When tourists travel to a new destination but spend most of their time in a hotel or on the grounds of a resort, they may not get the full experience that the destination has to offer. Immersing yourself into the local culture allows you to explore a destination in a new way. It can even help save money, skipping overpriced tourist traps and getting to see the more authentic side of a destination. Here are some ways for you to immerse yourself in the local culture when traveling.
Forums over Guidebooks
People who want to travel like a local should start by looking for alternatives to their guidebooks. Some travel guidebooks aren’t always completely accurate, and some may just contain information gathered from desk research. They also may only highlight the top tourist attractions. Instead, researching information on travel forums or blogs can provide expand your options for visiting attractions. Reading the local newspaper online can also provide a treasure trove of restaurant reviews and information about upcoming festivals. It also provides information on the local culture.
Travelers who want to travel like a local should find information about the different neighborhoods in a location before they leave on their trip. This can help narrow down places to stay. Up-and-coming neighborhoods or the trendy part of town might not be where all the big, international hotel chains are. Travelers can get advice on places to go and things to see straight from their local hosts.
An easy way to live like a local is to simply walk around. Visitors can follow members of the community and simply look around to see the nearest attractions. Travelers can find interesting restaurants, stores, and museums that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. This especially works when people stay in an area that does not have a large population density of tourists. Stopping into neighborhood bars along the way, travelers can strike up a conversation with the locals or the bartender and get even more insider information on the destination. Always use common sense about situations and be aware of your surroundings.
Traveling like a local is a great way to see the world. Travelers can experience the daily life of someone living at the destination and see a new place from a different lens. So, while you don’t have to forget the tourist traps, you can experience the true joy of exploring a new destination like a local.