How to Travel Like a Local: Tips from a Seasoned Traveler

By Seema Dhaka

Insider Travel Tips for Experiencing the True Essence of Your Destination

Traveling is a beautiful experience that can present us with fresh perspectives, ideas, and memories that we will remember for the rest of our lives. However, all too often, travelers fall into the trap of visiting only the most popular tourist attractions, missing out on the true essence of the place they’re visiting. To genuinely experience a new country, travel like a native, immersing oneself in the local culture and way of life. Here are 10 tips on how to travel like a local from a seasoned traveler:

Learn the Language

Even if you only know a few basic phrases, mastering the local language can have a significant impact on how the locals regard you and even you can interact easily with local travelers. It shows that you’re making an effort to understand their culture and communicate with them in their language. It can also assist you in navigating the local area and asking for directions or recommendations from locals. There are amazing apps for learning and practicing languages all around the world and for those who want to go beyond a few words, online language schools are a fantastic alternative.

Stay in a Local Neighborhood

Instead of staying in a tourist area, consider staying in a local neighborhood. This will give you a chance to see how the locals live and experience the local culture up close. You can stay in an Airbnb or a guest house, or you can search for locally-owned hotels and bed and breakfasts. You can also consider joining a house exchange organization that allows you to fully immerse yourself in the community.

Do Your Research Before You Go

Investigate the regional traditions, culture, and customs before you travel there. Learn about the local history, language, and cuisine. This will help you understand and respect the local way of life, and it will also help you avoid any cultural faux pas.

Check budget

 If you don’t already have a certain adventure in mind, you can choose your destination to fit your budget and live like a local. The airfare is always the most expensive part of a trip. There is also a calendar that shows when it’s less expensive to fly between the airports you choose. After deducting the cost of the flight from your budget, there is always the question of how long you can go. Saving a few hundred dollars there may allow you to extend your adventure by a few more days.

Visit Local Markets and Stores

A fantastic approach to see how the locals interact and the shop is to go to local markets and businesses. Unique mementos, regional foods, and handcrafted goods are available. Shopping locally also supports small businesses and the community’s economy.

Engage with Locals

One of the best ways to experience a new place is by engaging with locals. Start up a discussion with someone on the bus or in a café. Ask locals for recommendations or advice. Talking to locals can teach you a lot about the local culture and way of life. Locals in many countries are extremely friendly and enjoy meeting new and interesting people. When in doubt, follow the natives’ lead. If you notice locals swimming anywhere, join them. If you observe locals participating in a sport, ask if you can join in. By participating in local events, you’ll receive a direct sense of the local way of life.

Use Public Transportation

Using public transportation and travel with locals is a great way to get around and experience the local way of life. Take the bus, subway, or train instead of a taxi or Uber. This will give you a chance to see the city from a local’s perspective, and it’s also a more environmentally friendly way to travel.

Eat Where the Locals Eat

Eat at local eateries and street food vendors instead of tourist restaurants. Ask locals for recommendations or use apps like Yelp or TripAdvisor to find hidden gems. Trying the local cuisine is a great way to learn about the culture, and it’s often much cheaper than eating at tourist restaurants.

Attend Local Events and Festivals

 It is a terrific opportunity to experience the local culture and have fun. Search for music festivals, cuisine festivals, and cultural celebrations. Local events can be found online or by asking the locals.

Be Respectful of Local Customs and Traditions

Finally, it’s important to be respectful of local customs and traditions. Learn about local customs before you go and follow them while you’re there. Dress appropriately, especially when visiting religious sites. Don’t take photos where it’s not allowed, and don’t touch or take anything that’s considered sacred.


 Traveling as a local is an excellent way to gain a more authentic and meaningful understanding of a location. You can obtain a better knowledge of the people and their way of life by adopting the local culture, language, and customs. By following these tips and immersing yourself in the local culture, you can have a more enriching travel experience and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Questions which tourist ask about tips to travel like a local

What do you mean by living like a local Airbnb?

 “Live like a local” The experience of staying in an Airbnb accommodation in a residential location rather than a tourist center is referred to as Airbnb. The objective is to explore the location from the perspective of a local inhabitant and acquire a more real experience of the place. The Airbnb host may provide advice on the best local meals, stores, and activities that are not always well-known to tourists. This type of Airbnb also allows you to meet and interact with locals to gain a better understanding of their culture and way of life.

How can I experience local culture while traveling?

Experiencing local culture while traveling can be achieved in several ways, including:
– Staying in a residential area
– Eating at local eateries
– Participating in local activities
– Learning the local language

What are the benefits of traveling like a local?

Traveling locally can have several benefits, including:
– More authentic experience
– A better understanding of local culture
– Meeting locals
– Saving money
– Less environmental impact

What are some affordable ways to travel like a local?

There are several affordable ways to travel like a local and experience the destination from a different perspective. Here are some tips:
Walking or biking around the city can be a great way to explore the local neighborhoods and experience the destination from a different perspective.
Many cities have free events such as concerts, festivals, and markets that are popular with locals. Attending these events can be a great way to experience the local culture and have fun without spending a lot of money.

What are some common mistakes that travelers make when trying to travel like a local?

Some common mistakes travelers make when attempting to travel like a local include relying too heavily on guidebooks and online recommendations rather than seeking advice from locals, sticking to tourist hotspots rather than exploring local neighborhoods and attractions, and failing to respect local customs and traditions such as dress codes or etiquette. To completely immerse yourself in the culture and feel like a local, it’s necessary to strike a balance between being prepared and open to new experiences and adjusting to local practices.

Seema Dhaka pic
About the author

Seema Dhaka loves to write and enjoy travelling to new destinations and inspiring readers to travel themselves. When not writing, she enjoy dancing and listening to music.