1. Find a reason to go to non-touristy neighborhoods.
The things that take me to non-touristy ‘hoods are hunting down vegan restaurants and visiting locations from TV shows, which are both activities I like to do while traveling. Find a reason that suits your interests.
2. Stay longer.
If you stay more than a month in one place you’re much more likely to venture beyond the tourist highlights. If you’re on a year long rtw, putting down roots for a month can help your budget and your stress (yes, travel can be stressful due to constant decision making and change).
3. Listen to local radio and read the local paper.
If you’re heading my way, this (Si and Gary show) is the morning radio show that everyone I know listens to. (no podcast version unfortunately).
For NYC I love WNYC’s Brian Lehrer show(also available as a podcast).
4. Take a class that’s aimed at locals.
For example, I took bike mechanic classes in NYC the last two summers. I would love to take an acting class at some point #bucketlist.
5. Find a way of getting to see behind the scenes of one of your interests.
I’m obsessed with Broadway and one of the things I love to do in New York is volunteer usher. Last year I ushered a show with Zach Braff (from Scrubs and movies) and Krysten Ritter (from the B in Apartment 23). It was previews so I got to see them rehearsing before the show. This takes quite a bit of advance planning so best suited if you’re in town for an extended period. I can see how it would be fun to volunteer on a political campaign or for a sporting event.
What are the quirky, interest-based, behind the scenes type things you’ve done while traveling?
Please leave a comment if you have anything to add.