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Going Local While Travelling

What is “local travel”? Often mistaken for “staycations” and travelling closer to home, local travel deserves some clarification. To us, local travel means “going local” while travelling -- wherever you may be, both near to home and in a far-off land.

The Travel Word took a closer look at the practice, exploring what local travel is not. We also dished up our best tips on how to meet locals while travelling and rounded up some of our favourite local suppliers from across our worldwide network.

We even scouted out great examples of local travel experiences: zoom in on the local market scene in Uzbekistan; find out what locals think about travellers in Oaxaca, Mexico; connect with and support local artists in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; and find a local village in Rajasthan, India, or in rural Ukraine. Explore what’s become of Borneo’s headhunters.

Think globally, travel locally!

All the best,

Cynthia Ord, Editor, The Travel Word newsletter

cities, festivals & events, food & drink, how to, language, local knowledge, opinion, personal experience, whl.travel

How Do You Meet Locals While Travelling?

WHL Group 4 November 2012

A major highlight of travel is always the people we meet along the way, especially local inhabitants. Local people burst the tourist bubble and offer valuable insight and access to incredible experiences. They are a traveller’s best inroad to a place. Just what are some of the best ways to meet locals while travelling? We sat down with the staff of the WHL Group to tease out their thoughts about how to infiltrate local life.

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cities, opinion, personal experience, responsible travel, South Africa, Spain

What Is the Opposite of Local Travel?

The Travel Word 31 October 2012

The concept of “local travel” is still sometimes misunderstood. It’s about shifting your travel values so that your are mindful and supportive of local people, the local environment, local culture and local economy. Local travel can also be defined by what it is not. So we’ve asked the staff at The Travel Word to think about the opposite of local travel. What is the very antithesis of local travel? Here are our thoughts.

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Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Ecuador, human interests Mexico, Samoa, USA

Our Favourite Local Suppliers in the World of Travel

WHL Group 11 Nov 2012

In other industries, like those built around cars and electronics, the final product is a composite of parts and services that come from all over the globe. In travel, the final “product” is no different. It is made up of many businesses and people who contribute to your entire trip experience. The WHL Group works to keep the travel “product” as locally based as possible. We partner with in-country experts like tour operators who, in turn, work with local service providers like lodges, restaurants, drivers and guides.

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Central America, local knowledge, Mexico, North America, personal experience, poverty, traveller tale, women

What the Locals Talk About in Oaxaca, Mexico

Kim Groves 6 November 2012

Imagine being invited warmly into the homes of local people and their families. Imagine sitting down in a living room, patio or workshop and having a conversation with a local woman about what it is really like to live and work in her town. Imagine getting off the beaten tourist path and, at the same time, making a positive difference to a community. Imagine the conversations the women will have about you after you leave!

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Asia, cities, food & drink, handicrafts & shopping, local knowledge, markets, personal experience, traveller tale, Uzbekistan

A Local Look at Uzbekistan’s Colourful Markets

Stephen Lioy 7 October 2012

When in Central Asia, one of the easiest ways to see life from a local’s perspective is to wander through the markets of each town – places where travellers can readily find just about anything. Most of the items on sale in the bazaars of Uzbekistan are locally grown and produced, so the markets are also a great stop for anyone looking to shop sustainably and responsibly.

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Africa, Eastern Africa, food & drink, local knowledge, Mexico, North America, personal experience, poverty, responsible travel, Tanzania, women

Investours Delivers Travel Experiences That Support Local Artists

Corinna Jacobs 24 September 2012

Investours brings together socially responsible travellers visiting Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, with local artisans who have applied for loans to grow their small business projects. Each Investours tour visits a local artisan’s workshop, helping visitors to gain an intimate perspective on local culture, daily life and the challenges of operating a small business.

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adventure travel, animal conservation, Asia, deserts, ecotours, India, indigenous culture, local knowledge, personal experience, South Central Asia

Going Local in Rajasthan, India, on a Bishnoi Village Safari

Divij Pasrija 21 October 2012

Choosing to take a break in rural Rajasthan, four friends and I left Delhi in search of a travel experience that would be different than the usual touristy stuff. We decided on a Bishnoi Village Safari, which included an adventurous trip through the deserts surrounding Jodhpur and an intimate experience of the rural life of the Bishnois – an ancient clan from Rajasthan.

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Eastern Europe, Europe, fine arts, food & drink, handicrafts & shopping, local knowledge, museums, personal experience, Ukraine, women

Busha Village, a Bright Star on the Tourist Map of Ukraine

Natalia Lukianovich 17 October 2012

For a long time I had dreamed of running away from Kiev, but, for many reasons, I was tied to my city life. Then, during one of my annual small trips around Ukraine, I accidentally found the village of Busha. It was then that I knew that I’d soon be living here – and the very next year I began my new life. I have finally found what I was looking for and am eager to share it with visitors, who can stay in my home.

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Asia, fine arts, indigenous culture, local knowledge, Malaysia, personal experience, responsible travel, South-Eastern Asia

Tribal Custom of the Ibans, Once the Headhunters of Borneo

Oshin Chin 14 October 2012

Ibans are the native people of Sarawak and the dominant ethnic group in Malaysian Borneo. Today, their headhunting days are long gone, but they have succeeded in preserving many tribal customs, rituals and traditional beliefs. These are clearly visible during their harvest festivals, weddings and unique art and crafts such as Pua Kumbu, the Ngajat dance and the Iban tattoos.

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