There are as many different ways to travel as there are places to visit in the universe. And if you are the type who loves walking around a new city in a herd of people dressed in matching outfits, led around by a person holding a flag, there’s no shame in that. But, if the thought of being an obvious tourist makes you want to crawl under a double-Decker bus and hide, then you have come to the right place.

For us, we want to travel differently. Fortunately, we’re not the only ones. KNOMADIC.CO, for example, is a travel company who knows this desire well and through their unique travel programs helps travelers to experience world’s incomparable culture, value and beliefs in a way that a normal vacation doesn’t allow. Read on and get inspired to see the world differently with (who, by the way, are pretty darn awesome!)

Setting aside the fact that you are not really a local if you are just visiting, you can still do things to blend in and get a real sense of what life is like wherever you are. Let’s break down both the options of visiting as a tourist and living like a local to see what each option has to offer.

The Tourist:

You have to see every monument, museum and park. If it is marked on a map, you will be there. Your schedule is jam packed from sunrise to sunset. You have left yourself just enough time to have dinner at one of the tourist traps on the main drag.

You are just seeing the sights but not fully taking it in. you are secretly thinking to yourself, ‘if I see another museum’, or, ‘I have to be enjoying this right, it is the Mona Lisa’.

The Local:

Start your day with an espresso at the local cafe and enjoy watching people. You never know, you may end up with the best tips on places to go visit and restaurants to eat at. Find an interesting place to visit-a museum, a nearby town or ask a local to recommend a place that you will enjoy. The key here is the place, not an infinitely long list of places that you must check off your list and just see.

Find places that you will truly enjoy.

Explore. Go outside and get lost in the city. Leave your watch and schedule behind. This is a vacation right? Do what interests you and what attracts your attention.

No matter where you go, from Newyork to Vietnam — travel can be a lot more rewarding when you dive head first into the local way of life. Here are a few ways to put a local twist in your next trip:

Learn a few key phrases of the local language. Most locals appreciate the effort and will respond positively.

Be flexible. Travel is about going with the flow. Sometimes, it pays to create space in your travel schedule for unexpected surprises.

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Ditch the bus tour. Nice if you’re terrified and lazy, but not if what you’re looking for is to really get to know a place and the people who live there.

Rent an apartment or couch surf. One of the best ways to really feel like a local is to trade a hotel room for an apartment or a spot on a local’s couch.

Explore neighborhood versus attractions because focusing solely on the destination can make you miss out on what else is nearby.

Eat local. Frequent any spots where you see locals lining up for food.

These days’ travelling like a tourist is out, and living like a local is in. Everyone wants to circumnavigate the sightseers and avoid the borders that crowd the world’s most well known spots. But the truth is, we all want to see the same spots for a reason — most of them are pretty incredible. Do I really want to miss seeing the pyramids or the Mona Lisa just because everyone else is there? Travelling like a tourist and living like a local need not be mutually exclusive.

It is possible to pack your holiday full with once-in-a-lifetime, authentic, local experiences , while still ensuring you see those sights, you’ve traveled far to see. What it really boils down to is ditching the travel guide and hitting up all those ‘hidden gems’ within a city. Find out what works for you, get off the beaten path and visit the places you actually want to see. Don’t worry about what is expected of you by the over-eager travel agents on one hand, or the travel hackers that are a bit too dismissive of the more touristy spots. You are a tourist after all! You will remember saying, ‘I loved watching that sunset over the Atlantic Ocean’. But if you are rushing around travelling like a tourist, you will be left saying, ‘I need a vacation from my vacation!’

So, how are you going to travel on your next vacation?