Archive

How not to be a boring Traveler

When you travel the world, you will not only see amazing places and make life-changing experiences but you are also able to meet a lot of great people from across the globe. They will have exciting stories to tell However, you will only hear about them if you also have something to contribute to the conversation. So don’t be a boring traveler and make the most out of your trip with these tips:

Don’t make your first question ‘where are you from’?

This is what most travelers hear when meeting new people, followed by ”what do you do for a living?”. Probably the two most boring things to talk about, especially when you have to do it over and over again. If you think about it: why does it matter so much where people are from and why does work play such an important part in people’s life? After all, you are travelling and should think about other stuff. Try to come up with a more interesting andmaybe surprising first question that will immediately make you connect and jump right into the things that really matter.

Sightseeing_Bus

Don’t just go on Package Tours

Sure, there are amazing experiences out there which you can only make as part of an organized tour. However, if you always stick to tourist groups you will also only see a place from a tourist perspective. You will do the same that everybody else does: being shuttled from place to place, walking behind a guide and taking hundreds of photos without really appreciating what you see.

Instead, try to explore on your own sometimes and see a destination from a different perspective. Check out alternative things to do in city, things that not a million other people have seen already. Reach out to locals and you might get a personal tour with hidden gems and spontaneous and extraoridnary happenings. All of this, will not only make your trip a lot more special and exciting but will also leave you with way more interesting stories to tell. Try it out!

Don’t have your entire trip figured out

We know it might be a matter of comfort for many people to arrange everything to the greatest detail. Like this, you know what will happen when and you can be sure that there are no bad surprises and everything goes as planned. However, this also means that there is no space for spontaneity and good surprises that can make your trip special and leave an unforgettable memory. Don’t miss out on the unexpected, once-in-a-lifetime treasures out there!

If it makes you feel safer and more relaxed, a good way to deal with this is to only organize the most important aspects. Book your flights and the accommodation for your first and last nights so that you know where to go when you get there. Also make sure that you plan certain tours that might not be possible on short notice to make sure that you will not miss out on your must-do’s. Apart from this, get rid of a tight itinerary and just go with the flow.

Street_Food_Typical_Cuisine

Don’t just eat Pizza and Burgers all the time

Travelling is not only to see beautiful places but also to broaden your horizon, and food plays a very important role in this. There are so many things out there that you will never have heard of – from spices to fruits, vegetables and many more. Taste some no-frills street food and local dishes of the traditional cuisine. Be curious and try everything, at least once. If you get out of your comfort zone, you will be positively surprised!

 

For great experiences and fun stories to tell, explore new places with Booee! The Booee app is available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

While it may be a must-do for many people to check off the most famous landmarks of a city at least on their first visit, sightseeing can quickly become boring and is definitely not what you would want to repeat on your second visit. Especially in hot spots like New York or Paris, doing the tourist program can be very stressful and not feel like a real vacation anymore. To make more out of your visit, get off the beaten path and explore alternative sights instead. You will see those destinations with totally different eyes and make experiences that are way more special than the mainstream tourist sights. Here are some things you can check out:

Admire stunning Street Art

When talking about graffiti, many people just think of blemished walls tagged with spray cans. However, the breathtaking murals that can be found in almost every big city will definitely change your mind about street art. Be it in the form of guerilla art or pieces that were commissioned by the city or some organization, the huge paintings created over many days will leave you highly impressed.

Street art has become a generally accepted form of urban art that attracts more and more attention. Talented artists have made a name for themselves by leaving their mark on walls across the globe, probably the most famous of them all being the British stencil artist Banksy. But also others like BLU, ROA, the Brazilian twins Ôs Gemeos or Pixel Pancho, amongst many others, are delighting people with their signature styles on masterpieces around the world. Hip neighborhoods of cities like London, New York or Berlin are covered with colorful art pieces which don’t just bestow a particular charme but also spread important political messages.

Elephant playing with balloon in Berlin - street art as alternative sights

Roam Hip Areas

Most of the time, the cool neighborhoods where young and hip locals live and like to spend their days and nights are off the typical tourist routes with all the sights, momuments and museums. While these areas usually don’t boast world-famous landmarks and have a rather residential character, it is their unique flair which makes them a great destination. Spend some time strolling through the streets, discover pretty boutiques or cozy cafés and absorb the cool vibes.

Explore Abandoned Places

Every city has them: factories, mansions, stations that have fallen into disrepair and are completely neglected by the municipality. But what may be a thorn in the side for many people can be real treasures. Abandoned places are often spooky and enchanted. At the same time, they send out a feeling of a past grandeur and boost your imagination on what those places looked like when they were still full of life.

Be aware though that trespassing may not be allowed and accessing may be dangerous due to unstable structures. Visiting these places will be at your own risk and responsibility – don’t get yourself in danger for some nice photos!

