5 Things You Should Do Every Time You
1. Take the path less travelled For many travellers, there is comfort in sticking to the confines of a resort or seeing only the touristy spots. But when they get home, their stories are all the same. It doesn't matter if you're travelling alone, or with a group, take the path less travelled. If you're exploring a market on your own, go left where there are less people. If you're navigating a new city with a group, ask the guide for off the beaten path recommendations for your down time.
2. Take public transport The fastest way to live like a local is to take public transport. Here you will engage with everyday people going about their everyday lives. Learn a few key phrases and strike up a conversation.
3. Strike up a conversation Transform your trip from ordinary to extraordinary by striking up a conversation with the local people. I've found this is the best way to meet people and improve my language skills.
4. Avoid the tacky souvenirs Don't go for the obvious trinket to bring home when you travel. Hit the local markets and find something seriously local. When I was in Marrakech, I could have bought lots of lanterns and Aladdin style slippers from touristy shops. Instead I bought a homemade hand woven rug in a market from an old lady who had been making them all her life, which I still cherish to this day.
5. Never miss a moment Don't get caught up in taking photos - yes, they are wonderful keepsakes to remind you of your travels when you get home, but often travellers get so distracted taking a photo that they miss the magic moments.