Blend in with the Local People!
One of the most rewarding parts of traveling was living with local residents and experiencing the world through their eyes. Here are some ways to do that –
1) Make a local friend. Though we often enjoy meeting tourists from all over the world, spending too much time and energy with other tourists takes time away from getting to know the local people.
See blog “Top 10 ways to meet locals”
2) Behave like you do at “home”. Get rid of the big tourist maps and backpack. Rely on your phone. Looking less like a tourist and more like a local will make you more approachable.
3) Whenever you have the opportunity or an invitation, do a homestay.
4) Travel solo
See blog: “Top Advantages to traveling Solo”
5) Ditch the tour; travel on your own
6) Be self reliant and be travel savvy. Some helpful skills to hone include reading metro maps, mobile phone maps, and GPS signals. My best advice is to download and familiarize yourself with phone apps and services that assist travelers–such as money conversion apps, “What’s app” (for free long distant calls when you have Internet). Learn about SIM cards. Learn to drive a manual transmission.
7) Use public transportation
8) Eat local street food
9) Be Flexible – Enjoying a spontaneous 20 minute conversation with a local can be more memorable than the site you were planning to see.
10) Take in more than the popular attractions. Explore neighborhoods and homes, visit medical facilities and schools, tour factories, wander in parks.
A Few Bonus Tips:
- When you take a picture, type a caption. You’ll thank yourself when you’re home making that online scrapbook! More importantly, however, when you show others your pictures, you’ll have a matching story.
- Travel off season to avoid crowds, lines, and high prices. Know which weeks are tourist season.