Five Ways to Live Like a Local When Travelling
Leaving the tourist trail is arguably one of the best ways to spend a gap year. Instead of having your head buried in a guidebook or following the path of so many others, set down some roots and learn how the locals live.
From learning about different cultures and ways of living, adopting the pace of local life can lead to unforgettable memory making experiences, which might not be achieved through flash-tourist travelling.
Here, youth travel experts at StudentUniverse share five tips to help millennials live like a local when on that once in a lifetime adventure.
Eat where the locals do
Instead of visiting mainstream tourist restaurants or big supermarkets, be adventurous and learn what tastes good from the locals. While many advise against street food, we absolutely recommend it! Watching food be prepared right in front of you and taking a seat alongside rows of dining locals is a memorable experience. If it’s good enough for the locals, then it’s good enough for you!
Learn the lingo
Fearless travellers who ignore their linguistic shortcomings are more likely to meet a vast number of interesting people. Although few travellers have the luxury of spending enough time in one place to become fluent in the local language, even basic classes can prove invaluable. Chatting with new people who have a different cultural background and a varied perspective on life, is much more interesting than talking to the handful of people you’ll meet while travelling, all of who are likely from your home country.
If languages aren’t your forte, find a social activity that transcends linguistic boundaries: take tango classes in Buenos Aires, play wallyball in Bolivia, or learn to make ceviche in Peru.
Hop on public transport
If you’ve never taken a sleeper train whilst abroad, well, you’ve never lived. Overwhelmingly romantic, it offers a scenic, comfortable form of transport for locals and travellers alike. It’s usually a cost-effective way to travel, and there is something incredibly special about falling asleep in one country and waking up in another.
Stumble upon culture
Signing up to Facebook groups for cities you’re visiting will alert you to local celebrations and events that could well be worth visiting. Keeping your eyes peeled for events advertised in local bars, restaurants and on public transport will also bear fruit. Whether it be a cultural or religious festival, a local food market or music festival, you’ll surround yourselves with locals and absorb the culture.
Make a fool of yourself
By accepting the fact that you’ll spend half your time looking lost as you figure out how life works in your new country, and embracing it, will save you a lot of embarrassment in the long run. Don’t shy away from learning, exploring and discovering. Remember that people in every country across the global will go out of their way to help foreign travellers, as they’re eager to show off the country they call home.
Living like a local requires more effort and proactivity than travelling. However, discovering countries this way will not only radically alter your perspective, but may even change the way you travel.
StudentUniverse are always on the hunt for the best and cheapest flights, offer student rates on hotel bookings and work with partners to offer tours across the world on a shoe-string budget; for information and inspiration visit www.studentuniverse.co.uk.
For further press information, please contact:
Arabella Halfhide/Baillie Horwood
T: +44 (0)20 3440 8930
StudentUniverse is the world’s leading travel booking site for students and youth. Through negotiations with a network of global partners, StudentUniverse offers discounted pricing and terms on flights, hotels and tours. StudentUniverse also operates Journeys are Made @ GapYear.com, the world’s largest gap year inspiration travel platform.
StudentUniverse launched in the UK in 2013 and was acquired by Flight Centre Travel Group in 2015. StudentUniverse is headquartered in Boston with offices in London, Toronto, New York and the Philippines. StudentUniverse believes that travel is essential to a modern education. Millions of students use the service every year.