7 Kentucky Derby travel tips from Louisville insiders

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7 Kentucky Derby travel tips from Louisville insiders

Ladies -- buy your hat before you get to Louisville. Prices will go way up around Derby time. You can order one from places like Hat-A-Tude and Galvinized Headwear. Don't want to travel with your hat? Have it shipped to your hotel instead!

Photo: AP/Charlie Riedel

Learn how to say "Louisville" properly. (It's Loo-a-vul, not Looeyville.)

Photo: Shutterstock

Check out the TARC (Louisville's public transit system) or what sort of transportation your hotel offers to the Derby, because parking and traffic are a nightmare.

Photo: pasa47/Flickr

Drink lots of mint juleps? Not really -- locals won't be ordering them. They're pricey and might not even be made with bourbon. Instead, try a real bourbon-based cocktail at bars like Proof on Main. If you DO want a commemorative Derby mint julep glass, buy one at CVS.

Photo: Shutterstock

Learn how to do a "hat head duck" so when you hug women you don't commit the major faux pas of messing up their headwear.

Photo: AFP via Getty Images

Bring flip flops if you're planning on wearing heels. Churchill Downs is all concrete and your feet will hurt. (Women even sell them in the restrooms.)

Photo: Shutterstock

Never agree to meet someone in the paddock or in the infield -- you will never find them.

Photo: Jamie Squire via Getty Images

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If you're traveling to the Kentucky Derby this year, you're probably prepping for horses, hats and bourbon. But if you've never been to Kentucky's biggest event, there are some things you need to know. We asked some local Louisville insiders for tips on how to get the best Derby experience. Did you know there's a correct way to give someone a hug? Or that mint juleps aren't many people's drink of choice?

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Click through the slideshow above for locals' advice on what to drink, what to bring to Churchill Downs and how to properly pronounce their city.

Related: How to find the perfect Kentucky Derby hat

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