Go off the beaten path and experience destinations like a local. This short but sweet guide shares the best tips to travel like a local.
It’s easy to get trapped in a bubble when you go traveling. With endless picture-perfect resorts and hotels offering Western-style food, some travelers might not see the point in ever getting out and exploring.
If you do this you are missing out on a key aspect of traveling. If you travel like a local, you can experience the amazing culture of a different country or continent.
Get Public Transport Like A Local
In Asia, you can hire a private taxi driver to ferry you around for the day for as little as $15, whilst Grab is readily available and even cheaper.
While this luxury is convenient and it is ok to do this on some occasions, you are missing out on a big part of the culture if you don’t have the local experience: the rough-and-ready transport options.
In Laos or Thailand, this might involve catching a songthaew, a kind of wagon-taxi loaded high with goods and people. You sit length-ways like you are in a limousine.
In other parts of the world, it might involve cramming onto a train with hundreds of other passengers or catching an overnight sleeper train.
While these might sound like experiences you’d rather avoid, they can be an exciting adventure and you get to chat with locals for hours at a time.
Hire a Local Guide
What better way to see the country or town you are visiting than hiring someone who has lived there all their lives?
Not only can they offer valuable insights that you wouldn’t get anywhere else, but your money is funding a local rather than a big Western corporation.
This can be a great experience if you’re visiting somewhere off the beaten track, as locals will not be used to tourists and will be grateful for your visit. One example would be to hire a tour guide Georgia.
Sometimes, you can find very cheap tours or even free tours. The locals are grateful for an opportunity to practice their English skills but don’t forget to tip them.
A local guide could also help you find the perfect spot for engagement photos, away from the crowded Instagram spots.
Travel Like a Local – Eat the Local Food
This can mean getting out of your comfort zone a little bit, but it is worth it. You might discover a dish that you love and that beats any experience you can have in a restaurant.
For instance, you should check out the ‘Queen’ of Thai street food. She won a Michelin Star even though she runs her business from a simple truck, complete with plastic chairs and the same cheap prices you’d get at any stall.
Be sure to ask for some local advice about the best spots rather than only relying on the internet, which can have a negative impact on how you travel.
Local Travel – A Real Cultural Experience
Imagine returning from a trip of a lifetime and having your family ask you about the culture of the place you’ve visited. What food have you tried? What were the people like, and how is it different from the West?
Imagine not being able to tell them much because you’d spent most of your time cooped up in a luxury hotel? Don’t be like that: travel like a local. Be sure to speak to as many locals as you can and immerse yourself in the country. If you’re thinking of going on a long trip then you might want to consider renting your house out on Airbnb. Be sure to read our design guide for Airbnb by clicking here.