Last Updated on June 22, 2020 by Amanda Stancati
Make the most of your time abroad and delve wholeheartedly into the new culture you’re experiencing. Here are 10 ways to immerse yourself into a culture and have an authentic experience on your next vacation!
Learn the language. Use online tools before you leave to learn basic greetings like hello, thank you, please, where is the…etc. During your trip, phone translators and dictionaries would be helpful. Not only will it be easier to get around but people will take notice and appreciate your effort.
Be respectful. Do research beforehand and review general information to get acquainted with the country’s cultural norms so you don’t accidentally offend anyone. Browse blogs, read newspapers, and learn about local customs and social etiquette. Also be aware of your body language.
Take a class. Before your trip, a language class or history class might be beneficial to enhance your trip while you’re there. During your trip, enroll in presentations or tours. Things like wine tasting, brewery tours, and exercise classes are really exciting, interactive ways to learn about a culture.
Choose unique accommodations. While all-inclusive resorts are wonderful, they are suited for a more laid-back travel experience. Consider other options like homestays or renting an apartment, guesthouse, villa, bed and breakfast, or vacation rental in the countryside or city center. These accommodations may offer you more space, a better feeling of “home,” more character, and a unique cultural experience.
Ask locals for recommendations. Ask cleaning staff, taxi drivers, waiters and other residents for advice on where to visit and what to do for fun instead of the hotel concierge. You may learn information not usually shared with tourists.
Walk and take public transportation. It’s a great way to familiarize yourself with the area and stumble across interesting places.
Try new foods. You’ll find Western food just about anywhere, but try to steer clear and experiment with different cuisines. You may surprise yourself and really enjoy the different flavours.
Befriend locals. Smile, talk to people, learn, and enjoy yourself. It’s easy to socialize with other Westerners who share a common language and etiquette. But it’s more rewarding to start conversations with those who are different than you.
Attend local festivals and events. Get a taste of the culture during an event that the locals are proud of. Everyone will be relaxed, enthusiastic, and happy to chat with you about the event’s purpose and origins.
Have an open mind. The magic of travel is that it opens your eyes to different people and different experiences. You’ll learn that your preconceived notions aren’t always correct, and you may also learn that people have misconceptions about your own culture. Be patient and answer questions, communicate and learn from each other, and expose yourself to new thinking and ideas.