Travelling can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but there’s a certain quantity of stress that the planning process can entail. It can be hard to think of activities with which to take up your time whilst visiting a foreign territory- especially when there’s such a wealth of options and possibilities open to you. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the possibilities and logistics of the process- so it’s vital that you take everything methodically and cover all your bases.
This can be incredibly time and money consuming, so it’s important that you make the most of each and every moment on your trip to set yourself up with an experience that you’re unlikely to forget. Here are five things to consider doing when you go travelling that you might not have thought about- by making sure you keep these core experiences in mind, you’ll be able to avoid the stress of planning and guarantee yourself a fantastic experience.
Attend a festival, concert, or celebration
One of the best parts about traveling is getting the unique opportunity to experience and learn about another country’s culture. A big part of this can come in the form of celebrations, festivals, and performances- almost every single culture has its own unique reasons for celebration. Do some research into any notable holidays of your target destination and see if there’s any overlap with your planned arrival and departure dates.
The necessity of this forward thinking is doubly true as, occasionally, these celebrations will be ticketed events- and the last thing you want is to miss out because you were unprepared and lose the opportunity to attend a potentially once-in-a-lifetime event.
As with all things related to travel, taking care of yourself comes at the forefront at all times. Celebrations can sometimes be incredibly loud and offer a prolonged exposure to potentially harmful levels of noise. Such exposure is one of the leading causes of tinnitus. Luckily, such harmful long-term effects can be avoided by keeping a pair of sturdy earplugs in your back pocket. Don’t let such threats detract from your good experience!
Do your research before you go
As with all things, making sure that you’re educated will only serve to enhance your experience and make sure you get the best value for money. Carry out a deep investigation into local customs and norms to make sure that you don’t catch people’s attention for the wrong reasons. Keep things like hand gestures, vocal register, and clothing in mind as these can either serve to alienate you from or immerse you further in your target culture. If you spend your trip sticking out like a sore thumb, you might end up the target of unsavory characters too many tourist-ridden destinations can be populated with scammers trying to take advantage of the confused tourist.
In addition to this, doing your research will help you get the best deal and make the best decisions regarding your finances. Take a look at the surroundings of your hotel and write down local restaurants, bars, and spots of interest. This will give you options regarding how you spend your time as well as make sure that you don’t waste any through uncertainty.
The final thing that can never go amiss is making sure that you have a decent grasp of the language before you go- even if it’s just some basic conversational tools. Learning some vocabulary pertaining to directions, locations, and basic introductions can save you a lot of trouble. If your memory isn’t that great, it might even be worth picking up a guidebook of phrases to keep on hand. Be patient and don’t panic- you might find you even have a knack for the language and have picked up more than you even realized.
Don’t be afraid to try new things
Travel can put us outside of our comfort zones in many ways. By nature, travel takes us away from the surroundings that we’re used to and gives us an entirely new set of surroundings. To make the most out of such an experience, it’s vital that you go in with an open mind. This is easier said than done, but the preparation of the mind is just as important as the preparation of your gear and finances.
Spend some time reflecting or even meditating on your current position in life in order to make sure you’re in the most receptive headspace possible and ready to learn from all the new challenges you might face. Travel is the ideal time to break down your boundaries and step outside of your comfort zone- with a little bit of luck, you might even come back as an entirely new person.
Try the local food
Local cuisine is something that’s spectacular and rare to come by, as there’s often very little means of truly recreating authentic flavours outside of their original culture. These opportunities to try the food local to an area should be grasped and celebrated.
Visiting local vendors and restaurants is also an incredible way to immerse yourself in the culture of the country you’re currently visiting.
Speak to the locals
Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation! Some cultures are more hospitable to strangers than others, so as with all things, it’s best to judge each situation as it comes and use your best judgement. However, especially in locations rich in tourists, generally the locals are incredibly willing to reach out and make conversation- it’s likely just as fascinating for them as it is for you!
Travel offers a unique opportunity to leave behind the stresses of everyday life and completely immerse yourself in a new environment. While this can be a challenging endeavor, it can offer rewards tenfold in return. With an open mind, some preparation, and a willingness to throw yourself into the experience fully, you’ll be able to build some invaluable skills that will stick with you for life.