So you wanna travel like a local? Get the know the real city instead of the tourist version of it? We got some tips 'n tricks for you to blend right in:
1. Use a local tour guide
So okay, there is only one good reason why one might wanna try one of those hop-on hop-off busses: you have trouble walking long distances. For all other reasons (I just like to sit, drink and watch, I love the smell of gasoline, I like tree branches in my face), you'll need to find other ways to satisfy yourself. No but seriously, get out of that busses and get yourself a local guide. You get a way better understanding of the city and you help this person come by financially. Besides, it's just way more fun to listen to someone than just a recording, right?
2. Eat local (and local dishes)
Yep, that's right. No more pizza's, kebab or falafel (unless you're in Naples, Ankara or Tel Aviv). Eating local food tells a lot about the place, it's culture and way of life. And it's way cheaper. Best of all: it's almost certainly better for the local economy and the environment.
3. Get out of town
The great bulk of tourists stay in close proximity of the city they landed in, which is often the capital of the country. There are almost always a lot of lovely towns and cities close by, or just a little further down the road. If you want to experience the country like a local, it's almost always a good idea to get out of the capital and explore a different part of the country.
4. Don't stay in hotels
Staying in a hotel is comfy, but it is also difficult to get in touch with locals if you're staying there. Explore options like couch surfing, Airbnb or hostels to make it easier to contact with locals.
Sure, this sounds intuitive but it's actually sometimes a bit hard. Connecting with locals requires you sometimes to get a little out of your comfort zones. But ask yourself? How would you respond if a traveler would come up to you for a chat? Chances are you would be happy to chat a bit about what you like (and what not). Right? So just put your smile on, get out there and connect!
6. Get lost
Okay so we have to be a bit careful with this advise, but getting lost sometimes is just awesome. Just wander around the streets, follow your intuition and discover parts of town that otherwise wouldn't have been seen. It's on moments as these that you sometimes feel way more connected with the city than you would if you'd just visited the highlights.
7. Use Traviqo
Admittedly, this is a bit preaching to the choir. But we are really convinced that by connecting with a local to help you organize your trip, you'd be able to not only save a lot of time, but also discover hidden gems and travel in a totally different way. You can check out our options here!
PS. We're also looking for local experts to join us. Do you know all about a city or region and would you like to make money helping travelers discover it? We'd love you to join us! You can read all about it and sign up here!