How to Live Like a Local on Your Next Vacation

Sunday, February 7, 2021

The best way to fully experience a new travel experience is to make a purposeful effort to live like a local. Regardless of the destination that you are visiting, you will have a much more meaningful time if you are conscious about stepping out of the tourist mindset. Here are five ways that you can live like a local on your next vacation.

Eat Like a Local

One of the easiest ways to live like a local is to make an effort to eat like one. If you have a kitchen where you are staying, be sure to stop by a local market and pick up groceries. This will give you the opportunity to sample locally sourced products that you cannot find anywhere else.

You should also eschew the restaurant recommendations in your guidebook and ask the locals about their favorite places to dine. Farmers’ markets are also amazing places to sample unique fare while learning more about the people in the area.

Choose Your Lodging Carefully

It is natural to intuitively try to book a hotel or other type of resort lodging when planning your next trip. However, if immersing yourself in the local culture is one of your goals, you will be better served looking into alternative lodging that caters to residents of the area.

This is particularly true if you plan on booking an extended vacation because it will give you access to a kitchen. For something unique, try looking into the new lodging concept like a short-stay apartment. These small apartments have everything that you need for your vacation stay. For example, if you are looking in Seattle for affordable apartments for your next stay, a short-stay apartment will offer a convenient location for your sightseeing along with a host of comfort amenities. As a bonus, you will also likely find this option more affordable than going with a traditional hotel room.

Exercise in a Park

Instead of sleeping your vacation away, it is a fun idea to get up early and head out for a run or a walk at a nearby park. This is also a better alternative than working out at a hotel exercise room. Not only will you see people out working up a sweat, but you will also encounter families with kids and other community events.

If the weather is not conducive to outdoor exercise, try asking the local gym if they offer day or week passes. This is a great way to get in some exercise while also still mingling with people that live in the area.

Attend a Local Festival or Event

Rather than spending all of your time touring the usual touristy spots, consider living like a local and do what they would do on the weekends. The local chamber of commerce site is a great resource when looking for things to do while in the area. Great choices to consider include music or food festivals, or community-building events.

Spending time at these events will help you to see how the locals spend their free time. It will also give you a wider sampling of the people that live in this area. If you are a sports fan, try finding an athletics event to take in while visiting. There is nothing quite as indicative as the local culture as a Friday night at the ballpark.

Go Out of Your Way to Talk to Locals

You may be surprised at how friendly the locals are if you make an effort to strike up a conversation. Choose places to hang out where it may feel more natural for you to initiate a chat. Good choices include sitting at the bar of a lounge or at a coffee shop. If you feel uncomfortable starting a conversation, try asking for directions from someone who looks friendly.

Once you get in the flow of a conversation, you will find it easier to ask for recommendations or get input on how you should live like a local when visiting. You never know what friendship may form if you make yourself open to these types of conversations.

These five tips are a great starting point when trying to get the most out of your next vacation by living like a local.