When traveling for business, it’s possible to travel like a local. The first few times you travel to a new city, you probably won’t have time to explore. However, each time you return, obtain suggestions from veteran travelers, the hotel concierge, and locals such as service workers.
Business trips have specific purposes including closing a deal, training and rolling out new initiatives. Thus, that’s your main focus, especially for novices.
Sometimes business travelers receive free time and can go off-campus. That’s when you can blend in with the locals. If your business destination takes you to major cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC, you’ll want to see the landmarks frequented by tourists.
Everyone should see the Lincoln Memorial, Empire State Building, and Hollywood Walk of Fame at least once in their lifetimes. Then, there are the landmarks that the locals enjoy. To find out about them, you’ll need the inside track.
The following are three ways to travel like a local on your next business trip.
Several American cities provide reliable transportation that has stops in downtown areas. In addition, public buses and trains stop at landmarks and shopping areas.
An estimated 5% of the American population takes public transportation. This equals an estimated 9.9 billion trips on buses and local trains annually. In some cities, public transportation allows tourists to see and visit landmarks for the price of a ticket.
For example, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Transit picks up commuters; it’s also a cost-effective way for tourists to travel from the downtown area to the Golden Gate Bridge. As a bonus, the bus fare price includes a transfer at no extra cost.
If business travel ever takes you to Paris, the Metro Line 6 provides a picture-perfect view of the Eiffel Tower day and night. Moreover, Paris Metro Bus Line 63 runs mostly along the Seine river.
Therefore, travel like a local by taking public transportation.
Another way to travel like the locals in any city is to ask for recommendations. Start with your hotel’s concierge and front desk staff. Each member caters to the needs of the guests including business guests. If you describe what you want to find, they will come up with at least one recommendation.
In addition, members of the service sector can provide more recommendations. Like the hospitality sector, waiters, taxi cab drivers, and bar staff stick together. They work while others play. Therefore, they work similar schedules and hang out together.
Members of the service sectors will point you in the direction of exclusive places to visit that reach different crowds. There, you can meet other locals who can point you toward the less touristy places to take a break, enjoy, and eat.
For example, many cities have a historical diner that serves the best breakfast in town. By asking the hotel concierge or locals, you can find it more easily.
Our final suggestion for traveling like a local is to use technology.
Most individuals own a smartphone, and they rarely leave home without it. For business professionals, smartphones become traveling computers when you download and install productivity apps.
Then, as a traveler, download and install apps from airlines, car services, and hotels where you collect rewards. These apps help you manage your travel more easily, especially if you don’t print physical copies of your tickets and reservation confirmations.
Downloading and installing travel and map apps will help you find your way around town like a local. This way you don’t need to ask them for directions.
When you want to blend in, map the routes on your smartphone and the corresponding app. The map apps now include bus and train routes too. Thus, you can find out when the next bus will stop near you. You can also obtain bus fare costs so you can obtain exact change before boarding.
Traveling like a local during a business trip is a fun way to see cities differently. While it’s still worth visiting the landmarks that tourists flock to, it’s also worth exploring cities like someone who grew up there. Exploring provides a nice break from business and offers another way to appreciate travel.