The HostTonight Times

5 Things to Do in a New City: A Fresh Perspective

5 Things to Do in a New City: A Fresh Perspective

Adventure won’t cost you anything...

It’s easy to miss the best things that a city has to offer; many people just have those sub-par vacation experiences - the ones where they never even leave the resort (why go at all?) or they overwhelm themselves and need a vacation FROM their vacation (again… why?).

DO IT RIGHT! Here are 5 things to incorporate into your vacation, and on a budget.

Your vacation will be even cheaper if you’ve used Airbnb and HostTonight to rent out your place while you’re gone.

So - you’ve booked your place in a foreign destination - now what?

1. Get lost on purpose

City Map

Visiting a new city isn’t just about going from Point A to Point B. tweet this

You don’t always have to stop in the middle of the sidewalk to pull out your map. Just take some time to explore new streets, follow the locals around, and take in the sights, smells, and vibe of your new environment. Remember: to you, it may be an exotic destination, but to others it’s what they see every single day.

2. Eat like a local

Best Food City

You’ll hear this a lot, but this is the most effective way to enjoy your time in your next destination. Check out little cafes and mom-and-pop restaurants; not only will you be able to chat with new native friends, but you’ll be immersed in the traditional food and culture. Our general rule is: Often, when it comes to niche ethnic foods, the worse a place looks on the outside, the better the food is on the inside! We recommend that, to avoid the “Applebee’s experience,” you go with a place that focuses on food, service, and happy customers - not their appearance or public image.

3. Take advantage of public transportation

Public Transportation City

Sure, taking a cab is easy, but it may not always be safe nor cheap. Most public transportation operates in more or less the same way, so figuring out how to use a new metro shouldn’t be so hard. You’ll save some money and blend in a bit. Besides, what you see on the way to a place might be more interesting than what you see when you get there.

4. Do your homework - but not too much homework

Research city

Nothing is more frustrating than traveling with someone who has no clue what they want to do in a place, and so they just end up wasting their time AND yours. Our Hosts often tell us that, before using our Guest management service to inform and guide Guests, they had the bad experience of people who come to visit, but end up being quite difficult as they have no idea what they’re doing. It seems that all of us, both on Airbnb and off, have had that experience. Don’t be that traveler! Research what you want to do in the city, and make it happen, even if you have to struggle a bit to do so.

On the other hand, don’t plan too much. It’s important to maintain an open mind and talk to locals and other travelers to share suggestions and advice. The greatest travel experiences are completely unplanned and can never be found in a guidebook; the HostTonight team has personally experienced everything from crazy underground art festivals (Nicaragua), to spontaneous surf trips at a hidden beach (Chile), to after-hours VIP access to art spaces with panoramic city views over a glass of expensive wine (Toronto).

5. Be bold

Best Parks City

It’s easy to visit a city, walk around a bit, do some tourist things, and then disappear. We at HostTonight advocate a bit of a different approach: make your mark! Every city has tons of lovely people - some locals, some fellow travelers - that can improve your experience and would love to meet you, but it takes two to make the connection. They are often just as shy as you are, so put yourself out there! Ask if you can go to an event with them. Talk to people on the street, at a restaurant, at a bar. Use websites like couchsurfing, meetup, or others to find out where to go and what to do.

It can be a bit scary, but you’ll be fine; we promise!

We’re in the business of managing things well for the best possible experience for Guests and Hosts on Airbnb.

As a Guest yourself in a new city, we recommend that you take control and create the experience that you want. tweet this

Instead of just a vacation, we’re willing to bet that you would rather have an unforgettable experience. With just a little intention and a little effort, you can create it for yourself; we promise that it’s worth it.