The Best Tips to Travel Like a Local Abroad

trip planning with map

Traveling abroad is a powerful experience that can’t be compared to anything else. The world is practically overflowing with opportunities to immerse yourself in cultures so different from your own, they can change your life for the better.

Some say the only way to get a true taste of a foreign land is to travel like a local, and we completely agree. It’s the best way to travel abroad—hands down. Not only can you experience a new lifestyle in every country you visit, but you can also avoid the traps and dangers tourists face when traveling.

Use these safety tips for traveling abroad.

Keep Your Head Up

Aerial photograph of tourists visiting the Old Town Square in Prague

Walking around with your nose in a map or a travel guide is the best way to let everyone know that you’re “not from around here.” Do your homework before your trip so you don’t have to refer to your Lonely Planet guide every five minutes. Plan your routes before you leave the hotel room, and leave the guidebook in your Nomatic bag. It’ll be there in case of an emergency.

Of all the safety tips for traveling abroad, the best is to avoid looking like a lost and confused foreigner—that just puts a target on your back.

Get Around Like a Local

Beautiful young woman travelling in a train of Parisian underground and looking through the window at the Eiffel tower

Most foreign countries have adopted a transportation system that you’re not accustomed to. Travelers often stick with what they feel most comfortable with (usually hailing a taxi cab). By doing so, tourists limit their opportunities to really experience local living and miss out on some great conversations with locals.

Find out how the locals get around the city and follow suit, whether it’s by bike taxi or trolley. Not only will this give you a unique and memorable experience, but it can also help you avoid taxi drivers who rack up their prices for ignorant tourists.

Step Outside the Tourist Traps

Old town in Europe at sunset with retro vintage Instagram style filter and lens flare effect.

If you really want an authentic experience, we recommend you step outside the popular tourist hot spots. Every destination has at least one major travel hub, crowded with tourists, high-price souvenirs, and settings geared toward providing travelers with an experience that isn’t too far from their own comfort zone.

Do yourself a favor and travel outside of these hot spots. Beyond the luxurious hotels and Americanized restaurants, you’ll find an entirely new scene drenched in real local culture and avoid the tourist spotlight.

Buy Local Threads

Happy Muslim women walking in the city center - Arabian young girls having fun spending time and laughing together outdoor - concept of people, culture and religion

One of the greatest safety tips for traveling abroad is to blend with the local crowds. So long as it is respectful and appropriate, we encourage you to buy some local attire and wear it while you explore the area. Leave your Sketchers and parka in the hotel and don something a little less conspicuous.

Dine Like a Local

Shot of a table during a meal

The best way to travel like a local is to dine like a local. Pass over the trendy eateries on Main Street and search for authentic cuisine off the beaten path. Take a chance on new types of food, especially if it’s an entree that you’ve never even heard of before. If you spot a food truck with a long line, don’t be afraid to get some local street meat!

Speaking with local bartenders and restaurant staff is a fantastic way to find those hidden gems that the typical tourist would never think to patronize.

Travel Like a Local With Nomatic

With Nomatic travel gear, you can spend less time digging through your luggage and more time immersing yourself in the lives of the locals. Keep all of your belongings protected and perfectly organized with our messenger bags, travel packs, and revolutionary travel gear and accessories.

With a sleek, inconspicuous design and protected compartments, you can travel like a local without having to worry about your personal belongings. Browse our selection today!