It’s the era of travel where people prefer to stroll in search of a dose of local life, ditching the comforts and extravaganzas meant for tourists. If you are one of the more enthusiastic travelers on a quest to seek the originality of a destination, you would know how difficult it is to find information on lesser-known attractions.
Many consider locals to be the best source to learn the secret tidbits of a travel destination - the hidden spots that don’t make it to the guidebooks. ViaHero offers just that. ViaHero allows you to connect with locals and get your desired trip planned by them. It boasts of providing travelers with up-to-date, safe, and interesting travel plans with the help of a local who live and breathe in the destination.
This is our ViaHero review!
What is ViaHero?
ViaHero is a travel planning service that helps you explore a destination through the lens of a local. It was founded in 2015 by Greg Buzulencia and Rachel Hawkes.
ViaHero is a novel concept that lies between independent travel and guided tours. It connects travelers with like-minded locals, also known as “Heroes,” who are well-informed about the place they live in. ViaHero has connections with locals around the world to curate personalized itineraries for travelers looking for authentic experiences. It is noteworthy that a “Hero” by ViaHero is not a local guide who will accompany you during the tour. They connect and communicate with you digitally to gather details and provide you with a comprehensive travel plan and other necessary help.
How Does ViaHero Work?
- First, you will have to check if ViaHero is offering its service to the destination you are hoping to visit.
- If yes, you can sign up, specify your preferences, and pick a Hero who caters to your requirements. Once you and the local Hero are connected, the planning begins. You can explain the kind of experiences, activities, and places you wish to explore and other requirements you want to be included in the travel plan.
- Initially, you will be given a basic outline for approval, suggestions, and feedback.
- From then, the Hero will improve, modify, and revise the itinerary, providing you many drafts along the way until you get a seamless itinerary done just for you!
How Much Does ViaHero Cost?
ViaHero charges a flat rate of $40 per day to plan itineraries to any destination in their list. Any activities in addition to taxi transfers to or from the airport will constitute a day’s planning. So, if your day involves even one activity besides taxi transfers, you will be charged with a day’s rate.
ViaHero also offers a money-back guarantee, so you can request a refund if you aren’t satisfied with the service. But their cancellation policy is subject to certain terms and conditions.
What Is Included in the Service?
- A personalized guidebook that details dining, lodging, sightseeing, and all other activity recommendations scheduled for each day.
- A tailor-made map highlighting the locations of all activities included in the guidebook
- Prescheduled travel arrangements. The local Hero will book anything that doesn’t require advance payment.
- Flexibility to revise and edit plans until you get a satisfactory itinerary done
- Unlimited communication with your local Hero
Where Are the Destinations Covered by ViaHero?
- North America: New York City, Upstate New York, Cuba, Los Angeles, Puerto Rico, Montreal, and Mexico City.
- Central & South America: Columbia, Peru, Costa Rica, Rio de Janeiro, and Buenos Aires.
- Europe: Italy, Portugal, France, Croatia, London, Spain, and Ireland.
- Asia: Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines.
What We Like About ViaHero?
- One of the frustrating issues travelers face is getting lured into tourist traps and overcrowded places. A Hero can navigate you away from these areas and recommend local attractions that deliver great value for the money spent. They also help you explore off-the-beaten-path attractions.
- Many use ViaHero travel because it helps you plan a great itinerary without going through the hassle of planning it! All you have to do is explain your expectations, and the Hero will handle the rest. You don’t have to spend hours researching and reading reviews on the internet anymore.
Supports local communities
- ViaHero connects you directly with a local and provides you many opportunities to support local communities. In addition to paying a local to plan your trip instead of a tour company, you also get to spend money on local eateries, BnBs, and attractions. ViaHero is a great option, especially if you are hoping to visit remote areas that will benefit a lot from a little support from tourists like you.
- As per many ViaHero reviews, the itineraries provided by local heroes have proven to be comprehensive and super-useful. So, it’s safe to assume that the service is worth the price and can facilitate you with an unforgettable tour. There’s also the option of getting revisions done until you get the travel plan you are looking for.
It’s also worth mentioning that ViaHero is helpful for Americans wanting to visit Cuba. As there are a lot of restrictions and limited facilities, a local from Cuba can help you tour safely, adhering to the guidelines imposed by the government.
What We Don’t Like About ViaHero?
- As ViaHero is a relatively new initiative, its services are offered only to a limited number of countries. So, unless you are heading to one of the countries on their list, it’s not a useful travel planning service.
- As you might have gathered already, highly personalized itineraries like that offered by ViaHero don’t come cheap. If you are an experienced traveler willing to put adequate hours into research and planning and forgo the convenience, you can travel much cheaper. However, ViaHero is cost-effective compared to guided tour services.
- ViaHero promises to connect you with awesome locals who know what they do. But, you can only trust their word and look at previous reviews of Heroes. Some travelers have ended up with locals who aren’t knowledgeable or enthusiastic enough to provide them with a great itinerary.
Your Flexible Travel Planner
Don’t be discouraged if ViaHero doesn’t offer local Heroes for the country you plan to visit next vacation. There’s still a better planner. You. You can create a beautiful itinerary for your dream destination with the right tools. Also, researching about a place by yourself opens you to different viewpoints regarding it. With ViaHero, you only have one.
If you need a good travel planner, we recommend you use Pilot. With Pilot, planning is no longer a tedious journey. It’s fun, easy, and convenient with many features helping you compile all the necessary travel information in one place. You can get your friends or family on board and plan together!