How to travel like a local (anywhere in the world)
Visiting faraway places allows us to get a glimpse of everyday life all over the world. To dive even deeper into local culture, try one (or some) of these tips on your next adventure to feel more like a resident than just a traveler passing through.
Learn a few new phrases
A simple “hello,” “please” and “thank you” will go a long way in adapting to the local way of life. Try memorizing a few key phrases (or downloading a language app) to order dinner or ask for the bathroom with ease. Check out our guides for speaking French or Italian.
Take advantage of public transportation
Get a feel for the city dwellers’ daily commute by grabbing a ride on public transportation. You may even be able to purchase a one-way ticket or full-day pass right from your hotel’s reception desk. Just grab a map to go with your ticket and before you know it, you’ll be on your way to exploring the city via bus, tram, or metro.
Pay a visit to the grocery store
Grocery shopping in a foreign country is always a fun adventure—not to mention a great way to scope out what the locals are eating at home. From discovering paprika-flavored chips in Hungary to finding a favorite German candy bar, buying small quantities of a few exotic foods at the store is a low-risk way to sample bits of the local cuisine.
Explore an outdoor park or public space
Pair the groceries you just picked up with a scenic green space and you’ve got the makings of a perfect picnic. Spend an afternoon people-watching on a bench outdoors to get a sense of what it’d feel like to enjoy a leisurely weekend in your location of choice.
Attend a local mass or service
In many countries, religious services play a huge role in local life. Whether you attend religious services regularly or are just looking to observe another aspect of local culture, ask your hotel concierge for nearby places of worship to find one nearby that’s worth a visit.
Ask around for the best "hidden gems"
While your Tour Director will know the ins and outs of each city you’ll visit, don’t forget to ask for recommendations from those you meet along the way. Whether it’s a waiter at a restaurant or the owner of a local boutique, most people will be happy to introduce visitors to their favorite places in the neighborhood.
How do you live like a local while traveling? Share your tips with us on Facebook.