Traveling to a new city can be very exciting, new sights, sounds and smells, but there are many things you need to keep in mind if you want to enjoy yourself. Below are a three key tips for exploring a new culture:
Do your research: If you are traveling to a well-known destination, chances are that there will be a lot of information about the place online. Find out about local customs and how to blend into the local crowd. Look out for places you need to avoid and find out how to behave at places of religious importance.
Learn important words: You do not have to know how to conjugate verbs in a language to ask for basic directions to the nearest restaurant. Learn important words and phrases such as “I need help”, “I am allergic to..”, “how much does that cost?”, and so on.
Stay away from tourist traps: Certain landmark places need to be visited, (e.g. like the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Colosseum in Italy) but that does not mean you should spend time in the shops and restaurants that surround it. They tend to be designed for the tastes of tourists and are much more expensive, explore markets and shops off the beaten track that the locals use. Much more interesting and easier on the pocket too!
Traveling is about being open to new cultures and ideas. The best way to enjoy the thrill of travel is to accept every culture for what it is and experience what it has to offer with an open heart!