Travel is one of my favorite things, but it can also be difficult. No matter how many times I’ve been somewhere, there’s always something new to discover. Here are some tips for creating an unforgettable travel experience:
Have an Authentic Experience
Traveling is about the experience, not just the destination. Experiences are what make travel memorable and are what you remember when you are back home. For example, you might have a great time on your honeymoon in Hawaii, but the one thing that stands out is watching my husband try to surf (he didn’t surf). There were so many other experiences that were equally as important or maybe even more so: snorkeling with sharks and sea turtles and hiking at Diamond Head crater, but his experience trying to surf has me laughing every time I think back on it.
Another example would be when I visited Prague with my daughter during her senior year of high school. We spent several days wandering around Old Town Prague, taking in all there was to see and do (and eat). The best part was getting lost while exploring because we stumbled upon some amazing shops along the way! Each shop had its personality from one, so we found ourselves wandering from store to store, just browsing through everything they had to offer us!
Talk to the Locals
This one is self-explanatory, but it can also be a little intimidating if you need help figuring out how or where to start. You might feel intruding and get in trouble by talking too much and asking too many questions. But this is one of the most important things you can do! Locals are often more than happy to share their knowledge with travelers, so take advantage of this opportunity when it presents itself. Please find out about the local culture and cuisine from the people there. Ask them where they recommend visiting (and their favorite places). Find out what activities are available in the area (and which ones they think are best). This information will help inform your decisions as they come up while traveling and allow for better experiences overall!
Seek Out Local Food
Eating locally is a great way to get a sense of the place, but it can be hard if you’re afraid of trying something new. Don’t be! If you’re unsure how a dish will taste, ask your server or friend at the table what they recommend. If they say it’s good, take their word for it and enjoy!
Be aware of food poisoning symptoms, and don’t let them ruin your trip. Some things are just too risky to try when traveling: raw seafood (particularly raw shellfish), unpasteurized dairy products like milk or soft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk (like Brie), soft cooked eggs without refrigeration (like poached eggs), or rare meats that may have been left out at room temperature long enough for bacteria to grow (like chicken).
Try Local Activities
Hiking, biking, kayaking, or horseback riding are all great ways to experience the outdoors, get a sense of the area you’re visiting, and have a great travel experience. And if you want to explore further than just around town, consider finding a tour guide who can take you to some of the best places to go—they’ll know how to find hidden gems and ensure that everyone in your group has an amazing time.
Try something new. If there’s an activity that hasn’t been on your radar yet but sounds interesting enough for you to give it a try (and it’s legal!), then don’t be afraid! Once again: travel is about trying new things and seeing how they affect your life, so don’t hesitate when opportunities arise.
Do something unique to this place/culture/country/etc. Even if it seems like something familiar back home would be more fun! For example: maybe there’s an ancient sport or game played here? Or perhaps there’s some art form that people love doing on vacation? You never know what might become one of those lifelong memories until after doing it yourself!
Choose a Unique Location to Visit
The first thing you should do is choose a unique location to visit. Your destination should be somewhere that will be memorable and not just another city or town in the country you’re traveling to. You also want something that gives you a sense of the local culture, history, and people.
In addition to choosing an exciting destination with plenty of things for visitors to do, don’t forget about things like weather or distance from home when making your decision. If it’s going to be hot or cold where you’re going (or if it’s going to take forever on public transportation), make sure those factors are considered before booking your trip!
Find Somewhere Luxurious to Stay
Finding the time and energy to work out can be hard when traveling. But staying at a hotel with a gym can make all the difference in your trip. It allows you to exercise, even if it’s just for 30 minutes every few days.
You don’t have to be a gym rat to take advantage of this perk—even just walking around the hotel grounds will give your body some good exercise!
Look for Interesting Events to Attend
When you’re traveling, you want to be sure that you have an eventful schedule. Proper organization will greatly improve your travel experience. You want to have things to do and have something left but a few museums and some shopping time. To avoid this, look for interesting events unique to the area, time of year, and place you visit.
If it’s winter in Boston, there might be an ice skating rink set up at the Boston Common, or maybe a festival happening at Faneuil Hall on New Year’s Eve where people wear hats from different countries around the world and dance with each other until midnight. These events are fun because they provide something new for visitors who may normally live in busy cities like London or Paris, where such festivals are less common than they would be back home!
Hire a Tour Guide
Once you’ve decided on a destination, your next step is to find out if there are tour guides in the area. The internet is your friend here—search for “locals” or “tours” + the name of a place, and you should be able to find what you need. If the website doesn’t give you all of the information you need right away, it should at least point toward other resources that might have what you want (like TripAdvisor).
Once you find someone who looks like they fit into your budget, schedule a phone call or Skype session so that both parties can talk about their expectations and make sure they match up. You may also want to ask how long they have been doing this work. If they’ve been working as long as they say they have, it’s probably safe to trust them!
Tours are important not only because tours are educational but also fun–and there are lots of ways for groups to interact while learning about new places abroad!
Document the Trip with Photographs and Blogs
Photography is an amazing way to document your trip and a great way to share the travel experience with others. Taking photos throughout your travels will help you remember the details of your trip so that when you return home, you can look back at where you were and what happened each day.
You don’t need expensive equipment or a professional background in photography—just make sure that whatever camera or phone system you use is easy to use while traveling. It doesn’t matter if all of your pictures are blurry; what matters most is that they capture special moments so that when they are shared with friends and family members, they feel like they are right there with you!
Plan the Trip Carefully in Advance
Planning is the first step to ensuring a great travel experience. If you plan, it’s easier to have fun, avoid the crowds, and ensure all of your arrangements are in order.
Research the destination. Learn as much as possible about where you’re going—the country’s history and culture will give context that makes travel more meaningful. Consider the climate, what kinds of animals or plants live there, how people dress, who lives there now (and how many tourists), and anything else that interests you about the place.
Get a good guidebook with tons of useful information on activities in each city/region/country so that when it comes time to choose which activities to do while traveling (which will happen often!), they can help guide those decisions by giving recommendations based on personal preferences such as price range or whether or not one prefers indoor vs. outdoor activities, etc.
Plan out daily itineraries so that no matter what happens during those days away from home (like if something goes wrong), there are still plenty of options available within reach at any given moment during each day; this helps ensure that everyone gets enough rest without having too many late nights out because they had nothing planned!
With some planning, you can make your trip a truly memorable experience. When you’re ready to start planning your trip, check out our tips for creating an awesome travel experience!