By Annie Grace Fleming
Traveling is a great way to expand your horizons, see new things and get exposed to new cultures.Travel plans should be carried out very carefully — advanced planning is crucial in order to have an enjoyable vacation. It’s important to pay attention to details and learn about the local area where you intend to stay. Many people are not content to see the usual sites and stick to the well-traveled routes. They want something more. For them, the best way to travel is see any locations just as the locals do. If you’re one of these people, here’s 5 tips on how to live like a local while traveling:
1. Stay in a Vacation Home
One of the best ways to live like a local on your trip is by staying in a local’s home. With the rise of home sharing services, this process is easier than ever.
A stay in someone's house is a good way to get to know their neighbors and the area at the same time. Residential communities frequently have outdoor amenities such as parks and playgrounds that invite conversation. Resting in a park dedicated to residents after a long day is great way to meet people.
2. Take Buses and Taxis or Even Rideshare Service
Get out of the car and try new transportation options. Many cities have dedicated buses and rapid transit systems. Locals use them daily to commute and travel. Taking the New York City Subway is an ideal way to get to see how locals travel around the Big Apple. It's also frequently faster and cheaper than traveling by car or taxi.
Other transport services that are run by regional residents such as ride sharing services are also an excellent way to meet local people and see local routes. They can also give you suggestions about what to see that are often not in guidebooks or only known by insiders.
3. Keep Local Dress Codes in Mind
Dress codes vary from place to place. It's a good idea to investigate the appropriate dress code expected in any given place before setting off for an adventure.
For example, when visiting many places around the world, men and women are required to keep certain body parts covered. It's also easier to approach people for casual conversation when your clothing doesn't mark you as an obvious tourist. You'll fit in better and feel more at home when you travel by adhering to local dress codes.
4. Work With Area Tourist Services
There are regional tourism services that emphasize local tour guides. People know their communities well and love to show them off to others. A walking tour is a fabulous opportunity to see any place at eye level. Many tours bring people to places that residents enjoy, such as bars and pubs. They also show the areas that a traveler might not otherwise see when just sticking to standard tourist areas.
5. Explore Local Food Culture
Grubbing on native cuisine is one of the easiest ways to live like a local while traveling. Food is an important part of regional culture and part of what binds people together. A given city may be famous for a certain type of cuisine. Look where the locals eat. Food trucks with a long line in busy cities are an opportunity to sample something entirely new that's probably pretty darned good. Seek out restaurants that attract the area’s residents, like a popular neighborhood pizza joint. You'll be surprised and delighted by what you can learn once you taste what others eat.
These few simple tips are easy to follow. Take advantage of local resources no matter where or when you go on vacation. You'll not only enjoy the vacation and the local culture even more — you'll also get the chance to make long lasting friendships even when your vacation is but a great memory.
Live like a local in one of these cool vacation homes around the U.S.
Annie Grace Fleming is a Public Relations Specialist for TourMe. She regularly produces content for a variety of blogs that cover topics from domestic and international travel to tourist tips.
*The recommendations and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. Wyndham Vacation Rentals does not endorse any of the products or third parties mentioned.