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Traveling to another country can be intimidating, especially when it comes to interacting with the locals. If you aren’t an expert on local customs or don’t speak the language, you might be worried about embarrassing yourself in front of the locals or even potentially angering them. Thankfully, there are plenty of great ways to meet locals while traveling in a way that can help you really dig into the native culture.

Don’t Impose Yourself

Above all, you want to avoid imposing yourself upon the locals. When many people can be friendly, nobody wants to drop everything and spend their whole day humoring a tourist. Try to read up on local customs before you come, and as the saying goes, when in Rome do like the Romans do. Don’t stand in the middle of the street taking selfies, don’t stand in the middle of the escalator on the underground – don’t stand out as an entitled tourist.

Reddit Groups

There are actually a bunch of groups online that are dedicated to helping tourists connect with locals. Check Reddit for such groups for the country you’re visiting and see if you can connect with people in advance. You might even make a friend or two along the way.

Go to Restaurants

Eating is about as universal to the human experience as it gets, which means restaurants are a great place to take in some local cuisine and culture. Observe others while they order, and try to emulate them and blend in.

Travel Apps

There are a wealth of different apps that can help would-be travelers blend into the country they are visiting more easily.

Airbnb and CouchSurfing allow you to stay at a local’s home rather than a hotel, giving you a more authentic and intimate living experience while you’re in the country. EatWith lets you do something similar, but for eating in with locals eager to share their home recipes with others. Companies such as ToursbyLocals allows you to schedule tours with locals.

There are a wealth of options for those looking to blend in with locals while traveling.