Hey y’all! Happy Monday! We hope you enjoyed your holidays, and are having a fantastic New Year. We took a couple weeks off from blogging to celebrate with our families and recharge our minds, but we are back and better than ever.
As you know, Ash and I LOVE traveling. Not only do we like going around the world, but we like to learn about the culture and truly see how a local lives on a daily basis. Today we are sharing with you our 8 secrets to traveling like a local. We encourage everyone to really get to a know a place when you travel, so write them down, save this post, and start preparing for your next trip.
1.Take Public Transportation. The easiest thing to do when traveling is to hop in a cab to take you anywhere, but let me tell you life is not about taking the easy route. By taking public transportation you become witness to locals traveling to/from work, young adults out on their daily activities, as well as family outings. This might not be an option in every single city, but if it is available, try to utilize it. It’s also much cheaper than taking a cab or an uber.
2.Stay in an apartment/house vs. a hotel. Ash and I are huge fans of staying in airbnb’s, or apartments in the cities we travel to. Even something as small as the architecture can give you a feel for the city you are in. A great perk of this is that you get to speak to the person who owns the apartment, and most likely they are a local. This is your biggest opportunity to find restaurants and activities that locals love to frequent.
3.Talk to a local for recommendations. This goes along with the one above. Don’t be afraid to just go up to someone in a coffee shop or a restaurant and ask for recommendations. If that’s not your thing, ask the concierge at your hotel, or the waiter/waitress you have at dinner. There is a whole realm of people willing to help you. All you have to do it ask.
4.Learn a few customs and phrases. One of the best things you can do to fit in is to learn a few customs and phrases of the place you are traveling to. Keep in mind that some hand gestures and stances that are normal in your country can be very offensive in other countries. Always make sure you are respecting the culture. If the country you are in speaks a different language than you, you should at least learn hello, goodbye, thank you, you’re welcome.
5.Don’t take the bus tours. This one is a little tricky. Sometimes I like to think that doing a bus tour is the best way to get acclimated to the city, but it also does make you look like a tourist. This really just depends on the knowledge you want to learn.
6.Travel during off season. This is a huge one in so many ways. Not only will you save a ton of money, but locals may not assume that you are a tourist during this time. There are also less “tourist traps” during off season.
7.Eat the local food. If you have any dietary restrictions, this can be a hard one. You don’t have to eat this at every meal, but try something that is local. In Turks & Caicos we tried Conch, in Montreal we tried Poutine, and in Rome we tried Gelato. The local food doesn’t have to be gross 😉
8.Do research on the place first. This should go without saying, but do some research before your trip. This doesn’t mean that you have to have a by the hour schedule, but at least have basic knowledge so you don’t get lost, and possibly put yourself in danger.
Those are our 8 secrets to traveling like a local. What is your favorite thing about traveling to a new country or city? Let us know in the comments below.