The world has seen a surge in the number of world travellers thanks to social media – A scroll through Instagram and the mind is fed with wonders of places unknown. It has made us hungry to learn of other cultures, and to see what’s beyond our realm.
But, travelling can mean flight costs, hotel stays, food budgets and getting around places you’re in, and as a tourist, can be pricey.
With a bit of mind-mapping and planning ahead, you can GO almost anywhere and enjoy the benefits of being a local, especially with Standard Chartered’s Platinum X card.
Here are some of our top tips for visiting any city like a local.
Book your flights online
Before you decide on a designated destination, you’ve scoured the internet (TIP: browse in the incognito mood) for the perfect deals.
After which, book ahead and use your Platinum X card from Standard Chartered, keep reading to know why.
The main difference with this and booking with a regular debit or credit card is that you get your money back. Getting back as much as AED400 on all your AED online purchases done via the phone, laptop or tablet.
Talk about convenience.
Other benefits of the Plat X card include airport lounge access (in several cities), and up to AED400 cashback on expenditures OUTSIDE of the UAE.
Fully do your research on the destination before leaving SO you’re set and ready to go!
This goes without saying – don’t overexcite yourself with facts, but learn enough not to make yourself feel like you can get ripped off at any given moment.
Research and compare hotel rates, food budgeting and cheaper alternatives on travel tours and packages. Keep the information in your phone’s notes section or a travel diary (if you’re old school like that.).
It ain’t nothing but a Google click.
On that note, learn the lingo and local phrases
Even a ‘Hello, how are you?’ or the word ‘Where?’ can help in the unlikeliest situations. Knowing the language of the destination also means you’re open to learning about that destination, its people and their culture.
This gets you brownie points, anywhere.
Do as the locals do: public transportation is your new best friend
Think about it, it wouldn’t be convenient to rent a car elsewhere, and convenience shouldn’t be the priority when trying to EXPLORE a new place.
What’s the best way to see all that a city has to offer?
By walking, you’re more exposed to the lingering scents of food coming out of eateries, hear the chit-chats of the residents and learn the inside scoop on the country. Otherwise, look into the transportation system and the ways people get around.
Skip the supermarkets and get your food from the local shop
Whether that’s vegetarian thalis and momos in Nepal, koshary in Egypt or kabsa in Saudi Arabia, trying out what the locals eat on the daily will immerse you in their culture.
Plus, nine times out of ten- local food costs less than those international restos.
While you’re at it, don’t miss out on the street food!
Be friendly and make friends with the locals
There’s no better guide than someone who has lived in a country all their lives.
Having a friend in the destination you travel to will mean a more memorable trip, plus reassurance that you can come back to visit any other time. GOALS!