It is natural to want to explore a new city but walking around with a map in your hand and your camera in the other will only ensure you stick out like a sore thumb. With this in mind, here are a few tips to blend into the crowd.
Stay Off The Tourist Track
One way to live like a local is to choose accommodation off the beaten track. Avoiding chain hotels in popular tourist spots can help you get an authentic feel for the city and if you book accommodation through rental sites like Owner’s Direct or Airbnb, you get the added bonus of living in someone’s home. Staying in a residential neighborhood comes with many advantages including cheaper accommodation prices. If you choose to rent someone’s spare room for the duration of your stay, you might even be lucky enough to pick up some tips on where the locals eat from your host.
Learn Subway Etiquette
Nothing will drain your holiday budget quicker than a yellow taxi cab. Yellow taxi cabs may appeal to your inner tourist but if you want to live like a local, the subway is the only way to get around the city. However, blending into the crowd is easier said than done if you have no idea of proper subway etiquette. Even small things like making eye contact with other travellers is frowned upon in New York in a big way so be sure to familiarize yourself with the rules before you travel.
Favour Vintage Finds
Forget the iconic department stores like Bloomingdales and Macy’s; locals enjoy their retail therapy in Soho or Greenwich Village (simply known to the locals as the village). Here you will find true New Yorker’s shopping at some of the best vintage shops in town as well as grabbing a bite to eat at one of the many trendy eateries.
One thing that you will notice about New Yorker’s is that they walk with purpose. Tourists who walk from A to B hesitantly stopping here and there to consult a map can’t help but look out of place. If you want to live like a local you should mirror this outer confidence and always keep your wits about you. In busy cities, tourists are often targeted, as it is easier to rob someone who is distracted by looking for a particular street name or shop. Lower your risk of becoming a victim of theft and walk with a sense of direction at all times.
Pound the Pavements in Central Park
If you want to burn off that stack of pancakes that you eat each morning, give the hotel gym a miss and head to Central Park. Here you will find locals enjoying a morning run or riding a bike around the reservoir.
No one wants to look like a tourist especially in a city that is as fashion conscious as New York. Follow these five tips and live like a local.