We’ve all been guilty of going somewhere on our travels and perhaps not venturing out of the tourist hotspots as much as we’d like. It’s natural; we want to feel as though we’re in the buzz of it all, especially on a city break, so finding time to seek out more of the local places maybe isn’t the first priority. However, there are many benefits for doing as the locals do when on your travels, so we’ve listed a few of our top tips to help. 1. Meet the locals First thing’s first, you need to get talking to some of the locals in order to travel in the way they do. Scope out a local bar or shop off the beaten track and get talking to its owners and customers. Practising some basic language skills prior to your trip will help immensely with this one, and it will be sure to impress them. Make sure you’re accustomed to the country’s culture and religion before travelling, too, as this will help in your quest to meet more of the locals and also ensure you come across as respectful as possible. 2. Eat locally Once you’ve met some of the locals, they’ll be able to point you in the direction of some great, lesser-known spots to eat and drink away from the crowds. Eating locally will be better value for money than many busy tourist areas, and it will also give you a chance to try different produce and practise more of your language skills. 3. Sample the specialities So you’ve found the local restaurants, now it’s time to try the local dishes, or those which might not immediately jump out at you from the menu. Yes, we’re talking about snails and frog legs in France, but your choice doesn’t have to be that extreme if whatever is served as a speciality is making your stomach turn. When in Italy, for example, don’t just stick to the traditional pizza and spaghetti bolognese served up in every restaurant on the piazza, experiment with the other local and exciting foods too. 4. Ditch the guidebook Anyone seen walking around with a guide book unfortunately screams ‘tourist.’ Travelling is all about being spontaneous, and that’s one thing you can’t really be if you have your nose in-between the pages of a ‘Guide to XX’ paperback the whole time you’re there. Don’t be afraid – being spontaneous is half the fun! Reading a survival guide for your destination before you leave is a much better idea; allowing you to enjoy every moment once you’ve actually arrived. 5. Consider your transport Hire a scooter or car, or take the bus or train. Basically, travel about as the locals would and you’ll be surprised at where you can end up. Taxis are a great way of finding out tips on where to eat, drink and explore, as the drivers will be some of the most experienced people your location has to offer. 6. Avoid peak seasons This is a big one, especially for destinations such as Europe. Avoiding the influx of tourists come peak season means you’ll be able to really appreciate the surroundings, see more of your destination, and will help save some money along the way.