Copenhagen, Florida Keys, Istanbul, Lisbon, Mexico City, Montenegro, and Paris are set to be some of the top travel destinations of 2023, Yahoo News reports. However, while it’s important where you travel, I found it equally important to know how to make the most of your travel experiences. Read on for a few simple ways that will help you ensure you enjoy your travel.
Whether it’s to experience new places, rejuvenate your body and mind, or simply take a break from the stresses of everyday life, there are many reasons why people travel. And, by taking care to make the most of your travel experiences, you can uncover travel’s ability to profoundly enrich your life in a myriad of ways.
Table of Contents
1. Sample Local Delicacies
Greek local delicacies inside the Estia bakery in Thessaloniki
See my photos from Thessaloniki
Food tourism gives you the opportunity to “discover and open your minds to new flavors, textures, cultures, and heritage”, according to the World Food Organization. Indeed, sampling local delicacies is one of the best parts of travel, so embrace it. Being adventurous with your food choices will open you up to new dishes, as well as help you understand the local culture that bit better. No matter where in the world you go, you’ll find a plethora of different dishes with unique flavor profiles and distinct methods of preparation. If you need some inspiration, a random country selector can come in handy and help you choose your next travel destination. You can then search for upcoming food festivals or events in that area.
For example, the Dumpling Festival in Hong Kong is the perfect opportunity to sample delicious rice dumplings, while the Salon du Chocolat Festival in Quito, Ecuador serves up mouthwatering handcrafted Ecuadorian chocolate. One of my favorite festival is Descente des Alpages in the historical town of Annecy, France. There’s dancing, local games and lots and lots of great food.
2. Visit a Local Market
Beautiful open air market in Nice France
See my photos from Nice
Especially in the summer, open local markets are the heart of the town. Whether they are all year round in warmer countries or only on the weekends, visiting an local market will help you sample lots of local foods and meet lots of people as well. In countries like Greece, Italy and Spain, local markets are very lively with lots of bargaining. In addition to great food and people, open air markets are usually located in the middle of town with multiple of ways to access it. When I plan any trip, I look for local markets and allocate at least a couple of hours to roam around, look around and sample food. This way you’re sure to make the most of your travel experiences.
3. Take a Local Tour
Horse drive carriages take tourist on tours of Pisa, Italy
See my photos from Pisa, Italy
Another easy way to make the most of your travel experiences is to join a tour led by a local tour guide. I always find plenty of local tours at GetYourGuide.com and Viator.com. It all depends on what you like to do while you travel. Planning ahead will help you research the best deals and detail that you need in order to make the most of your travel experience.
4. Learn Basic Phrases in the Local Language
People eating outside at large tables at Hofbrau brewery in Munich, Germany
See my photos from Munich, Germany
The most rewarding and meaningful type of travel occurs when you make an effort to integrate yourself with the local community. Taking the time to learn some basic phrases in the local language is a simple way to do this. Download a free language app to help you learn basic vocabulary (for example, hello, goodbye, please, and thank you) and improve your language skills. This way, you’ll have a much easier time actively participating and interacting with the locals.
And, if you’re up to the challenge, you can also learn some more complex phrases, such as, how to order a lunch or a cup of coffee. Even if your language skills are rudimentary, you’ll have fun practicing, while also developing a stronger appreciation for the country’s culture. Especially in smaller towns, where English is not so prevalent, locals really appreciate your efforts to speak their language. This way you can connect with people and not just places, and ensure you make the most of your travel experiences.
5. Connect with Nature
Climbing up the steep trail in Piatra Craiului, Romania
See my photos from Piatra Craiului, Romania
By steering clear of tourist traps in the city center, you can discover gems off the beaten path. And, by immersing yourself in the natural world, in particular, you’ll get to see beautiful parts of the country you wouldn’t otherwise experience. So, for example, look for the nearest national parks, nature reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, and UNESCO World Heritage sites. You can also go on hikes to discover the local flora and fauna (some species, called “endemic” species, can only be found in select regions, which makes them even more of a special sight).
Can You Make the Most of Your Travel Experiences
While these steps seem simple, it takes quite of bit of planning in order to enhance your travel. However, these steps help you travel SMART. By exposing you to a plethora of new senses, travel can enrich your life in a myriad of ways. By sampling local delicacies, learning basic phrases, and connecting with nature, you can make the most of your travel experiences.
About the author: Charly Morris is a passionate traveler and freelance writer. She tries to visit as many different locations as possible every year and is proud to have visited every continent on the planet.
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