Travelling abroad is not just about getting away from your work or the cold weather. Travelling is also about experiencing something new. When you visit another country, you get the chance to experience life from a different perspective. Seeing and experiencing other cultures and other ways of life can be refreshing and motivating. When you come back from a holiday, having really immersed yourself in the culture, you will have grown as a person.
The tips in this article will help you to really fit in when you go on holiday and will allow you to get the most from your trip abroad.
The first and most important tip is to travel as light as possible. It is always tempting when you go on holiday to take anything and everything that you can fit into your suitcase. This is an instinct because we don’t want to find ourselves missing some home comfort or other.
This is a terrible mistake because it means we end up surrounding ourselves with what is familiar, and then we miss out on the culture and way of living whilst abroad.
Instead of packing everything you can think of, try to think about travelling as light as possible. Think about the bare necessities and pack those – things you fundamentally need. Forget about everything else. In fact, if you get a good expandable suitcase then you can buy a lot of items whilst abroad and bring them back with you. That way, you still end up with the luxuries whilst on holiday, but you have items that are used by the locals and thus you feel more in fitting with the culture of the country in which you are staying.
Learn the culture
This is very important, and perhaps one of the first things you should concentrate on. Before going on your holiday, take the time to research the country you are travelling to. Not only to find out what places you can visit, but more importantly to find out about the culture. Investigate traditions, eating habits and anything else you can find out about how people live. This allows you to fit in more easily whilst abroad and will make it easier to meet and socialise with people.
This leads us nicely on to the next tip; try to build friendships whilst abroad. Holiday does not have to just be about sight seeing and sunbathing, it can be a time of companionship. There is no better way to fully experience a country than making new friends and socialising with the locals.
With the culture tips you picked up during your research, try to build relationships and make friends with the locals. This will allow you to fully experience the culture and also will more than likely shine light on amazing experiences.
Don’t pick the most popular tourist spot for your accommodation, and don’t pick the largest hotel chain either. Try to find somewhere smaller and somewhere situated among the locals. Once again, this will put you in the centre of the country in terms of its residents, rather than having you surrounded by other holiday makers. This is a great way to force you to get into the culture, to eat locally and to really experience the way of life.
Don’t be afraid to try new food
Often when we travel abroad the food can be very different. This could be the way it is prepared in some countries and in others it could be the type of food on the menu. Its easy to put yourself off before you have even tried it. However, there is some amazing food out there to be tried, and so Its much better if you can dive in and try all the food whilst you are on holiday. Don’t be afraid of new things and if you don’t like something, well, at least you tried it.
Use local transport
If you can find the means of transport used by locals, then use that for yourself. This might be taxi, bike or walking. If you can find a mode of transport that involves a third party (such as a taxi) that’s even better. This time spent travelling around the city allows you to speak to locals and we all know that taxi drivers are always full of local knowledge.
Wear traditional clothes
If you took note of the first tip about travelling lightly, this one will be easy. Try to buy clothes locally whilst you are on holiday, and dress accordingly. This allows you to immerse yourself in the culture of the country you are visiting, and it also means you will fit in perfectly. This is also more likely to facilitate discussions with the locals which will also help you to get involved and enjoy the holiday more.
Hopefully all these tips will encourage you to fully experience the next country you visit. They may also have inspired you to think of other ideas and ways in which you can get more involved when you next travel abroad.