Business Travel

How to Travel Like a Local in 5 Easy Steps

October 23, 2013

The frequent traveler knows those rare moments of actually blending in, where you could almost be mistaken for a local. It’s a good feeling and often fleeting, the moment passes and there you are again, exposed as a foreign tourist carrying plenty of cash and little sense.

Not looking like a tourist when you are traveling has a lot of advantages, you might become less of a target for thieves and hustlers, you will likely save money as tourists often get taken advantage of, and you might just have a better experience since a big part of traveling like a local means slowing down and paying better attention to your surroundings.

There are many ways that you can avoid looking like a tourist, but these are our simplest and most effective tips:

1 Do your research

How did we even travel before the Internet? There is no longer any excuse for not doing your research before visiting a new city when a simple Google search can find you relevant and timely information, as well as helpful forums where fellow travelers can share their expertise.

Don’t forget to take advantage of social media when researching your destination. We are more connected than ever, chances are one of your Twitter or Facebook friends has experience traveling where you are going. When I went to Paris I reached out to a friend of mine who had been posting about the city a lot. He responded with a short essay detailing his favorite places to go which was super helpful!

2 Stay in a real neighborhood

Possibly the most crucial step to traveling like a local, is choosing a place to stay where real people love to live. When doing your research, choose an interesting neighborhood where you would want to live yourself, and then find accommodations in that area. Better yet, skip the hotels altogether and stay in an apartment. Services like CorporateStays.com offer apartments in desirable neighborhoods where locals actually live.

If you stay in a real neighborhood, not only can you avoid the heaviest tourist thoroughfare, but you can also find hidden gem restaurants and unexpected sights that you might not see on the beaten path.

3 Mind your clothing.

Photo by istolethetv via flickr

It’s a good idea to pay attention to what people are wearing around you and try to blend in. This is different for every place you go but in general it is always a good idea to dress a bit nicer than you normally would.

Leave the shorts and running shoes at home. While shorts are acceptable wear in the US and Canada, in many other countries they are too informal for city wear. Even though they are comfortable, shorts and running shoes will usually make you look like a tourist. Try to wear comfortable shoes that do not look overtly like running shoes and switch the shorts for some light long pants.

This website gives you seasonal advice on what to wear in different cities around the world.

4 Use your inside voice

Be aware of the volume of your voice. American and Canadian tourists sometimes can’t be missed because of their overly loud and boisterous talk. North America tends to have larger spaces where our voices need to carry. In European countries for instance, people live, shop, and work much closer together so they speak more softly out of habit. Don’t be obnoxious, be aware of your surroundings and lower your voice.

For help with the local language and slang, consider downloading this handy app.

5 Slow down, but don’t stop

Photo by HeyRocker via Flickr

To be able to blend in to your surroundings it is important to actually take the time to notice them. Slow down, put the camera away for a second, and actually look around. It’s the easiest thing to miss the feel of a place as we rush from place to place, taking the time to live the experience will let you pick up behavioral cues from the people around you, as you deepen your experience.

That being said, if you are in a crowd of people rushing to get to work, don’t disrupt the flow of traffic to take a picture or look at your map. Not only will this instantly mark you as a tourist, but it will be very annoying to the people around you who now have to find a way to get by through the traffic jam you have just caused.

If you want to stop and take a photo, find an unobtrusive spot to do so. If you want to look at your map, step into a store or a more private area. Better still, grab a coffee or a meal, sit down and really take in your surroundings, then take look at your map before you leave.

Photo by Sol33 via Flickr

That’s it, be safe out there and most of all enjoy yourself. Sometimes all it takes to avoid looking like a tourist is to stop doing that mad dash through all the famous sights and just take the time to enjoy yourself. You might not see every thing on the tourist map, but chances are you will have a more memorable experience.

Comments

comments

You Might Also Like

24 Comments

  • Reply recommended you read September 18, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    Good day! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good gains. If you know of any please share. Thank you!

  • Reply sell products online September 19, 2018 at 4:04 am

    Hey there! I’ve been reading your site for a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Lubbock Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the fantastic job!

  • Reply yoga September 19, 2018 at 4:53 am

    fantastic submit, very informative. I’m wondering why the other experts of this sector do not notice this. You must continue your writing. I’m confident, you have a great readers’ base already!

