When you go on holiday, no-one really wants to stand out like a sore thumb. But it’s normally quite easy to spot a tourist – you know the one, wandering around with a travel pouch and a map looking a bit lost and paying for everything with notes.
With some easy steps, you can blend in with the locals. By doing so, you might avoid being charged inflated prices by cheeky locals trying to earn a bit of extra money from unassuming visitors. You’ll definitely minimise the risks of being the victim of petty crime too – as tourists tend to be a target for criminals. To help you blend in, we’ve gathered five top tips. Check them out:
- Get clued up on local scams
Don’t let anyone easily fool you – just do bit of research into the local crimes. According to 1Cover, the following scenarios are rarely likely to be genuine and should cause some concern:
- Being invited for tea
- Being asked to help someone practice their English
- An attractive local girl wants to talk to you
- Someone threw a baby at you (classic Roman scam)
It’s all about heightened awareness. Locals will easily be able to spot the early signs of these scams – if you can too, you’re more likely to blend in.
- Use public transport
Uber might be appearing in cities everywhere, but that doesn’t mean you should rely on it just because it’s the easy option. Travel like the locals do – if that means squeezing onto a bus in India, or an overcrowded train in Japan, then that’s just the price you pay for blending in with the locals.
- Learn some key phrases
There are few better ways of blending in with the locals than learning some key phrases and being able to communicate with them. If you’ve made no effort to speak any of the lingo, you’ll be on the back foot from the start. It shows to everyone knows you have no idea what the local landscape is like.
As the Independent Traveler says, “the more you practice, the better you get at the language, which can open doors that lead you deeper into the local culture.”
- Keep a low profile
Of course, you’re going to want to take photos of your destination – it’s natural. But just be aware it’s not typically what locals do, so tone it down a bit. Bring your camera, but don’t get it out at every moment and don’t leave it hanging around your neck. Perhaps you could head out earlier in the morning or in the late evening to capture some shots when it’s quieter – you’ll also get some great light.
- Follow them
We’re not suggesting you follow a local to work, but instead of following the tourist crowds, try and spot where the locals head. This is particularly useful when choosing where to eat. Locals will have tried out most of the restaurants, and chosen their favourites. They’ve basically done your research for you.
How do you blend in on holiday? Share your tips with us.