How to Travel Like a Local

posted on September 10, 2019 | by Amanda Holstein

How to Travel Like a Local

This post is sponsored by Acqua Panna® Natural Spring Water. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

You know how I can tell someone is a tourist here in San Francisco? They’re wearing shorts and an “I ♥ San Francisco” sweatshirt. Clearly, they thought they were headed to warm & sunny California only to be met with wind & fog, forcing them to buy one of those “I’m clearly a tourist” sweatshirts. I wish I could stop each and every one and tell them everything there is to know about this city: the weather patterns, where to eat, what to do, what each neighborhood is like, etc. But I thought a blog post might be more realistic :). I put together my personal tricks when traveling that will make you feel more like a local than a tourist and enjoy the city in a whole new light.

1. Stay at a residence, not a hotel.

Rather than book a hotel room, I’ve found that staying in an apartment or house in a new city offers a totally different experience. First of all, you can stay in areas where locals actually live, rather than the main touristy spots. Walking out your door and around your neighborhood makes you feel a part of the culture in a whole new way. Try to integrate some of your normal routines, like your morning coffee. Go to a local corner store and get some of the items you like to have in your own home. For me, that’s fruit to snack on, bottled water that I can take on the go—like Acqua Panna® Natural Spring Water, and quality shampoo & conditioner. It can really help make you feel like you live there.

2. Carry the essentials, without looking like a tourist.

The most obvious sign of a tourist is a backpack, a camera, a map, and running shoes. Where are we going that we need to wear running shoes, people? Comfy shoes, yes, but we’re not running a marathon. Just wear what you’d wear around your own city! I do suggest bringing a few extra things with you, but you can just use a normal tote (make sure it zips closed). I suggest a small pouch with your passport, cash, a phone charger, and any meds you might need. Layers are important, too, because you never know where the day will take you.

Since you’ll be walking a ton, definitely bring a ton of water too! Acqua Panna® Natural Spring Water 1 Liter Plastic Bottle is just the right size to last all day. It’s 100% pure spring water from the sun-drenched hills of Tuscany—so you’ll look well-traveled but not touristy! Plus, you can find it at Safeway—which makes life super easy when traveling throughout the West.

3. Talk to locals and ask them for recommendations.

The best advice I can give you is to go straight to the source — the locals! Don’t be afraid to ask someone what their favorite restaurants are or where they like to go shopping. Ask them which tourist attractions are worthwhile and which ones you should skip out on. Finding out what nightlife is like from the locals is key as well. I’ve gotten some amazinnnggg recommendations this way. You get to experience the city in a whole different way, like a real local!

Do you like to travel this way or have any other tips that might be helpful??

Thank you Acqua Panna® Natural Spring Water for sponsoring this post.