Traveling to a new city is always exciting, and perhaps a little overwhelming at times. Mentally you’ve made a mile-long list of things you want to see and do, but how practical is that for a one or two-day trip, realistically? Oftentimes travelers get overbooked and rarely have downtime to enjoy the experience. Sometimes you need to get down to the basics to fully enjoy your trip and make your travel goals more practical.
To help you stay grounded on your next big trip, here is a list of six practical tips for exploring a new city.
- Connect with the Locals: Locals have the inside connection to things you need to see or the best places in the city to eat. They’ll be able to answer travel and direction questions and provide insight to local attractions you won't be able to find anywhere else, these tips providing a truly practical way to get around a new city.
- Take a History Lesson: Every city has a story. Take some time to research what this new city has to share. You’ll be surprised on what you’ll find and it will help deepen your travel experience and help you feel connected to the spot.
- Eat Local: Use the rule, “If I can eat this at home, it’s not an option”. This will help you step outside your comfort zone and try something new. A new food may sound weird, but it may surprise you! This is a practical way to get to know a new city, whether you're a foodie or not!
- Don’t Plan Every Second: When traveling with a limited amount of time we tend to overbook, leaving us tired and stressed. Make sure to plan open times in your itinerary. Chances are you’ll see or hear about something that you’d like to explore during your down time.
- Take Home a Souvenir: This doesn’t mean finding a coffee mug at a souvenir shop. Find something that reminds you of your personal experience. Perhaps something handmade by a local vendor, a local rock or even sand from the beach. Practical and personal souvenirs are always the best.
- Be Safe: Sometimes things go wrong during traveling, especially in a new and unfamiliar city. Keep your cell phone close and make sure you know local numbers in case you get lost, or need help. Keep in contact with someone back home as well, regularly keeping them up to date on your location.