Sometimes, a vacation can feel rather boring, and this is because most people fail to immerse themselves in the places they visit. They either spend most of their time at the mall or at the hotel. They might also take out fast food, or they might stick to the places where all the tourists converge.
This is no way to have a vacation. Not only is it boring, it will deprive you of the unique experiences of traveling to a foreign country. So if you want to avoid this problem, then here are several tips to help you out.
Visit the Historical Sights
Even the most modern cities have historical sights that you might want to visit. The Camino de Santiago in Europe is a good example. It is filled with all kinds of historical sights, and the same is true with most other tourist destinations.
Looking at the historical sights is one of the best ways to make your vacation memorable, because historical landmarks are local and unique. Temples, ruins and even old buildings are not only great sights, they also make for great photos for social media.
However, in order to experience these places deeply, you should do more than simply look at them. You will need to experience them personally. This is particularly true with religious structures, but you can also get a lot more great experiences in walking through ruins, ancient roads and even old landmarks. Doing these things will make your vacation seem more real.
Visit the Local Shops and Stores
Another way to get the most out of your trip is to visit the local shops and stores, and no, this doesn’t include the malls. You can usually tell a lot about a particular place character by the types of small businesses that it has to offer, which is why you should visit them first.
Small businesses usually sell or promote local items that cost very little, and the best part is that they are quite affordable. Local food shops and even small food carts , for example, offer genuine local delicacies, while small curio shops can offer examples of local crafts and products.
You can also visit the local public markets. Public markets offer a lot of affordable local food and products. If you’re determined to get that genuine local experience, then this is one of the best ways to get it. The only downside is that public markets in poor countries tend to be dirty, so you may want to be choosing your destinations ahead of time.
Learn About the Local Customs and Practices
Most places have unique quirks, and such quirks usually manifest themselves through customs and practices. It can be something as minor as how people greet each other on the street or as big as a public holiday. Some towns, for example, usually have certain urban legends that have made their way into the mainstream and have morphed into local customs.
One of the best ways to make the most of your vacation is to learn about these customs and practices. They may seem weird at first, but then again, you’re not a local. Learning about such customs and practices will not only allow you to better interact with your hosts, it can also be a great topic of conversation once you return home.
Observe What the Locals Like to Do
Different towns have different pastimes, and this is almost certainly true with the place you’re visiting. Some towns love their parks and ponds. Others prefer their malls and shopping centers. There are also towns that have a more religious inclination.
Take a look at what the locals in the city you’re visiting like to do and try them out yourself. People tend to converge towards certain places to do things that give them joy. So visiting such places and engaging the locals is a nice way to enjoy yourself during your trip.
Visit the Weirder Places
If you don’t like crowds, go visit some of the weirdest places in the place, you’re visiting. Most cities usually have a weird landmark or two. Such landmarks are associated with local legends, such as ghosts, past crimes, weird events and even a strange citizen that everybody remembers. They may include the local haunted house, a local landmark, a strange structure or even a funny looking house or shop.
Strange or weird locations are not always tourist attractions, but they tend to play an important role in their respective town’s history. They also offer a glimpse of the town’s past, local beliefs and general feelings. Most importantly, however, weird locations offer new experiences.
As interesting as these places may be, though, keep in mind that the locals consider important or even dangerous. So be respectful and try not to do anything that may be considered offensive.
Take A Day Trip
Sometimes, you won’t need to do anything spectacular to enjoy a trip. Even a simple day trip of walking around can offer great experiences. You can check out the locals in their day to day activities, and you can experience the first hand how they live.
Being driven around by a certified tourist guide is nice and all,, but if you want that authentic feeling then go walk around on your own. If you feel brave, try taking the local transport instead of a cab. This will give you a feel of what the locals are like when they’re commuting.
Finally, an unguided day trip will allow you to be spontaneous, which can be quite enjoyable if you’re tired of guided tours. So go ahead and give it a try.
Your vacation doesn’t have to be a boring trip where you just visit the local hotels and malls. You can make your trip more meaningful by immersing yourself in the local customs and practices. It won’t be easy, and you may need to leave your comfort zone, but then again, what’s the point in traveling if you can’t experience anything new? So give these tips a try on your next vacation and experience new things in a foreign land.