Abandoned panoramic view point on a mountain behind Lisbon

Stroll through Neighborhood Markets

Many cities await visitors with grand market halls that delight with beautiful old architecture. Unfortunately, these usually attract so many tourists that a visit reminds more of Disneyland than an authentic trip to the market. For more authenticity and originality, check out less touristy and less gentrified markets that mainly attract locals and are part of the everyday life. You will be able to find delicious street food and try local specialties or buy beautifully made handicrafts. Enjoy the bustling atmosphere and almost feel as if you lived in the neighborhood yourself as you are running your weekly errands.

Go shopping at a Supermarket

This may sound very strange to you at first. A supermarket as an alternative tourist attraction? Well, probably not for a mainstream tourist who only travels to take pictures in front of world-famous monuments. But if you are interested in getting to know a place, exploring a supermarket is a great way to learn about a city’s culture. You will find many things that you cannot get at home and you will probably come across certain products or packagings that seem quite strange to you.

But since there is hardly any other place that is more integrated into the locals’ everyday life, supermarkets will give you a very authentic and non-touristy perspective on traditional food, customs and how people actually live.

Friends_hanging_out

Make friends with locals

Instead of just looking at stuff and doing your own thing, why don’t you get a little more social and meet new people? While cafés, markets and shops can look very similar across cities, the people living there will always be unique. And for sure there is no better way to make your trip a lasting memory than through long-term friendships!

Chill out in parks and other places where locals like to spend their free time. Take a break from exploring in a nice café or grab a drink at a cool bar and you will have plenty of opportunities to get in touch with the locals. Don’t be shy! Most people appreciate a little chat. And if you don’t just talk about work or other boring stuff, there is a good chance that you might actually make new friends that will show you their city and give you a great time.

 

To discover all these great alternative ‘sights’ in any major city around the globe, simply download Booee and start exploring!

The Booee app is available on the Apple App Store and on the Google Play Store.

Bogotá, South America’s aspiring Street Art Capital

When it comes to street art, people immediately refer to places like London’s Shoreditch, Brooklyn or Kreuzberg in Berlin. Hardly ever, a city like Bogotá would come to anybody’s mind. However, the Colombian capital has become one of the hot spots for graffiti in recent years and can easily hold up with the before-mentioned behemoths.

While graffiti has always been present in Bogotá like in any other major city, it has come a long way over the years and street art has a moving history in the capital of a country that has been dominated by drugs and violence for many decades.

Bogota_Street_Art_Diego

A dark History but bright Future

For many years, any kind of graffiti was strictly forbidden and the police would punish perpetrators with several years in prison. Sadly, the big turning point was initiated by a horrible event. In 2011, a teenager called Diego Felipe Becerra was caught by the police while illegally spraying onto the walls of an underpass. As he tried to flee, the police scrupulously shot him in the back – all because of some splashes of colour on a wall. The officers tried to cover it up by portraying him as an armed robber and staged the murder as an act of self-defense. Fortunately, they could not get away with it and the whole truth was revealed to the public. In the wake of the uproar in the media and society, the mayor finally decided to decriminalize street art and drastically decrease the punishment on graffiti without permission to minor monetary fines. But instead of just abolishing the extreme sanctions, the city even started to encourage local artists to fill the streets with beautiful art.

However, even after all the changes, graffiti stayed a controversial topic that constantly creates tension between the street art scene and the police. When Justin Bieber was in town in October 2013, he wanted to leave his mark on Calle 26, famous for its murals and the site of the murder on Diego Felipe Becerra. Ironically, the Canadian singer was escorted and protected by the police, the same institution that was responsible for the young street artist’s death just two years earlier. This incident got the entire street art scene furious. The result was a 24 hour protest during which Calle 26 was covered in hundreds of new graffiti pieces to demonstrate that many artists suffer from abuse and persecution by police officers.

How Street Art has changed the Face of the City

Today, locals and visitors alike can enjoy thousands of incredible art pieces scattered over the city. Artists from Colombia and around the world have left their mark, often depicting messages on cultural heritage as well as political statements. In La Candelaria, the city’s old town, you can find the most impressive murals on every turn by renowned names like Guache, Restizio Collective or Boa Mistura. Many house owners even commission street artists to embellish their walls. Like this, thanks to the artists’ codex, the houses will stay clean without being tagged and blighted.

In memory of the US support to help fight drugs with negative effects on indigenous people

 

If you would like to discover the amazing murals of Bogotá or of the other street art capitals for yourself instead of trotting behind a group of tourists, simply download the Booee app and get out to explore!

