The best way to truly experience a new destination is to step out of your tourist shoes and try to live like a local. By doing so, you will gain a deeper understanding of the culture and the people that call that place home. Here are three ways that you can avoid being a tourist when traveling and get the most out of the trip.
Respect the Local Customs
The first step to avoid being a tourist is to respect the local customs. You should respect the animal life you encounter on your trip, and do your part to leave the place cleaner than you found it. If you are traveling to a foreign country, making the effort to learn a few keywords in the local language will go a long way to helping you to assimilate more easily. This effort also shows that you have respect for the people.
Live Life as a Local
In order to travel less like a tourist, you need to learn how to live life as a local. A good place to start is by doing your research to find attractions and restaurants off the beaten path. Instead of starting your day with breakfast at a tourist destination, you should find a joint that the locals frequent. By avoiding the overly touristy destinations, you will blend in more and experience a different side of your destination. This also means not dressing like a tourist. Taking public transportation is also a good way to live life as a local.
Instead of renting a standard hotel or timeshare, you can enhance your travel experience by looking into a home-sharing rental. Not only will you escape the confines of a sterile hotel, but you will give yourself the opportunity to stay where the locals live. This will put you at the doorstep of the less touristy areas of your destination, giving you the opportunity to try restaurants that the locals love and shop as they do. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with the area’s residents. They will be your best source of information and recommendations about the area.
You will see the world through a completely different lens if you commit yourself to travel less like a tourist. Immersing yourself in the culture and people of the destination is a truly eye-opening experience that you will not regret.