Traveling like a local is about being a life-changing experience and much less about ticking boxes and meeting the expectations of guide books. But how do you achieve this? We think that it’s to your advantage to have some reference points before setting off for your journey. Here’s a list of things to consider when planning to travel like a local. Are you ready to leave the tourist trails for off the beaten path experiences?
Answer these questions
When planning your trip it’s important to identify what you want to achieve during your stay. Take into account your interests, companion, season, and duration of your trip. To lend a helping hand, we have come up with four questions. We encourage you to note down your answers and use them as a custom-made guide for a truly local outcome.
Q1: Why have I chosen this destination? Q2: What do I want to do or see more of? Q3: What did I particularly enjoyed on my last trip? Q4: What I would preferably have avoided on my last trip?
Travel off-peak season
First things first. High seasons exist for a reason: good weather conditions, cosmopolitan vibes, and long-awaited festivals. But, have you ever contemplated becoming a maverick when it comes to your travel plans? What if you visit the desert in summer, the Mediterranean in autumn, and the tropics during the rainy season? The answer is you will gain an overall different perspective from the masses. During off-peak season everything seems to be less difficult to deal with. From booking your flights and finding accommodation to moving around and beating the queues. Also, the cost of your trip will go significantly down as hotels, airlines, and local businesses adapt their prices accordingly. And locals are more likely to negotiate and accommodate your requests in quiet times than when crowds begin to flock.
Stay in local neighborhoods
Choose your hotel and its location thoroughly as they will be the first impression of your holiday. Do your research and keep in mind the questions one to four we mentioned earlier. Opt for neighborhoods which are favored among locals for their self-sufficiency. Staying central and a stone’s throw away from top sights is pivotal. However, being in an area that bursts with local life such as street markets, independent boutiques, hidden bars, and traditional restaurants is incomparable.
Get around like a local
Familiarizing yourself with a new transportation network isn’t always an easy task, but it can be rather fun if treated with calmness and humor. A wise way to start navigating the local transport is by having maps of it at hand. Most metropoles have apps or downloadable maps for offline use, which are excellent tools to guide you from A to B efficiently. In cities where public transportation isn’t based on an extensive bus or rail system, do like the locals do — hail a moto taxi, jump on the trotro, or take your seat in a tuk tuk. Overcome the challenges of these often confusing transports by negotiating the cost before departure and pinpointing several landmarks close to your destination. Also, this is where knowing a few words of the local language comes handy, as many of these chauffeurs don’t speak English.
Attend cultural events
Cultural events happen throughout the year, and especially during the summer months. Usually, they commemorate important dates of the past, the transition from one season to another, or highlight long-standing traditions. Find out what’s cooking when you are in town and add it to your calendar. To access this type of information, we suggest chatting with an artsy local, keeping an eye out for flyers and posters, or giving a call to the nearest cultural center.
Invest in experiences
Generally speaking, experiences help us evolve, learn, and engage, as well as stand out from the crowds. Soaking information about a city’s past in museums is undeniably a great way to obtain knowledge. But what about topping it off with hands-on activities? Tasting the traditional cuisine is the most common way to immerse yourself into the culture of a region. However, taking a cooking class sounds like a memory that’s likely to stay with you for years to come.
Get in touch with a loclpal
Chat with our locals and experience a city like a local Chat Now
Now that you have set your mind on traveling like a local, we see that you are ready to conquer your next travel ventures. Get in touch with our loclpals around the world for real-time tips and insights into your favorite destinations. Whether you want to explore the contemporary art scene, plan a road trip, or shop till you drop, our dedicated locals care about your trip as much as you do. Not only they will share with you the most up-to-date information about their city, but they will make sure that your time is well-spent on things you are passionate about. Start chatting now with a local about your upcoming trip.
loclpal is a a unique travel community. A community that you can be a part of either as a traveler or an expert local, or even both! We strive to revolutionize the way you travel, by enabling you to experience a city truly like a local, on your own terms.