When you are travelling to amazing and distant destinations, you want to get a real feel for the place rather than follow the well-trodden tourist trails. You always hear that one of the best ways to do this is to mix with and talk to local people during your trip, but just how do you do this when the language is a world away from what you are used to? Here are a few ideas on how to best mingle with locals on your next trip.
Learn the basics
You really can’t expect everyone to understand your own language when travelling and the first thing you should consider is to pick up some local language skills to communicate on a basic level. It’s easy to do this with online language tutor sites such as Preply. For example, if you wanted to learn English you can choose an English tutor on Preply that suits your needs and can teach you the essential language skills you require and give you cultural information before you travel.
Learning the basics from an online tutor or by other methods can help to kick start those conversations with locals and give you a head start during your trip.
Visit local places
Instead of always following the guidebooks and heading for the tourist traps why not check out some lesser known venues that are frequented by local people? Some basic language might come in handy here too but ask the right questions and you will be eating and drinking like a resident in no time. Websites such as ‘Eatwith’ make it easy for visitors to connect with local chefs who offer a very personal dining experience.
Visiting native restaurants, cafes and bars will also give you a better understanding of the culture and way of life in your chosen destination. This is a way of enhancing your overall experience and better equipping you for the rest of your journey.
Stay with a local
It’s easier now than ever to arrange to stay with strangers offering accommodation in their own city or town. Using site such as couch-surfing or Airbnb you have plenty of choices available. The great thing about this is you will be immediately immersed into your destinations daily life. You can learn a lot from your hosts who will also tell you the best places to visit and things to do.
Many hosts will also invite you into their social circle, as they love mixing with travellers too. As of course, this is the reason they rent out their homes to them. So, you will have your own resident friends for the duration of your stay.
If you put yourself out there during your travels then you are more likely to find yourself meeting people and making friends. You have to ask questions and start conversations in order to get the most out of speaking to people on your trip. If you find it difficult to make the first move then why not try meetups which can be booked as group tours or use websites such as Reddit to source local events.
So, even if you are travelling somewhere where the official language is very far off from what you are used to. By following this advice and doing your research you will be sure to have plenty of ways to mix with local people on your journey. Remember this is your personal travel experience and if you put in some effort before you go you will reap the benefits and have an amazing time.