When you travel, you could have the generic experience shared by most tourists. But there’s another way of traveling, and it allows you to see through the eyes of a local. With these tips for local travel experiences, you step off the beaten path and will enhance your travels.
1. Take Public Transportation
One of the best ways to get to know a city is to use public transportation. In 2016, 1,784,681 people boarded Durham’s GoTriangle public transportation system. It’s a system used by many locals to get from one place to another and could give you some insight into local life.
When you take public transportation, you come across interesting sights. You could pass an attraction you never knew existed, or discover a hidden gem of a restaurant. While on the bus, you might hear a few interesting conversations that also help you get to know the area.
2. Be Social
As you travel, strike up conversations with the people around you. For example, you could take a ride-share to get to your hotel room. While in the vehicle, talk to the driver and ask them about the area. When you’re at a restaurant, speak to the waitress about local attractions.
By being social, you’ll have a more local experience. You might discover places that aren’t in guidebooks or on popular blogs.
3. Eat Local Dishes
Every city is known for a certain style of food, and Durham is no exception. While in town, order dishes that the locals are known for. You should also avoid eating at large chain restaurants and look for mom-and-pop shops.
If you’re not sure where to go or what to order, do some research. Look online and ask around, but avoid tourist traps. They tend to have subpar food that you can find anywhere. If you look hard enough, you could find a secret spot the locals love.
4. Use Social Media to Plan
For all of its downfalls, social media can be a great resource. Before you head out on your travels, use social media to make your plans. Join a local group to find out the best restaurants and attractions in the area. Or, find out what’s made the news recently. You’ll be in-the-know without setting foot in the city.
If you’re traveling alone, you could also use social media to find fellow travelers. There are websites dedicated to connecting travelers, or you could search for a Facebook Group. While on social media, you could connect with a travel buddy.
Of course, you should use social media responsibly. Take everything you read with a grain of salt – not everyone is truthful. If you find out about a restaurant or attraction on social media, take the time to research their reputation.
Try Something Different
If you really want to enjoy a local travel experience, think outside of the box. Do something you’ve never done before. For instance, you might consider trying an escape room. The activity is fun for all and challenges your observation and puzzle-solving skills. Furthermore, it could bring you and your friends or family closer.
When you think creatively, you’ll find there’s a wealth of activities in the Durham area. You’ll get to experience the things most tourists never see or do. Check out Amaze Room Escape for a unique activity that will stay in your memories for years to come.