My 4 favorite tips for traveling the world like a local

Officially, there are 196 countries in the world and each country is unique based on its customs, music, language, food, dance and people. So what’s the best way to experience it all? Like a local of course!

Here are 4 of my favorite tips, in addition to using Tripping, on how to travel the world like a local…

1)  “Learn common phrases”

When traveling to new places, it’s important to know how to communicate with others using the local language.  You don’t have to be fluent but knowing common conversation phrases can make a world of a difference.  Something as simple as a “Ca va?” (which is ‘how are you’? in French) to “legal” (which means ‘cool’ in Portuguese) show that you made an extra effort. I  have found locals to be so much more open and friendly when they notice you are trying to connect with their language and culture.

2)   “You don’t have to act like a local but be respectful”

Before leaving on a trip, I like to research local customs.  One of the things I’ve learned is that most locals do not expect travelers to be like a local. When I traveled to Egypt, a local friend told me one of the misconceptions foreigners have is that they have to dress like Egyptians or pray daily, but instead, all they have to do is be respectful and understanding.

3)      “Use local transportation”

Taking local transportation is such great way to explore a new city and meet some interesting locals.  Most major cities have routine buses, metro or commuter lines that allow you to wander aimlessly and cheaply about.  During my trip to Sydney, Australia – I was able to experience the entire city by taking the metro line, riding ferries to and from islands, and walking around with locals. By doing this, I felt like I was able to see and experience more of Sydney and got the full Aussie experience.

Photo credit: ZardozSpeaks (http://www.flickr.com/photos/thecheals/)

4)   “Find cool free things locals know about”

While flights can get pricey, it does get easier on your wallet once you’re at your destination.  That is, if you know what to look for.  Although Europe is known for its high prices and strong currency, there are a couple of cool free things travelers can take advantage of. All throughout Europe, there are free tours are organized by companies like New Europe Tours which have local tour guides show travelers around the main parts of the city and share a bit of the city’s culture and history. Many major European cities also feature free museum or attraction admission on certain days of the month. Check to see when the free days are available during your visit.

And of course to really travel the world like a local, you can connect with locals via Tripping!

This was a post by Seattle-based Tripper Tina Rozul. Connect with Tina via her Tripping profile and via the AIESEC US Network.