- Accommodation: when it comes to sleeping arrangements, you can choose to go to a local hostel and become friendly with the staff and other lodgers. You’ll get tons of useful information, from first-hand experience. Another good idea is to use couch-surfing, and find someone who’ll be willing to host you in their home. Many of them are happy to show you around and take you to hidden spots that only locals are familiar with.
- Markets: if you want to know what happens in the local culinary scene, go to a market. Any market will do, big ones and small ones alike. Any good market will offer a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, and in some cases, you’ll also manage to find local delicacies, cooked, raw, preserved, and everything in between.
- Apps: although we can’t fully recommend being glued to a screen while you’re on your vacation – after all, you’re not traveling every day – some apps can be extremely useful and help you in different situations. We would definitely recommend you finding a maps app that you’re comfortable using, as well as a translation app that supports the local language, or at least English.
- Being polite: this one goes a long way. You’d be surprised how easy things can get with a little “thank you”, “please” or “excuse me”. Although you won’t encounter them literally everywhere, in most cases people will be happy to help you – especially when it come to giving you a direction or a restaurant recommendation.
- Traveling on the low-season: if you can, traveling to a place in its low-season is a fascinating way to explore a location, without so many tourists like you around. The prices are usually cheaper, and locals tend to be happy to see and talk to tourists then.
- Make mistakes: hey, we’re all human in the end of the day. Don’t be afraid to ask around and be wrong. As long as you’re keeping yourself and the people around you safe, and being respectful to the locals, you can allow yourself to be a little foolish. After all, you’re on your vacation.
A general rule of thumb would be: make sensible choices. Traveling can be such an amazing way to learn more about the world – use this time to your advantage, be considerate toward the people you meet, and make the best experience out of it. Bon voyage.