Local Friend

    Do I have to pay taxes on my earnings?
    Yes. As a local friend you are responsible for determining the applicable tax law in your country related to the payment you receive. This can range from VAT to surcharges, sales taxes, goods and services taxes or personal/corporate income.
    How do I get in touch with Rent a Local Friend's team?
    Don't hesitate to send us a message if you have any further questions. Our team is available and want you to have the best experience, always :) info@rentalocalfriend.com
    Who are the Local Friends?
    A Local Friend is anyone who has an authentic local perspective from his city to share. All profiles created are users of our platform, who make use of its tools to promote activities offered on a freelance basis. RentaLocalFriend.com LLC has no work contract bounds with its web users.
    How to boost your profile?
    Keep in mind that Rent a Local Friend shows all the available profiles and that the filter is done directly by the visitor according to certain criteria (gender, age, spoken languages, and interests). That said it is very important to have an all star profile that stands out and clearly shows who you are and what you have to aggregate. In order to have a top notch profile we recommend that first and foremost everything is dully filled in and upload (questionaires and documents). Upload a good resolution foto of yourself (a clear and smily face is always welcoming). Extras such as videos are very interesting since they serve as a differentiation factor while adding a human aspect to the profile. Reviews are very important. Make sure to ask visitors for reviews after outings, they just may be the ticket to your next booking. Lastly, boosting but not sharing is the same as not boosting. Make sure to share your profile in social media channels and through your friends and family. Word of mouth still is a very powerful channel. Have a look at this video, which brings many tips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbaEBi0tze8
    How do I cancel my subscription as a Local Friend?
    If you want to cancel your subscription as a Local Friend, all you have to do is send an email to support@rentalocalfriend.com asking for the cancellation. To know more about our refund policy, please read the FAQ “Is the USD 100 annual subscription fee refundable?”.
    How should I fill out my profile? What should I talk about?
    The more you tell about yourself, the merrier! Talk about who you are, your profession, what do you like to do day by day, extra things you can offer as a Local Friend, where do you usually go on your city, your favorite places… Is also interesting to add a video and to fill your Tips & Traps page. There you can show that you’re an expert on your city, suggesting where to go and what to avoid. Is a good propaganda for your profile! For more information send us an email to support@rentalocalfriend.com.
    What security measures does Rent a Local Friend take?
    For precautionary measures and for your own safety, it is mandatory to upload a valid picture id in your profile. This document is private and no one else except the Rent a Local Friend team has access to it. It will not published or delivered to anyone under any circumstance unless required by law. We provide a deadline of 30 days after a person has subscribed to upload their valid picture id. In case it is not done within this period of time, Rent a Local Friend reserves the right to suspend the profile until the document is made available. For your own security, it’s also important to keep all the communication inside the message board. For that reason, you may not share your facebook, linkedin, skype id or personal emails on your profile’s page. They're all blocked until the booking fee is confirmed.
    What if I do not like my visitor?
    Most people who look for a service such as Rent a Local Friend are open minded and keen on meeting new people and learning about their cultures. If by any chance even after exchanging messages with the visitor you dislike the person we still recommend you to do your best since not only will you be receiving a fee for this service but also you will be reviewed and this can work to your advantage.
    I am currently looking for a job. Can I consider this activity one?
    No. The relationship between the platform and its Local Friends by no means is characterized as a job. Rent a Local Friend is a platform that connects travellers with locals matching their interests.
    Does Rent a Local Friend provide any kind of receipt for the outing?
    If you wish for a receipt of any kind please instruct his to contact us directly through info@rentalocalfriend.com.
    How does the review system work?
    After an outing occurs the visitor will automatically receive an email asking him to fill out a review of the Local Friend directly at the city's Tripadvisor's page. Once the review is posted on Tripadvisor, it will be automatically reproduced on the local friend's page, inside rentalocalfriend.com platform. To find your city page at tripadvisor.com and type rent a local friend in nameofyourcity - and copy the url. You also have full control of your review area to copy/paste any text from an external website, like tripadvisor, and paste it yourself at yoru page too, at any time. If your visitor is traveling with a Cruise, kindly ask him to to leave a review at their member forum too: http://www.cruisecritic.com/ It is very important to get as many reviews as possible, so keep one eye on that and do ask your visitor to write a testimonial for you too!
    How do I cancel an outing that is already booked?
    It is always good to keep in mind that each person plans their trip in a different way and while some may book a Local Friend in the last minute, others will do it way in advance. Regardless, the visitor most likely has a limited time in the city and is counting on you to have the local experience and any change of plans can impact in his/her trip. Nonetheless, if for any extraordinary reason the Local Friend is not able to attend the outing please decline it immediately so that the system can arrange someone else for the visitor. If it happens 48 hours before the outing happens the visitor will still have the right to review the Local Friend and consequently the Local Friend may have a negative review on his profile.
