Traveling often involves exploring and experiencing new places, getting immersed in other cultures, and exposing yourself to different environments. Visiting a new place may seem scary. However, there are several benefits and reasons to travel to a new destination. It has been linked to increased brain function, improved health, and personal growth. One study even claims that foreign travel and experiences can boost your creativity. But, there are many things to consider when traveling to a new place. Following are some key tips that will allow you to explore a new destination in the best possible way.
Take Public Transportation
Public transportation is an excellent way to explore a new destination. The touristy buses are great when it comes to getting a good overview of the city center. On the other hand, regular buses help you get to know the different neighborhoods. Take a random tram or bus and see where it takes you. Try to remember the route and pay attention to your surroundings. If something catches your eye while looking out the window, get off and begin exploring.
Talk to Strangers
Going to a new place can mean going somewhere where you don’t know anyone. The thought can be unnerving, but it also allows you to step out of your comfort zone and open you up to opportunities to meet new people. Talking to locals and asking them about the best places to visit in the area is a great approach to explore a new destination. You can also use apps like MeetUp and Couchsurfing to connect with locals and other travelers in the area.
Plan Only One Thing Per Day
You might be tempted to plan your entire trip so that you can explore the new destination as much as you can. However, planning less can actually be more beneficial and fun as it allows you to have free time to explore something that may catch your interest during your trip. By planning to do only one activity a day, you leave yourself open to recommendations that you get along the way.
Try the Food
Trying the local cuisine is one of the best ways to truly understand and experience a new culture. When arriving at a new destination, you can go on a guided food tour to get oriented and gain valuable insight about the local food scene. If you don’t want to spend money on an organized tour, feel free to create your own. Use the internet to find the top-rated spots in the area to sample local cuisine and let your taste buds lead you on a culinary trip through a new destination.
No matter how you explore a new destination, be sure to do your homework. Be informed, stay safe, and know which neighborhoods to avoid. Information from friends, family members, or a travel guide are a good place to start. Last but not least, don’t forget to respect the local customs and rules.
Photos by: Porapak Apichodilok, Enric Cruz, skitterphoto, Suzy Hazelwood, Taryn Elliott, elcarito