Every experienced traveler knows the best and most genuine explorations happen when they dive into a destination’s local community. But they may not always know where and how to look for these secret treasures. Here are a few tips to help adventurers make the most of their wanderlust.
Everyone’s a local of someplace. Join an online travelers’ community to connect with others in destinations you want to visit or plan on taking a trip to. That way you can exchange the inside scoop with them on sights to see, restaurants to try, things to do, and more.
Likewise, social media is a great place to research and pin posts for travel inspiration. Follow tags and content creators that make posts for destinations and adventures you want to experience. Make collections so that you can reference them later when making your travel plans.
Community Boards and Publications
Whether digital or in-person, community boards and publications are a great source for finding local events. Flyers and ads marketing shows, festivals, or special exhibitions make for an excellent resource to discover local talents that you can then brag about seeing to your friends back home.
Do a little research online and find travel bloggers that post about their community. The locals are always the best word-of-mouth for any destination. After all, they know their hometowns better than anyone. They may also be able to point you in the direction of a smaller or lesser-known hideaway not far from the big city destinations.
You may have used Google Maps to find your way around when you’re in a new setting. But there’s a feature few know about: personal maps. You can make and share your own maps through your Google account. This is a great way to make a specific map for those hidden gems in your community. Likewise, you can exchange these resources with fellow travelers and find your way around others’ cities and hometowns when you visit.
Get Lost. Don’t Plan
If you like to plan your vacation down to every detail, you likely map out an itinerary for every sight to see. However, the best way to find a little-known treasure is to get lost. Forget the maps and schedules and carefully planned routes. Stray from the beaten path and wander down a side street just off the main course. It’s here you will often find delightful surprises. Perhaps a mom-and-pop restaurant or small bodega will catch your attention. The only way to find out is to let go of the plans.
Hop on a bus or train in the local community and you will find many stops along the way that probably didn’t show up on the main maps or city guides. You can also learn more about a destination by talking to the locals while taking their public transportation. Striking up a conversation with the locals is a great way to discover and experience a destination in an authentic way.
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