Immersion travel is becoming a thing. This general idea of skipping the main attractions and landmarks in favor of seeing your destination through the eyes of a local.
If you're feeling up for it, try one of the tips below the next time you visit a new place.
1. Write in a travel journal each day. Consider it a future gift to yourself. You will never tire at looking back at this time in your life and travel provides an opportunity for deep introspection.
2. Practice the language. Start with the basics--hello, goodbye, please, thank you. There are loads of travel apps now that can also help you on-the-go with your language skills.
3. Leave the maps behind for the afternoon and wander aimlessly. See where you end up.
4. Find a local park--pick up a sandwich from a local shop and bring a book. Sit back and relax. Sometimes when we travel, we take for granted these little acts that can instantly ground us to a place.
5. Get a recommendation from a local--the next time you're at a restaurant or shopping in a store, ask the waiter or cashier for a recommendation. Or, if you're feeling confident, stop someone on the street!
Save hours researching attractions and navigating public transport by having a driver to take you to Shanghai's best sites. Highlights include The Yuyuan Garden, taking part in a tea ceremony, a dim sum lunch, visiting the French Concession, and The Bund.