Traveling is one of the rare joys of the world that are good for the body, mind and soul. Through traveling, you can exercise your body, learn new things, meet new people and expand your horizons. Except for the fact that traveling costs money, this activity has no other cons. To be a true traveler and explorer, feel free to stay clear of the classic tourist traps and do your best to explore the country like a local. Here are a few things you must do in every new location you visit in order to truly experience the destination:
Visit the most important landmarks
Sure, many landmarks are a complete waste of money and time, but the most important ones in every country are really worth visiting. For instance, don’t leave Paris without visiting the Eiffel Tower or don’t leave Florida without spending some time at South Beach. If you miss these most important attractions, you might be sorry in the future. As long as you book tickets in advance, you won’t even feel the big crowd in these popular spots. And if you want to snap some amazing photos of these sights, wake up early and be there at dawn. You’ll have amazing lighting for your photos and absolutely no tourists to photobomb you.
Spend a day in nature
Every destination has its own beautiful natural riches. Australia has the Red Centre, Scandinavia has fjords and Africa has wonderful reserves and safari trips. No matter how much you love urban exploration, make sure to spend at least one day in nature to get the feel of Mother Earth and its blessings. You can go on a light hike, book a boat tour, have a picnic in the park or do any other activity in nature. This way, you’ll get to see new flora and fauna, enjoy the nice weather and connect to the destination on a deeper level.
Try out the local food
There’s no better way to truly connect with a country than through its traditional food. Search for national and local signature dishes and make sure to give them a try. You will discover so many new dishes, ingredients, spices and food combinations and maybe even discover your new favorite dish. Even if you’re a picky eater, you can always rely on fast food with local flavors. Wherever you are, you can search for the best burger near me and find delicious fast food. These local burgers will be familiar to your palate yet prepared with local ingredients and charm perfect to give you a taste of something new.
Explore the museums
Each country has its unique history, culture and art, so make sure to visit local museums where you can experience all three in a very convenient and entertaining way. In many cases, museums are free or very cheap and they are very relaxing and pleasant to explore. Entertaining for both kids and adults, museums will teach you many new things about your destination and allow you to spend a day in a safe environment. Pro tip: if you’re expecting a day with not-so-perfect weather for outdoor activities, reserve it for a museum visit.
Shop at a local market
No matter how much you want to travel on a budget, some expenses and splurges are necessary. Grabbing a few souvenirs from your travels is a great way to surprise people at home and keep a memento that will remind you of your adventures forever. Instead of buying cheap plastic products in malls and big stores, it’s much better to visit a local farmers’ market or a flea market. These are full of authentic products and handmade things that have actual value. Plus, they are produced by locals and your purchases will feed people and keep someone’s business afloat.
Experience the location during the night
Every destination looks completely different during the night than during the day. Make sure to set at least one evening aside for some evening exploration and activities. For instance, if you’re traveling with kids, you can have a late dinner and then visit a theme park. Maybe take a walk at the beach. If you want some more adult fun, hit a nightclub or a bar and party like a local. This is the best time and way to meet new people, catch the vibe of the destination and have a ton of fun after sunset. Just be careful with drinking—you don’t want to get in trouble.
These six activities are a must-do for every country, every state and every destination you visit. Stick to them and your every trip will be much more authentic and memorable.
About the Guest Author – Sadie Brooks
Journalist graduate, travel aficionado, and someone with endless curiosity. Lives in San Francisco, and enjoys reading, cooking, and comedy songs.
“Run from what’s comfortable. Be notorious”
You can follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/SadieBr97057042