Forget bucket list ticking! Today’s traveller is no longer content with just passively experiencing a destination by taking the same shot at the Leaning Tower of Pisa or crossing Abbey Road. Instead, they’re seeking more authentic and memorable experiences.
To really get under the skin of a destination, experience it through the eyes of a local. Besides the novelty factor, this will open up many new encounters and make for extraordinary bragging rights and incredible stories for when you return home.
Here are some helpful tips from our personal travel managers on how to go local.
Location, Location, Location
The trick to living life like a local is immersing yourself in the right environment. Steer clear of regular tourist traps and stay in more regional towns and beachside villages that are still in close proximity to travel hot spots. Often the locals in these areas are more welcoming and excited to meet newcomers, sharing with you interesting things about their town and culture.
An important aspect of travelling is learning about a region through personal interactions. Put down the guide book and ask a local about their town, the best ways to get around, or secret hideaways to visit. Sharing stories and experiences can expand your network of friends and knowledge of a destination.
Discovering a destination through its food is one of the most sensory experiences a traveller can have. Wander past the modern restaurants and fast food joints, and into a more traditional eatery where locals dine. Tasting new flavours and learning how to cook and prepare dishes can be a truly rewarding experience, and can given you a few more recipes to add to your repertoire.
Join In Local Events
Events are one of the most colourful and festive ways to immerse yourself in a new culture. From Rio’s Carnival to Venice’s Biennale, there are many different art, food, history, music and religious celebrations held throughout the world, with local customs on display.
Some incredible cultural festivals include Holi Festival in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka where participants celebrate their religion by throwing coloured powder at each other, Panafest in Ghana which celebrates through theatre, music, fashion and entertainment, as well as Obon Festival in Japan where families release floating lanterns into the water to represent passed ancestors.
One of the best ways to see a country outside of the main cities is to get around using its local transport. Local trains and buses are always an adventure and in many countries, people share their seat with animals making for a very unique travel experience. Using these local means of transportation gives you the chance to visit unique areas of the country not often frequented by tourists, whilst spending time chatting to fellow commuters and learning more about your surrounds.
To live life like a local, contact your personal travel manager or find one near you.