The Jakarta Post
Dump the guidebook and have your own experiences. (Shutterstock/File)
Instead of sticking to the tourist trails, traveling off the beaten path will give you deeper, richer and more fulfilling experiences. There is no need to go to isolated places, but leave your comfort zone and avoid crowded tourist traps and overcrowded sites to really get to know the area’s people and culture.
Here are a few things you can do to have a more fulfilling vacation, as suggested by Reader´s Digest.
Talk to the locals
Whether it’s asking the hotel staff or someone you bump into on the street about lesser-known local attractions and the best restaurants in town; the point is, start talking to the locals. They will share their favorite spots and also tell you how to get there.
Sure, their advice will not always be impartial, but it will give you alternative places to go other than tourist traps.
Read also: Seven reasons why you should travel solo
Join a cooking class
Book a spot at a local cooking class or culinary tour instead of having lunch at McDonald's or other restaurants geared for tourists.
Apart from a real taste of adventure, you will be able to cook traditional Vietnamese pho or Italian gnocchi back home for friends and family.
Wander off the beaten path
After getting recommendations a local, go with your gut and explore unfamiliar places. By wandering around, you will discover new places and locations.
Dump the guidebook and have your own experiences.
Go on a guided tour
An expert can help you explore the area.
Do not sign up for the first available or cheapest option and make sure you get a good guide showing you around. This way, you can gain some local knowledge and make memories that will last forever. (sop/kes)