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Posted by on Mar 5, 2012 in RTW

10 Ways to Enhance your Travel Experience

10 Ways to Enhance your Travel Experience

We always think of travel as a concept of “seeing”. “I want to see Costa Rica” “I want to go to Nepal”. But the most memorable experiences during travel are the things you “do”. “I learned to Surf” “I hiked Mount Everst”. Here is a list of 10 things to do to enhance your travel experience.

1) Meet Locals and Pick up a Local Trend/Activity

While in Japan during Sakura blossoms, the locals head out to enjoy the beautiful scenery and enjoy picnics under the trees. With my local friends we took in the natural beautiful of this incredible county!

Learn to Tango in Argentina or Practice yoga in India

2) What people celebrate is important – Participate in a Festival

While on exchange in Switzerland I went to a friends grandparents house for Easter. They live way up in the mountains with an incredible chalet style house. We searched for REAL coloured eggs hidden around the entire property! We searched up in trees and dug in the dirt! It was a real hunt for these eggs - I lost dreadfully but had great fun boosting my 150cm friend up a tree in search of eggs!

Every culture in the world celebrates more than 1 festival annually – to celebrate its independence, a religious ceremony, or anything else. Get involved and understand why this festival has stood the test of time!

3) Indulge in the flavours of a country and Learn to Cook

Took a cooking class in Chiang Mai Thailand. Thailand is a very vegetarian friendly country so all my foods were sans-red meat and delicious. Only bad part is I'm a horrible cook and managed to get chili in the eye and try to cut with the knife upside down! My lack of skills aside the food was incredible!

You learn so much about a culture and its people through its food. Why not indulge further and learn to cook the local deliciousness?

4) Get away from a Hostel and Spend a Night in a traditional way

I took a 1 night homestay on Isla Amanti on Lake Titicaca, Peru. The family had two little girls who were incredibly cute and helped cooked out meal.

If you’re in Mongolia – stay in a traditional Ger for a night. If you’re in Jordan – stay at a Bedouin’s camp.

5) Enjoy the energy of a Local Sports Event

I watched the final match of Copa America 2011 (on television) with a group of Uruguayans - seeing their energy and complete excitement at winning was Incredible! I wish I could of been at the real match!

If you’ve never been to a football (soccer) game in South America – you’ve never experienced the true passion of the people. Embrace their energy and cheer on the local team.

6) Spend more time getting to know the people – Learn their language

My spanish improved the instant I started traveling full-time in South America. Because I could finally communicate comfortably I made friends that invited me to tour Cafayate with them in Northern Argentina last minute. I had an incredible day - I would of missed this had I not learned Spanish (took me forever!)

People truly appreciate you even attempting their language – if you spend the time and energy learning more than basics, you will experience a completely different side to the people and gain incredible insight into their culture.

7) Spend a day at a Market shopping, talking, and bargaining

I was wandering in the Ubud market in Bali, Indonesia and I wandered off down some back alley way and ended up encountering this incredible selection of art work! I bargained for a great price on 2 pieces and made a friend in the process.

Locals spend hours in markets bargaining – join in the fun and meet some very interesting locals. Maybe buy an item or two- for a bargained price of course!

8 ) Get out of the city and explore the rich rural communities

I went to Pi Mai, Thailand for a festival but spent 4 days here wandering this beautiful small rural city and found out they had a silk production sight run by local woman. A woman took two of us on her motorbike to the sight and we were given a tour through pointing and demonstrations! From the dying process to the weaving. The woman were so kind.

The country side brings a much greatly laid back attitude than bustling cities. People have a completely different lifestyle and the learning opportunities are vast. See, feel, and enjoy the lifestyle of the rich rural communities.

9) Wander aimlessly sans guidebook

I was tired of seeing sights and I don't like to follow maps unless I have a specific point I need to get to. I started walking and found this incredibly beautiful alley of red flowers.

Guidebooks bring you to all the major sights. Locals do not often hang out there. Wander the streets outside the guidebook and experience the everyday life of the people.

10) Eat like a Local: Enjoy street foods and eat only local foods

Its cheaper in markets! In Ho Chi Min Vietnam we encountered lots of corner stalls and street markets. We found these noodle assortments at one of the markets. We got a mixture of the noodles for the incredible price of $0.30! Score

You did not leave your home country simply to enjoy a McDonalds abroad. Eat like a local and enjoy the wonders of their culture through food – your wallet will also thank you!


  1. Fantastic list! I especially love #9. I tend to do it all the time!

    • It is always great just to wander. Brings such a different side to the experience and the feel of a city!

  2. stunning pictures…
    i want to ask where is the beautiful alley of red flowers?

    • The red flowers is from an alley in Rome, Italy! Don’t know where as I simply started walking!