If you’re a Flashpacker, sooner or later you’re going to have to hit a strange town on a weekend night and try to have a great time with no real contacts or knowledge of the area. For some of you,Windows 8 Clave going out and experiencing the local nightlife might be the whole point of your trip. For others you might just want to go have a drink after a day of exploring ancient ruins and museums. Either way, you need to know how to go out abroad, by yourself or with others. Either way, you should be able to go out and have fun while avoiding tourist traps, overpriced drinks and entry fees. And you should meet
Win8Clave.com new people (what you do with those people….well you can work that out).
Obviously, everywhere is different, and going out by yourself in Berlin is going to be a hell of a lot different than going out in La Paz. But there are some universal rules to planning (or not planning) a night out abroad.
Here’s a few:
First of all, don’t roll around town with twenty other tourists. I
know this seems like fun, and if you’re in a hostel it’s easy to meet a bunch of people, and soon everyone in the hostel is best friends, and anytime someone walks into the common area their invited to sit down and have a drink and before you know it the whole U.N. General Assembly is ready to hit the town. Also, since you want to become a Flaspacker, hostels are so five years ago when you had no money!
This can be thrilling when you first start traveling, but it gets old fast. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t want to be the too-cool-for-school guy in the
hostel hotel who is only going to go out with people who will help him hit on women or men. But at the same time, rolling around with twenty people, all of whom are clueless about where to go, is a logistical nightmare. If someplace sucks it takes twenty minutes to get everybody to leave. Just avoid packs. (I hate to break it to you, but they’re not really your friends anyway.)
Secondly, leave early. If you’re in a hotel or a hostel, you might be tempted to hang out late, pre-gaming with other travelers and building up a little liquid courage before heading out. This is a bad idea for a couple of reasons. The first is that you don’t know where you’re going, and the first few places are probably going to suck. By the time you find a good place, the night is over. And secondly, you don’t need to save the money by buying a bottle, especially if you’re in a developing country. You’re not a backpacker anymore, right? You’re a Flashpacker, so grow up and drink a little rum at a local place before the Gringos Farangs descend from the hostels.
This brings me to my third point. Go out early by yourself. Yes, it’s easy to meet people in the hostel, but trust me, they’ll be there when you go back after a few early drinks. If you want to get a sense of a place’s nightlife go out early, at like 7, and talk to the bartenders before they get overwhelmed by drink orders. They’ll be able to direct you to the types of places you want to go, and you might also be able to meet some locals who are happy to speak to a foreigner who isn’t in full on obnoxious party mode (you probably should avoid this state no matter what time it is, by the way). I shouldn’t have to say this, but I will: locals know the best places, and anytime you meet a good person, and this doesn’t matter where in the world you are, they are going to feel like they owe it to you to be a good tour guide. Let them. And the next time you meet someone in your own town from away, make sure you pay it forward.
My fourth suggestion is to do a little research ahead of time. Listen, we all know Trip Advisor and the like have their faults, but they are a wonderful resource for understanding the lay of the land. Just don’t follow their bar recommendations religiously, as you just have no idea what kind of taste or preference the writer has. You’re never going to find a great dive bar on those websites, and those are my favorite places to drink. But if you know what the big famous clubs and bars are, and somebody recommends them to you, you know right away that the person’s recommendation might not be worth a whole lot, or at least isn’t going to give you a new perspective. Having some info ahead of time provides you with a map. You might go to the X on the map, but at least you know where the X is.
Finally, have some supplies ready for an after party. You don’t need a disco ball that drops from the ceiling, or some dimmer lights and D’Angelo, but you should have a deck of cards and bottle of booze. It’s a tiny purchase, but can make all the difference at the end of the night.
And finally….don’t get black-out drunk in a foreign country. That’s a backpacker move and we are Flashpackers.