What is 'toursbylocals'?

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#1
New Hampshire
739 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Is this a company like Viator that consolidates tours by other companies?

We're looking for some private tours in South America and sifting through all the available data is a little overwhelming.
#2
17 Posts
Joined Oct 2016
Originally posted by Cruise NH
Is this a company like Viator that consolidates tours by other companies?

We're looking for some private tours in South America and sifting through all the available data is a little overwhelming.
I had a great experience with another company last year, since I could book many tours with them in different ports of South America having excellent proffessional tour guides and getting good prices. You can contact them at this site tourguideushuaia.net
#4
Vancouver, BC
7 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
Hi! We've used ToursByLocals for city tours and shore excursions in a number of places now (Hawaii, Paris, Croatia, London, and about to meet a guide in Buenos Aires at the end of October). They're different than Viator in that the company isn't so much a re-seller of tours, but more of a private tour operator. I have liked being able to get in touch with the guides and customize itineraries, rather than buy the tour 'as-is'. Sometimes that's an easier approach than wading through all the suggested tour itineraries, which, like you say, can be a bit overwhelming with all the different options. Have a great trip!
#5
Florida
2,494 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by BCgal2010
Hi! We've used ToursByLocals for city tours and shore excursions in a number of places now (Hawaii, Paris, Croatia, London, and about to meet a guide in Buenos Aires at the end of October). They're different than Viator in that the company isn't so much a re-seller of tours, but more of a private tour operator. I have liked being able to get in touch with the guides and customize itineraries, rather than buy the tour 'as-is'. Sometimes that's an easier approach than wading through all the suggested tour itineraries, which, like you say, can be a bit overwhelming with all the different options. Have a great trip!


Did you ever have a cancelled port when booked with Tours By Locals? How difficult/easy was it to get a refund of your downpayment? Or did you get one?


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Wayfairers
12/06 RC Navigator of the Seas - 7d Eastern Caribbean
01/08 HAL Ryndam - 30d Hawaii/South Pacific
03/08 Carnival Spirit - 7d Mexican Riviera
06/08 Princess Sapphire - 10d Alaska
01/09 Celebrity Galaxy - 10d Southern Caribbbean
10/11 HAL Maasdam - 45d Atlantic Adventurer (RT FLL to Europe)
05/14 Carnival Legend - 7d Western Caribbean
06/14 Carnival Conquest - 7d Eastern Caribbean
07/15 HAL Veendam - 1st 18d of Voyage of the Vikings (Boston-Amsterdam)
10/15 Norwegian Spirit - 28d Transatlantic (Venice-Orlando)
01/16 HAL Rotterdam - 89d Passage to the Far East

Looking forward to.....
01/19 HAL Prinsendam- 80d Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage
#6
Bowie, Maryland (suburb of Washington, DC)
5,922 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Originally posted by Wayfairers
Did you ever have a cancelled port when booked with Tours By Locals? How difficult/easy was it to get a refund of your downpayment? Or did you get one?


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Tours by locals is a booker based in the USA. They have guides in many countries. If you ask for a guide they have a list for you to choose from. They take your money (prepaid), book your guide and tell the guide your needs, the guide is an independent operator and usually works for several bookers and or tour agents. For finding the customer and telling the guide, Tours by Locals gets 50% of the tour price. They pay the guides once a month -- the following month (if your tour takes place on Oct. 18 and you booked your tour June 2 YOU pay June 2 on booking and they pay your guide 50% of the tour cost on November 15). They do help guides connect with customers but I prefer to find my own guide through internet and make my deals and details by email. TBL does have some good guides but guides work cheaper if you book without the booking agent.
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Barbara and Walter
Bowie, Md.