    What if the visitor does not show up?
    Even though this has never happened, the visitor is allowed to cancel the outing and should do that as soon as possible. If the visitor cancels in a period less than seven days to the outing, then the 30% fee that he paid to guarantee the Local Friend will not only be retained, but also split among the platform and the Local Friend (15% to the Local Friend and 15% to the platform) to diminsh damage that may have been caused.
    What are the advantages of being a Local Friend?
    Having a freelance complimentary activity that is fun and flexible could not be it any better! A Local Friend gets to meet new and interesting people all the time and is also paid to take visitors to his very own favorite spots! It also allows the possibility to become part of a community of interesting people who know a lot about their own cities so you can get to know other places and even your own city through a different perspective. Having Local Friend from all over the World also means tips and traps from everywhere. It's an opportunity to meet new friends from other cultures without leaving your home city and escaping from routine exploring your own city through the eyes of foreign cultures. Now you are the Local Friend, but soon enough you may be in the role of the visitor.
    Is the annual fee of 100 USD refundable?
    Your subscription fee investment can be fully refundable until 7 days after you have completed the payment. After that period the website cannot guarantee any refund because the fee has been already used to pay outsorced service providers like hosting of your data, marketing and communication campaigns to bring traffic to your city's page and consequently to all local friends collectively. see more at "What does the annual fee (USD 100) stand for?"
    What does the annual fee (USD 100) stand for?
    The fee allows unlimited access to the platform and its content. It also covers the following: - Ilimited access to the platform during this period. - Technical maintenance and page hosting within the platform. - Message board and payment gateway. - Funds for advertising to generate traffic to the website.
    How should I plan the visitor’s itinerary?
    The beauty of this service is that it allows 100% of itinerary customization according to what you have to offer and the interests of the visitor. Having this in mind the itinerary will be basically built upon what the visitor wants to see and taking into account your suggestions, after-all you are the local expert. It is important to have a blend between what is typical and traditional and the places that you know and love. We recommend that if you can, go away from traditional tourism routes because this is what we have that is unique, the opportunity to get to know a city based on what locals actually do and where they go.

    How do I communicate with visitors?
    All communication between visitors and Local Friends must be made through our message board within the Rent a Local Friend website. This is designed this way for security reasons. This is the perfect opportunity to communicate ask about the desired itinerary and etc. During this phase the booking is not concluded and the Local Friend has the chance to reject the Local Experience. The process is done this way to protect both the visitor and the Local Friend. No personal information will be revealed until the first part of the booking is done, which happens when the 30% is paid and the Local Friend accepts the booking request. After that skype, cellphone and email information will be made available for the purpose of the outing.
    What happens if I cannot accept a booking?
    If you are not available on the requested date or able to take the booking for any specific reason you have the option to decline it so the visitor can reach another Local Friend. Remember that any message you doesn't respond in 48 hours will be forwarded to someone else who meets the criteria.
    If I have never been rented, how can I make myself standout and get this first chance?
    Like we said, this all depends on how attractive your profile is. This is why we recommend a lot of attention given to it so that it is all filled in in a complete and interesting manner. A nice picture helps and a video makes it top notch! It is also crucial to increase your own profile reach through social media channels, this way people will know that you are a Local Friend and recommend you to their friends. Word of mouth still is a very successfull form of standing out. Rent a Local Friend’s search results distributes in a fair way its results taking into consideration not only Local Friends with positive reviews and a trackrecord of outings, but also new Local Friends so that they can have their first opportunity and then enter the cycle of positive (hopefully) reviews and a profile boost.
    How am I selected by a visitor and how does the selection process work?
    When the visitor accesses our platform he can filter his search not only by available dates but also by spoken languages and interests. Based on this filter a selected pool of friends who meet the criteria will appear as a search result. After this pre-selection it will be up to the visitor to select and reach out to the Local Friend. This is why we highly recommend Local Friends to have an interesting and complete profile with pictures, videos and everything that will provide more accuracy on who the Local Friend is as a person. A good picture is very important. Also keep in mind that before finalizing a booking the Local Friend will receive a message from the Visitor or he will book you direcly. Than Local Friend should make contact or reject or accept the booking paid. Is important to know that before the booking is scheduled, the visitor can send messages to more than one Local Friend. Because of this we suggest you respond the messages quickly! If the Local Friend doesn't answer in 48 hours the system will forward the message to other Local Friends with the same filters.
