Tips to Immerse Yourself In the Local Culture While Abroad

Vacations are an excellent opportunity to broaden our horizons and explore more of the big beautiful world. When we visit places that are wildly different from our own home, it may be strange at first and difficult to adjust to, but once you get past that initial hesitance, you’ll realize that the best way to enjoy your holiday is to allow yourself to be fully immersed in the country’s culture. You’ll feel far more cultured and you may even discover something you never even knew you would enjoy. Vacations are a chance to try new things and what better place to start than a country where everything feels new. If you want to try it out for yourself, here are some tips on how to immerse yourself in the local culture while you’re abroad.

Food

One of the most exciting way to introduce yourself to a different culture is by trying its cuisine. Whilst many cultures offer more extreme dishes like fried bugs or escargot, if you’re worried you may not have the stomach for them then there are always more tame options that offer up a delicious alternative to foods you may be used to. You may discover a new favourite dish that you can even cook yourself to impress your friends and family with. The world is full of flavour, you only need to step outside your comfort zone to find it.

Language

One of the best ways to understand a new culture is by interacting with the locals. If you want to impress them, why not try and learn some of their local languages. Even if you aren’t fluent they’ll appreciate the effort and may even offer you a drink or something on the house. If you’re unsure of where to start with learning a new language, check out ponly for some great conversation starters that will get you talking in no time. Having some basic knowledge of the language may also help if you find yourself lost or if you’re looking for something specific.

Avoid Tourist Traps

One of the biggest mistakes travellers hoping to soak up in a new culture can make is by feeding into tourist traps. When you go to a popular tourist destination you’ll probably find lines upon lines of shops selling the same trinkets for wild prices. Whilst they may look appealing and rare initially, once you see the same bottle opener in the 4th shop in a row, you may start to think it may not be as worthwhile as you initially thought. Instead, look for shops that sell things you won’t find on every strip. Instead of filling your suitcase with mass-produced touristy garbage, you may discover actual artists that can give you one of a kind souvenirs that you will actually want to treasure.

Explore

When you’re abroad, it can be exciting to go off the beaten track. Bouncing off the last point, if you explore your chosen destination, you may discover hidden opportunities or spots. Why not look on sites like Groupon to see if there are any vouchers for some awesome activities in your chosen destination. You may end up doing something you never would have done before. If you ask some of the locals, they might be able to tell you some of their favourite restaurants. They will almost definitely be different from the garishly patriotic restaurants sporting the ‘real and authentic’ slogan – which more often than not are designed to trick tourists into believing they’re getting the most accurate cultural experience when in reality they’re most likely just getting ripped off.

Do Your Research

If you want to get the truest cultural experience, it’s worth doing your research before you go. Look into the destination’s history and traditions and you can co-ordinate your trip around that. Many countries have events at certain times of the year, such as festivals or parades. There is no better chance to get a feel for the place’s culture than by witnessing it for yourself. By researching online, you may even discover places you can visit that maybe aren’t as well known. You may end up saving money and have a far richer experience if you allow yourself to step away from the places claiming to be authentic and discover the country’s authenticity for yourself.

The Coolest Things to Do in Vietnam in 2020

If you’re looking for a new vacation destination, then look no further. Full of beautiful locations, great food and unbelievable prices, it’s no surprise that so many people have been choosing to travel to Vietnam for their next vacation. If you’re planning your trip or even if you’re still on the fence, here are some of the coolest things you can do in Vietnam in 2020.

Decorate Your Own Lantern at Hoi An

Part of the Vietnamese New Year celebration, each year Hoi An is transformed into a colourful masterpiece. For a full week, one particular road becomes the home for an unbelievable number of lanterns. Tourists are also encouraged to design and release their own beautiful lanterns. It’s probably the closest you’ll come to recreating that scene from Tangled.

Visit the Cao Dai Temple

Vietnamese churches are unlike anything you’ve ever seen before and this one is no exception. Filled floor to ceiling with beautiful colors and surprising artwork. This temple is home to one of the most interesting religions, Caodaism, a combination of a surprising amount of other religions you may not suspect. It’s worth a Google. Prayers can take place up to 4 times a day. To help you keep an eye on your timings, why not check out these watches from galle, a popular Vietnamese watch seller to make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to witness one of these sermons for yourself.

Cross a Bridge Held Up by the Gods Themselves

An absolute marvel in engineering, this bridge towers an eye-watering height above the beautiful Ba Nang province. But it isn’t the bridge itself that has made this attraction one of the most popular destinations in Vietnam. The bridge is seemingly ‘held up’ by a pair of god-like hands carved entirely from stone. An absolute must for your Instagram.

 

The Essential Checklist for Traveling Abroad

There are a lot of things that you need to remember to do and sort out before traveling abroad. If you forget to bring or do something important, it could cause a lot of problems for you when traveling or once you arrive in your destination country. That’s why it’s a good idea to create an essential checklist of everything that you need to do before going and everything that you need to pack. To help you put this together, here is a list of some things you might want to include on your checklist to get you started:

 

Travel Documents – one of the most important things that should be done well in advance of traveling is to ensure that you have all of your travel documents in order. These may include your passport, or a visa if it is needed for the country that you plan on traveling to. Also, checking that you and your travel companions all have up to date health insurance is important. Remember to bring necessary identification that is handier to carry around than a passport, such as your drivers license, as you don’t want to risk bringing your passport with you everywhere as it might get lost.

 

Travel aids – having everything that you might need if you run into trouble whilst traveling is also important. These can be maps or language and a travel guide as if you get lost and don’t know the language of the country you are visiting you may need the aid of a translation book to help you.

 

Banking – knowing exactly how you are going to pay for everything and whether you will have enough money during the trip is very important. If you aren’t sure how to handle your banking while abroad, or whether or not it’s a good idea to bring your regular debit or credit card, Revolut is a great option for you, reviews for which can be found at Plutuspocket if you want to do your own research.

 

Equipment and appliances – something that you likely aren’t going to forget to bring but should have a spot on your checklist anyway is your mobile phone and charger. Also, have a camera, memory card and charger are handy for saving memories and capturing special moments of your holiday. Other things to remember are plug adaptors if the country you are going to has different plug sockets and also headphones to keep you occupied on the trip.

 

The basics – lastly, include a section on your checklist to remind you to pack all the necessary clothes and toiletries. Do you have enough pairs of underwear and socks? It is also easy to forget to pack pajamas or enough suitable pairs of shoes. Travel-sized toothbrushes, shampoos, and soaps are also important in case the place you are staying in doesn’t provide them. It might also be a good idea to have a medicine bag, will all medications that are needed, as well as any other health-related things that might be useful.