2017 Oceania Insignia Singapore to Abu Dhabi Navigator of the Seas Miami & Nassau 2016 Rotterdam Viking Passage Rotterdam to Boston 2015 Independence of the Seas Eastern Caribbean Azamara Quest Bali to Osaka 2014 Insignia Mayan Mystic Oceanic Discoverer New Zealand South Island 2013 Disney Dream 2012 Diamond Princess The Orient route Star Princess Cape Horn Route SA 2011M/V Evolution Galapagos Islands 2011 Uniworld River Duchess Tulips/windmills;2010 Crown Princess Canada/New England;2010 Coral Princess Panama Canal;2009 Oceania Nautica Greece and Turkey;2008 Cunard QM2 Southern Caribbean;2008 Celebrity Constellation Iberia & TA;2007 Majestic American Queen of West Columbia River 2006 Princess Star Princess Baltic;2004 Princess Tahitian Princess South Pacific;2003 Viking River Cruises Clara Schumann Elbe R;2002 Coral Princess (Aust) Coral Princess2 Reef;2001 Princess Royal Princess Norwegian Fjords;2000 Jungle Expeditions La Turmalina Amazon R;1999 Disney Magic Bahamas;1998 RCCL Enchantment of Seas Western Carib.;1996 Princess Star Princess (old) Alaska;1994 RCCL Monarch of the Seas Southern Carib;1990 RCCL Nordic Prince Bermuda;1987 RCCL Sun Viking Eastern Carib.
#7
Vancouver, BC
7 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
Originally posted by Wayfairers
Did you ever have a cancelled port when booked with Tours By Locals? How difficult/easy was it to get a refund of your downpayment? Or did you get one?
Fortunately this has never been an issue for us, but I did ask about it before booking. The company has a straightforward "force majeure" refund policy that offers full refunds if the ship doesn't make it into port for any reason.
#8
Vancouver, BC
7 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
Originally posted by Bowie MeMe
Tours by locals is a booker based in the USA. They have guides in many countries. If you ask for a guide they have a list for you to choose from. They take your money (prepaid), book your guide and tell the guide your needs, the guide is an independent operator and usually works for several bookers and or tour agents. For finding the customer and telling the guide, Tours by Locals gets 50% of the tour price. They pay the guides once a month -- the following month (if your tour takes place on Oct. 18 and you booked your tour June 2 YOU pay June 2 on booking and they pay your guide 50% of the tour cost on November 15). They do help guides connect with customers but I prefer to find my own guide through internet and make my deals and details by email. TBL does have some good guides but guides work cheaper if you book without the booking agent.
Actually, this isn't quite how it works. I have always communicated directly with the Tours by Locals guide, via email. The company doesn't do that on my behalf. Also, they're Canadian, not American (maybe not important to you, but as a Canuck, I like this ). And guides get 80% of the tour price, not 50% (a detail I researched early on, as I like to get money into the hands of local suppliers.)
#9
Bowie, Maryland (suburb of Washington, DC)
5,922 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Perhaps things have changed some since I had the conversation with a guide in Rio. He was trying to be an independent guide booking without a 3 rd party. We spent a week with him and so this was many conversations over the week. I try to not look at TBL because if I can't find the guide without TLB then I make myself pay for their services-- seems fair to me. They also will not hire a guide if they speak of the financial information-- This is pretty common to use booking services to fill out the guide's schdule. In Bali we took a wrong turn and ended up in the staging parking lot for a Princess shore excursion-- The guides were changing signs on cars and vans and picking up uniform shirts to go on a 30 bus trip to paradise trip. Essentially Cruiseline is also a booker. Guides take the lower price because it is steady income compared to hoping enough private business comes in


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Barbara and Walter
Bowie, Md.

2017 Oceania Insignia Singapore to Abu Dhabi Navigator of the Seas Miami & Nassau 2016 Rotterdam Viking Passage Rotterdam to Boston 2015 Independence of the Seas Eastern Caribbean Azamara Quest Bali to Osaka 2014 Insignia Mayan Mystic Oceanic Discoverer New Zealand South Island 2013 Disney Dream 2012 Diamond Princess The Orient route Star Princess Cape Horn Route SA 2011M/V Evolution Galapagos Islands 2011 Uniworld River Duchess Tulips/windmills;2010 Crown Princess Canada/New England;2010 Coral Princess Panama Canal;2009 Oceania Nautica Greece and Turkey;2008 Cunard QM2 Southern Caribbean;2008 Celebrity Constellation Iberia & TA;2007 Majestic American Queen of West Columbia River 2006 Princess Star Princess Baltic;2004 Princess Tahitian Princess South Pacific;2003 Viking River Cruises Clara Schumann Elbe R;2002 Coral Princess (Aust) Coral Princess2 Reef;2001 Princess Royal Princess Norwegian Fjords;2000 Jungle Expeditions La Turmalina Amazon R;1999 Disney Magic Bahamas;1998 RCCL Enchantment of Seas Western Carib.;1996 Princess Star Princess (old) Alaska;1994 RCCL Monarch of the Seas Southern Carib;1990 RCCL Nordic Prince Bermuda;1987 RCCL Sun Viking Eastern Carib.
#10
Bowie, Maryland (suburb of Washington, DC)
5,922 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
I see that it is indeed a Canadian company. Early in their history there was an office in Boston for USA payments and arrangements. That might have stopped years ago now that international commerce over internet is now so very common as is fund transfer. At the time I used them (early in company's history), You contacted your guide by email through the company server. They never used the guides last name only first so harder to locate. The company said they started because it was so hard to locate guides and make arrangements. Let me second that! Almost never reserved hotel rooms etc. Took weeks to mail details back and forth. If you had the money hired a travel agent to make arrangements but some of the agents wanted to sell you what they had. It is of course much easier these days and I enjoy doing my own arrangements. Tours by Locals seems to be reliable and probably quicker than doing the research yourself.


