How to Travel Like a Local – 5 Ways to Have an Authentic Travel Experience

We all have memories of family holidays or breaks abroad with our friends when we all had a little less responsibility. But travelling as an adult and visiting new and exciting countries, is a completely different experience to a holidaying as a tourist. If you’ve holidayed abroad before you may not have left your resort or ate food that was much different to what you would have at home, and you probably only met employees that have spoken very good English. However, when you go travelling things couldn’t be more different!

Having a true, authentic travel experience is one of the main ambitions of any traveller. But, how do you ensure that you’ll get one? Read on for 5 ways to have an authentic travel experience.

5 Ways to Travel Like a Local

5 Ways to Travel Like a Local

Immerse yourself in the culture

From the famous Songkran festival in Thailand, to enjoying an awe-inspiring performance at one of Rome’s famous operas – to find out more about opera in Rome, click the link – immersing yourself in the local culture will certainly open your eyes to new perspectives, entertainment, religious practices and you’ll certainly enjoy yourself much more if you take time away from the local tourist traps.

Eat what locals eat

Why would you travel thousands of miles to simply eat at your favourite chain restaurant? Of course, if you’re missing home it’s perfectly acceptable to eat something you’re familiar with. But whilst you’re searching for an authentic travel experience, consider eating where and what the locals eat. Not only will you get a real taste of your host country but eating like a local is often much cheaper than visiting restaurants and eateries aimed at travellers and tourists. Give the local street food a try!

Try a little lingo

A true travel experience wouldn’t be authentic without learning a little lingo. You don’t need to study for a degree in the language, however learning a couple of phrases such as hello and thank you, or even enough to order a meal will certainly make your travel experience fun and feel a little more genuine. Don’t be nervous or embarrassed, the locals will probably appreciate you making the effort!

Travel like the locals do

Travelling like a local is the best way to get to grips with a new country, to see how local people live, where they work and what a day in the life is really like. From buses to trams or using the underground, for an authentic experience, avoid spending a fortune on taxis. Better still, walk! If travelling via local transport is something you want to experience, then consider conducting a little research first to make sure you can stay safe and navigate your way around competently.

Communicate

Much like learning the local language, simply reaching out to people and communicating will certainly boost the authenticity of your trip. Don’t be afraid to strike up conversations with local people, the receptionist at the hotel for example, the guide on your walking tour or a shop keeper. They’ll have a plethora of information on the best places to eat or visit and you may just make a new friend!

About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of TravelExperta.com, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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