Traveling is one of those life experiences that genuinely enriches you, more than just about anything else that your money could buy. Expensive furniture will only be in your home for so long, but the experiences and memories that you make while traveling the world will not only improve your life, but they’ll stay with you forever. Here are a few of our favorite ways to get the best possible experience out of your next travel expedition.
WHENEVER POSSIBLE, DON’T STAY IN HOTELS
I’m sure that the idea of staying in vacation rentals is not new to you. However, have you considered why it’s such a better alternative than staying in hotels? Hotels provide convenience, but staying in a vacation rental allows you to have a more authentic travel experience. You get to experience the city like someone who actually lives there, setting you apart from the regular tourist experience. Often, the owners of the vacation rental will leave you a list of recommendations, as well as almost always being willing to provide you with any suggestions you want.
BRING AN ADVENTURE JOURNAL WITH YOU
Your memories will last as long as you live, but documenting your travels will help preserve these memories. You’ll forget some smaller details of your trip over the years, which is normal. Bring along a journal that is dedicated to these travels. Insert photos you took, tape leftover foreign currency, and ticket stubs. Write down the name of the street you stayed on, the name of your favorite cafe you visited while you were there, the weird thing you saw as you were walking down the road. Describe what one of your favorite foods you ate on the trip. Relay a journey on the metro. Writing out these details will transport you back to your trip when you look back on your journal later on.
TALK WITH THE LOCALS
Like we mentioned earlier, the people who live there are going to be one of your greatest assets when trying to have an authentic travel experience! Get restaurant recommendations from locals, rather than trying to get all of your info from pamphlets and blog posts. The people who live there will know the best place for shawarma or a warm croissant. Even if you just need a recommendation for a florist shop or a place to exchange currency, they’ll be able to give you the best directions, enabling you to have a better experience.
DON’T DO A TOUR
Tours are something that a tourist does. And you’re not a tourist. You wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a brightly colored shirt as you drive a Segway through the Champs Elysees. Instead, you’d take your time to walk through the Champs Elysees, getting to actually enjoy it, and perhaps bringing a picnic with you so you could sit and enjoy the experience for longer.
DON’T TRY TO DO IT ALL
When you have a time restriction in a new place, it’s hard not to try to cram in as many things as possible into a short period of time. My biggest advice: don’t! If you have a week to spend in Europe, don’t spend one day in a different country or city. Yes, you may be able to see seven different places, but did you really see these places? Aside from hitting up the popular museums and tourist spots, you didn’t really see it. You didn’t experience it. This doesn’t mean you need an entire month to experience a city, but don’t rush your experience. You’ll find that you enjoy your experience a lot more when you have wiggle room to relax and enjoy yourself.
There are so many different ways to enjoy your vacation, and there truly is no right or wrong way to go about it! Do what is best for you to enable you to have an unforgettable and beautiful travel experience.