There’s a certain art to travelling well. We can all go to a city and visit the main sights, eat some bad food and hang out with hordes of other tourists but to really get the most out of travelling, we need to put in a little more effort than just heading to the local Tourist Information point and ticking the main sites off the to-do list.
Over my years of travelling, I’ve come to learn a few things about how to get the most out of my trips abroad – long or short, so I wanted to share with you my top tips for making the most of your travels this year, wherever they may be…
1) Pick authentic places to stay to get the best local experiences
Think Airbnb and lovely self service apartments. You’ll save money by having a kitchenette too, a great excuse to visit a local produce market and make your own meals. I always love cooking up delicious breakfasts before setting off on new adventures on a full belly
2) Always research your accommodation
Do research on your most suited neighbourhood before you book accommodation. If you plan on finding something on a whim when you arrive, it’s still a good idea to research neighbourhoods so you have an idea of where you want to look and how much you should be paying
3) Find the best coffee shop & beeline over
This is my favourite way to explore cool new areas and discover places that I would never otherwise see. If coffee isn’t your thing then try finding something that you do love, whether it be amazing food, art stores, vintage shops, juices, the options are endless…
4) Plan your meals
Research good dinner spots and make reservations before you travel if needed. The best place for local information can be found on blogs and web articles, so start researching and you’ll be sure to find some great advice online
5) Get social
If you don’t have time to research, ask the locals or turn to social media & ask around. People love sharing their advice
6) Pack wisely
Rather than just packing dresses and jumpsuits, take mix’n’match outfits, like a range of neutral tops and bottoms, to maximise wearability and don’t forget accessories! They’re the easiest (and most space-efficient) way to jazz up any outfit for an impromptu night out on the town
7) Travel while you travel
If you have more than a few days away then travel as much as possible. A week in 3 different places feels 3 times longer than a week in the same place.
8) Get out of your comfort travel zone
Go out of your way to visit at least 2 new places each year. It’s too easy to get comfortable with holidaying in the same places each year, but how will you ever discover the world that way? I guarantee there are always even more amazing places to discover, you just have to find them!
9) Embrace adventure
Don’t be scared to go a little off-piste and stray from your plans, that’s often when the best adventures happen
10) Learn the lingo
Always make an effort to learn some key words and phrases in the local language. I always download an app to my phone or keep a little language phrase book in my handbag
Do you have any more travel tips or tricks to add to the list?
6 thoughts on “10 Tips to Travel Like a Local”
Are you Polish or Australian?
Hey Maya, I’m both 🙂 Polish parents & family, brought up in Australia x
To spróbuję po polsku (dawno po polsku nie mówiłam, bo mieszkam w Irlandii od 25 lat). 🙂
Jakie wrażenia masz, gdy spotykasz Polonię w Londynie? Czujesz, że łączy was jakaś automatyczna więź, bo mówicie w tym samym języku? Ja mieszkam w Irlandii już 25 lat i czuję, że więcej nas dzieli niż łączy.
Wychowałaś się w Australii, więc jakie masz wrażenia z pobytu w Polsce? Ja często patrzę na Polskę przez irlandzkie olulary i odczuwam taki odwrócony szok kulturowy :).
I’ll reply in English to avoid my rusty Polish 😉 I come across other Poles in London on a daily basis, and actually I love being surrounded by the Polish language and culture here, it’s something that I really miss when I’m in Australia. There’s a bit of a community feel between us but mostly London is such an impersonal city that it’s hard to say whether it joins or divides us.
My visits to Poland growing up were always so lovely, so while I do feel Poland is quite behind the times in so many ways, I absolutely love visiting now, but I know I could never live there. People think and act very differently, both in good and bad ways, like you say it’s just culturally different so I totally relate to how it can be a culture shock.
How old were you when you moved to Ireland?
Great advice! My partner and I are leaving 1st April this year to adventure around before settling in London (Yay!!), and although we have basic plans in place, it’s good having this advice to get the most out of exploring new areas. Thanks for all your hard work! Keep it up!
Ahh there’s so many exciting times ahead for the two of you, and April is a great time of year to start your travels! Enjoy the planning 🙂