How to Live Like a Local while Traveling
Posted on Aug 8, 2017
Many travelers take trips to new places with the goal of living, eating, and enjoying life like a local. Authentic, local experiences are some of the best experiences any traveler can have.
Giant tourist traps abound in big cities, but if you’re visiting a rural destination, how do you know where to find those authentic hidden gems?
One of the best ways to find and enjoy local experiences is to find someone who lives in the area to be a guide for your trip. You might have to dig deep into your network to find someone, but don’t be afraid to look up your second cousin’s college roommate and ask if they would be willing to show you around the area. Most people will be happy to show you around their hometown, and both of you will benefit from the new connection established by your visit.
Even if your guide can’t personally show you around the city every day of your visit, they can still give you a lot of good ideas about the best local experiences. What better way to have a local experience than to ask a local? You’ll gain an insider’s perspective on the area, learn more, and enjoy an authentic, local experience in a new culture with a local as your guide.
If you don’t have a connection to a local Emporian, be sure to contact us at the Visitors Bureau. We can give you the low down on the best places to visit while you’re here!
Another great way to immerse yourself in a local experience is to rent out an apartment or house for your visit. Airbnb has a selection of vacation rental options that range from luxurious homes (like the Gufler Mansion!) to simple spare bedrooms. You may even have the opportunity to meet a local guide through an Airbnb or rental arrangement.
You might have to do a little exploring on your own to find those awesome local experiences. Give yourself time to wander for a while and discover the unique culture around you. Certainly there are things that you “have to see,” but don’t let your vacation become a mere checklist of places to see. Let your schedule be flexible. After all, vacations are all about relaxing, right?
Don’t worry about taking too many pictures; focus on making great memories. Don’t let the camera or anything else distract you from relishing your trip.
Lastly, and most importantly, be willing to try new things on your trip. Try new activities or foods, even ones that might make you uncomfortable. Be respectful of local customs and traditions, and be willing to learn and immerse yourself into a new culture.
You’ll have a great time living like a local on your next trip. Good luck to you as you search for local experiences!