Do you like traveling? Are you a person of wonder? There is much fun to have when you travel, leaving your daily work for a while and experience new things and seeing beautiful sights. But unfortunately there are some traps when you are traveling to be aware of and if you know them beforehand, you'll enjoy your adventures much more.
Here, we'd like to ask you one simple question.
There is more than one type or traveler. You can be a tourist with a schedule and busy with plans that include all the popular sights, or a traveler who is willing to experience new things and understand the culture and people deeply. There are many attractions which are set up to cater to tourists in major destinations like in Paris, Barcelona, and Rome. Remember that things you experience through a group travel package, from popular guided books have some traps. Firstly, what do you want to see? What do you want to do? Let’s get out of the Instagram trap first, where you can promote yourself by uploading the picture of you with the most famous beautiful sceneries. The beautiful pictures should come with your unique experiences, not from what other people would expect to do. But how can we travel like locals? Here are some tips we’d like you to note. Keeping in mind that how to travel is an indivicual experience, and can be up you, but here are some tips that can help you to enjoy your travels more.
When you are planning your trip, you may want to fit in as much as you can. You will have a long list of what to and where to go, but remember that there are events out of your control can happen and can spoil your schedule resulting in you missing some locations.
In each famous city there are the locals who live there and do day-to-day things around the city. Sometimes tourists get a shock derived from their discovery that the country or the city is not what they had expected it to be, as there is an image which is associated from movies and magazines, etc. Despite the beautiful cities, social situations and problems are constantly happening there. Also some disasters or transportation problems may happen when you are there. In the end, if you are ready for any situation that you didn’t expect and something occurs that alters your plans, you can just change your mindset and still enjoy your time.
It often happens when you reserve a tour, they will organize the entire transportation of the trip. If you are being guided by someone who is not registered with a travel agency, there is often a tourist trap associated with it. Even though being guided is more convenient for you, going by public transportation gives you the choice to decide where you want to go. If you're not sure how to use it, there are employees at all the stations that can help you with your journey.
Daily life for locals varies in each country and region depending on culture and local traditions. If you only stay in your hotel you won't be able to experience any local specialties. Although hotels can serve as the most comfortable stay for you, what you need to take into consideration is not only the price or special offer, but search for a place that is unique or interesting. For finding great places, you can use Airbnb which serves as a peer-to-peer property house rental.
Have you ever been in a situation where you realize that you are pressured by your own schedule? You are exploring new sights, enjoying what the new city has to offer you, and just like that... you're behind schedule! What we recommend is that you choose only a small number of top destinations, and spend the rest of your time to wander around and explore the city centre. While walking from place to place, you will discover new and amazing things that are hidden away from all of the other tourists. Spending a few hours just sitting at a cafe and people watching is a wonderful activity that will give you a closer look into the country and its people. You do need a map while traveling but remember that the less you stick to the map and look at your surroundings, the more you will enjoy your trip.
When looking for a good restaurant, it's best not to eat near any tourist attractions because the prices are inflated. If you ask a local for help, they will almost always be able to reccomend a great place or even a hidden spot to eat. You can also find restaurants on Instagram and see if their food appeals to you. There are also many groups on Facebook that cater to helping tourists find great places to eat. On this kind of online group, you can also find live news and any events that are happening. You may also find some facebook event suggestions depending on your location. We’d recommend to follow the dynamic changes and latest news through the press.
There is always an official tourist website or private website which publishes events coming up within a few weeks. If you have the time you can attend the events. Local market such as the ones held on weekends are interesting and filled with antiques and vintage items.
Apart from the famous places like the city squares or cathedrals, if you find a place that is full and hidden away, it is a real gem and you should try it out. Ask for advice from locals for where to eat, drink and shop to get a more authentic experience.
Do you like watching movies or reading books? Prior to arriving to a new destination, try to learn the culture and history by reading and watching movies related to your destination. There are so many things we tend to miss when we don’t know the city and history well enough, we end up only visiting the touristic spots. Through work that is created by people who live there, you may get a better perspective to see and understand the culture more. You don’t have to feel that you have to learn or study the entire history, just choose what you like!
It's hard to study and learn any new language. Regardless, when traveling it's important to learn key phrases to help make your travels much easier. Some principal phrases like “Hello”, or “I don’t speak…, do you speak English?” in the local language can help you. Basic knowledge of English is also helpful when traveling. You don’t have to stick to specific grammar or textbooks, you can try to communicate with people or use online courses where you can actually practice the language.
For those who are eager to travel the world and embrace new places like locals, we have some other suggestions. For example:
If you are looking for a social dining platform that allows you to enjoy a local meal and communicate with others, EAT WITH is the best choice for you.
This is getting more and more popular for travelers around the world. Couchsurfing is an application to find a place to stay or share your home and hometown with travelers. There are always many events on couchsurfing aswell if you wish to meet people from all over the world.
Some cities that are more populated and have small apartments, like Tokyo, may have a limited amount of available hosts.
If you want to have a longer experience, and volunteer, WORKAWAY would be a great experience. In exchange for a certain hours of work per day a Workawayer receives accommodation and food for the duration of their stay. These experiences could be a completely new and can open your eyes and allow you to try new things.