In this article, we have included five tips to become a more thoughtful traveler as you gear up for your upcoming vacation.
Do Your Research
As you sit down to plan your next vacation, start by researching the location you are interested in. Look up the weather, languages spoken, political and economic atmosphere, and availability of flights. Do not forget to check the exchange rate as well.
In addition to these, look up popular tourist spots. As you shortlist the places that pique your interest, dig up the activities you can do there and the necessary clothes and equipment you might need for them so that you can pack accordingly. Another important thing on the list is accommodation. Search up the availability, affordability, and amenities offered. If you plan to visit specific places, for instance, the Smoky Mountains National Park, the Smoky Mountains cabins will be the best option for accommodation. Renting within the vacation spot completes the experience as you get to enjoy a luxurious experience with state-of-the-art amenities, all in close proximity to the destination.
By knowing what is in store for you, you will be able to make the most of your trip. Your time and money will be well-spent, and you will return home with unforgettable memories, souvenirs, and pictures.
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Familiarize Yourself With Basic Phrases
Though English may be the universal language, it is not spoken at an official level in many countries across the globe. Even some of the most popular tourist destinations, such as Turkey, France, and South Korea, seldom have residents fluent in the language. Therefore, it is advised to learn some basic phrases in the native language so that you can get by easily. Otherwise, navigating the cities, roads, shops, and signboards may be difficult. The language barrier will also limit your access to vacation spots, and locals might not be able to help you if needed.
There is no need to worry, as Google is always there to help. All you need is to look up basic conversation expressions, such as, ‘excuse me,’ ‘thank you,’ ‘please,’ and ‘how far is XYZ?’ and take note of that. A little bit of practice will go a long way. During the trip, you can turn to Google to translate the responses into your own language. The fact that you are trying to learn their language instead of expecting them to be fluent in English will cast a positive impression on the natives.
Adhere To Local Customs
In addition to the language, you can familiarize yourself with local customs and traditions to act thoughtfully. You can start with your dressing. Going for traditional wear is a plus but for starters, be modest and careful in your attire. Make sure it blends well with those of the locals.
Apart from this, different cultures have different greeting styles, such as “Namaste” in India and bowing in East Asian countries. You can observe these as you interact with the natives. Furthermore, if you visit any religious site, make sure your head and knees are covered. Do not forget to take your shoes off while stepping inside mosques and temples. There are also lesser-known, unofficial customs for every country. You can gauge them by being attentive to your surroundings. This way, you will be able to blend with those around you and be respectful of their customs.
Related Read: Tips for International Travel With Kids
Engage Amiably With The Natives
Another manner in which you can be solicitous while traveling is by being cordial with the natives. Learn some basic phrases in the local language and greet them with respect. Offer your thanks and farewell properly. Moreover, show interest in the local food, culture, and traditions as you shop around, dine and interact, and be appreciative of them.
Apart from these, sit down with them. For instance, have a seat with the owner at a certain restaurant and inquire about their life. Curiosity is a great icebreaker. Questions such as, “what do you like the most about your country?” will tell you loads about their life, the country, and what it has to offer. You can also send friendly messages with your body language. Smile more often and greet according to the local customs, such as bowing or shaking hands. All-in-all, be kind and sensitive. Lastly, do not litter. Be sustainable in all your activities and endeavors.
Support The Local Community
Many destinations and communities empower themselves economically and financially via tourism. These hotels and restaurants are solely dependent on tourism money as means of making ends meet.
You can play your due role by shopping, eating, and sleeping locally. Instead of always opting for upscale commercial shops, invest in local art and other similar products, such as clothes. By doing so, you will be supporting and empowering these individuals and businesses. As for you, it will account for an exotic experience as you bring home unique items, souvenirs, and experiences to mark your trip. Furthermore, you can also opt to donate to credible organizations and sign up for volunteer work.
We all need a detour every once in a while from our demanding schedules to catch up on our spirits. An aesthetic destination with loads of fun activities, delicious food, and spectacular views is a wonderful idea to wind down. As you plan and embark on your next vacation, do not forget to be thoughtful and considerate as you make lovely memories in a new location.