It’s no secret that the best way to get the most out of a trip overseas is to take in everything your destination has to offer and fully commit to experiencing the city in the most immersive way possible. But just exactly how do you immerse yourself in the culture and everyday life of those who live there? How do you become an experienced traveler? Have you always wanted to find out how to pass as a local on your next adventure abroad?
Do as the experts do, and follow these simple steps to pass as a local in a city you’ve never even been to before.
Do your research.
First and foremost, do your research. This may seem obvious, but researching your destination is the most essential step in learning how to pass as a local. Look up everything from the weather and the currency your destination uses to the closest restaurants to your hotel and the events that are going on while you will be there. Familiarize yourself with the typical wardrobe of the city and make sure to pack accordingly so you don’t stick out like a sore thumb on the way to lunch.
Learn the language.
If you’re headed somewhere that speaks a different language, look up some common phrases or important questions you will need to ask while you’re there. Definitely learn appropriate greetings, and know how to use please and thank you. Bonus points for knowing certain phrases like “Where can I find a city map?”, “Do you know where I can find the closest train stop?”, or “Do you speak English?” They will come in pretty handy when navigating the city if you’re not 100% sure where you are going – which brings us to the next tip.
Study a map before you get there.
Having a general idea of the layout of the city will prevent unnecessary confusion and aimless wandering about the city when traveling – and you won’t have to walk around the city with your iPhone barking directions at you. At the very least, know which public transportation systems are located closest to your hotel and where to find a convenient place to grab a bite to eat.
Consider visiting during the low season.
If at all possible, think about visiting the city during the low season to really live as the locals do. Avoiding swarms of other visitors is the key to not feeling like one, and you will gain a more authentic feel of the city’s culture when it’s not overflowing with tourists. In some cities, events and activities will cost less all while escaping the typical crowds that come with the peak season travelers.