There is often pressure to see the sights when you travel to a place for the first time. These sights often have more tourists than space for you to move. You may be at the Eiffel Tower, but you share the experience with a few hundred other strangers. Your photos include strangers’ faces and most of your memories include waiting in line.
This may be the price you pay to see the world’s famous sights, but it is no way to experience unique cultures. Travel is not simply taking a photograph next to monuments; it is experiencing something new and far from your comfort zone. Below are some tips to help you get to know your travel destination beyond travel guides and pre-made itineraries:
Go off Book
Having a travel itinerary saves you time and money. You can get a lot done by following your schedules to the minute. Despite this, you can get to know a place better if you do away with overly strict time tables. When planning a trip, make approximate schedules to give you time to savor each activity or place. Instead of taking a tour bus, you may want to experience public transportation and get to know the city.
Choose an Interesting Hotel
You do not have to leave your hotel to experience your location. Some places have well-known hotels with themes and historical value. You can even look at accommodations in an art district hotel. You can very well get to know the true image of a city by visiting artisan and specialty shops around this district. People around these places are usually cultured and interesting to strike a conversation with.
A wrong turn into small streets can be scary, but it is an adventure for the true traveler. Allow yourself to be lost one day but make sure you have the money to return to your hotel. This is a good way to walk into quaint little establishments and remove you from places with too many tourists. Even asking a local for directions can have you learning something new about the place in no time.
Try the Local Cuisine
Food is the best and easiest way to get to know a place. Skip the big coffee shop brands and international fast food chains. You can order local dishes on restaurants, but if you want to experience the real flavors of the special cuisine, dine in hole-in-the-wall eateries. You will experience authentic local food while saving money as these places do not often charge big money for dishes.
Travel during Holidays and Festivals
Each place has their traditions and holidays. If you have a flexible vacation schedule, book your trip in time for big holidays and festivities. This is when the locals come out and wear their cultures with pride. There is often a lot of action and activity surrounding special holidays. It could be a learning experience or just a really fun weekend for any outsider looking in.
The world is too big and life is too short to spend it in one place. Splurging on experiences has longer positive effects than spending all your money on material possessions. You no longer have to be afraid of travel expenses. There are plenty of ways to get discounts if you know where to look. Check online resources for features of hotel types such as an art district hotel.