If you’re someone who loves to travel, then you’re definitely a person who’s out for adventure! You want to explore as much of the world as you can, and get to know as much of it as you can while you have the time to – you want to feel like you’ve made some homes away from home, and that you could go back again and again without getting bored. You want to meet all kinds of people, and make all kinds of relationships with them; who knows, maybe you’ll be able to crash on their sofa next time you’re in the area!
But to do all of that, you are going to need to get to know the cities that you’re visiting. And sometimes, that can be harder than it sounds. After all, it is a foreign city, and it’s probably quite big, and who knows if you’re in the right place?
So, we have compiled a list of some tips to help you out on your journey. If you want to get to know the environment around you, no matter how far away from home it is, there’s some key things you’re going to have to do. Read on if you need the inspiration!
Stay On Foot
If you want to get to know the buildings and the businesses and the people around you, you’re going to want to go on foot as often as possible. When you’re traveling around the world, your legs are going to be the only consistently reliable form of transport, and they are definitely going to take you at a slow enough pace to take in everything that’s around you.
Of course, you’re going to need to take a bus or rent a car for some things, but if you’re staying inside of the city, you can use your legs for most of the journey. Start by just exiting your hotel and having a scope of your surroundings – what looks most interesting? What is brighter than the rest of the buildings or walkways bordering it?
Because that focal point is going to be a great place to start your exploration journey. And if you’ve got a couple of hours before the landmark you’re scheduled to see opens up, it won’t be too much of a problem if you willingly get lost for a while.
And remember, staying on foot is a lot healthier for the city you’re visiting; you’re not adding to the traffic or potential congestion, and you’re not adding more fumes into the sky around you. Make sure you’re not leaving a travel footprint as you get to know a city!
Eat Some Local Foods
Food is something we all enjoy, and no matter where you are in the world, you’re going to find some great spots to grab a bite to eat at. But when you go off on your travels, how often do you stick to your own tastes? How often do you take a chance on the local cuisine, despite the fact you can’t pronounce the name of it? Because if you start to eat like a local, including buying foreign branded products from a nearby convenience store, you’re definitely going to get a strong sense of the place you’re visiting!
Make it a rule to try at least one local dish while you’re visiting, even if you would never eat something similar back home, and as part of your exploration, make sure you’re hitting up all of the boutique shops and restaurants. If you want some examples:
In New Jersey, there is going to be plenty on the streets, and even if you hit the casino while you’re there, you can Experience the Best of Jersey Fresh at Borgata. Wherever you go, you can eat in the hotel and find plenty of local foods on offer, especially if you head down early in the morning for breakfast – countries like Iceland have very significant breakfast foods to taste, with all kinds of spiced breads and pancakes you can mix up yourself.
Do Your Research Before Traveling
The easiest way in which you can get to know a city is by doing your research ahead of time. For example, if you were planning on vacationing in Nashville, a quick search of things to do in Nashville can help you put together a fun itinerary for your trip. While an itinerary may be the last thing on your mind, they can help make sure you make the most of your time in the city – especially if you are only vacationing a short while, as it means no minute will go to waste and you won’t spend hours deciding what to do next. It also means that you gain an understanding of exactly what is on offer in the city, aside from the tourist hotspots and landmarks that you will already be aware of.
Proper research can also be useful in that it helps you gain an awareness of the space and your surroundings. For example, you can use google maps ahead of time to figure out the distance from the airport to your accommodation – reducing your chances of getting lost or confused.
Finally, planning exactly how you want to spend your time on your trip could help you save money, as many attractions offer discounts when booked in advance.
Visit Popular Spots Around Landmarks
Locals and tourists alike flock to landmarks. If something stands out, and you already know it has a Wikipedia page dedicated to it, you know you’re in the right place for getting to grips with the environment. So, not only does it act as a reference point for when you get lost, but it’ll act as a beacon for finding plenty of hidden gems you’re not going to want to miss!
You’ll know you’ve found some popular spots based on the amount of people crowding around the doors, or the length of the queue, or even the non-existent queue to the little café next door. They might have a wealth of tasty and rich options on offer, and seeing as most of your fellow travelers are heading elsewhere, you’re going to be first in line!
If you’re visiting a spire in the center of a city, it’s very likely you’re going to find a couple of parks crowded around it. Make sure you saunter through those before you jaunt off again to the next spot on your itinerary – there’s always some great chances for photo opportunities within these community areas, so it’ll be a good way to fill up your camera reel.
As A Traveler, How Do You Like To Explore?
We all do it on our terms, and we all have our own limits when it comes to our stamina levels. So, all in all, take things at a pace that suits you, and never let yourself rush through a city you’ve flown thousands of miles to visit. Vacations should always be enjoyed, and never a panic!
Take things as they come; when you leave the country without visiting a landmark, despite how desperate you were to catch a glimpse of it this visit, you’ve got a great reason to come back again.