With changing times, the concept of travel has gradually evolved from doing touristy things to soaking in the culture. While it is unfair to praise one side of it and condemn the other, many more people are finding it rather more enjoyable when they are actually out experiencing a place than just seeing it. However, unless you are a completely impromptu traveller, which is great, you still might need some planning if you just want to experience versus see a great new place. Some of the tips below might come in useful when you plan your next travel.
Fix a single place in your itinerary
If there is one solid difference between being a tourist and a traveller, it is that if you really wish to see a place, do not cram your itinerary with too many destinations. It is advisable to visit only one single place in one trip. Sounds boring? You will not regret once you try it out. No matter how long or short your travel period is, the only way to get to know of all the unseen nooks and corners of a place is by staying there.
Book one lodging, and leave the rest
The lodging could be anything of your choice, could be a home-stay, a guest house, a tiny lodge, or a service apartment. Unless what you booked turns out be really horrible, try to remain in one lodging for your entire trip. You would be surprised how much you learn about your place of visit through your daily interactions with the taxi drivers, the cleaning boy, the tea store, the security guard, and the person at the reception or the owner of the property. These are the people who really know the fragrance of the local air and can tell you secrets that you might not find in a tourist guide.
Walk around – do not book cars
When you are just beginning to know more about your dream destination, it is not recommended to pre-book a car or any other mode of transport, rather walk around the locality. If the area is too huge to cover by foot, take the best public transport that is available. Even if you do not know the language, the thrill of the unknown will compensate for your feeble attempts at using sign language. You may only book a car or a taxi in scenarios where you are too tired, have shopping items to carry, or public transport is rare.
Dine Locally – do not make reservations at starred restaurants
Every new place has its own little list of charms, and food is one of the most potent ones. It could be hard to find local eateries at times in places where the touristy crowd throngs the most, and that is when your conversations in and around your dwelling come in handy. Find those quaint little places for dinner, where they make authentic food, even if the seating arrangement looks shabby, it is all about soaking up the essence of the place anyway.
Last of all, bring back memories. Sure, carry your camera and keep pressing the shutter as you wish, but do not forget to cherish the moments while busying yourself in front of or behind the lens. Experiences cannot be captured, they have to be set free.