When you go on vacation, do you like to get to know your destination? Or do you prefer to use resorts and tourist spots to guide the way? However, if you’re the latter kind of traveler, you’re probably feeling that it’s time for a change! Maybe you want to show the kids how people live, maybe you want a proper cultural introduction to your destination – either way, you want to get to know the country you’re visiting on a deep level.
And while you’re tucked away at home booking the trip and planning your itinerary, that seems impossible! But as soon as you know how to understand how the other half live, you’ll be able to plan accordingly.
You Need to Get to Know the Locals
Getting to know the locals is always a good idea; not only do you get a first hand account of how things are done in your travel hotspot, but you get all the gossip as well! Make a few friends where you’re staying, and just be interested in those you pass on the street, and you can be paid back tenfold for your time.
You can pick up a lot more of the language when you engage with the locals, and you’ll pick up plenty of recommendations of where to find good food, great drinks, and even free events you can try out. Maybe there’s a festival going on nearby you didn’t know about? And you never would have if you hadn’t spoken to anyone who knew the town off by heart.
So get on a local bus to your next destination, or join someone for a drink and a healthy chat in a local bar. Join a tour being given by a local and be as friendly and talkative as possible – opening up, and having a bit of confidence, can get you everywhere!
Reconsider Your Hotel’s Location
Where are you staying during your next vacation? Because if you’re not staying in the right place, it’s going to be hard to really delve deep into the country’s history and culture. You want to be right in the action, of course, and you’ve probably booked downtown somewhere – great!
However, it can be hard to navigate when there’s a lot of noise and life going on outside – staying somewhere a bit quieter, or a bit more out of the way, can help you to get a grasp of the country’s spirit a little better.
As such, you should reconsider your accommodation’s location. Maybe you should book a beachfront hotel instead? You’ll be much closer to the coast, and combining the sea air with plenty of beautiful beach and headland sights is always a treat.
Most of all, a hotel or hostel or AirBnB that’s a little away from the action can help you to explore a wider circle. It gives you a safe place to come back to and calm down in, and the kids are much more likely to get some sleep too!
Have a Healthy Mix of Tourist Spots and Tourist Nots
If you actually want to get to know a country, you’re going to need to get off the beaten track. It’s easier said than done, of course, because there are issues of getting lost, not being in a safe area, or simply dragging the kids down another back road when they’re already tired and cranky.
But if you take some time to investigate before you go away and join some travel forums, it’s much easier to strike the balance you really want. Because the kids are going to want to visit some areas they’ve heard of; they’re going to want to go around gift shops and theme parks, etc. But they’ll also love being able to go for picnics, and have the space to run around and play away from everyone else.
So ultimately, it won’t be too hard to factor in their needs either! You’ll be able to do a bit of something for everyone, and save both time and money thanks to your excellent bit of preparation. Be sure to talk this choice through with your family before you head off, and explain why heading to quieter, more rustic areas is a really good idea.
Going on vacation can be incredibly educational, even if you’re away for a break. You’ll get a lot more out of your vacation, and you’ll have a much better time away – this trip is going to be one for the scrapbook!