Another new entrant into the sharing economy of adventure activities, I Like Local offers a variation on the theme of peer to peer tour guides. Unlike other companies in the travel activity space, I Like Local includes homestays, farmstays, and volunteering opportunities as a significant portion of their offerings, and these are focused in Southeast Asia, a region generally underrepresented in the peer to peer travel world. Travelers can join I Like Local to find lodging, volunteer opportunities, and activities, which range from free up to the most expensive activities costing around $250 for a 3 to 6 day trek. Most offerings are very cheap by First World standards, consistent with the region of the world where they are being offered.
Similar to Helpstay in their goal of matching travelers with unique local experiences, I Like Local takes it a step further by focusing on developing countries: “I Like Local focuses on offering unique, local activities organized by local people in developing countries. By booking these local activities you empower and stimulate locals directly. 100% of the money asked by the locals for their activities is directly paid to them; I Like Local doesn’t charge them anything. Besides this I Like Local is looking for more ways than just financially support them.” The homestays look like a fun variation on sharing economy lodging opportunities.
The founder Sanne Meijboom writes of her concept: “During the early days of my idea I have spoken to many to find out why they are traveling. It confirmed my expectations; more and more people seem to look for more simple, authentic and unique experiences. Interestingly all of the explanations were related to spontaneous meet-ups with locals. It didn’t matter if they were on a budget travel or if they were spending more. They were invited for a dinner or a party; they were offered a bed or taken to a special ‘insiders-place’. These were the moments they remembered as the best and are exactly what locals can offer.”
Check out my interview with ILikeLocal here