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Non-Touristy Adventures in Tourist Cities

Shel Horowitz's Monthly Frugal Fun Tip for June 2006

Wow, it's been a whole year since I've given a travel tip. I'll make up for the lapse, with a particularly good one, just in time for travel season.

Even in the most touristy cities in the world, you can get off the beaten track and experience the "real" place. Even Acapulco is a real Mexican city, once you get away from the big hotels. (Note: use common sense. If something doesn't feel safe, follow your instincts away from the danger.)

Try some of these little adventures to get much more of a local flavor than the cookie-cutter hotels and restaurants owned by big multinationals:
* Take a bus or subway to an outlying neighborhood and explore
* Cross a river on a footbridge or a ferry
* Spend half an hour shopping at a local supermarket, a small corner food store, or a neighborhood outdoor market that draws a local crowd
* Hang around a neighborhood park and have a picnic, or maybe even join a chess match or bocce game
* Stay in a family-owned hotel outside the tourist area (or better yet, join a homestay organization--see the tipsheet archives)
* Eat a restaurant that caters to locals

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