Whether you travel for business or pleasure, knowing some tips for getting the best experience possible can make each trip more enjoyable. Some of the most challenging trip-ups people face when visiting a new city include what to eat, how to get there, and how to experience the authentic culture of the place.
Getting Around Town
There are several options for getting around in most municipalities, including walking, public transit and services like Avail car sharing. In some places, public transit is famous or infamous worldwide for the types of experiences you can have while riding it. Other cities are best seen while walking from place to place. However, hitting the local shopping spots and getting your goodies back to the hotel is difficult unless you have a vehicle to drive. Rental cars can be a good option if you need a vehicle for a more extended trip, but car sharing can be a much cheaper and more flexible option.
Finding Local Cuisine
With nearly everyone having a GPS for navigating new places, finding your way to your destination can be easier than deciding what that destination is. Eating where and what the locals do can be surprising, especially if you expect them to frequent the same types of tourist-attracting restaurants close to transportation hubs and cultural centers. One of the best ways to experience local cuisine is to ask a local. You can even do this before you leave town by searching for travel blogs about your destination or asking your family and friends for recommendations or tips. Sometimes, you can even find cooking classes during your stay to teach you how to make cultural dishes or food tours designed to introduce travelers to local eateries off the beaten path. It may seem awkward to use your online social contacts as vacation information sources, but asking may help you find a friend to take you around town or the best place to find comforting staples.
Experiencing the Culture
In addition to asking locals about food, it is a good idea to ask them how to best experience their city or country. It would help if you also researched as soon as possible before booking your trip to see when and where the tourist season peaks in the area. Cities where cruise ships stop or are popular summer destinations are likely to be more crowded, making it more challenging to be surrounded by locals and experience authentic culture. Traveling in the off-season can be less crowded, but watch for seasonal conditions which will hamper your fun, such as flooding, extensive heat or cold, and animal or insect activity.
The best way to make the most of a trip is to research how to get around town, where to eat and how to avoid crowded tourist stops. The earlier you do this research, the easier it is to schedule your vacation and activities around the experiences you want to have and the things you want to see. You can find travel blogs for almost any destination or use online social contacts to find a local willing to give advice.