Our Top Tips On Enjoying Cultural Travel
One way to make your travels memorable and unique is to immerse yourself in the local culture of each destination you visit opposed to just observing it from afar. Of course, we can all get sucked into the tourist hot spots, but have you thought about seeking out local people, places and activities that are sure to add a whole new experience to your trip. Through immersing yourself into the local culture, you’ll be able to learn more about a place that you ever thought possible… read on to discover our best tips to do so.
1) Eat like a local
When we visit new places and countries, every one of our senses is exposed to new things. But eating is about more than just food. Eating like a local will allow you to discover a unique tale of local ingredients, generational recipes, social norms and traditional dining. When you’re trying out the local cuisine, step about from TripAdvisor and talk to the locals to find out some of their best-kept secrets!
2) Embark on cultural tours
Ditch the apps and the guidebooks in a bid to learn about the place you’re visiting from the locals. Some cities offer free tours where local tour guides will walk you through the area sharing local facts and old wife’s tales that you would never find online or in books.
3) Get lost
Wander the streets, take road trips and don’t panic if you lose your way from time to time. If you have a packed itinerary mapped out before you visit a city, there’s every likelihood you’re missing out on so many incredible things. Take a step back and enjoy a slow-paced trip as you allow yourself to wander opposed to getting from point A to B.
4) Venture beyond the city
Cities are great, a hub of energy often bursting with people and attractions, it’s easy to see why some travellers don’t venture too far away. But cultural travel extends beyond the city, head out to surrounding towns or countryside for an atypical slice of local life with their traditions, perspectives and unspoilt scenery.
5) Buy from locals
Instead of spending your money in tourist souvenir shops selling the same mass-produced gifts and products, head to the local markets and streets to get a gift with a purpose. Take the time to buy from local craftspeople, not only will you get a wonderful product with craftsmanship behind it, but you’ll be supporting their livelihood. Furthermore, in doing so you’ll be supporting the three pillars of social, economic and environmental sustainability, it’s a no brainer.
6) Stay with locals
When it comes to experiencing local culture, there’s no better choice of accommodation than a homestay. A local’s home is a place of deep culture and local values for you to experience first-hand. Granted, they may not be as comfortable as a hotel or as lively as a hostel, but your experience is sure to be memorable and unique. Of course, whilst there are benefits to a homestay, you might struggle with some concepts of it, so start with a short stay to see if it’s suited to you.
Last but not least, give yourself time. Give yourself the time to immersive yourself in the destinations you visit. It can be tempting to rush through the places you visit in a bid to tick off that bucket list, but we urge you to take your time and stay curious, you won’t regret it!