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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Six Ways To Appear Like A Local When You Travel

1. Eat Fast Food -Strangely enough, fast food places are a great way to understand a culture. For instance in Vienna, where coffee is an obsession, the city is defined by the numerous  coffeehouses that dot the city.  Even at Starbucks, the locals order a melange which is much like a cappuccino. That unfamiliar option is a tip off to what the locals order. At McDonald's in Rome, look for a self-serve salad bar since Italians won't out up with pr-packaged greens.

2. Read Local - To keep sticking out as a tourist, buy a local newspaper in the local language and carry it under   your arm.  It makes fro great camouflage.

3. Dress Like A Local - Spend the first morning in any new city people watching to see how they dress. Then budget to buy a piece of clothing that will be a souvenir and serve as camouflage.

4. Watch Your Timing  -  To pass as a local, don't stick to rigid time table. For instance, in Spain or Greece, eating super before 10 pm means your a tourist. In Valencia, locals don't start to party until 3am even on weekdays!  To keep up with the locals, just live like they do. Instead of plowing through 8 hours of sightseeing, linger over lunch, nap during the hottest times of the day, and dine late at night.

5. Learn The Local Lingo - In Philly the subway is called the"L", in London it's called the "tube". So make sure you familiarize yourself with the local slang words. You can purchase small slang books for various languages or you do a Google slang search for our destination. 

6. Bonus Tip - Only Americans wear sunglasses when it's shady out-so only bring them out on the sunniest days.

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