  • Reply promotional products edmonton September 19, 2018 at 5:56 am

    I’m not sure why but this web site is loading incredibly slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

  • Reply best products to sell from home September 19, 2018 at 8:11 am

    Hey there! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My website looks weird when viewing from my apple iphone. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to fix this problem. If you have any suggestions, please share. Appreciate it!

  • Reply intensive therapy retreats September 19, 2018 at 9:05 am

    Amazing! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a entirely different subject but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Superb choice of colors!

  • Reply wpc deske September 19, 2018 at 10:08 am

    Thanks-a-mundo for the blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Great.

  • Reply promotional gifts australia September 19, 2018 at 10:08 am

    Hi there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of hard work due to no backup. Do you have any methods to stop hackers?

  • Reply click here now September 19, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Wow! This can be one particular of the most helpful blogs We ave ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Wonderful. I am also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

  • Reply more info September 19, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    I was recommended this website by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my problem. You are wonderful! Thanks!

  • Reply Whitney Bjerken September 19, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Many thanks for providing these details.

  • Reply Flat Belly Detox September 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending

  • Reply modern styles fashion September 19, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    I am really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a great blog like this one today..

  • Reply best anal beads vibrator September 20, 2018 at 12:05 am

    I truly appreciate this article.Really thank you! Want more.

  • Reply visit website September 20, 2018 at 2:44 am

    Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this blog. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s difficult to get that “perfect balance” between usability and visual appeal. I must say you’ve done a very good job with this. In addition, the blog loads very fast for me on Chrome. Excellent Blog!

  • Reply Poker Online Indonesia September 20, 2018 at 2:49 am

    It’s a shame ʏou ⅾon’t һave а donate button! I’d wwithout ɑ doubt donate to tһіs fantastic blog!
    I suppose fⲟr now i’ll settlle f᧐r bookmarking and adxding youг RSS feed tο my Google account.
    I loоk forward to fresh updates ɑnd ᴡill talkk about tһis website with my Facebook ɡroup.
    Talk soօn!

  • Reply Poker Online Indonesia September 20, 2018 at 3:07 am

    Hi i am kavin, its my fiгst occasion tto commenting anyplace, ԝhen i read thiss piece of
    writing і thougһt і сould also make ϲomment ddue tо thіs brilliant article.

  • Reply Poker Online Indonesia September 20, 2018 at 3:15 am

    This is a topic that’s neаr to my heart…
    Cheers! Ꮃhere are your contact details thօugh?

  • Reply Poker Online Indonesia September 20, 2018 at 3:23 am

    Hello,i read youur blog from time to timee
    аnd і own a similar one and i was just curious іf yօu gеt ɑ lօt ߋf sppam remarks?

    If sߋ hօw do you reduce іt, any plugin or аnything
    yߋu can suցgest? I ɡet ѕo mսch lately it’s driving me mad so any support is very muchh appreciated.

  • Reply Poker Online Indonesia September 20, 2018 at 3:25 am

    Yoou couuld definitely seе youг enthusiasm ѡithin thhe article уοu write.

    The sector hopes fоr even mpre passionate writers
    ѕuch аs yoᥙ who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe.
    Аlways ollow your heart.

  • Reply Poker Online Indonesia September 20, 2018 at 3:32 am

    Heya i am for the first time heгe. Ӏ foun thiѕ board and I find It really uѕeful & it helped me оut mսch.
    І hope to give something baсk and aid others like you
    helped mе.

  • Reply Poker Online September 20, 2018 at 4:03 am

    I love үour blog.. vwry nice colors & theme.

    Ꭰіd ʏou mаke this website yοurself or ɗid you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz answеr back aas I’m lo᧐king to cгeate my oԝn blog and would like to fіnd ᧐ut
    ԝheгe u ɡot this from. thɑnks

  • Reply Poker Online September 20, 2018 at 5:05 am

    I was moгe than hɑppy to fіnd this ցreat site.
    I ԝanted to thɑnk yоu fоr ߋnes time due to this wonderful reаd!!
    I ⅾefinitely liked every bit of it and I haνe y᧐u
    saved to fav to see new infⲟrmation in ʏour blog.

  • Reply Poker Online Indonesia September 20, 2018 at 5:47 am

    If some onne desires to be upated ᴡith hottest technologies tһen hhe must Ƅe gо tⲟ seee tһis web
    page and ƅe up to datye everyday.

  • Leave a Reply

    Download the app