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Travel Like a Non-Tourist: 7 Tips to See the World Beyond the Guide Books

June 21, 2013 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

16412019-girl-reading-a-mapGuidebooks are a great source of information and are handy when you’re not able to access an Internet connection. However, they’re also heavy to cart around, contain plenty of information that you won’t necessarily use and can become quickly out-dated.

If you don’t want to miss out on the massive wealth of crowd-sourced insights available, or you just want to take the path less travelled, then read on for some tips to help you have unique experiences on your next trip away.

Read Online Travel Review Sites

Spending time researching online can lead you to a variety of great travel review sites where the information provided comes from either the locals or travellers who have been to an area themselves. From commenting on the latest and greatest hotels in Canada to sharing the cheapest Dublin airline fares, crowd-sourced information can be a great source of relevant and up-to-date ideas. Travellers providing their tips and suggestions online are usually much more honest than a travel agent or service provider might be, and you’ll likely find that some of the best travel experiences you have stem from a candid recommendation from a fellow traveller.

Stay With Friends

One of the easiest, cheapest and usually most fun ways to really travel like a non-tourist is to stay with friends who live in the destination you’re visiting. As they’re already locals, friends who live in an area will know the best restaurants to eat at, the coolest places to shop and even the tacky tourist traps to avoid. Staying with friends also generally means that you can get to tricky or out-of-the-way places that you wouldn’t ordinarily see, and meet people you would not normally have a chance to run into.

Contact Bloggers With Similar Interests10705196-images-of-girl-with-a-cup-of-hot-drink-on-the-roof

An innovative way to find out the best travel tips for your taste are to get in contact with people who live in the target area and also have similar interests. These days it’s easy to find a plethora of bloggers online who have a specific niche that they write about. As a result, if you want to know which Melbourne jazz bars are best you can contact an Australian jazz aficionado, or if you’re keen to sample the tastiest vegetarian cuisine in London, get in touch with a local veggie food blogger. Since most people provide an email address on their site it’s easy to contact them, plus often writers will post details online of events they’re going to, which is a great way to discover the latest and greatest opportunities in their region.

Throw Away Your Schedule

Start banning the strict schedules and intricate timetables from your travel itineraries and you’ll likely start seeing the world in a whole new way. Adopt a more sanguine view to travel and you can spend time sitting and contemplating the great artworks in galleries around the globe or soaking up the atmosphere of cafes and local culture in your destination.

Chat With Taxi Drivers

Some of the best tour guides around the globe will actually be the taxi drivers whose services cost no more than a cab fare and a tip. Full of fun stories and local information, cabbies are generally the first to know about hip new joints opening or the most popular restaurants in town.

Ride the Bus or Walk

A fantastic way to really get a local feel for a place is to ditch the overpriced rental car or tourist bus tradition and use public transportation instead. Alternatively, walking around a city is a perfect way to see undiscovered local treats from street level that you would ordinarily miss.

Learn Some of the Language to Interact With Locals

If you make a point of learning at least some basic fundamentals of a new language before you travel, you might find that the result is an extraordinary experience you wouldn’t otherwise have had. Make an effort to chat to local people and you might be directed to a beautiful, tucked-away park or the best shopping strip in the city that only the locals know about.

About the Author: Rachel Evans is a travel writer with a passion for international vacations, authentic experiences and the path less travelled. She keeps up-to-date with the latest news and events in the travel industry and excels in searching online for the most unusual travel experiences.

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