Traveling is in itself one of the most enduring experiences. You get to see new places, immerse yourself in new experiences, try new cuisines and meet incredibly different and unique people and culture. However, not all travel experiences are complete and satisfactory. So many people miss the once-in-a-lifetime memories and the unforgettable experiences when their faces are buried deep in guidebooks or stuck with other tourists at famous landmarks.
Most of the people forget a simple secret that is the key to the most life-altering, memory-making and beautiful travel is to do it like a local. This simple clue will transform your trip into one you’ll remember forever.
Here are a few tips how to travel like a local, and how to make your holiday the most memorable one.
Go beyond the landmarks
There are of course some things you need to do in every city or country, and some places you need to visit. Like the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Qutub Minar in Delhi. However, that does not make your trip complete. Unfortunately, you miss lifetime opportunities to see a whole new country and culture. Because you ignore to explore the neighborhoods, quirks and sights outside of these major landmarks. Some of the most memorable experiences come from the moments you veer off the beaten path and get lost in the neighborhoods, cafes, stores and parks where locals live and breathe.
Explore with a local
For a while leave those double-decker packaged bus tours or an AC packed luxury private car, and book an experience with a local. Locals offer a perspective you’ll likely never receive from a mainstream (or usual) tour operator. Won’t it be exciting when they show you their hanging spots, that one secret corner from where the whole city is visible, or the favorite pub where gather daily. For once, try this; your outlook of traveling is bound to change!
Learn a few key words
Irrespective of whether English is conveniently used in the place you are visiting, try to learn a few key phrases in local language. Like daily greetings, how to you stuff, apologetic words, thank you statements, even some food names. You will be surprised how those simple few words would bring the whole place nearer to you.
Stay in a homestay
After staying in hotels of various brands and stars, you of course feel they are same (well, almost) everywhere. when you enter inside the complex, you are disconnected from the place you are actually visiting. Try a local homestay, a guesthouse. Rent an apartment on AirBnb
or try CouchSurfing
. Even more important to choose for a locality that is a bit far from those popular tourist attractions. That will give you a chance to really live like a local, experience the lives of the locals.
Volunteering while traveling is one of the most satisfying experience you can ever have. Whether you are going to Uganda, or New York, or India, or France – there are always options to volunteer for a social cause and contribute to the society. Even if your itinerary is packed, consider to spare at least one day for any of the volunteering tasks. Not only it gives you opportunities to help out local communities, but also will leave a permanent mark of your visit there. In addition, you will visit those uncharted locations of the country which would always be hidden from normal tourists.
Consider a cooking class
Few things can give you a more deeper insight about the place like the local food and cuisine. And what may be a better way to pay a short visit to a cooking class to experience the local dishes? This not only gives you chance to taste the most secret dishes from an authentic kitchen, but also enables you to reproduce the stuff when you are back home.
Finally, Be Respectful
You must adore and respect the local people, their lives, their culture and tradition. Comparing with other places and people is no way to enjoy that particular place. You must remember, you are visiting someone else’s world, not the other way around. In addition, always stay observant to what the people around you are doing. What are they eating? Where are they going out? What are they wearing? Knowing the answers to these questions will truly open you up to a more local, authentic trip. If you want to travel like a local, be respectful to the locals!