How to Travel Global, and look like a Local

How to Travel Global, and look like a Local


When you’re travelling to a new destination, looking like a local helps you blend in and avoid being targeted by thieves, touts, hagglers and scammers—and just improves your overall experience! Here are a few ways you can look like you belong.

  1. Pack your big DSLR camera in a bag, not around your neck. Even better, leave the big camera at home and take snaps on your phone.
  1. Save your souvenirs for home. If you’re in Bali, don’t wear the “I ❤ Bali” T-shirt you bought at the airport shop the day before. Wear plain clothes and save the souvenir for  when you get home.
  1. Look down and watch where you’re walking. This is especially the case if you’re in a city filled with eye-catching skyscrapers and landmarks. You’ll stand out if you meander or if you stop in the middle of the street to take a picture.

The best part about visiting a new place is enjoying the food that’s special to the city. Find the hot spots where the local crowds go by following these three tips:

Ask a local for food recommendations as opposed to asking your hotel manager. Saying, “Hey, what’s a good place to eat around here?“ to a local can spark an enthusiastic conversation about their favourite restaurant. You’re guaranteed to have a more interesting experience, and you might find a new place you love.

Be willing to experiment. Don’t just stop at the franchise or chain restaurants you’re familiar with from back home. Some places are known around the world for their distinctive restaurants. Look for places that the locals recommend to their out-of-town friends.

Carry cash. A lot of the smaller, more local joints may not accept credit cards or may require a charge minimum. You don’t want to be caught searching for an ATM or missing out on some amazing food.

**Bonus tip: search TripAdvisor for nearby restaurants with independent reviews from travelers like yourself. You can also search Facebook for nearby restaurants, see reviews and some “food porn” pictures 🙂

  1. Hit the pavement. The fastest way to make a new city feel like home is to walk it and explore sites as you go. Walking is the least expensive way to get from place to place, and you’ll learn a lot along the way. It also makes it more convenient to stop if you see a quirky shop or cool restaurant you’d like to check out. It’s a great way to find out what’s happening around town.
  1. Remember the names of main streets and intersections. If you need to get back to your hotel or another specific destination, it’s simple to ask for help or directions if you can remember basic landmarks and nearby streets. Main city streets are also a good place to find shopping, dining and attractions.
  1. Take advantage of the public transport system, if the city has one. Public transport provides convenient stops next to popular landmarks and places with heavy traffic. You’ll find maps in train or bus stations that will direct you to points of interest near each stop. This is the best way to rub elbows with city dwellers.
  1. Get some exercise by seeing the city from the seat of a bicycle! Many cities now offer bike-sharing or bike-hiring programs, making it easy for you to hop on—and off—wherever is most convenient for you. Whether you’re cruising down a boardwalk or slicing in between skyscrapers, this is a great low-cost way to get around while enjoying the best the city has to offer.

Major cities are filled with millions of people who speak a variety of languages, but locals can still tell if you don’t quite fit in. Join any conversation with the locals by sounding like you’re “from around here.”

Get a guidebook of common phrases if you’re visiting a country where you don’t know the language. Many guidebooks can help you ask about locations for banks, streets and toilets, and you’ll know how to ask about what’s important. Also make sure you learn basic words that might help you understand the responses. A key phrase to have on hand is how to ask if the person you’re speaking to happens to speak your native language.

Learn the slang, street language or lingo for the local area even if you can speak the official language. You’ll definitely fit in by sounding less formal during conversations. Languages learned in a university classroom sound different than languages learned from birth. It might also be fun to discover colloquial names for well-known landmarks.

You might discover that you’ve returned from your trip with a larger vocabulary in a new language if you learn new ways to communicate during your travels.

The sun. The sand. The surf. There’s no doubt about it, the beach is a blissful destination and a favourite for tourists. But, because of their popularity, the best beaches are often packed with tourists. Set yourself apart from the crowd with these tips that will help you look like a local, even when you’re hitting the most popular beaches in the world.

  1. Familiarise yourself with the local beaches before your trip. That way, once you’re there, you know where you want to go and how to get there.
  1. Cover Yourself! Wear long sleeves and a big hat. The sun may be more severe than what you are used to back home. Locals know how to prepare for the beach, so being sunburned is a big red flag—literally!
  1. Dress to blend in with the locals. Mimic the local style and color schemes. Consider leaving your “I ❤ NY” and your Hawaiian prints at home!
  1. Avoid taking too many pictures. If you love photography, carry your camera in a bag instead of wearing it around your neck, and remember that the photos you’ll cherish most are the ones of people you’re on holiday with—not the ones of sunsets and scenery.
  1. Pack light. You don’t want to drag overstuffed beach bags through the sand throughout your entire stay.
  1. Follow beach etiquette. Avoid kicking up sand, playing catch over people’s heads, etc. Be a considerate beachgoer and you’ll blend right in!

**Bonus tip: consider a service like Flytographer (it’s like Uber for photos). A local photographer can take snaps of you interacting with friends and family, and you’ll be in the action, instead of being behind the lens.

FUN FACTS: There’s more to Indonesia than just Bali beaches and Buddhist temples. Indonesia is composed of more than 17,500 islands, covers three time zones and takes more than 12 hours of flying to get from one end to the other. Only 6,000 of the islands are inhabited by people and only 1,000 are permanently settled. Indonesia is the only place in the world where you can see a Komodo dragon in the wild.

Thanks to World Ventures for original article: “Global Chameleons”

About 24hourwealthcoach

Jeremy Britton is a left-brained business coach who is occasionally in his right mind. He works 24 hours a week, has written a few books on wealth, health and business and is considered a thought leader in several arenas. Find him on the beach, on Facebook or
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One Response to How to Travel Global, and look like a Local

  1. Travelosio says:

    Awesome Article!

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