10 Things You Should Do Every Time You Travel
October 5th, 2016 by Lauren Tharp
You’ve booked your transportation, you’ve arranged a place to stay, you’ve packed your stuff, and you’ve finally arrived at your destination. Now what…?
No matter where in the world you’ve ended up, here are ten things you MUST do every time you travel:
1. Take the Road Less Traveled
Sure, there are a lot of great touristy places you could – and should! – go on your trip. But there are also plenty of adventures to be had by venturing off the beaten path.
Find a neighborhood and explore it on foot. Or take the dirt road instead of the paved one.
Just make sure you tell someone where you’re going ahead of time, for safety’s sake. There’s a good chance you’ll get lost (in the most fun way imaginable).
2. Talk to a Local
People are people wherever you go. Just like back home, some strangers will rebuff your friendliness; but others will open up and have great stories to tell.
Talk to the locals as much as you can. You’re in their home now, and they’ll likely have interesting things to say about it – stuff that you wouldn’t get in your guidebooks.
One of our FabFitTravel team members loves to hear ghost stories from the locals when she travels. That might be a bit morbid for some, but she says it’s one of the most fun ways to learn truly unique customs (like painting your porch ceiling blue to ward off evil spirits) and gives her great stories to tell once she gets back home.
3. Ask for a Restaurant Recommendation
Need another reason to reach out to a local? They know the best food places!
Just like you know the best places to eat back home, the locals in your travel destination know the best places to eat where you are now.
While you’re at it, ask them for their favorite menu item as well.
4. Document Your Trip
Get thee on Instagram, girl! Not only is it a great way to document your trip (photos plus captions!), it’s a great way to share your trip with the ones you love back home. They miss you!
We also recommend keeping a travel journal, if you’re up to the task. There are some moments that you might not want to share publicly (a romantic interlude, perhaps?) that you’ll want to remember for the rest of your life.
5. Challenge Yourself Every Day
You didn’t travel all the way to a new destination to do the “same ol’ same ol’” that you do back home, did you? Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone, each and every day you’re on your trip.
Yes, this could mean doing something “crazy” like ziplining. Or, it could be something a little more tame: like trying a food item you’ve never had before.
6. Buy a Souvenir (NOT from a Gift Shop)
Obviously you’re going to buy souvenirs… Just make sure not all of them are from gift shops.
Take the time to go into local shops and have a browse. If something catches your eye and stirs your soul: buy it!
Even a rock or a shell from a foreign beach can make a treasured souvenir. Or picking a flower to press in your travel journal. Just be careful about which flowers you pick – some are protected! One of our FabFitTravel girls laughs sheepishly when she remembers the time she picked a California poppy and got reprimanded by the police.
7. Say “Thank You” in Their Language
It’s fine if you want to try more phrases than this, but “thank you” is definitely our favorite. We try to learn this phrase in the language of every place we visit. There are so many opportunities to use it, and it always makes the locals smile.
Even if you mangle the way you say it, the people you say it to will appreciate your effort. Thank your hotel staff, thank the people who serve you food, thank those who bother to talk to you… Thank everyone!
8. Take a Bus to the End of the Line
Not every stop will be a jaw-droppingly gorgeous landmark. But every stop will be memorable for some reason. There’s no better way to get a good “general” sense of an area than by using this tip. You’ll see a lot of the tourist destinations on your itinerary, but you’ll also get to see residential neighborhoods and how the people in your new locale really live.
This is a great one for girls who love to “people watch.” Be sure to pick a window seat!
9. Go Out at Night Too
Safety first, of course; but most places you travel to will have a bustling night life that you should indulge in. Ask a local to direct you to the most “lit” dance club in town. Or catch a performance or concert!
Yeah, you’ll be tired if you go out all day and all night on every day of your trip, but you’ll surely regret it if you don’t take in the night life at least once during your vacation.
10. Enjoy the Moment
Every once in a while, put your guidebook down. Put your camera/smart phone away. Just look around and enjoy the moment. Breathe in the air – it’s the air of somewhere entirely new! Take the time to relish the fact that you’re standing on ground you’ve never stood on before.
Most of all: have fun! It’s a “must,” no matter where you end up. 😉