When you are travelling, you have the choice of being a traveller or a tourist. There is a time and a place for both and sometimes you want to be a combination of the two. This article however, focuses on tips for being a traveller and travelling like a local.

Use Public Transport

The easiest way to travel like a local is to use the public transport. You’ll have a much better feel for London if you use the underground and of course it is also convenient! When we travelled to Hong Kong, we took the public bus to Tian Tan Buddha (Big Buddha). It was easy to get there and the journey there was an event in and of itself! One key to being a good traveller is enjoying the journey!

Eat the Local Delicacy

Not only should you eat at local restaurants, you should eat their local delicacy too! You’ll get to chat with your local waiter and get a better feel for the country you are visiting and you’ll also learn more about the destination just by eating their local dishes. For example, in Iceland you can eat their vegetables grown in geothermally heated greenhouses and gain a better appreciation of Iceland and how it taps into its resources.

Hire a Guide

Without a doubt, the best way to enjoy a destination like a local is to be shown around by a local guide! There are a number of ways you can do this, though. You could hire a guide for a day and they can show you around and give you ideas of what to do for the remainder of your holiday. You could also take a guided tour vacation where you are with a guide for your entire holiday. The tour companies often use guides who are from the destination you are visiting and have a wealth of knowledge that they love to share with you. Have you ever had friends or family visit and you just love taking them to some hidden gem? These guides feel the same way and really know their stuff!

We hired a guide in Thailand and it made such a difference to experiencing Bangkok. We learned so much more and our guide was very friendly and was extremely good at taking us to temples or restaurants, giving us lots of great information and then disappearing for a little while so that we could enjoy the restaurant or look around the temple or monument as a family. Then our guide would rejoin us and would carry on guiding us throughout the city. Plus, our guide was always on hand to take photos of us.

Trim Down the To-Do List

The biggest trap you can fall into is scheduling way too much. You’ll feel like you need a vacation from your vacation! It’s a difficult balance to achieve because you want to make the most of the time you are in your destination. The best way to trim down your to-do list is to put some thought into whether you truly want to do what you have planned. For example, most people want to visit the Louvre in Paris and see the Mona Lisa and yet end up disappointed because of all the crowds around the one painting and the fact that it’s so small! Those who are disappointed are usually because they don’t have a big passion for art but still wanted to see the Mona Lisa because they felt that they had to. If you hear yourself saying ‘we should go to this museum’ that’s probably a good indicator that you could give it a miss.

Step Out of your Comfort Zone

Stepping out of your comfort zone will allow you to find those hidden gems. Maybe that restaurant does look a little sketchy but it’s full of locals, which is always a good sign, so eat there and you could have the best meal of your life! Stepping out of your comfort zone is always worth it!

About the Author

Rhian Torontow is a Family Travel Consultant with Magical Family Adventures. Rhian creates travel experiences that foster connections in your family that will last a lifetime and transforms your children into open-minded, flexible, well-travelled people. During Rhian’s childhood, her father travelled for work constantly and it was always travel that brought her family back together. You can follow Rhian on Facebook at www.facebook.com/magicalfamilyadventures, Instagram @MagicalFamilyAdventures and you can also connect with her on LinkedIn ca.linkedin.com/in/rhiantorontow/