Travel is considered by many to be the perfect combination of leisure time, exotic foods, edu-tainment and fun. Depending on one’s age, travel is often associated with connecting to different cultures. For instance, according to Forbes, 86% of millennials’ primary motivation in deciding to travel is the opportunity to experience new cultures. Whether you are in your 20s, 30s or 60s, you can ensure a smooth transition into new cultures by preparing yourself ahead of time. Here are quick tips to bridge the gap and get the most out of your travels.
Learn the Language
Language barriers are often one of the biggest obstacles preventing you from receiving the full experience a country has to offer. You can overcome this by familiarizing yourself. Apps such as Duolingo and Mondley provide you with quick daily lessons that teach you basic words and phrases to help you better communicate with the locals. If you are not a natural born linguist, you also have the option to purchase a translator app, like Google translate to meet all your language needs. Give yourself at least four months of daily practice to master basic conversation starters and tourist questions.
Expand Your Palate
The best part of traveling abroad is the opportunity to explore a city or country’s local delicacies. To ensure that you will get a taste of everything a country has to offer, research popular foods or restaurants and plan ahead which places you would like to visit. A great app for figuring out what there is to eat near you is Foodspotting. The app works by allowing users to post snapshots of food they have tried and loved. You can simply follow friends or experts to see what they are eating, or use the search bar to find specific foods and dishes. Alternatively, you can use EatWith or Meal Sharing to find and enjoy a home cooked meal. Local families post times and menus and if you find the meal appealing you pay via the app and join them for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Go Where the Locals Go
In order to truly immerse yourself in the culture of your chosen destination, act like a local. It is expected that you’ll want to visit the typical tourist sites. Also consider some of the hot spots that the locals love. Jetzy connects you with travelers or locals who can provide you with insightful recommendations for your travel itinerary. As a bonus, the app offers “JetPoints” which can be redeemed for free travel rewards. Some other great apps for finding the insider’s finds around the globe, consider tapping into like a local, an app where locals share the places they like to spend their time, and Spotted by Locals, which offers city guides and tips from people all over the world.
Traveling is a learning experience. The best way to do this is to allow yourself to become a part of the culture surrounding you. As they say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”