We’re well into the travel season! The weather is warm and people are on the move. Here are my 7 commandments for travel, international and domestic, …also, they can apply if you are doing a “stay-cation”. Hopefully, these commandments will convince you to get up, get out, and (even if you decide to stay home) explore your current location!
#1 Use the public transit: It’s the best way to see your destination. It may take more time, but it will put you in the mindset of the locals and the transit system knows where they are going and how to get there. Especially if you are in a foreign country, public transit is your best bet to successfully getting around.
#2 Get away from touristy areas: Forget the crowds, the lines, and tour guides. Check out the neighborhoods and see how the real locals live. I guarantee you will have more unique experiences than if you spent the day rushing to check off all of the tourist sites on your to-do list.
#3 Make friends: It can’t hurt and they will make your stay so much better. Local friends will suggest their favorite restaurants, bars, and entertainment spots. They will show you a good time and you will get first hand insight into your destination.
#4 Learn the language: If you are traveling domestically, you are ahead of the game. Internationally, you should show some effort. You don’t have to learn the whole language, at least try to commit to memory the necessary phrases and a bit extra. I have learned that if you are trying to communicate with someone in a foreign country, if you put forth a bit of effort, they will meet you half way and be friendlier to you. Also, learning some of the language will making getting around easier on you.
#5 Eat sweets!: In France there are macaroon, crepes, creme brulee, mousse, and more. In Austria there are linzertorte, Kaiserschmarr’n, and more. In Canada there are date squares, and more. The list of countries and sweet treats can go on forever. More and more bakeries and cafes are taking those with gluten, nut, and other allergies into consideration these days. Trust me, eating desserts is an integral part of traveling.
#6 Read local publications: If you know the language of where you are visiting, this will be easy for you. Local publications will let you know what events are happening (when and where) and often suggest restaurants to try. Magazines and papers also keep you informed on political, financial, and social news.
#7 Learn the coffee culture: I’ve talked about this before! Check out my post about Rome. Coffee is delicious. Coffee is everywhere.
Coffee can be a morning habit, a social, event, or a casual thing. Italy has a huge coffee culture and it is different from America’s coffee culture. Just take some time to learn about the varieties of the beverage and where & when it’s ordered.
Those are my seven rules! I hope they are useful and help you better enjoy your next trip or “stay-cation”.