Six ways to live like a local on your holiday

Avoid getting sucked into a tourist trap during your break

Marcus Webb – Virgin Money Living Mentor

by Marcus Webb | Independent Money Mentor

Editor of Delayed Gratification and independent journalist


Stumbling around a new city or destination with no idea where the good stuff is – we’ve all been there. It doesn’t have to be that way. Follow these top tips and you’ll be blending in with the locals in no time at all.  

Do – Go to the game

It doesn’t matter if it’s baseball, sumo, pétanque or kabaddi – checking out a local sporting event is a great way to see how the locals relax, which is usually by sitting, drinking beer and screaming at an elite athlete for not running fast enough. Just be sure to wear neutral colours: you don’t want to be the only person in red sat amongst fervent blues supporters. 

Don’t – Eat just anywhere

Some simple rules for dining: 1) Never eat within sight of a landmark that’s internationally recognisable by its silhouette alone; 2) Never eat anywhere that advertises the fact it has an English menu; 3) Never eat at a fast food chain you recognise – no matter how hungover you are. 

Do – Learn a bit of the lingo

The four phrases you’ll definitely need are: “Yes”; “No”; “Sorry” and “Really? Do I look like a tourist to you?”

Don’t – Be afraid to haggle

In most places it doesn’t hurt to try a bit of negotiation. A good starting point when quoted a price is to recoil like you’ve been bitten by a viper before trotting out the final phrase in the advice given above. 

Do – Go to a supermarket

At home a trudge around your local supermarket is about as appealing as a swift punch in the ribs, but on holiday it’s a fascinating world of exotic foods, cheap mementos and a chance to play innuendo bingo in the aisles – “look, Bonka coffee, barfa burgers, a Plopp chocolate bar” etc. Juvenile but fun.  

Don't – Take the metro

Forget everything Paul Weller taught you – going underground may get you from A to B quickly, but how are you going to ever get to grips with a city if you are travelling beneath it rather than through it? Take the bus, cycle, or better still, walk. 

Before making financial decisions always do research, or talk to a financial adviser. Views are those of our mentors and customers and do not constitute financial advice.