Here’s our list of things to do to make your experience in a new city a true learning one, away from the tourist traps and activities. Travel like a local with these tips.
1. Stay in a Central Area
We are sometimes so consumed in finding the nicest hotel, we end up booking resort-like stays that are quite a distance from the city. Although it could be relaxing, it can also get boring after a couple of days, and 2 hour drives into the city are not that much fun either! We suggest you book hotels within a 30 minute walk from the center. That way, there’s a lot of walking and exploring to do on your trip! Booking websites are equipped with maps that can help you analyze the location, make sure to always use this tool.
2. Talk to the locals
They could be your guide, taxi driver, grocery store owner, or anyone you come across during your trip. Talking to them will help you learn about people of the country, politics, economy and way of life. You should also ask them about the areas the locals hang out to eat or drink in the city and check those places out.
3. Travel Using Public Transportation
If a place you are visiting is not within a walking distance, we suggest using public transportation such as a tuc tuc, bus, train, or metro. This will give you a huge insight into the everyday life of the locals and once you get the hang of it, you’ll feel like you belong in the city!
4. Eat Local Food
Make sure you use your stomach space on new and local dishes when you travel. One of the best ways to discover a place is through the cuisine. It gives you a great insight into the history of the country as well as the culture. From street food to snacks to fine dining, there’s an explosion of flavors awaiting you. We recommend you ask a local about the best places to eat and not to rely on online reviews which target tourists. You can also book a food tour which is always run by locals and you’ll be guided to taste the best local eats in town.
5. Learn the language
We are not saying you should learn a new language before you travel, however, we do suggest you learn a few words such as “thank you”, “hello”, “Goodbye”, “Please”, “How much is this”, “I do not understand”, etc.. Locals appreciate the effort and feel closer to you. It could even get you some discounts on items!