Futourist’s 5 secrets to travelling like a local

Step off the beaten path and become a citizen of the world

Anja Vidrih
Jan 24, 2019 · 4 min read

Why do you travel? Is it to escape your everyday life? To meet new people? To experience something new? To find your purpose?

While there are as many possible reasons for travelling as there are travellers in the world, it is becoming more and more apparent that for most of today’s wanderlusts, travelling is a lot more than just relaxing on a beach or crossing the most popular sights off their bucket list.

In fact, according to a research done by Topdeck Travel, a staggering 86% of today’s Millennial travellers actually travel to authentically experience a new culture.

As the focus is quickly shifting away from the soulless mass tourism towards a more mindful, environmentally friendly and cultural approach, more and more of today’s travellers are craving to explore the world’s cultures and try to live like the locals there do. With this exponentially rising trend of seeking authentic cultural travel experiences, we have decided to gather a few must-read tips that will enable you to completely immerse yourself into the visited destination, step off the beaten path and become a citizen of the world:

1. Skip the tourist traps

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Having lunch at the Eiffel Tower is out. Savouring locals’ favourite food in a cute little French bistro is in.

Buying a “geniune” piece of the Berlin Wall is out. Buying unique items at the colorful Berlin’s Flea Market is in.

Seeing the guard change at the Buckingham Palace is out. Having a cozy picnic at the green Victoria park is in.

You get the picture. Spending your precious days abroad standing in endless lines, buying overpriced souvenirs and trying to capture all the “must-see” sights among endless crowds of tourists has simply become obsolete as the most popular tourist sights and activities are usually just a pretend show for the tourists and only get you far away from experiencing the true nature of the destination you are visiting.

2. Connect with the locals

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In your search for meaningful experiences, it is crucial to step out of your comfort zone, talk to strangers and connect with the people who live there — after all, they are the most valuable source of recommendations for hidden corners only locals know about that will enable you to truly get to know the destination’s culture, food and their way of living. To quickly get on locals’ good side, make sure to read about their local customs and learn at least a few basic phrases like saying “hello” and “thank you” beforehand.

3. Indulge in everyday activities

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As the old saying goes: When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Replace bus shuttles, sightseeing and pricey travel tours with public transport, local markets, traditional cooking classes and well basically, try to spend your days as a typical citizen there would. Make sure to check if there are any ongoing cultural events or festivals while you are there as they are definitely the most genuine and fascinating way to experience a different culture.

4. Get lost

Source: Unsplash

To indulge in the most authentic travel experience possible, simply go outside and get lost in the visited city. Wandering around a completely unknown destination may lead you to the most unforgettable discoveries of sights, activities and people that would be impossible to stumble upon if you were simply following a generalized travel guide. Just make sure to stay safe by informing yourself about any potentially dangerous neighbourhoods that might not be advisable to get lost in.

5. Travel consciously

Source: Unsplash

Travelling like a local isn’t just about exploring the destination’s cultures and customs — it is also about being aware of the impact your travelling journey has on the visited destination. To truly travel like a local, one has to be a conscious traveller which encompasses minding your carbon footprint, respecting the local customs, eating locally sourced food, doing volunteer work, supporting environmental and wildlife conservation efforts and trying to give back to the country you are visiting in any way you can.

No matter what your reason for venturing the world, travelling like a local provides you with the most unforgettable travel experience possible as it enables you to break free from your comfort zone, live in the moment, open yourself up to new experiences and most importantly, collect meaningful connections, remarkable experiences and spectacular memories along the way. Bon Voyage!🌏

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