Over the last 3 years, I’ve traveled a lot more than I thought I would. Some of these trips were spontaneous. If I could go back, I would do things a little different to make sure I’ve experienced the most of my time in the cities I visited.
I always tell myself: “I wish I did this or took a photo there when I had the opportunity”.
So, based on my experience and my regrets, I am writing this post.
10 things you should do every time you travel
1. Plan ahead
I think sometimes we forget to “research” a little about what is happening in and around the destination during the duration we are visiting.
Example: Is it during a festival or a public holiday?
By planning, I don’t mean sorting out your flights and accommodation. I’m talking about reading about other people’s experience or recommendations at this destination via travel blogs or creating a bucket list of things you want to do when you arrive there.
- Like the top restaurants, you would like to visit?
- Photos you would like to take? – This one is what us bloggers do a lot.
2. Ask the locals for suggestions
Honestly, this is the best way to see a place. Make friends with some of the locals and ask them about the “hidden” spots or where would be the best place to buy souvenirs because we all know buying them at the airport is a big no-no. This is will also help you learn a bit about the language or customs of the area.
3. Use public transport
This is the easiest and cheapest way to get around especially if you are in cities like London. When you experience life as a local, you get to see a lot more. You meet new people all the time which may help you get out of your comfort zone a little.
4. Visit local markets
Local markets are a must-see. Some of them have a huge variety of good food, music and beautiful locally handmade items that you can take back home as gifts. It also gives you a sense of the local culture and lifestyle.
5. Take a day trip
When I was one in New York, I did a food tour with a few locals which was an experience I will never forget. We had the best pizza, coffee and ice cream in Brooklyn. It was an entire day of walking, but it was so worth it! We learned so much about Brooklyn, the history and food.
6. Check out the nightlife
There’s always something exciting happening at night. Don’t be afraid to try something new or even to go out just to take out a few pictures at your favorite spot. Times Square is amazing at night, you would want to be out till 1 am! Get dressed and explore life after night.
7. Be spontaneous
I know I said plan ahead at the beginning of this post but also keep a day or two aside to just explore and be spontaneous. Walking may be the best for this (depending on where you are and how safe it is there). You might stumble upon a familiar place or something unexpected that will blow your mind away.
8. Eat somewhere local
When I travel, I like to try a bit of everything, but on my bucket list (always) is to try something “local” that the city is known for. Like if you visit Durban, a bunny chow is a must.
9. Stay in multiple locations
I know sometimes this may be a pain, but it is the best way to see a country or city. By doing this you get to experience a little of the local lifestyle and what people in different areas do. Trust me, sometimes it is completely different on one end compared to the other.
10. Capture the moment
Carrying a camera is a must but for me, carrying my Instax is even more important because I get to capture the moment and bring it back with me to add to my wall of travel. If you can, write down your experience or special moments in a journal that you can look back at.
Is there anything you would like to add to this list?
Remember, be a traveler, not a tourist. You will see and experience so much more at a lot cheaper.
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