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.

5 Ways to Spice up your Group Holiday

Going on holiday with your friends is always either the best time of your life or a complete and utter disaster. There is rarely a nice in between, as sometimes people fight over what they want to do or where they want to go. If you’re planning a group holiday and trying to think of some fail-safe activities to do to keep everybody in the group happy, this list may just have some ideas that you’re interested in.

Make a bucket list

Each person in the group could come up with an idea or activity that they want to do whilst on the holiday. This will give you a set plan for what to do as well as letting every person in the group pick one thing they would like to do. This way things stay fun whilst keeping everybody happy.

Create an activity bingo sheet

Like the first idea, if everyone creates their own bingo sheet filled with different events or incidents, for example, whether someone will fall over or spend too much money. Then as the holiday goes on you can check off the things that do happen and if anyone correctly predicts a line, they can win a prize.

Get matching outfits

This idea may be a bit embarrassing but it’s always a laugh to match with your friends. You could try wearing matching t-shirts or you could buy some of these personalized wristbands. This idea is perfect if one of you has a bad habit of wandering off on your own, as if this happens at least you’re all easily identified.

Explore

Whilst it can be very easy and fun to stay within the resort you’ve booked, especially if it is all-inclusive, you never know what kind of sites and opportunities you and your friends are missing out on. Rent a car and go out for drives, find quiet beaches or other hidden treasures, or book a tour and learn more about the area. Group holidays don’t have to completely revolve around alcohol!

Get a taste of new cultures

Any country you travel to is likely to have their own unique culture, you and your friends should try to push yourself to try new foods that you wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to try. If that means you have to dare your friends to try snails in France, it’ll definitely be a fun experience.

Surprise Your Partner with a Stay at One of These Hotels

Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi

The Emirates Palace of Abu Dhabi was first opened in November 2005 and is perhaps the most luxurious hotel in the Middle East. The hotel boasts suites that are furnished in gold and marble so if you want to truly treat your partner this is the place. With its own private two-kilometre beach and two spa facilities, relaxation is never too far away. This hotel would be especially good for impressing a new partner, and you can check out this blog post for some potential questions and talking points that you can impress them with while lounging in the jacuzzi!

 

The Westin Excelsior, Rome

Rome is the city of romance so where better to take your partner. If you do go to Rome you may as well go all out, so where better than the five star The Westin Excelsior. The hotel is situated in the heart of the Italian capital, this hotel holds sophisticated and classical Italian suites for a fair price. Not only will you be centrally located in Rome, but you’ll also be walking distance from the Via Veneto and the Villa Borghese. This 5-star hotel is also just half a mile from Via Nazionale and the Spanish Steps. The rooms also have 316 air-conditioned rooms with LCD tv’s and premium bedding. So, if you are going on a romantic getaway then the Westin Excelsior is the perfect hotel for you. You know what they say about “when in Rome!”

 

Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai

The Burj Al Arab Hotel is the true example of Middle Eastern decadence. Often called the seven-star hotel, the Burj can offer you some of life’s greatest luxuries. With a shuttle service of helicopter or Rolls Royce and an on-site restaurant that can offer you a beautiful view of the whole of Dubai, this is a great choice if you want to go all out in treating your partner.

 

The Plaza, New York City

It is said that New York city is the city that never sleeps but if you and your partner do find yourselves feeling tired The Plaza is your best bet. First constructed in 1907 The Plaza remains an icon of the New York skyline. It is on the other end of the luxurious scale when compared to the previous Middle Eastern hotel, offering a more classical version of hotel luxury. Right in the heart of Manhattan the hotel offers a beautiful view of the New York skyline, it is simply the finest hotel on the American east coast. There are countless things you and your loved one can get up to in the Big Apple, and it’s always better do it with a bit of style.

 

Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamas

To take this passage to a honeymoon hot spot, situated in the tropical Bahamas the hotel gives guests exactly what the name would suggest- a little taste of paradise. This hotel situated on Paradise Island opened over 20 years ago and is a marvel of modern engineering and art. It also aims to give you a taste of Bahamian culture through an immersive programm which expolores the history, art, people and food of the Bahamas. The hotel is like a piece of heaven giving you and your partner the opportunity to truly get away from the stresses of life and relax in the tropical sun. The resort holds over 141 acres and is the perfect location for you and your partner to just getaway.

 

Palms, Las Vegas

Las Vegas is not perhaps the first place you would think of when taking your partner on a trip, but the Palms can match any other hotel in this passage when it comes to luxury and romantic energy. This hotel is also partnered with venues in Las Vegas, such as the Pearl Theatre. This particular venue is set to host Billy Idol in July – can you think of a better way to treat your partner than a stay at a luxury hotel and a Billy Idol concert? The Palms also offers 25% off if you stay for over 4 nights, making it one of the cheaper five star hotel options.