Do you have the word “tourist” stamped all over you when you travel? Do you like the treatment you get because of this status? While being a tourist has some perks, there is another way to see a new place. You can get more from it when you see it through the eyes of a local. How can you achieve such a thing?
Eat Where There Is Warmth
As a tourist, do not go for five-star but impersonal restaurants. For example, if you happen to be in Royal Tunbridge Wells, you can have a meal at a pub. This place will not shortchange you on the quality of your food if that is your fear. They have an excellent menu for tourists and locals alike. Think of mouth-watering and piping-hot burgers and steaks. A wide variety of drinks are also available, from ales, beers, lagers, to cocktails. You can have your pick.
The rustic ambiance will also give you a sense of comfort. But above all, a pub is the heart of the community. A bartender usually knows every local in town and has vibrant stories. If you want to see a place through the eyes of a local, go where the warmth is.
Move Around as the Locals Do
Forget about car rentals, cabs, or tourist buses. When looking for transport, opt for how local moves around. Experience public buses, trains, or subways. Some places prefer bicycles for moving around. Another great alternative is to walk. Local transport is less expensive. Also, there is a greater chance to observe the place and the people. Some of the most interesting conversations are also held during these rides. Be careful not to eavesdrop, though.
Get Fresher Produce
Head to a local supermarket or search for a farmer’s market. These two places will also help you see what fruits and vegetables are locally grown. You will also chance upon some food items that might be unfamiliar to you. Even grocery shopping is a way to learn about another culture.
Also, a local supermarket is a good place for you to get sweet treats or snacks at a better price. If you want something edible to take back home as a souvenir for people, look at the grocery. Some souvenir shops have the same items but at a higher price.
Breathe in Some Fresh Air
Do not forget to check off famous tourist spots in your itinerary. They are the main reasons you are in the place, after all. But between those busy outings, find a local park and have a picnic or a stroll. A park is one place where you see most locals. You will see how families, couples, or individuals spend their free time. Time on the park is also a good breather from the heavy flow of people in tourist spots.
One in Words
One effective way to be like a local is to learn their language. You do not have to be an expert. But it is nice to hold a basic conversation with a local. Simple phrases such as “thank you,” “hello,” and “goodbye” are good. They will appreciate this simple act of you trying to acclimate.
If Time Will Allow
If you want to immerse yourself in a certain place, you can stay longer to learn more about it. Traveling off-season will give you a more local vibe. There are fewer tourists around. It is cheaper, too.
Have a different kind of vacation. Feel more like a local rather than a tourist. You will have a more authentic experience in your travel destination.