It’s incredibly easy to plan a vacation these days. You can book a plane ticket, accommodations, and restaurant reservations with a few clicks of your mouse. The problem with this convenience is that most trips end up being similar to one another. Gone are the days where you could stumble upon a unique experience. Travel is all about trying new things. These suggestions will help you avoid tourist traps and get to the good stuff with these unique things to try out in every country.
Explore the great outdoors
Rather than just staying in the city center, head out to the countryside or province of a new destination where the beaches, parks, and mountains are. There’s plenty of unique things to do there, especially for thrill-seekers. Hiking, surfing, mountain climbing, and kayaking are just some of the most exciting things you can do here. Just don’t forget to be careful. To have a hassle-free experience, make sure to list down any nearby medical institutions where you can get treated in case of an emergency. Places like Bali have a cutting-edge international hospital for this very reason.
Initiate a conversation with someone
Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with someone, whether they’re a local or a fellow traveler. This is a great opportunity to learn about someone else’s culture, get excellent recommendations for top spots to visit, and pick up a few handy words and phrases. The best part is that you’re likely never to see them again, so if the attempt goes badly, you don’t have to tell anyone it happened.
Couchsurf or book a homestay
If you’re truly invested in having an experience unlike any other, consider ditching the hotel and booking a homestay or try couch surfing instead. Staying with a local in a non-touristy neighborhood gives you unfettered access to a new locale through the eyes of someone who knows the ins and outs of it. You’ll be able to get the most authentic experience this way. As always, do your due diligence and don’t just sleep on any stranger’s couch. Sites like HomeAway, Airbnb, Couchsurfing, and VRBO are the best websites to find legitimate listings.
Sign up for a cooking class
The most genuine way to experience a culture is through its cuisine. Scouting out the best restaurants and street food is fine—but what if you could actually make the food yourself? Touristy restaurants and street food tend to adjust flavors to appeal to foreigners, but signing up for a cooking class with a local ensures that you’re getting only the most authentic taste of what the destination has to offer in terms of cuisine. This memory is the best kind of souvenir to take home since it’s guaranteed that nobody else will have the same experience.
Do something you actually enjoy
Vacations are meant for experiencing things you’ve always been interested in but never had the opportunity to try out. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try surfing, dirt bike riding, or Latin dancing—whatever it is you’ve always wanted to dip your toes into, now’s the perfect time to book a class and start doing it.
Avoid the long lines and money vampires that come with tourist traps by taking on any of these practical trip suggestions.