Travel over recent decades has been in a state of transition, with modern travelers showing an ever-increasing interest in “experiencing” destinations rather than simply visiting them. This new trend is a rewarding pursuit, that has worldwide travelers connecting more in spite of cultural divides. This week’s Travel Tip Tuesday highlights a few of our favorite ways to break out of the tourist bubble and engage with the locals during adventures to come.
Connect Over Hobbies
Seek out shops specializing in hobbies you’re interested in to further connect with others. If you’re a jazz fan, try finding a local jazz bar. If you’re interested in woodworking, check out a region’s workshops.
Star a Meal
Whether it’s a small snack on a train ride or a full meal in someone’s home, food has the power to bring people together no matter the location. Bon Appetour matches up eager travelers with locals who are willing to cook and host.
Check out Local Art and Entertainment Listings
Instead of following the word of a guidebook or brochure, find a website that shows what’s going on in the city during your stay. Seeing a show instead of visiting a well-known attraction will put you in the company of locals, not tourists.
Never Underestimate the Benefits of Public Transportation
A private car certainly has its benefits, sure, but using public transportation will expose you to a wider range of people. It offers the benefit of getting a closer look at how the locals live and a new perspective on their daily lives.
Take a ClassLet your interests lead you toward like-minded travel companions. You may decide to take a cooking class and learn an authentic dish, or practice a new form of dance so you can salsa or tango with the locals, for example.
Find a Local Tour Guide
Avoid large tour companies. Search instead for smaller-scale tours that are run by locals who are passionate about sharing the most popular and interesting features of their locale. Such one-of-a-kind tours are priceless.
Above All: Be Curious and Friendly
Chat with shop owners or market vendors, get to know your driver, smile at a stranger and ask them a question. Show the locals you’re interested in them and their culture, and a simple introduction or question has the potential to open up a world of entirely new and unique experiences.
Check back next week for the latest edition of Travel Tip Tuesday. Hear from our experts on all elements of travel as they share their personal experience and knowledge, which spans everything from fascinating must-see locations, to practical and informative suggestions.
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