Travel Tips & Advice

Explore your Destination like a Local

Last Updated: April 30, 2024

A woman walks through a French mall, where shop fronts are in dark woods and have glass front windows.

Ditch the Hostel

Europe is one of the most popular backpacking/solo travel destinations, especially for young adults. While hostels tend to be cost effective, décor and amenities are often kept to a minimum as a result leaving little room for cultural immersion. Hotels, namely those in popular tourist areas, tend to be overcrowded or westernized to appeal to a larger audience. Staying with a local host or in a less touristy area is easier now than ever before. Book an Airbnb and use your host’s local knowledge as a resource on where to go and what to do.

A bunk bed with clean folded linens is seen in this hostel room, with windows looking over a city.

Return that Guidebook

If you are wondering where to go or what to do while on vacation, you might consider getting a travel guidebook. However, in the digital age, there is almost too much information when it comes time to decide. Most guidebooks, travel websites, and blogs are going to direct you to the same places – the popular landmarks, museums, theaters, etc. To avoid these tourist hubs, do your research elsewhere. 

If you are staying with a local host, ask them about their favorite park or neighborhood. Riding in a taxi through Paris? Ask the driver for a dinner recommendation or where to go for dessert. Relying on the locals as a resource can help improve your vacation.

Eat, Drink & Explore

One of the best parts of any vacation is the opportunity to experience new cuisine. It is important to keep an open mind when traveling when it comes to food and drink. It might allow you to discover something new! Tourists tend to stick with what they know and stay in larger, populated cities and towns. By doing so, incredible restaurants and cafes, such as the Takis Bakery in Athens, Greece, or Fratelli Mori in Rome, Italy, are overlooked. Take a walk through the neighborhood to find that hidden bakery or the family owned produce stand and experience the local culture up close and personal.

A local restaurant in Central America, almost hidden on a quiet street of red stone buildings.

Traveling allows you to explore the culture of others. There is much to consider when it comes to deciding where to go and how to get there. If you are looking for an elevated and more intimate vacation, immersing yourself in local culture can make a notable difference. Escape the long lines and overcrowded landmarks and explore your next destination like a local!

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