Locals know best.
In a contest regarding places to visit, restaurants to try, and side trips to take, held between a Google search and the local population, nine times out of ten, the locals will win.
We promise you. This is why we’ve mentioned this tip in our previous travel tip blogs. It’s worth a whole blog to itself.
We’ve tested this theory out in towns all across the world and though Google has led us to some wonderful adventures, there are also plenty of spots that Google doesn’t seem to know exists. But the locals do.
We’ve fallen into the trap that we see so many other fellow travelers fall prey to as well, that is, you’ve done your research and you have an itinerary full of 5-star experiences and no margin for suggestions. We think–we know–that’s a mindset that will cause you to miss out.
Some of the places we’ve visited based on the recommendations of locals who were thrilled to offer up their secret spots include a tiny taco shop in Santa Barbara, California, a gorgeous and empty back street in Prague, a known-only-to-hikers donut shop in Oregon (move over, Voodoo Donuts!), a campground in a stunning canyon outside of Yellowstone, the strangest and most beautiful thrift store in Houston, Texas, and a hike through the Andes to a secret beach in Chile. We could go on and on.
Think about it this way, if someone is coming to visit where you live, you probably have at least one local place that is dear to you and might get lost in the abyss of Google searches. They will most likely show up equipped with knowledge of all the typical touristy attractions, but absolutely no knowledge of your spot.
There is still a large potential for an awesome trip by hitting only the well-known and touristy places. Chances are, there’s a reason these places are well-known. But if you are looking for a unique experience, one that dives deep into the thrill of epic stories, for the love of all adventures, ask the locals.
Written for Nowak Tours by Guest Blogger, Caylie Mindling.