7 tips to travel like a local

How many of you want to travel to a place feeling more like a local? How many of you want to know how different people chill in different parts of the world and also want to experience that?

Well, there are many ways to travel and many places on the universe to go. If you are a person who likes to dress up and click photos and just walk around a city in herd of people, there is no shame in that. But if the thought of an obvious tourist makes you cringe and disappear, than you have come to the right place.

Setting aside the fact that you are never really a local if you are just visiting, but trying to do things to blend in more and getting a sense of what life is like wherever you are is always possible. I have realized that doing this extra effort will help you have a better travel experience and lifelong memories. Here are a few tips that I have learnt taking different trips:

  • Ditch the local tour

Do not sign up for tour packages if you want to explore more. I am not saying that tour packages are bad but they only show you the typical tourist destinations. It has an assigned schedule and you can’t simply extend to stay at a particular place if you feel like, whereas if you plan your own schedule you have a lot of flexibility and you could travel according to your mood. (I guess that’s what holidays are for…to give priority to your mood ;)). Also, this means you get to stop anywhere and click pictures and selfies (kudos to that).

just stopping in the middle of nowhere is super fun

Like recently I went to Goa with my friends and we rented two-wheeler and had the liberty to stop in amidst of this beautiful landscape to click pictures and admire the beauty.

we were just driving to a beach in Goa and we found this on both sides of the road 🙂


  • Research

Make sure you research well enough. Make guidelines. Read articles. Read some more. Talk to a friend who is living there and inquire (if any) or a friend who has already visited that place. If you are travelling abroad, make sure to learn some phrases in the local language of that particular place. People generally love this and they instantly become friendly.

travel is exciting

Also the whole research process is super fun. It gets you excited and also you understand better that what you can expect out of your holiday.


  • Talk to cab driver

I can’t stress this enough but this is the best help you will ever get (talk while you book a cab to your stay form the airport). They usually have the best information to give, as to which place is better to visit and also what time of the day is suitable to visit a particular place. We do get this information on the net but sometimes certain things are not updated properly and this tip will help you save time. They can literally tell you local restaurants and also guide to good shopping markets. Take their number down because it becomes helpful for the rest of your trip if you want to book a cab for the whole day.

somewhere in coorg
this was the place where the cab driver took us.

This tip has helped me book cabs for the whole day at much lesser price and also while I was in Coorg, the cab driver took us to a beautiful place which was so peaceful and had no crowd. Now, this is only possible if you have some local with you.

  • Eat local

This is the best travel experience of all. Don’t go to McDonald s or Subway while travelling. Make sure you try the local delicacies because you are certainly not going to get that local flavor back at your home. You will also remember this flavors (like dal-baati in Jodhpur is the best I have had till date, I do get it in my hometown but that taste there was different….aah I feel hungry already) and you will feel more like a local. Also don’t forget to try street food because every place has a different taste.

this was pani puri that i had in coorg. this had an extra chutney and instead of potatoes there was carrot and peas in it.

I can tell you this through my experience because I make it a point to try pani-puri wherever am going in India and it is so different everywhere (very tasty but different). Also I discovered some new dishes in different regions which I had no idea existed.

south indian cuisine
this was traditional south indian breakfast in mysore


  • Stay local

A fancy hotel is a good option for sure but living in a hostel or homestay is going to be a lifelong experience. If you stay in a hostel, you meet different travelers and get to know their stories. You learn more and also get to know more about how different is somebody’s daily routine from yours. The hosts of the hostel are also fun to talk to and they give you a guidelines to travel and also give you information about non touristy places.

this is the mysore hostel and its worth the stay

My friends and I simply love staying in the hostel. I have stayed in hostels in Jodhpur, Mysore and Goa. Firstly, it is super cheap and secondly it has an amazing ambiance and great vibes. I strongly recommend you to try this because you are going to love it. It is also safe, neat and you get freedom to chill. We are so addicted to staying in hostels that we barely book hotels when we travel.

this is a hostel in Goa and it is full of cottages


  • Wander and slow down

Wander to places. Go to the old city or explore the area near your stay. Just go for long walks mindlessly early in the morning or evening. Be spontaneous. Try that small local coffee shop or a street food vendor. Absorb the vibe of the place.

just syncing in

I do this a lot. I remember going early in the morning for a walk when I was in pushkar and the whole feeling was soulful. Pushkar being a religious place- I could see priests praying in the morning near the Ghats and I still remember there was this calm silence in the whole place because all the shops were closed and all I could find is a tea stall vendor to which obviously my friend and I sat and sipped our morning coffee and synced in.


  • Be a tourist.

I mean by wanting to travel local don’t miss going to check the Eiffel tower in Paris or Taj mahal in India. You want to go see those places because you haven’t. So also be a tourist but don’t forget to try these things to enrich you travel adventure.

train journey
train journeys are soulful

Hope this post helps you in planning your next trip. I also hope you be courageous and wander overcoming all the fear and taboos you have.

If you like these tips and want more tips like these, let me know in the comments section below and I will write a part 2 type of post for you guys.

Also check iternaries for Mysore and Coorg here.

Don’t forget to sparkle.

Sanjani Shah


Please let me know your thoughts