a time, Nomad House is where you should look. The two cofounders are believers that work and play aren’t mutually exclusive activities. This philosophy presents itself vividly with their play/work itineraries that has brought travelers/ coworkers together to the likes of Lisbon, Bali, Budapest and more for a memorable slow travel experience.
Best for: Planting temporary roots.


Photography, whether amateur or professional, often go hand in hand with traveling. And at Govacay, you can go on adventure tours specially designed by professional photographers meant to satisfy your inner shutterbug. On offer now includes trips to check out Sri Lanka’s diverse wildlife, finding the elusive Northern Lights in Iceland, and more.
Best for: Photography enthusiasts.


For a more curated local dining experience filled with storytelling elements by trained hosts, try NoshTrekker. What sets them apart is their Signature line of events that can involve cooking demonstrations, live music and customisation of cuisine to your specific dietary needs. They also host more casual pop-up food events too. It is currently only available in Australia, South Africa, Singapore and Brunei, with coverage in Malaysia and Thailand coming soon.
Best for: Deep dive into a culture through food.


If you ever find yourself in a foreign land in need of comforting home-cooked meals prepared in the kitchen of a local family, head to EatWith. Here, the focus is on the sharing of cultures through traditional meals without any of the extra bells and whistles—just honest, good food shared at the communal dining table with residents.
Best for: Authentic homemade meals.


Vietnam-based Triip stands out from other more commercial peer-to-peer platforms by having a strong Southeast Asia presence (its global reach is vast too) and by having a strict vetting process for their guides. As a result, who you have leading you on tours are local experts who know their destinations inside-out and who are also excellent communicators.
Best for: Giving back to local communities while having fun.

For more travel stories, head over to SG Travels.

Part of our new SG Great Escapes 2017.



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