    How does the Tips and Traps section work?
    We have a Tips and Traps section to be used by everyone and made public in each Local Friend’s profile. We encourage Local Friends to post what they consider tips and traps on this section to help upcoming visitors.This may be a decision factor for a visitor to pick you to show him around. To activate this section at your page you must create at least 10 places. Once you have done that, you can sell them online too and get an additional income to your page :) We use all content to generate marketing buzz to the platform and all its members, so we will use your tip too tagged along with your profile page, which is another great way to make your profile known and attract visitors.
    How much does a Local Friend get of an outing?
    In order to book an outing a visitor must pay upfront 30% of the fee charged by the Local Friend. The remaining 70% is paid directly to the Local Friend on the day of the outing.

    How do I price the service?
    Rent a Local Friend suggests an average price according to what is standard in each specific city where we have Local Friends. Nonetheless, it is up to each Local Friend to choose their own price according to what they believe they can aggregate and how unique they are. Our minimum price for a full day is US$ 50. The selection will occur by potential visitors, so it is important to keep in mind that if you choose to be way out of the common price range practiced, we recommend that you provide a valid reason for the visit so that he understands and appreciates what is offered. In case there is no Local Friend in the city you are from, we suggest a brief research on the internet or even look at other cities in our portfolio to use as a benchmark. When considering your fee keep in mind that 30% of this value is retained by the website to guarantee the booking reservation and the remaining 70% will be paid by the visitor during the outing.
    Which are the mandatory documents?
    It is mandatory to upload a valid picture id in your profile. We request this for your own safety as well as for precautionary measuers. This document is private and no one else except the Rent a Local Friend team has access to it. It will not published or delivered to anyone under any circumstance unless required by law. We provide a deadline of 30 days after a person has subscribed to upload their valid picture id. In case it is not done so within this period of time, Rent a Local Friend reserves the right to suspend the profile until the document is made available.
    What if there are no Local Friends in the city I am applying to? What do I do and how do I register?
    If you cannot locate your city on our list of available cities this is not a problem whatsoever. In fact, you should be proud to be first one in your city to become a Local Friend! While you are registering and filling in the form, all you have to do is write the name of your city at the city box available!
    What does it take for me to become a Local Friend?
    - Only people over 18 years of age may take part. - Know your city very well, especially when it comes to the interests you pointed out in your profile. - Be sociable and communicative. - Have interesting stories to tell, especially about where you come from and what you love about your city. - Have a relatively flexible schedule in the weekends and if possible during the week a well. You will not be obliged to accept any booking thus the more free time the more bookings you will be able to take, but it is not mandatory.
    How do I become a Local Friend?
    To become a Local Friend all you have to do is click on the button “Become a Local Friend” that is located on the top right corner of the homepage in the website. You will then be directed to a page with the title “How to be a Local friend” read the content and then click in “apply now”. You will be directed to a questionaire. Once it is filled in make sure to upload a picture and proceed to payment of the annual fee. After payment is accepted your profile will me made public with the others. It is important to fill in the questionaire with interesting answers, upload a visible and nice picture and also make available a valid photo id.
    How does the platform work?
    The first step in this platform is to select the city you intend on visiting and the dates you wish to rent a Local Friend. Once that is defined, you will be directed to a page with filters where they will further help in the selection of the ideal Local Friend. Language and interests and key filters for a unique experience (an example is a Local Friend in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, who speaks french and is interested in photography). Once those are selected, the system narrows down to a selected number of Local Friends that meet the criteria. Once the profiles are narrowed down, the visitor has the opportunity to quickly browse and select. He can select one friend or more than one since this selection does not mean that the booking is guaranteed. After this we encourage the Visitor to check all Local Friend profiles and than send a message to the Local Friends that meet his interests. To check if they are available. Otherwise the Visitor can BOOK NOW the Local Friend he wants. After paying the 30% booking fee the Local Friend needs to accept or reject this booking. This part of the payment is done online and directly to the Rent a Local Friend website. The remining 70% is paid directly to the Local Friend on the day of the outing. The meeting point and the itinerary will be discussed through the message board of the platform.
    What is the maximum number of people allowed in an outing?
    The idea is to keep this outing as customized as possible. A Local Friend’s fee stands up for two people. Each extra person costs an additional value. In order to make sure what your total fee is before you pay for it simulate the number of visitors and check the cost. There is no limit of visitors extras, however we recommend no more than 6 people.

Visitor

    How do I get in touch with Rent a Local Friend's team?
    Don't hesitate to send us a message if you have any further questions. Our team is available and want you to have the best experience :) reach us at any time: info@rentalocalfriend.com
    How to choose the ideal Local Friend?
