You’re an avid traveller. You’ve been to multiple local cities and rural towns. You’ve been to other amazing countries. You’ve mastered the art and science of travelling solo, with a partner, and with family. You’ve tried lodging in different places, from a three-star hotel in Parramatta Australia to a small hostel in Hong Kong. You’ve had a fair share of first-hand travel experiences, good and bad.
So you may be wondering: what’s more in store for me? How can I make my next trip more interesting and meaningful?
Want to make your travel experiences more fun and meaningful? Here are some tips to go deeper into an unfamiliar destination, and make your travel more memorable.
1. Travel and support local
You may have travelled to different countries but failed to get to know your native land. To make your next trip more meaningful, visit amazing local destinations you haven’t been to, like virgin forests and islands and other region’s top landmarks.
Don’t forget to patronize local goods, including fresh produce, arts and crafts, delicacies, and apparel, to support local farmers, artisans, and workers.
2. Allow yourself to get lost
You’ve probably mastered the art of not getting lost – now, break your own rules.
Get out of your comfortable hotel room. Skip the ordinary, skip the comfortable. Wander through the narrow cobblestone streets and discover hidden gems. Travel slow and let curiosity take you to a new place.
We’re not saying you ride a train to an unfamiliar place at night with no idea how you can get back to your hotel room – that’s stupid. We’re just suggesting that maybe you need to ditch your guidebook and leave some room for spontaneity and local recommendations.
3. Discover the world underwater
Are you a lover of the sea? You’ve visited a lot of beaches, rivers, and lakes. You’ve also probably gone on several boat trips or swam to your heart’s content. But have you ever experienced diving deeper – literally?
If not, maybe it’s time to try scuba diving or snorkelling. It’s not every day that you get to marvel at the beauty of the world under the sea: to watch schools of fishes, sea turtles, and marine giants, swimming in front of you.
4. Relish local food
Food isn’t just a commodity – food can be a window to cultural diversity.
Eat like a local – this is one of the best (and tastiest) ways to delve into their culture. Sample a variety of their local cuisines, from street foods, snacks, and preserved goods, to the food they bring to the banquet.
Discover a wide range of fruits in a country with diverse climates and terrains. Taste authentic dishes and beverages, seasoned with locally-grown herbs and spices.
Do they eat with bare hands? Do they put food on banana leaves? What are their rules with chopsticks? Do they pray before and after meals? Do they eat pork? Know more about their dietary restrictions and dining customs, and adapt.
5. Blend in with the crowd
Where do locals usually spend their day? Do they have an afternoon ritual? Where do they eat and drink? Where do they shop? Is there a local bar only a few people know about?
Go beyond capturing landmarks for your IG feed- focus on the culture and the people. Find out where the locals hang out. Visit churches and temples where people exercise their faith. Immerse yourself in a local market, sampling different cuisines or looking at handicrafts, local jewellery, clothes, bags, shoes, and art.
6. Go off the beaten path
Step out of the touristy lanes and visit lesser-travelled places. Go to smaller places, including villages and suburbs. Discover the hidden treasures of the country you’re visiting – their beautiful, virgin landscapes, exotic local delicacies, and interesting people.
It could be your partner, sibling, parents, or your best friend – travelling with someone you’re comfortable with is an effective way to make your experiences more fruitful, especially if you’re used to travelling on your own.
8. Get information from different tour guides
Don’t rely on a guidebook or from the perspective of one tour guide – get your information from a variety of sources. Additionally, it’s also great if you hire a local guide who’s had firsthand experiences in the area to get an insider’s perspective of the region.
9. Look for group tours
Let’s abolish the idea that travelling solo is better than travelling as a group – if you want to know more about the world you live in, it’s often better to go on a tour.
You’ll get fresh perspectives from guides and fellow tourists. You will learn more about the place you’re travelling to, including the history, culture, society, natural resources, and more – and you can’t have these educational values when you’re travelling alone.
10. Engage with the locals
Want to get an authentic travelling experience, whether it’s for lodging, exploring, or dining? Ask the locals for suggestions.
Locals can take you to their favourite restaurant or pub – and chances are, this hole in the wall joint can’t be easily tracked by fellow tourists. Since locals love luring foreigners into trying their authentic (and often exotic) dishes, your first-time experience might be your best or worst – nothing in between. And that’s a great thing.
11. Travel with a cause
Travel, not only to fuel your wanderlust but to give back to the world you’re living in. To make your vacation more meaningful, travel buffs highly suggest you volunteer. Find organizations with advocacy, providing travellers with an opportunity to give back to the community and the local environment. You can also contribute by patronizing goods and supporting attractions whose proceeds go to charities, indigenous communities, and conservation efforts.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the seasoned writers for Holiday Inn Parramatta Hotel, a modern hotel located in the heart of Western Sydney, delivering top-class Parramatta accommodation. She has always been passionate about travelling, taking photos, and writing travel tips and tricks.