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How To Travel Like A Local

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How To Travel Like A Local

There are two options when traveling:

1) Go to all of the tourist places, and

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2) Live like the locals.

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Each has its own pros and cons but the local lifestyle may give you that vacation you have always desired. Let’s break it down to see what each option has to offer.

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1. The tourist.

  • You have to see every monument, museum, and park. If it’s marked on a map, you will be there. You are also first in line to get a ticket for the double-decker sightseeing bus.
  • Your schedule is jam packed from sunrise to sunset. You have left yourself just enough time to have dinner at one of the tourist traps on the main drag.
  • You are just seeing the sights but not fully taking it in. You are secretly thinking to yourself, “If I see another museum…” or, “I have to be enjoying this right; it is the Mona Lisa.”

2. Travel like the locals live.

  • Wake up and start your morning off with an espresso at the local café on the side street. Sit back, relax, and enjoy people watching. Take in all of the sights and see what everyone is doing. You never know, you may end up with the best tips on places to go visit and restaurants to eat at.
  • Find an interesting place to visit – a museum, a nearby town – or ask a local to recommend a place that you will enjoy. The key here is a place not an infinitely long list of places that you must check off your list and just see. Find places that you will truly enjoy. Do you love gardens? Try spending the afternoon at your destination’s botanical gardens.
  • Explore. Go outside and get lost in the city. Take your map and put it in your bag. Find an area to visit and see what you happen to stumble upon. It may be the most beautiful thing that you have ever seen in your life. Maybe that trail leads to an overlook of the ocean that no one has ever captured photographs of before.
  • Leave your watch and schedule behind. This is vacation, right? Do what interests you and what attracts your attention.
  • Get out of your comfort zone. I guarantee that it will be worth it. Go to the restaurant that looks like a dive – the food may be worth a Michelin star! Climb to the top of the cliff even if you are somewhat scared of heights. Find the diamond in the rough and you will be ecstatic that you did. It will make your trip memorable and will be the event or thing you talk about to everyone that you see.

Traveling like you are a local in town is my favorite way to travel. You get to enjoy the best parts of the city that you actually want to see. You can explore and find the hidden gems that other tourists never even know of, and my bet is that some of the locals may not know about either. Enjoy that two-hour dinner out on the patio with a bottle of wine and great company without looking at your smartphone or your watch.

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The key here is to fully enjoy your vacation doing the things that you want to do and not have to do. You will remember saying, “I loved watching that sunset over the Atlantic Ocean.” But if you are rushing around traveling like a tourist, you will be left saying, “I need a vacation from my vacation!”

So, how are you going to travel on your next vacation?

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Last Updated on January 13, 2022

10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

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10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

A honeymoon is important.  The wedding is over.  The months, or even years, of stress and planning are finally over.  It’s time for the two of you to relax, settle in, and start enjoying your time together as you embark on your first journey as a family.

To make the most of this time for the least amount of money, it’s important to focus on what you want out of a honeymoon.  This isn’t your typical list of touristy honeymoon locations everyone goes to.  Rather, it’s a list of cheap honeymoon experiences a couple can enjoy together, regardless of where it’s at.

1. Camping

A week long camping trip is a fantastic way to see how you mesh together as a couple.  You’re put in a low impact “survival” situation where it’s just the 2 of you and nature.  You have a chance to see how your new spouse handles themselves when left with the basics of life.  There are amazing national parks all over the United States where you can camp for a week for $20-30, disconnect from technology, and enjoy some of the natural wonders our nation has to offer.

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2. Staycation

You don’t have to go anywhere for a honeymoon.  In fact, the tradition of taking a honeymoon vacation is a relatively new one.  Prior to the 19th century, a honeymoon involved staying home together for a month to get to know each other physically.  Think of how blissful it could be to take a full month off work, disconnect from the outside world, and focus entirely on projects together.  You may not be wowing your friends and family with pictures of some exotic location, but they’ll be envious of your escape from the rat race nonetheless.

3. Island Getaway

People tend to overspend on their honeymoon vacations to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.  Going to these places doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to stay in a 5 star resort when you’re on a Best Western budget.  You’re there to be in the atmosphere of the island, not a hotel room. Book a cheap flight and sleep in a hotel alternative, on the beach or in your car.  It’s the view in paradise that really matters.

4. Fancy Resort

Book an expensive resort, spa, or retreat in the city you live in.  While this may seem counterintuitive as a cheap destination, when you consider your savings on airfare and other travel costs, you can afford to be treated like royalty within your own city limits.  If you book a honeymoon package, you’ll end up with a lot of free amenities and extra attention.  There’s no need to fly halfway across the world to live the good life.

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5. Road Trip

The journey is often more fulfilling than the actual destination.  If you fly out to some exotic locale, you’ll be stuck on a plane for 8-30 hours.  Rent a luxury car, pick a handful of places you each have always wanted to visit, and go on an adventure.  You can keep food costs down by packing your own snacks, but it’s always a good idea to sample the local delicacies wherever you go, even if it’s only a few states over.

6. Charter a Boat

If the ocean is your thing, a week-long cruise can cost you $1500-$3000 per person, depending on the destination.  You also have to factor in travel costs to and from the cruise, alcohol, souvenirs, and on-shore excursions.  You’ll also be surrounded by people.  For the same price (and often much cheaper), you can charter your own boat and enjoy the experience in private.

7. Las Vegas/Atlantic City

If gambling is your thing, these are the places to do it.  Which one you choose depends on your preference, budget, and proximity.  The way to make this vacation cheaper is to gamble smart.  Stay away from low odd tables (i.e craps, roulette) and read up on the MIT blackjack strategies to beat the house.  If you do it right, you can win enough for a free trip (and gain a valuable team skill in the process).

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8. Themed Retreats

There are weeklong retreats all over the world where you can fully immerse yourselves as a couple into a hobby you’re both passionate about.  Go on a yoga/meditation retreat, a ranch, a vineyard/farm, a backpacking adventure, treasure hunt, or whatever you’re into.

9. Working Honeymoon

Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a vacation.  For a truly memorable experience, dedicate a week to a charity or volunteer organization.  You can drive out to a campground to help restore it in the offseason.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer to help out your local animal shelter, plant trees, help the homeless, etc.  Use the time to do something together as a couple that will fulfill you spiritually while contributing to the community.  Just because you’re on a honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

10. Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events.  Find one you’re interested in.  If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals.  Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever you’re into.  If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

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Featured photo credit: Josue Michel via unsplash.com

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