    Is very easy to choose the ideal Local Friend. First you need to know what kind of Local Experience you are looking after. What kind of things you want to see. Are you an artsy person? Adventurous? Traveling with kids? Are looking after some good local shopping experience? After this you must look into the City page you are going to travel to and optimise this search with the many filters disposed on the platform. This for sure will help you finding the ideal Local Friend. Last but not least we encourage the exchange messages to make sure that the Local Friend plans this experience as your expectations and his local twist.
    Are there any family discounts?
    Children until 12 years old do not pay.
    May I get a receipt?
    Absolutely. If you ever need one, we can send it under your nome or the name of a company. All you have to do is send and email to info@rentalocalfriend.com.
    How do I cancel an outing?
    In case cancellation occurs please send a message to communicate your Local Friend ASAP regarding the booking cancellation. The best way to communicate with your friend for a fast feedback is via whatssup or private email, which is made available to your at the message board after booking payment has been confirmed The deadline for a visitor to cancel an outing and still obtain full refund is 48 hours prior to the scheduled date. After that, the 30% paid to guarantee the booking will not be refunded since the initial service of hosting and communication between the Local Friend and the visitor was already done. That and also the fact that the Local Friend gave up another booking to be with the visitor and thus he would end up in a loss of the remaining 70%.
    On the day of the outing, where should I meet my Local Friend?
    Local Friends typically suggest an easy meeting spot, however you can also pre-arrange for the Local Friend to meet you where you are staying or any convenient place for you according to the planned itinerary.
    After I pay the 30% fee and guarantee my booking what else should I do?
    Once the fee is paid the reservation is official and the Local Friend will hold this date for you. In the meantime you can communicate via message board to ask any questions or talk about specific details of your itinerary.
    Do I need to pay for my Local Friend’s meals?
    No. Unless the meal is a part of the outing and this is pre-arranged. The visitor is free to eat wherever he wants all he has to do is set up a time and meeting place to keep going with the outing after a meal.
    What is included in the price of the booking?
    The booking fee covers the itinerary creation and the actual time of the outing spent with the Local Friend. Any other expense such as tickets, transportation and meals shall be arranged in advance or paid directly by the visitor. Alternatives are possible but they may vary so we suggest that you discuss this with your Local Friend. Transportation from one place to the other is not included in the price of the booking and the visitor is free to choose the most convenient or option that he judges to be the best one.
    With how much time in advance should I book my Local Friend?
    The earlier you do it the better it is for you to guarantee an available friend within the desired date and also have enough time to plan the itinerary together. The minimum we suggest is 48 hours, however if you want to do a last minute booking you can invite a Local Friend and hope that he responds in due time. If you book and decide to cancel the outing within this short period of time, the 30% paid upfront will not be refunded. In order to increase your chances of obtaining a last minute booking we recommend that you contact more than one Local Friend to increase your chances of a rapid response.
    Are Local Friends expected to drive?
    We believe that the best way to get to know a city if by interacting with it. This happens the most in outings that are done by walking or public transportation when there are bigger distances involved such as buses, taxis, metros, etc. However, if your Local Friend has a car and a driver’s license you may pre-arrange for this to be a part of your experience.
    How long does a Local Experience take?
    You can choose a halfday or a full day outing. Half days can be done either in the morning or afternoon and last 4 hours while full days are the equivalent of 8 hours. Local Friends have their set of prices for both options. Mon-Sun from 8am until 8pm and you may choose the meeting point / pick -up adress.
    How can I guarantee that I am safe since I do not now know the Local Friend?
    Because you only meet the friend in the moment of the outing, you have the opportunity to filter according to similar interests, check his profile and talk with the Local Friend through the message board for as long as you want. On the day of the outing we also recommend that the meeting point is in a public place and that you go on with your planned itinerary for as long as you feel comfortable. Keep in mind that it is a mutual trust relationship since the Local Friend does not know you as well.
    How is the payment done?
    To guarantee your Local Friend you must pay 30% of the total booking fee upfront to guarantee the Local Friend and the desired date. To do so you must click on the BOOK NOW button located on the profile page of the chosen Local Friend. The amount will only be debited once the Local Friend accepts and authorized the request. The remaining 70% must be paid directly to the Local Friend on the moment of the outing. The 30% booking fee is only refundable 7 days prior to the booked date.
    In what language will my Local Friend talk to me?
    When you select a Local Friend you have the option to filter by spoken languages. Therefore you should select a language that you are able to communicate yourself in.
    Why should I pay someone to show me around?
