Why You Should Travel Local this 2016

Recount the last time that you traveled. What is the first thing that first comes into your mind? Is it the destination? The itinerary? Or the experience? I bet it’s the last one.

More often than not, our very own experiences in travel vary despite similarities with the destinations and itinerary. What then, makes my experience different from yours despite going to the same place and eating the same food?

Simple, it’s the people that brings uniqueness to each experience be it ourselves or the locals who brought shape, form and life to that experience.

Personally, I choose to travel local because of three main reasons: the people, the budget and the authentic experience.

Meeting People You Can Share Your Life With

Before any plans happen, we begin by choosing who we travel with. I ensure that the ones I travel with are ones that I want to remember my travel experiences with for the rest of my life — ones I know worth building memories with. These are not just my day-to-day acquaintances, but ones that I can venture with in facing the excitement amidst mystery of every journey of the shared experience.

Next, the more important choice is to choose to be open to meet new people that you are willing to impart your life with. These are the people you might probably only intersect once in your entire life but even in the littlest way they eventually become part of your life. The people behind these are the locals — the ones who are knowledgable and the bearer of the local culture.

In them, we can find the souls of the travel experience that you don’t encounter in your day-to-day life where you are the local of your own comfort zones. In the destinations you travel to, these are the people that pushes you out of the limits of your imagination. The locals know nothing about you and the same way, you know nothing about them, hence they are also confidantes of your greatest treasures. What I’ve discovered is that they’re not just great storytellers but also great listeners. Hence, these are indeed the people that you can open up to for new experiences.

You Save Efforts, Time and Money Responsibly

It’s undeniably true that tour packages are cheaper nowadays, but remains expensive especially for frequent travelers like me. There’s no other way of doing travel cheaper than preparing and planning it yourself. The even better way is to travel like a local with the local.

Here’s the most logical reason why you should do so: you can save efforts, time and money responsibly. In the places and destinations you go to, the sceneries or the activities don’t give self introductions of themselves because they are usually passive elements of our travels. The real ones who know how to travel these to the fullest are the locals. They know how to hack the budget in traveling in their home court — or spend it on things that truly add value to both the travelers and the locals. The locals know alternative plans that are much better and more personalized. They can definitely provide experiences that’s both literally and figuratively priceless.

Take it this way, which traveler would say no to eating more local dishes, traveling more offbeat destinations and understanding the native cultures for a better price and benefits the local community better? Traveling local is not just going to be a hype this 2016, but also a wise choice for ones who want to do more with less.

Experience the Best With the Locals

Everyone wants the best — especially in search for travel experiences.

Traveling local, in my opinion, provides the best experience simply because it hits our ultimate objective in traveling. We travel to seek for things we haven’t seen, encountered, tasted, felt and imagined in life. We seek for things we to know that we don’t know yet. We deep dive to discover things worth discovering.

The best way to travel hitting our travel objectives is to focus on the depth, the stories and the authenticity. The only way is to travel with the locals who holds the key to all these simply because they know it best.

We are all locals ourselves. Maybe this 2016, it’s time for us to to travel locally and be a local to travelers ourselves.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Andrew Cua’s story.