Tourists are pretty easy to spot. Most take an exorbitant amount of photos, congregate around landmarks and ask for directions every few paces. They stand out because they do not behave like locals. If you want to avoid doing the same on your next trip, adjust the way you take in new experiences.
You can find some of the most memorable travel gems walking off the beaten path. Get away from tourist districts whenever you can and check out small shops, cafes and markets. This is where you can interact with the local community rather than crowds of other tourists. If you approach a new city as a to-do list, you will miss out.
Travel by Bus or Rideshare
Although locals do own vehicles, many still rely on public transit. If you use buses to get around, you don’t have to worry about parking or drinking (should you find a cool pub). Thanks to rideshare programs like Uber, you can also carpool with people who live nearby. This is one way to glean insider tips on where to hang out in the city!
Join Meetup Groups
The Meetup network spans globally. Make an account then browse the activities going on. From mixers to concerts to board games, this app makes finding local friends easy (and free).
Shy from Franchises
When travelling within North America, you will run into many of the same restaurant chains and stores. Although familiar, consider trying somewhere new. Go online and read local foodie blogs to discover the best places to dine.
Put the Camera Down
Your Instagram can wait. Step out from behind the lens and make the most of the world in front of you. Although you may lose a few snaps, you will form stronger memories.
Make a Local Friend
Meeting locals can grant you access to all the secret hotspots. Whether you interact on public transit, in bars or at your hotel, making friends on a vacation can enrich the experience. Just be careful with whom you talk to and keep your wits about you!