For me, the secret of travel doesn’t lie in finding the most beautiful or the most exciting place in the world. It’s more about the experiences that I have while traveling. If you’re tired of being a tourist when you travel, and you want to feel more like a local instead, here are 7 things to do while traveling the world to give you a richer, deeper experience.
Things To Do While Traveling The World To Make You Feel More Like A Local
No matter where in the world you travel, there are always places that need volunteers. Whether you choose to volunteer at an orphanage, pet shelter, or homeless shelter, it will put you in touch with other people who want to make this world a better place. It’s also a great way to give back to the area you are visiting and the people who live there. This is one of the things to do while traveling the world that will impact your life even after your travels are over.
2. Take A Tour With A Local
My favorite times while traveling have been the tours that I’ve taken with the locals who live there. I’ve gotten the overall viewpoint of an area that goes far beyond what the guidebooks tell me. It’s also a great way to find out about hidden things to do and see in an area that you may not find out about any other way.
3. Explore The Food
I am a firm believer that to know a culture, you have to taste it. I always look for ways to explore the local food whether it’s by taking a food tour or by having dinner at a local’s house. There are many websites that will allow you to dine with a local for a small fee.
4. Get Off The Beaten Path
If you visit touristy places, you will feel like a tourist. I have found some of the best places in the world are barely written about. Of course, it’s sometimes because these places are more remote, and it takes more effort to get there, but I find the journey to be worth it, when I discover an incredible place that’s not overrun my tourism. In Greece, I prefer the islands such as Zakynthos and Kefalonia over Mykonos and Santorni. In Indonesia, there are incredible islands besides Bali that most people have never seen. Visiting the Kai Islands and Raja Ampat have been some of the highlights of my travel, and you rarely see much about these places.
5. Be Patient And Flexible
One of the things travel has taught me the most is how to be patient and flexible. When traveling, you get to choose your experience and attitude. Is is really worth upsetting yourself over someone who moves slower than you or cuts in line? Don’t let small things take away your peace or your joy. Keep in mind that you will almost always arrive later at your destination than you planned, and you allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised if you arrive early. Yes, sometimes you may miss buses or flights. That’s OK. There will eventually be another one that you can take. Take an easygoing attitude with you when you travel and you will have a better experience.
6. Buy Travel Insurance
I highly recommend buying travel insurance. I was bitten by a dog when in Bali, and I was very glad that I had travel insurance to cover the very expensive rabies shots. I didn’t have it when an airline lost my luggage, trying to get them to reimburse the expenses incurred the five days it was lost, was next to impossible. (Hint: Never fly with Vueling. Their record for losing people’s luggage is atrocious). I didn’t have travel insurance at that time, and sadly, the expenses I incurred would have more than paid for the insurance.
7. Buy Your Souvenirs From Locals
I try to avoid tourist shops that sell mass-produced items. Instead, I look for art and handmade jewelry from locals. I also try to buy food products from local companies. I try to do all I can to support the local’s work when I am there, and that way I know the items are actually produced in the area that I’m visiting.
Do you have suggestions for things to do while traveling the world? Let me know in the comments below!