While every trip and every place is different, there are a few things that are must do’s no matter what. Here are things that I make sure to do no matter where I go.
Try the food
I don’t care if you are on a diet. I don’t care if the food sounds or looks weird. I don’t care if it costs more money. Try. The. Food. You don’t have to eat adventurously for every meal, but try the local food at least once. Even if you don’t like it or it is a little expensive, it is the experience that matters.
Get off the beaten track
Everyone always says this, but there is a good reason. Tourist areas do not accurately represent a country or a city or a national park. They only show a glossed over, often crowded version. Venture outside of the tourist traps and see what a place is really like. Only then can you really understand it.
Take a Walk (or hike)
Wondering how to get off the beaten track? Take a walk! Explore on foot and you will see more than you ever would using other transportation. You will find hidden gems and really get a sense of direction in a new place.
Talk to Locals
No one knows a place better than its locals. Talk to them. Talk to them about the place you are visiting, about the place you are from, about food, about sports, about anything. Make a friend, and get their insider knowledge to inform your adventures.
Try to learn the language
Even if your accent is terrible and you stumble through your words and rely mostly on hand gestures to get your point across, trying to learn the language is important. It shows locals that you care about, respect, and are interested in their culture. It will also help you to better understand signs, names, etc., and teach you something extra.