    Given excess of information and increasing demand to experience the unique and customized, it is getting harder and harder to filter what is relevant and select where to go and what to do when you travel. More and more travellers are seeking for a cultural immersion when traveling the world. Local Friends are also travellers but within their own homes and thus do this homework for you while putting together an itinerary that is 100% customized suiting your needs, interests and making sure to take you to the most authentic and sometimes even traditional little places, guiding you on what and where to shop, teaching about local eating habbits, and showing what is truly authentic while keeping you up to date with the new and noteworthy. You will not have to worry about anything and certainly not get lost. The other great benefit is that the Local Friend knows the local language and will make communication for you a lot easier.
    What types of things will the Local Friend show me during our Local Experience?
    The Local Friend will create an itinerary based on your interests. He will take you to his favorite places but making sure that they are aligned with what you want to experience in this city. A few examples are: typical local restaurants for a good and not over priced food, the best sunset view, charming stores, etc.
    Who are the Local Friends and what are their backgrounds?
    Local Friends are people with other occupations that vary significantly. We have journalists, lawyers, chefs and even yoga teachers amongst many other professions. They do however share in common their love for where they live and their interest in meeting new people and making sure tell them about what they consider to be the best within their cities of residence.
    How does the Local Experience work?
    You should select your choosen date together with your interests and languages. The website will display the result of Local Friends whose profile matches your own selected interests. If you have flexible dates, please select more than one possible date so we can match it with a wider possibiity of Local Friend’s agenda. Local Experience times are: Mon-Sun from 8am until 8pm. You may choose the meeting point / pick -up address.
    How does the platform work?
    Rent a Local Friend is a licensed LLC company based in Delaware, USA and has local representatives at various cities, who run the project locally. The first step in this platform is to select the city you intend on visiting and the dates you wish to rent a Local Friend. Once that is defined, you will be directed to a page with filters where they will further help in the selection of the ideal Local Friend. Language and interests and key filters for a unique experience (an example is a Local Friend in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, who speaks french and is interested in photography). Once those are selected, the system narrows down to a selected number of Local Friends that meet the criteria. Once the profiles are narrowed down, the visitor has the opportunity to quickly browse and select. He can select one friend or more than one since this selection does not mean that the booking is guaranteed. After this we encourage the Visitor to check all Local Friend profiles and than send a message to the Local Friends that meet his interests. To check if they are available. Otherwise the Visitor can BOOK NOW the Local Friend he wants. After paying the 30% booking fee the Local Friend needs to accept or reject this booking. This part of the payment is done online and directly to the Rent a Local Friend website. The remining 70% is paid directly to the Local Friend on the day of the outing. The meeting point and the itinerary will be discussed through the message board of the platform.

Media

    Contact us
    For press demands reach out to us through: info@rentalocalfriend.com
    Press Release
    RENT A LOCAL FRIEND An alternative way to travel “Rent a local Friend” is the name of an upbeat project designed for travelers willing to catch up with the local spirit in a relaxed way. The Local Friend will help the visitor to understand the city and its culture and to plan their own personalized itinerary from all the existing information, taking into account the very best of the city’s cultural agenda and seasonal happenings. “The idea of the project is to provide a professional service with that authentic relaxed character as meeting a local friend”, says Alice Moura, the project creator. The way people travel has changed completely over recent years all over the world. Trip organization has become much easier due to the ease of access and quantity of information available to everyone, having the internet as a major player for this facility. On the other hand, how can we organize ourselves and make the right choices from the ocean of information available to us? Alice, a young Brazilian journalist, realized that the biggest benefit from the internet, when it came to organizing trips, was giving access through a virtual space to a real person living in the desired destination. Being able to discover the city as an "adopted local", rather than a tourist, was definitely a fantastic way to travel for her. So, after many travelling experiences, she decided to create that possibility for other travellers sharing this very same feeling. The local friends are an alternative to professional guides, and are also unrelated to fixed tours routes and main touristic attractions, but are simply open minded people, who are constantly finding out about their own city’s little gems and charming places. They list their interests at the website and make themselves available “to be rented” by visitors to share their local itineraries and perspective from the city.The idea is to offer an authentic experience of the local life style. There are already about 110 cities around the world with Local Friends in it. “It’s fantastic! Anyone who has this subtle help from a local, can navigate through the city much more easily and see it through other eyes”, explains Susan Ernhart, a fashion stylist from London who recently tried out the project in Lisboa. There is no doubt that the internet and the era of communications we are living in has changed forever the world’s borders. It has promoted such an intense cross culturing that it has never been so easy to plan your own travel and choose new alternative ways to travel! For more information: Rent a Local Friend www.rentalocalfriend.com info@rentalocalfriend.com +351 926611661