Traveling is always a rewarding experience but it can be even more fulfilling if you follow some basic unwritten rules. Here The Week gives you five important tips that can make your next trip so much better than your last.
Talk to the locals
Usually when you travel, you have a list of places you want to visit. You probably did your research on the internet and these are tourist spots that show up when you google. While there’s nothing wrong with going to popular places, sometimes you have challenge yourself to do a little digging and find lesser known sites and attractions. Having conversations with the locals can also open up a whole new world and allow you to discover unique and unexplored areas that you won’t find in the guidebooks or the internet.
Make a day trip
If your trip involves just one destination, make it a point to arrange a day trip to a nearby city or town. Often the most popular tourist destinations—though popular for a reason—overshadow some equally worthy yet smaller nearby locales you may regret missing. Sometimes a really great, worthy of a visit place might be just an hour-long bus ride away from where you are staying. Consider trips to the local museum or art galleries to understand the history and culture of the place.
It’s a good idea to have a rough schedule when you travel but be prepared to deviate from it. Don’t make a strict itinerary as being spontaneous can really spice things up when you are traveling. Your plans might sometimes change depending on who you meet, the weather conditions, and other factors and you shouldn’t make your schedule so rigid that it doesn’t make allowances for last-minute plans. Remind yourself that not knowing where you will end up is one of the most exciting prospects of traveling.
Try the local cuisine
One of the things you must do when you visit a new place is sample mysterious local cuisine. There’s a lot you can tell about a place by its food. Also, most of the times food cooked in local places or by street vendors are far more reflective of the actual food culture than those at restaurants that cater to tourists. If you are willing to sample new food and explore a little, you are also more likely to encounter new flavors that you never knew existed.
Learn local words and phrases
Learning how to say hello, goodbye, please, and thank you in the local language is obviously essential. Impress, or perhaps amuse, the locals by learning a few more complicated phrases of the language of the country you’re visiting, such as how to order a cup of tea or some beer or ask for directions. You will find that getting around is so much easier that way. It’s always fun to learn new skills and you might find it helps you gain a deeper understanding of a country’s culture. We recommend you download the Duolingo app for some help.