How to See More of a Place Than the Average Tourist

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Ready to morph from a typical tourist into a masterful explorer? Someone who sees more of the place they are visiting and thus absorbs more of the culture and feel of the destination? Let’s ditch the beaten path and spice up your travel tales now and forever!

  1. Become a Dawn Patroller

 Wake up with the sun, folks. Not only do you beat the crowds, but you also catch those Instagram-worthy sunrises. Plus, it’s the best time to see cities like Venice or Paris before they wear their tourist hat.

  1. Live Local, Eat Local

 Skip the global fast food chains. Dive into the local cuisine. Find where the queues are longest at lunchtime, and join in. That’s where the magic (and the best food) is hidden!

  1. Talk the Talk

 It’s always good to learn a few phrases in the local lingo. Not only is it polite, it often leads to warmer interactions and insider tips. “Where do the locals go?” works wonders because you know they are avoiding the bland overpriced places to eat and hitting up those affordable and authentic restaurants, right?

  1. Get Lost—On Purpose

 Ditch the map for an hour or two. Wander. Explore alleyways. Discover the quirky shop around the corner. Find a park and watch life unfold. It’s in these moments that cities reveal their secrets.

  1. Public Transport is Your Pal

 Hop on a bus or a tram. It’s cheap, it’s real, and it’s scenic in its own gritty way. Plus, you might just end up somewhere unexpectedly awesome.

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  1. Cruise Your Way Through

 Incorporate a cruise, like these glorious Riviera Travel river cruises, for at least part of your journey. It’s like a sampler platter of destinations, but more than that, it allows you to see views that you only get from the vantage point of the water. Unpack once, wake up somewhere new each day, and taste different cultures without the hassle of constant repacking.

  1. Volunteer or Take a Class

 Spend a day helping out at a community garden or take a local cooking class. You’ll meet real people and share real stories. It’s travel with a purpose.

  1. Early Bird or Night Owl?

 Museums and popular attractions have off-peak hours—often early morning or late evening. Plan around these times for a quieter, more personal experience.

  1. Say Yes to Random Invitations

 If a friendly local invites you to a concert in a park or a family BBQ, and it feels right, go for it! These are the golden moments that guidebooks can’t offer.

  1. Stay a While

 If you can, stay longer in one place. It allows you to discover hidden gems beyond the typical three-day tour whirlwind. Plus, you start to feel like part of the scenery.

So there you have it, your roadmap to becoming the ultimate non-touristy tourist. Lace up your walking shoes, charge your camera, and let curiosity be your guide. Who knows what adventures await when you dare to do things differently?

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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