More and more travelers prefer to travel "like a local" and see the real culture during their trips to international destinations. Instead of visiting the hottest tourist attractions, they're more interested in getting a dose of the local life!
If you identify yourself as this type of traveler, one who loves to see daily life and local culture, you would know how difficult it is to find information on lesser-known attractions. Those sights that 99% of tourists don't get to see, since they don't even know about them.
Locals are one of the best sources to learn about the secret tidbits of a travel destination—the hidden spots that don’t make it to the guidebooks. So, if your looking to tap into a local's knowledge, 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 friendly and knowledgeable local.
But is ViaHero legit and worth using as a service? This is the ViaHero review that will help you make your final decision!
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. These locals help to curate personalized itineraries for travelers looking for authentic experiences.
However, it's important to understand that a ViaHero Hero isn't a local guide who will accompany you during the tour. These Heroes connect and communicate with you digitally to gather details about what you want. After talking to you about your desires, your Hero will provide you with a comprehensive travel plan and other necessary help.
Is ViaHero Legit?
You’ll be happy to know that ViaHero is definitely legit and is known to be a reliable service for having locals plan your trip. It’s been reviewed heavily online by many users who loved having a customized itinerary curated especially for them!
How Does ViaHero Work?
Now you understand the concept of what ViaHero does. However, how does it actually work if you wanted to book a trip using ViaHero? Let's go through the process step-by-step.
- First, you'll have to check if ViaHero is offering its service in 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 included in your itinerary.
- Initially, you'll be given a basic outline for approval, suggestions, and feedback.
- Next, the Hero will improve, modify, and revise the itinerary, providing you many drafts along the way until you get a desirable itinerary made based on your specific preferences!
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’s 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.
Is ViaHero Worth It?
According to ViaHero reviews, the service is worth it, and I think so too! Although it’s a little pricey, if you’re looking to experience a place like a local but don’t want the hassle of all the researching and planning, ViaHero could save you loads of time.
Planning a trip through ViaHero will also ensure that you make the most of your destination as there will always be local secrets that the general public won’t know about!
Our Rating: 4.5/5
- Local experience
- Trip planned for you
- Supports locals
- Comprehensive itineraries
- Limited destinations
- Sometime unreliable
Plan with Pilot!
ViaHero offers travelers a unique opportunity to see the country you’re visiting from a local lens. Whether or not ViaHero is right for you, you’re going to need a plan for that upcoming trip and Pilot is here to help!