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Travel Like a Local – Tips and Tricks

Travel Like a Local

When you’re visiting a new place, it’s easy to stick with the major tourist attractions. After all, there’s a reason they’re so popular. However, there’s more to a destination than the places you see advertised every time you research where to go. If you’d like to have a more authentic experience, here are some tips on how you can travel like a local no matter where you are.

1. Ask the Professionals

travel like a local

Start your exploration by finding out what the professionals suggest. As you’re planning your visit search for the local Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). While you’ll definitely find the major tourism draws featured, if you browse their recommendations you can find things to do that go beyond the most famous. If you use social media be sure to follow them, and when you have questions don’t be afraid to ask. That’s why they’re there! They’ll often have an online version of their printed visitors guide, and if you’re planning far enough in advance you can request to have one mailed to you.

2. Check Local Media

Phone Apps for Traveling

Explore the websites of your destination’s newspaper, radio and TV stations, and print and online magazines (like The Local Tourist!). These will have openings, closings, reviews, news, and upcoming events.

3. Talk to the Locals

pic of friends at sunset

Before you arrive at your destination, seek out local bloggers and social media influencers. To find local sites, search {destination} + blog, and you can add whatever keywords interest you. You can also ask those CVBs if they have any recommendations of people to follow.

Once you’re there, ask the people you interact with – concierges, taxi/ridesharing drivers, cashiers, etc. – where they go to lunch, or where their favorite dive bar is, or what spot they love for great music. If you build some flexibility into your visit, you can end up with a unique experience that you wouldn’t have found otherwise.

Here are our final 2 tips on how to travel like a local

4. Shop Local

Tourist traveler with camera

Instead of getting your caffeine fix at a national chain, find the nearest locally owned coffee shop. When you’re planning dinner, skip the places you can find anywhere else and patronize the restaurant that has just one location. Forget the big box store for any last-minute sundries and pick them up at the family-owned market.

5. Take Public Transportation

travel like a local

Using an unfamiliar public transportation system can be intimidating, but it can show you a side of the city you wouldn’t see any other way. Before you go check out the local transit system’s website. You should be able to find fares, routes, and tips on how to get around.

With these tips on how to travel like a local, you’ll be exploring with the comfort of a local, anywhere you go!

Theresa Carter Goodrich, The Local Tourist and Drive By Towns | January 18, 2017

Theresa Carter Goodrich is a writer who’s turned her love for traveling into a job. Be sure to say hello at the Travel & Adventure Show in Chicago January 21 – 22 and in San Diego March 4 – 5.

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