When you travel, you don’t just want to feel like you’re on vacation and visiting a new country. You’ll no doubt also want to enjoy an authentic experience where you feel part of the local culture and see how people live. But this isn’t something you can do if you stick to tourist areas. Here are some tips to help you get a more authentic experience on your travels.
1. Book a tour
While a tour may sound like something that tourists do, it’s actually a very good way to see a country in depth. When you look for luxury tours in Patagonia, you can book one that goes to places beyond the usual tourist traps, as you’ll be able to see more of the country. The great thing about booking a tour is that your guides will be able to teach you a lot more than you can find out on your own, especially if you have limited time.
2. Learn some of the local language
Learning a few words of the local language will help you get around a country much more easily. Before you visit a country, you could learn:
- Some greetings
- How to ask basic questions like directions
- How to order in a restaurant
- Ordering tickets and getting around on local transport
This will mean you aren’t 100% reliant on guides and can get the confidence to explore a country further.
3. Go to local events
Don’t just stick to activities for tourists. It’s now easier than ever to find events aimed at locals, and you can often attend, even if you don’t live locally, and enjoy the culture. For example, Try to find things going on during the dates of your visit, and there are lots of inexpensive and even free things to do going on in major cities. Trying to find time to get fit while you travel might be a good idea as well.
4. Go where locals go
Avoid restaurants and places that are packed with tourists. If you want an authentic experience, simply looking a few streets away from the tourist traps is often enough to show you the real side of a country. Again, this is where learning some of the local language helps, as you can navigate your way around a non-English menu or get help in shops without struggling.
5. Stay safe
It’s great enjoying the authentic side of a country, but you must remember to stay safe along the way. You should check government travel advisories before you go anywhere, as some countries have areas you may need to avoid. It’s always worth finding local advice too, as there can be places where you’ll need a tour guide to visit for your own safety, so you can arrange to get on an organised excursion.
Sick of feeling like a tourist when you go overseas? There are a number of ways you can feel more like a traveller rather than someone on vacation. Be prepared to go off the beaten track and to find ways to have a more authentic experience, so you can feel like you’ve really seen a country.