Smart Travel Tips: Five Ways to Blend in Like a Local
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny space you occupy in this world.”-Gustav Flaubert
While there is absolutely no harm in traveling like a tourist (even if a certain stigma is associated with the word in some countries), you have got to admit that there is a myriad of benefits in blending in like a local. You would hardly stand out from the crowd and depend on which country you are visiting; you might even be treated more cordially than they would have had they known you were a traveler. Furthermore, while it is something we hate to admit to ourselves, traveling like a tourist makes us more susceptible to local scams, pickpockets, and other criminals.
Other habits, while a little less serious such as a harmless faux pas at dinner can be overlooked entirely. But, if your homegrown practices tend to make you stand out like a sore thumb, you may want to rethink your traveling style. So, before you start booking your accommodations such as a Makati condo for rent, it is best to know how you should blend in like a local with these tips:
1.) Wear muted clothes
Blending in starts with the clothes you wear as it is what would be considered as the first line of defense. In this regard, it is best to wear muted and simple clothing when you are traveling. Sure, you might want to look fashionable, but if your goal is to blend in, you might want to opt for simpler clothes. Lastly, you will be far more comfortable in subdued sartorial ensembles.
2.) Pack clothes you can wear anywhere
Your clothes should have a semblance of versatility in them in such a way that you can wear them while getting a haircut from a local barber to dining at the best restaurant in town. By packing clothes, you can practically wear anywhere; you would effectively be able to blend in a myriad of situations and places.
3.) Take a break from your camera once in a while
It is understandable to be taking a lot of photos. After all, it is not every day that you can get to visit a foreign place, so it would only be natural for you to be taking as much visual evidence of your trip as you can. However, you may want to tone it down a bit. A camera slung around your neck is a cardinal sign of being a tourist and it can attract thieves. You can bring the camera and take photos, but keep it in a bag instead of openly hanging. More importantly, do not point it where it is not welcome. If you are trying to keep a low profile, it is best not to attract too much attention to oneself, and all that clicking and flashing will definitely earn you needless attention.
4.) Have your money under control
Before visiting a foreign country, it is always best to research about the local currency as well as its foreign value. In this regard, you should carry it in a straightforward manner in your wallet and purse and make transactions deftly. In this way, you will blend it better. Avoid fumbling with money as it identifies you as a foreigner (and makes you a prospective target for thieves). Bear in mind that you should only carry what you need for the day in your wallet or purse. Avoid bringing all of your cash or wads of it with you as if you lose it; you would lose all of the money you brought for the trip.
5.) Be courteous and say hello
Be courteous to the locals and the people you encounter. Say hello to anyone you might encounter in the flea market or at the bakery. Be friendly, and it will make locals warm up to you.