12 Tips for Traveling Like an Insider, From the Viator Travel Ambassadors

August 27, 2014 by

Guest Bloggers, Local Experts & Private Guides, Travel News & Alerts

We want you to feel like you’re traveling with an insider, everywhere you go, every time you travel. And to keep bringing you more insider knowledge of destinations around the world, we’re working with a team of Viator Ambassadors, expert travel bloggers who’ve been around the block (and around the world) a few times. Collectively, they’ve visited hundreds of airports, logged thousands of miles of flight time and learned through experience how to make the most of any trip. For the past few months and through they end of the year, they are experiencing dozens of Viator tours and sharing first-hand accounts of their experiences via blog posts, photos, video, and social media.

We asked our ambassadors for their best tips for traveling like an insider. Here’s what they had to say:

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Popular tourist spots are popular for a reason, they’re noteworthy and everyone wants to see them. Booking a tour and skipping the long lines can mean the difference between seeing them all or just one or two. – Veronica and David James – The Gypsy Nesters

Take a class!There’s nothing like indulging a local version of one of your passions or learning a new skill entirely to enhance your travels. In Thailand, I’ve learned about local culture by taking classes in Thai massage and Muay Thai boxing, while I look forward to getting a true taste of Belgium through an upcoming chocolate making workshop in Brussels. – Alexandra Baackes – Alex in Wanderland 

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Eat local; not eating at chain restaurants while traveling is the best form of sustainable travel because it supports the local economy and gives you a taste of local flavor.- Kim Orlando – Traveling Mom 

Pack so that everything can be carried in one trip, over the shoulder and/or on top of the rolling bag. From cab to airport, bus to hotel, no bag ever gets left behind. – Veronica and David James – The Gypsy Nesters

Walk like a local. If you want to travel like an insider, act like an insider. When you’re walking down along the street in a foreign country, even though you might not know where you are going: Act like you do. You’ll start to notice those strange looks disappear, and you’ll start feeling more confident and less worried. – Nadine Sykora – Hey Nadine 

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Take public transportation at least once during your trip- it gives you a taste of local life and almost 100% of the time, becomes part of your vacation story that is told over and over again. – Kim Orlando – Traveling Mom 

Eat more local.  Just like you can stay with locals via companies like airbnb and couchsurfing, you can also eat dinner with locals in their homes.  It’s your chance to get some home cooked food, meet a mix of locals and visitors, and get to see how and where people live in a destination!  – Sherry Ott – Otts World 

Put down the guidebook and simply ask a local where they eat, drink, play and hang out. One universal truth is people love to talk about themselves and most jump at the opportunity to share their favorite local destinations with anyone who’ll listen.- Mike Richard – Vagabondish

Ask for the special! Every local food place has one or two dishes they are famous for, ask for them. They will be the most perfected dishes and it’ll give you a chance to try something new! – Nadine Sykora – Hey Nadine 

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Take local transportation.  One of the fastest ways to the inside of a city is by commuting like the locals.  This takes no special skill and it will probably save you money in the long run.  Just look up the bus/subway/train scheduled and don’t be afraid to ask locals questions – they are generally happy to help! – Sherry Ott – Otts World 

Make friends with your local tour guide. Typically tour guides LOVE people and travellers, make friends with them if you’re staying for longer and see if they want to hang out after the tour is over. Most of the time they will as generally travellers move on after their tour is over. – Nadine Sykora – Hey Nadine 

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No matter where you are in the world, the best way to see the most of your destination is slow travel. Skip the taxis, hotel shuttles and buses and opt instead to walk (including walking tours!) or bike if possible.- Mike Richard – Vagabondish

What are you best tips for traveling like an insider?

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