Several years ago, vacations were a once a year thing, or even once in every few years. We would have to save up for a while, for one little trip away. But with the rise of budget airlines and home swapping sites, we seem to travel more than ever. A city break here and a girls weekend there. It seems that we want to go away to experience things, rather than to just have time off work. More and more of us want to live like the locals when we are away. Being able to do things as they do and live a little differently, if only for a few days, is really appealing. So it makes you think; how can you be on vacation but live like a local? Here are some thoughts.
Don’t Use Hotels
When you check in at a hotel, it is all a bit sterile. There isn’t much personality to it. Quite often the staff will just be trained to say or do certain things, so they aren’t given a bad review on Tripadvisor. The rise of house swap sites just shows that people are more interested in just being in the country or city, rather than seeing it through a hotel window. So I think one of the best ways is to use a house swap site or stay in local Santorini Villas. This will mean eating out or making your own food. Either way, you will get to interact with the locals as you visit their restaurants or grocery shops.
Do Things As You Normally Would
If you go for a run every morning, then carry on doing that when you are away. If your family goes to church, then look up one that you could go to when you are away. It isn’t the same to just take a tour of a church. But actually, attend a service. You might not understand all of the language, but you will be able to have an incredible experience. You will meet new people and learn about a new culture and perhaps, religion. When you carry on doing things as you normally would, you are truly living like a local.
Embrace the Food
Whether it means buying some local delicacies from the market or attending a cooking class, embrace the food. There is no point going abroad to then go and find the closest McDonalds. Try the food that is typical to that country or region. If you like it, you will have broadened your horizons and can take the recipe and tastes back home with you. This is a great way to get immersed in the culture.
Avoid the Tourist Hot Spots
When you are away, there will be certain things that you will want to do. If you can, though, avoid the most touristy areas. If the city has a zoo, it might be one to avoid. Think about it; you can see animals in most places. These places are set up for visitors. So to integrate better, try out the attractions that aren’t as geared towards the tourists. Attend local sports events, festivals, and markets, for example.