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Barbara and Walter
Bowie, Md.

2017 Oceania Insignia Singapore to Abu Dhabi Navigator of the Seas Miami & Nassau 2016 Rotterdam Viking Passage Rotterdam to Boston 2015 Independence of the Seas Eastern Caribbean Azamara Quest Bali to Osaka 2014 Insignia Mayan Mystic Oceanic Discoverer New Zealand South Island 2013 Disney Dream 2012 Diamond Princess The Orient route Star Princess Cape Horn Route SA 2011M/V Evolution Galapagos Islands 2011 Uniworld River Duchess Tulips/windmills;2010 Crown Princess Canada/New England;2010 Coral Princess Panama Canal;2009 Oceania Nautica Greece and Turkey;2008 Cunard QM2 Southern Caribbean;2008 Celebrity Constellation Iberia & TA;2007 Majestic American Queen of West Columbia River 2006 Princess Star Princess Baltic;2004 Princess Tahitian Princess South Pacific;2003 Viking River Cruises Clara Schumann Elbe R;2002 Coral Princess (Aust) Coral Princess2 Reef;2001 Princess Royal Princess Norwegian Fjords;2000 Jungle Expeditions La Turmalina Amazon R;1999 Disney Magic Bahamas;1998 RCCL Enchantment of Seas Western Carib.;1996 Princess Star Princess (old) Alaska;1994 RCCL Monarch of the Seas Southern Carib;1990 RCCL Nordic Prince Bermuda;1987 RCCL Sun Viking Eastern Carib.
#11
Bowie, Maryland (suburb of Washington, DC)
5,922 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Originally posted by Cruise NH
Is this a company like Viator that consolidates tours by other companies?



We're looking for some private tours in South America and sifting through all the available data is a little overwhelming.


I would say that Tours BY Locals is more of a booking agent for travelers and a founding or lead service for guides. The guide pays them for finding customer (% of fee) and perhaps some fees by the customer too. Viatour books set tours by other companies. Some of the tours can be exclusive to your group others are seat on tour tickets.


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Barbara and Walter
Bowie, Md.

2017 Oceania Insignia Singapore to Abu Dhabi Navigator of the Seas Miami & Nassau 2016 Rotterdam Viking Passage Rotterdam to Boston 2015 Independence of the Seas Eastern Caribbean Azamara Quest Bali to Osaka 2014 Insignia Mayan Mystic Oceanic Discoverer New Zealand South Island 2013 Disney Dream 2012 Diamond Princess The Orient route Star Princess Cape Horn Route SA 2011M/V Evolution Galapagos Islands 2011 Uniworld River Duchess Tulips/windmills;2010 Crown Princess Canada/New England;2010 Coral Princess Panama Canal;2009 Oceania Nautica Greece and Turkey;2008 Cunard QM2 Southern Caribbean;2008 Celebrity Constellation Iberia & TA;2007 Majestic American Queen of West Columbia River 2006 Princess Star Princess Baltic;2004 Princess Tahitian Princess South Pacific;2003 Viking River Cruises Clara Schumann Elbe R;2002 Coral Princess (Aust) Coral Princess2 Reef;2001 Princess Royal Princess Norwegian Fjords;2000 Jungle Expeditions La Turmalina Amazon R;1999 Disney Magic Bahamas;1998 RCCL Enchantment of Seas Western Carib.;1996 Princess Star Princess (old) Alaska;1994 RCCL Monarch of the Seas Southern Carib;1990 RCCL Nordic Prince Bermuda;1987 RCCL Sun Viking Eastern Carib.
#12
Born in US- Lived in Argentina-Uruguay -Chile and now a days Colombia
110 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Wow! Lot of explanations. I organize all by local tour guides in each port with a Buenos Aires Tour Operator : LIZ Concierge services.
This is a person that answer you and is connected with chile, uruguay , brasil and peru. And lead in Buenos Aires.
No platforms. No intermediates. No unknown guides. All are independent and they live through word of mouth so they don´t have to pay anyone to get clients, they are not a marketing solution. They are history people, architectures, licensed guides, economists, very interesting and all madure people that are really experts and bilinguals contact her at
liz2arg at yahoo dot com