A Home Away From Home: 7 Tips for Living Like a Local While Traveling

Staff Travel Tips

A Food Fun Travel Guest Post

For many people, the word “vacation” evokes images of sunning yourself on a lounger on the beach, cocktail in hand. Though the idea of living a week of resort luxury still appeals to the average tourist, many travelers are seeking a more authentic experience when they vacation.

Immersing yourself in the culture and heritage of your travel destinations will allow you and your travel companions to make unique memories and gain new perspectives on the world. If you’re wondering how to create a locally-focused itinerary for your trip away from home, here are seven tips for a better travel experience.

Seek out local career opportunities

Sometimes, a week of PTO isn’t enough to truly experience new and exciting locales. If you’re feeling ready for a change, consider investigating travel-friendly career opportunities nationwide (and even worldwide). For those in the medical field, browse job marketplaces like Fusion Marketplace for Fusion travel nursing opportunities. In no time, your dreams of being a globe-trotting travel nurse will play out before your very eyes.

Teachers dreaming of a jet-setting lifestyle can also easily find English instructors positions in hundreds of countries everywhere. No matter your career interests, merging your love of travel with your career ambitions, all while living as the locals do, is an attainable reality.

Stay in a local’s home

While you could book a stay in a four-star chain hotel with amenities to spare for your vacation, one of the best ways of experiencing a new locale is by living in a local home. An increasingly popular option for travelers dedicated to authentic experiences is joining a home exchange agency. With an agency, you can schedule home swaps with families and individuals across the world. While you have the opportunity to live like a local in a local’s home, your exchange partner can reap the same benefits of cultural immersion.

Try your hand at being a chef


Food is an essential component of every culture’s identity. If your goal while traveling is to experience your destination authentically, steer clear of popular chain restaurants you can find at home. Instead, eat at local restaurants, or take your experience a step further by enrolling in a cooking class. Not only will you learn skills and new recipes you can bring home with you, but you’ll also be able to explore the local cuisine in an up-close and personal way.

Make time for volunteering

If you enjoy giving back to your community, consider bringing that service-oriented attitude on vacation with you. Volunteering in the neighborhoods you travel to is an excellent way of experiencing sides of an unfamiliar destination regular tourism doesn’t highlight. You’ll likely have the opportunity to meet locals, and you’ll leave your vacation having made a positive impact on the community.

Spend a day at the park

Pack up your picnic basket and head to a nearby park for a day of relaxation. Most of your fellow park-goers are likely locals, there to meet friends or catch some fresh air while they exercise. Neighborhood parks are an excellent place to people-watch and meet people who call your vacation destination home. You’ll better understand how locals spend their time and what it’s like to live there.

Buy tickets to an event

Whether it’s a small theater show or a free open-air concert in the park, exploring the local arts scene while you’re on vacation is the perfect way to experience a new culture. You’ll make unforgettable memories, and you’ll also learn what the local community values in their arts and entertainment.

Read a novel from a hometown author


If you’re visiting a city with a famous or semi-famous hometown author, read their novel before you head to the airport. If the book is set in their hometown, the author will likely mention neighborhoods and restaurants to add to your travel itinerary. Not only will you have the opportunity to spend time in local hotspots, but exploring locations you’ve read about will add a unique element to the experience.

The bottom line

While kicking back and relaxing at an all-inclusive resort can be pleasurable, traveling with a local mindset will allow you to experience your destination authentically. You’ll return from your time off with unforgettable experiences under your belt and a fresh perspective of the world.