Booee is available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

How to experience a city like a local

Paris, Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro – the world’s great cities are often on top of travelers’ bucket lists. But while these destinations are usually characterized by their most popular tourist attractions, they have so much more to offer! After all, New Yorkers don’t hang around the Statue of Liberty every day and Londoners certainly don’t spend their free time taking photos of Tower Bridge. Go beyond the known sights and see for yourself why locals really love living in these places!

1. Book a room on Airbnb or try Couchsurfing

Even before you arrive and get to explore a city, you can already pave the way to a more authentic trip. While staying in a modern and clean hotel room with full-on service may be comfortable and a bunk bed in a hostel probably gets you connected with party-hungry students, these two options will still leave you stuck in the tourist spheres.

For a more genuine experience, find an accomodation right amongst locals with Airbnb. Choose either a private room in a shared apartment with residents to get the full experience or get your own flat for some more privacy – but make sure you find a place where people actually live instead of a flat that is rent out full-time to tourists.

If you want to get even closer, be brave and try Couchsurfing. The community will help you find hosts that let you crash on their couch for free and often even show you around town. It is also a great opportunity to create longterm friendships and make your trip a lasting experience.

2. Walk around and explore on your own

Hop-on hop-off bus tours may be tempting sometimes as they comfortably take you around town to see all the famous sights. However, they just take you to places where you will hardly find any locals or authenticity! A much better way to really get a feel of a city is to simply walk around and explore the streets by foot. You don’t always need a specific destination. Just wander around and let yourself be guided by interesting spots along the way. Getting lost is not a concern, it’s the goal!

3. Rent a bike

You don’t feel like walking around as much? Just rent a bike and feel the wind in your hair while riding through the streets. It’s a great way to easily see a big area of the city which gives you lots of flexibility at the same time. Simply lock up your bike somewhere for a little coffee break or to check out some cool shops and jump back on to discover some other corners of the city.

A local riding his bike

4. Take public transport and get off at a random stop

Another, less physically active option to get around is public transportation. Many destinations have vast networks that locals use to get to every corner of the city. Make use of this great opportunity to get away from the overcrowded routes and discover new places and neighborhoods that might not be found on the tourist maps. Just get onto some public bus and ride it around town until you get to a spot that looks worth exploring.

5. Ditch old-school guide books

While editorial city guides have taken tourists to the most important sights for decades, the online possibilities nowadays with real-time advice and collaborative sourcing of information simply run the ranking. Whether printed or online, traditional tourist guides still mostly focus on the well-known spots and take you right along the main tourist routes. They are written by editors that have to make them appeal to a mainstream reader base looking to check off monuments on their bucket list. And with so many things happening in big cities – new places opening and old ones closing almost on a daily basis, street food markets popping up and amazing graffiti being created – you will miss out on a lot of great things if you rely on outdated tourist guides.

6. Use blogs or apps to discover unique things off the beaten path

Two things are for sure: 1. You will not find any locals in the queues for big tourist attractions, and 2. The things cities offer are as diverse as the people living there. So why should everybody just visit the same top 10 attractions promoted by conventional tourist guides? For this matter, travel blogs and special apps are a great way to discover alternative ‘sights’ that reflect the essence of the city. There is something for every taste and even the most niche interests will be satisfied.

Booee helps you find great places from bustling neighborhood markets, impressive street art and eerie abandoned places to cool shops, cozy cafés and fun events – whatever you are interested in. The app will also lead you to hip areas and chillout spots off the beaten path where you can dive right into locals’ everyday life.

Try it out and download Booee on the Apple App Store or on the Google Play Store.

Neighborhood market with locals

7. Hang out where the locals are

In order to get a glimpse of the daily life and how people experience their city, it is best to go to spots where locals actually spend their time. Start your day with some breakfast at a cozy café or bakery, wander through residential neighborhoods off the tourist paths and check out small farmers’ markets, boutiques or art galleries. Don’t let the hip and fancy restaurants lure you in at night. Instead, grab dinner at places frequented by locals and have a drink in a traditional corner bar. Another absolute must-do is checking out a supermarket. The different kinds of products being sold, the way everything is set up and packaged will tell you a lot about the culture and cuisine of a place.

8. Ask people for recommendations

For some people it may be strange to just walk over and talk to a stranger. But asking locals for their personal suggestions is definitely one of the best ways to find great spots and will certaily pay off. It often happens though that they might want to impress you and therefore come up with fancy restaurants or top tourist attractions, at first. To avoid this, make sure you tell them that you would like to see and experience their own favourite spots. Ask them where they would go for breakfast or dinner, or where they like to hang out in their free time.

Now get out there and explore! You will see the places you visit with totally different eyes – promise.

Booee on Instagram

Subscribe error, please review your email address.

Close

You are now subscribed, thank you!

Close

There was a problem with your submission. Please check the field(s) with red label below.

Close

Your message has been sent. We will get back to you soon!

Close