This is the Travel Take, where Matador’s writers and editors make the case for their favorite travel hacks, tips, and personal tics.
Now and then, when traveling with friends, I’ll suggest something crazy: putting off touring our destination’s requisite attractions until the end of our trip.
It may seem like a straightforward suggestion, but more often than not it inspires nervous laughter, as if tourists are legally obligated to spend their first day or few in a new city checking off points of interest, lest they turn into pumpkins or some other locally grown gourd.
“But, what do you do when you get there?” they ask.
The answer varies, but it’s generally met with similar confusion. Ride the subway, I might suggest. Go to a grocery store. Walk from one end of the city to the other, mapping a route by parks, bookstores, water bodies, or anywhere else you enjoy spending time, irrespective of location. Duck into the first pub you pass for a pint of whatever’s on tap.
In short, treat your first day in a new place like any old Wednesday back home.