8 Fun Ways to Experience New Places

Vinnie Van GO likes to stick to a strict schedule while traveling but after some great advice from Jane Hurst, he’s ready to switch things up a bit.

Too many people think that the only way to get the most out of their vacations is to have a structured itinerary that has something planned for every minute of the day. Not enough people just get out there and fly by the seat of their pants, and really get to enjoy every place that they visit. For instance, many people will go on guided tours, and only visit very specific sites. Others prefer to get off the beaten path, and discover things that many tourists never get to see. Today we are going to take a look at eight fun ways that you can experience new places.

  1. Ask the Locals – If you really want to know the best things to see and do anywhere, all you have to do is ask the locals. The travel brochures aren’t going to tell you about some of the lesser-known places that offer great food, great atmospheres, and loads of fun things that many tourists never get to experience.
  2. Lose the Map – Forget about using your map and seeing all of the famous landmarks. Instead, ditch the maps and just go out and start exploring on your own. You never know what you are going to find, and often, you are going to find some amazing places that are not on any maps or brochures, including restaurants, local shops, and much more.
  3. Lose the Cell Phone – Do you really need to be using your cell phone every waking moment of the day? If you have your face glued to your phone, you are going to miss out on a lot of things. Instead of tweeting about the things you see, live and experience them first-hand. These will be better memories than any social media posts.
  4. Take Dance Lessons – If you are looking for something really different to do on your next vacation in NYC, why not dropping into a dance studio for a couple of swing lessons? Then, you can take your new skills to one of the many nightclubs, and dance the night away. Or, learn the dances of each nation you visit.
  5. Try to Learn the Language – If you are traveling to a foreign country, it is a good idea to learn something about the language. That way, you will at least be able to ask for directions. You don’t have to study the language for months and know it inside out. But, you should learn enough to know the basic, most essential phrases.
  6. Go to a Show – When visiting a strange place, it is always fun to take in a show and check out the local talent. You can see a play, go to a dance performance, or even attend a music festival. You don’t even need to be able to understand the language very much to enjoy yourself at any of these events.
  7. Taking a Cooking Class – If you love to cook, a great way to have fun in a new place is to learn how to cook a popular local dish. You can easily find all kinds of cooking classes, and you might even find some at local markets where local foods are prepared and sold. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in local culture.
  8. Create a Travel Journal – Photos aren’t the only way to have memories of your travels. You might want to start a travel journal, and put in little souvenirs from your trip. Write short notes about some of the best experiences, stick in ticket stubs, photos, receipts, pressed, flowers, and other mementos of your trip.

Jane Hurst is a writer, editor and avid traveler from San Francisco.

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