How to be a traveller, not a tourist



Whether it’s your 1st or 100th time overseas, we all feel like newbie travellers when we visit a new country. The point of exploring a new destination is to immerse yourself in a culture or landscape that’s different to what you’re accustomed to. At Park on King, we say that’s the spirit of travel. How then, do we get better at being first-time visitors? The answer may seem antithetical – but the old tenet is true. Practice makes perfect. If you’re not a seasoned traveller yet but want to visit somewhere new without looking like a stereotypical tourist, here are some tips.



1. Go easy on the big attractions

If you want to blend in, reconsider visiting the high-volume tourist attractions, especially in peak season. Don’t plan your trip around the most popular thing a country has to offer – instead, pick a neighbourhood you want to explore and go from there. However, if you’re determined to see a popular sight, make sure to leave the guided tour group at home. 



2. Spend a while getting to know one place

It’s impossible to get a feel for the rhythm of an area if you only spend 2 or 3 nights there. When visiting a city that you really want to explore, get an AirBnB and spend a week or so wandering and visiting whatever shops, sights, or restaurants catch your eye. You’ll get a feel for the area and its vibe, plus you might even make local friends to hang out with for the duration of your visit.

3. Act like a local

In a lot of countries, ex-pats or tourists can get away with not strictly adhering to cultural or religious customs. Middle Eastern countries with a large international population like the United Arab Emirates are quite lenient toward foreigners. However, it’s worth researching a country’s customs in order to be respectful toward, and blend in with, its citizens. You don’t want to attract unwanted attention, and dressing like a local will afford you fewer stares, and maybe lower prices.

4. Language

Before you go stumbling around the Colosseum with your Lonely Planet, try and brush up on a few key phrases on the plane or before you travel. Basic greetings and a – ‘do you speak English’? – can go a long way toward getting respect from locals. 

5. Befriend locals

Getting a local’s perspective on the city you’re visiting can be an invaluable source of information. A language barrier may make things more difficult, but be open to chatting with people you may meet – AirBnB hosts that’ll be there while you stay, taxi drivers or people offering ride services, vendors, and shopkeepers. If you get the chance to dine with a local, always say yes! It can be a great cultural experience that you won’t forget.


For your next holiday, why not focus on experiencing the country like a real traveller? Before you book your flight, remember to check out Sydney’s best airport parking. After a stint of travelling, it can be great to come back to a familiar car and a friendly face. We’ve got your back.

Happy Customers!

Best place to park near the airport if you are travelling domestically or overseas. Prices are reasonable but their customer service is what makes them shine! Always a pleasant experience!



It's very close to the airport, the shuttle service worked beautifully, and it was reasonably priced. However, above all I was impressed by the friendliness of every employee I met working there.



Have been a customer on Park on King about 4 times now. Always impressed by their service and going above and beyond to make you feel like you're in safe hands.



The team was on time and informative and knew exactly where to be for for our return transfers. Made it very easy especially with 2 young children.



My goodness, the service was excellent and efficient on time for drop off and pick up. They took the hassle away and the trouble of trying to find a safe spot to park your car and return to pick it up.



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