Travel Tips: Finding Local Restaurants and Attractions - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats.
My favorite thing to do when I travel is to really get off the beaten path and interact with locals and try to really dig in to a culture. And the ways that I go about that is really using my social media connections many times.
If I put out on twitter that I am going to be in Barcelona and do, you know, I will ask people for suggestions and things like that. It is amazing! You will meet people who live in Barcelona. That will be very very helpful and will either give you information or maybe even agree to meet up with you.
Another resource you can use is the Couchsurfing community. So couchsurfing.org the website is not only for, you know, finding places to stay overnight but it is also a really really great way to meet locals.
Many of the locations, many of the big cities on Couchsurfing have like local meetup groups or people that just say 'Hey, if you are in town we will meet for coffee!' or 'I will walk you around the city and do a little personal tour'. So those are some really great ways to get local.
Another way to go local when you are traveling is consider volunteering because quiet frankly volunteering is probably the most in depth you will get into a culture and community. You will learn the most, you will make the closest friends and things like that. So lots of time what I would do is combine a volunteering trip with another trip so that maybe you go in and you do the volunteering first, you make some connections, etc., and then you will get a lot of good advice on where to go and what to do.
And then, you know, the last half of your trip is maybe more typical travels for you are doing more sight seeing and things like that. But you have really got advice from the locals and who knows, they may be giving you free places to stay or anything like that too. So options are endless.