Traveling to new and exciting destinations is a great way to step out of your comfort zone. Seeing the world from someone else's perspective, discovering new cultures and trying different cuisines are just some of the reasons why you should travel more often. But traveling is not all about exploring new places, it’s also about getting to know your destination and its locals better. And in order to do so, it's important to blend in with them and become a local, or at least as much as possible. In this article, I will share 5 ways on how you can travel like a local while visiting some of the most interesting destinations around the world (like Belize!).
Get off the beaten path
When traveling to cities like Paris, Rome, or New York, it is easy to get caught up in the mainstream tourist destinations. These cities are known for their museums and historical sites; however, there are often less-traveled or advertised areas that provide a great way for tourists to learn more about the culture of locals. For example, go to the local beach instead of the big tourist beach in the middle of town!
Check out local festivals and holiday celebrations
Take part in street festivals. Festivals are an essential part of life in many cities and towns around the world – from Thailand's famous water fight, Songkran, to the Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans, there is always something worth celebrating in cities across the globe. Find out when local festivals take place, and join in with the locals.
Learn the language
Traveling is all about experiencing new things, and learning the local language is a great way to do that. Even if you're going with friends who speak Spanish or German or whatever, visiting that new country will be so much more enjoyable if you can communicate with locals who live there. It expands your horizons! And even just a few words make a difference to the locals - it shows you’re trying and have an interest in their language and culture. For a place like Belize that speaks English, have fun learning some slang and colloquial expressions!
Try local food
Trying local food is one way to immerse yourself in a city's culture. It might be tempting to eat at restaurants that cater to tourists, but don't miss out on the chance to experience the city's cuisine by
eating at a restaurant with locals. The menu may be in a language that you can't understand, but if you ask your waiter for a recommendation, he will probably give you something delicious. Don’t miss the seafood here in Belize!
Dress like a local
To blend in with locals when traveling, make sure that you look like them. This doesn't mean that you have to dress like them (you should always dress according to the weather conditions), but be sure that your clothes are not flashy or bright. If people notice your wild attire and Hawaiian shirt, they'll likely think that you're a tourist and react accordingly.
Avoid spending all your time at tourist hang-outs
Another way to travel like a local is by avoiding tourist traps. Instead of going shopping or sightseeing at popular landmarks, check out some of the less well-known attractions in town. You'll have more fun and learn more about the city by exploring its hidden gems!
There are so many benefits to traveling like a local. It can help you meet new people, save money, and experience a new country’s culture at a deeper level. To do it, simply go off the beaten path, avoid tourist traps, take in local events (the best way to really immerse yourself), and meet people who really live in your destination. Of course, there are no guarantees that you won’t run into other tourists along the way, and some tourist traps are still worth it! But the more you plan ahead and prepare for your trip, the more likely it will succeed. Whether you’re traveling on an impromptu weekend getaway or taking a longer vacation abroad, traveling like a local can enrich your whole travel experience.