Just like we’ve made a list of the things you have to take to every place you travel to, here’s a ‘To do’ list that will help you get the most out of your next holiday.
Drink the local beverage
From Sake in Japan and a fine red wine in the Rhine, to Number 1 beer in New Caledonia and Whisky in Scotland, there’s a tasty drop in every destination that the locals call their own.
Learn about their religion
There’s something special about embracing the local religion, even if it’s just for a moment. Not only can it help you get to know the people, it can also be very enlightening.
Visit the markets…or do some shopping
Whether it’s a bunch of Fijian locals selling fruit and vegetables in the shade of the palm trees, or a major shopping mall in the middle of Paris, you can learn a lot about a culture and the local way of life by checking out where they shop. Plus you often come across all sorts of things you wouldn’t find at home.
Discover the history of the area
As we all know, it’s the past that has shaped the present. So by learning a little about an areas history you can better understand why it’s the way it is now. Also, take some time to discover the indigenous people of the region. In many countries there are groups of people that have inhabited the area for thousands of years, and often they have become a piece of the past that’s no longer prevalent.
Eat the local cuisine, the weirder the better!
In Berlin it might be Currywurst and in Japan it’s sushi, or you could push the boundaries a little more and try balut in the Philippines or Seasnake soup in Okinawa. Whatever you do, give the local delicacy a try and if possible, avoid the tourist restaurants at least one night and dine where the locals do.
Learn some local phrases
Don’t just learn how to say hello and goodbye…or how to ask where the toilet is. Take the time to learn a new phrase every day and practice it on the locals. If you learn how to ask a question, don’t forget to get the translation for the various answers you could expect.
Be a tourist, then try being a local
For some travellers, the idea of going to a museum about local history or visiting a cultural performance can seem a tad on the boring or ‘uncool’ side of things. But they can also be incredibly informative and a lot of fun. Once you’ve taken the time to visit the Tourist Information centre and checked out the major attractions, head off the beaten track a little and get a taste for how the locals live.
Spread the word
When you’re on the road and travelling through a new place, make sure you take the time to talk to other travellers and share your experiences with them. This generally leads to them telling you all about what they’ve come across and often means you will discover new things you never realised were there. Backpackers and caravan tourists tend to be great at this, so it’s time the resort travellers gave it a go too.
See a sunrise
We generally all get to see the end of a day and enjoy the changing of colours as the sunsets. It might be a glorious array of hues as the sun dips below the horizon, or the transformation of a city as the lights come on. But there’s something to be said about watching the beginning of a new day and taking a moment to see things come to life.
Do something you’ve never done before
You only live once, so take the plunge and push your limits a little. Every time to go on a holiday do something that tests your courage or physical ability. Whether it’s bungee jumping in Queenstown or hiking to the top of a mountain, it’s the new and exhilarating experiences that you tend to remember most fondly.