The days of spending your vacation sitting by the hotel pool are over. Travelers today want to connect with the people and destinations they visit, not just see them through a pane of glass. But how do you find the best local experiences in distant lands? Follow these tips for an awesome adventure.
Getting Ready For a New Adventure
There are a few things you should do before you plan any trip. Make sure to cover these bases before you buy your tickets.
Research the Area
Get to know the places you’re going to visit. Don’t just peruse the travel brochures. Look at maps to see where in the world you will be, and what else is around you. You may discover other destinations nearby that you’d like to check out while you’re there.
Read up on the history of the area. Every city has stories to tell, and if you want to tap into the local culture, you should know at least a few choice pieces of the lore of the place.
Prepare for Adventure
Get your body ready for the trip too, so that when you’re exploring the area and all it has to offer, you won’t hesitate to jump on an opportunity to hike or ride a bicycle or a horse. You want to be in the best shape you can be so you are free to go off the beaten path.
Eat a balanced, healthy diet, and take a daily vitamin and an immune support supplement. Get a proper amount of sleep. Do some exercise that you enjoy and can sustain every day while you get ready for your trip. The goal is to feel vibrant, inspired, and open to all the possibilities of this new place.
Learn a Little of the Local Language
If the locals speak a language you don’t know, learn it – at least a little – before you head out. If you try to communicate with the local population in their tongue, you will have a much warmer welcome than if you expect people to adjust to your language everywhere you go.
People almost universally appreciate the effort you put into learning the language. Through the process of studying a language, you will come to understand nuances of the culture that you will miss otherwise. This will add a depth to your travel that you have never experienced before, and it’s not as hard as you think. You can learn enough to chat with the locals in no time!
Listen to Other Travelers
Other people who’ve stumbled onto the buried treasure of the place are probably sharing the wonders that they discovered online. This is the whole point of social media, after all.
Forget the brochures; they can only tell you so much. Spend a little time unearthing the surprises that other travelers are sharing about the place.
Once You’ve Landed, Dive In
You’ve made it to your destination. Now all you have to do is enjoy it.
Eat and Shop Where the Locals Do
Once you’ve arrived, you’ll need something to eat. Does your local accommodation include a kitchen? If so, hit the local markets and buy fresh foods. Find out how to prepare them from the people who know best – the people who live there and eat these foods every day.
If you don’t have the option to cook where you are staying, learn which restaurants the locals frequent. These are likely to be off the main drag if you are visiting a popular tourist destination, but if you ask around, you’ll find them.
Avoid the Tourist Parade
Skip the guided bus tours and the huge and impersonal hotels, and you’ll get a lot closer to the place you came to see. Stay in a small place or rent an in-residence accommodation and explore everything that catches your attention.
Local interaction is the new way to travel. Put a little effort into getting under the surface of a new place, and you will have the adventure of a lifetime.