How to Live Like a Local on Holidays
When on holidays I love to do the tourist buzz seeing the sights and such, but more than that I love exploring what the locals get into and where they actually hang out. I’ve found for myself that 3 to 4 days is usually enough to get both the tourist and the local vibe. Here’s what I do pre-travel to make sure I get the best of both worlds.
I follow quite a few travel accounts so when I see that someone has made the locations on their photos somewhere I know I am looking to go in the future I open the location and look at the other photos checked in/tagged there. I actually do this for restaurants/bars/attractions I want to visit in Dublin too. If I think it looks cool still I take a quick screen shot to re-visit later. I always make sure to get the map that Instagram has at the top to make sure I have the city showing since I take quite a few of these shots and don’t want to mix them up. If you have a favorite travel account or travel blogger go to their page and see if they have visited where you are looking to go to see what they got up to/where they ate/etc. if they have been to your chosen destination.
BUY A GUIDE BOOK
I love to get a Lonely Planet book before I start planning a holiday. Lonely Planet is great because it gives you information on the tourist attractions but also on local spots too. You can get books for whole countries or just a city. Lonely Planet books usually come with a map too which is handy to have when you won’t always have data to be using Google Maps!
HIT UP TRIPADVISOR
This step kind of goes hand in hand with my first two suggestions, but I want to be sure that what looks good on Instagram and in my guide book are actually worth visiting. Once I’ve found a few spots I might want to check out I go to TripAdvisor to see what real people have to say and look at the not as posed travel photos. This can make or break whether I visit a spot. I know some people have a problem with TripAdvisor thinking reviews are made up but I don’t find this to be an issue and more times than not these reviews have steered me in right direction.
When all else fails, and you are actually at your destination, wander around! If I am staying in a walkable city I try to walk everywhere to see as much as I can. This will expose new locations you might not have stumble upon had you been on a bus or metro. When my partner and I went to Rome we found this really cool square with buskers and bars with a lot of outdoor seating. We spent nearly half of one of our days just hanging out in this square having a few beers and it was one of the best parts of our trip.
*all images original to Candid Alexandra