Travelling without looking like a tourist comes with a wealth of benefits. From making friends with the locals who give you super-helpful insider tips to avoiding becoming the target of money-hungry pickpockets, to travel like a local when you’re on holiday is the best way to get the most out of your travel experience.
How to Travel Like A Local
It’s not just about looking the part, although that will certainly help. Travelling without looking like a tourist is mostly about changing the way you behave; so it’s more inline with the way the locals act. It’s a lot simpler than it sounds, especially with these 5 tips to help you.
1. Dress like the locals
If you’re walking around in swim shorts and a Hawaiian shirt, you’ll stand out as a tourist pretty much anywhere. To blend in, take a look at what the locals wear and follow the same style. Whether you adopt business-casual in Singapore or floor-length flowing clothing in India, dressing like the locals will not only help you avoid standing out, but will also keep you comfortable in the local climate.
2. Keep your camera out of sight
You can easily spot tourists in the street from the oversized DSLR cameras hanging around their necks. As well as making you stand out like a sore thumb, wearing your equipment like this also makes you a target for opportunistic thieves. So unless you’re in a tourist attraction and are using your camera to take pictures, keep it out of the way inside your bag.
3. Take fewer photos
While we’re on the subject – take fewer photos altogether. This statement might make some avid travel photographers reel back in horror. But the more time you spend enjoying your surroundings in the present, instead of reminiscing about them through photos when you get home, the better experience you’ll have.
4. Eat off the street
Eating street food is one of the most authentic, eye-opening and engaging experiences you can have if you want to travel like a local. In places such as Thailand and China, the vast majority of locals can’t afford to eat at restaurants every day, so instead they opt for grabbing something to eat from local street food carts. By joining them, you’ll fit in a lot better, enjoy better food and save yourself a small fortune.
5. Stay in a private rental
It’s hard not to look like a tourist when you’re seen walking out of a hotel in the centre of a purpose-built holiday resort. But it’s another thing entirely if you’re seen stepping out of an apartment in a residential district. And don’t think you’ve got to know the locals to find a decent place to stay. There are loads of accommodation websites offering affordable apartments in great locations, making travelling without looking like a tourist that little bit easier.