Everyone wants to find that secret spot or perfect place when traveling that only the locals know to go. If you are looking for a real way to experience any town or city, sometimes the best known travel guides can only take you so far. The rest of the journey is up to you to discover. Depending on the amount of time that you plan to spend in any given destination, you may find yourself pressed for time to uncover the hidden treasures that each town holds. Well don’t give up just yet, here are few ways to find the experience of a lifetime, and much quicker than you may imagine.
The best way to learn about any town is to walk straight into the seedy underbelly of a local pub and strike up a conversation with a stranger. Although some may be less than inclined to give up their secrets, the method to extracting information is in the approach. Use your travel stories and your inner charm to lighten up the locals and see if they know of any notable, unique experiences that you absolutely can’t leave without. You will find a majority of bartenders and locals are proud of their homes and more than happy to point you in the right direction.
Before you start your journey, it is always a good idea to see if you can find a blogger from the area who has been willing to give up the secret hiding spots that the more mainstream travel guides may have failed to mention. From the best local cuisine to concerts and art shows, blogs are a great way to find out the happenings before you even arrive. Check around a bit and find a writer who has similar interests to yours and perhaps even send them an email be you embark on your adventure, they may be able to write a post specifically designed with you in mind.
Hostels and Couchsurfers
When traveling, it is always a good idea to save some money and find a less expensive way of sleeping at night. Not only will this allow your funds to go toward street fare and local attractions, but it is also a great way to meet people that may know more about the area than you. Hostels are filled with people who have friends nearby or who have already been there before and scoped out the best kept secrets. And if you have never used couchsurfers, it is a free website that allows hosts to open their homes to travelers who are just passing through. Often times the hosts thoroughly enjoy showing off their town and will be more than happy to take you off the beaten path and show you the real town as the natives know it.
If you don’t know about Geocache by now you are truly missing out. The app itself is about $10 but the places you find are priceless. From local swimming holes to exquisite falls, breathtaking view points to the best kept hiking trails, geocaching is an absolute gold mine if you want to poke around the hidden spots that would be impossible to find on your own. And the best part is that geocaching is world wide. Anywhere your heart can take you, someone has already been there and hidden a secret cache just for you, as well as a landmark or monument that you may not have found otherwise.
Find a Friend
While travel guides are best to take you where the tourists are sure to be, they can also be a useful tool as a jumping point to meeting new people. If you use the guide to pick through your own interests, be it local coffee shops, music venues or local eateries, start there and find a friend that already has the same hobbies as you. By using the guide to get you in the right place at the right time, it is up to you to use the opportunity to talk to locals and gather information.
If you want to make the most of your travel experience, make sure to do it like a local. Anyone can be a tourist but it takes a special detective to be a world traveler. By using these tips you are sure to find the treasure in every destination and enjoy your trip all the more by creating unique memories. Most of the fun is in the search and journey, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and dive right in. You won’t be sorry and you will certainly go home with a story that you will never forget.