What kind of traveller are you? Do you seek adventure wherever you go? Are you the sort of traveller who likes to get off the beaten path and explore local cultures, or do you simply travel to tick places off the bucket list? We all have our reasons for wanting to travel. Travel is a personal experience, and it means different things to different people.
Whether you’ve decided to start exploring places beyond the guidebook or want to try something a bit unusual on your next trip, here are some ideas for making your travels more fun and meaningful.
Choose tours that give back to the local community
There has been a growing demand for eco-friendly tours in recent years as travellers are becoming more conscious of their impact on local communities and the environment. This trend has led to a rise in tour operators offering cultural immersions, responsible wildlife activities and ethical tours.
Unfortunately, some companies adopt green marketing strategies to lure tourists and mislead them into thinking that they are contributing to a good cause. Before booking a tour, do some research about the company’s efforts in helping local communities and protecting the environment. I highly recommend reading this article about greenwashing
, which also contains a list of questions to ask when looking for ethical tours.
A great place to look for social impact tours is Visit.org
– an online platform that offers immersive and offbeat activities by non-profit organisations. From mastering the art of Andean weaving in Peru to exploring permaculture and urban gardening in Paris, tours offered on Visit.org are designed to connect visitors with locals through transformative experiences while generating support for community-led nonprofits.
Stay with locals and engage in a cultural exchange
One of the most effective ways to soak up local culture is to book a stay with a host family. It gives you the chance to learn a new language and try a variety of authentic dishes, while helping you gain a deeper insight into local customs and ways of thinking. I can honestly say that spending a couple of days with Berber families in Morocco has been the most enriching experience of my life.
If staying with locals is something that you’ve always wanted to try but at the same time feel a bit uneasy about, use a reputable booking platform like Homestay.com
, which allows you to get to know your hosts in advance through the website’s video call and messaging features. Another great way to integrate with local communities is to volunteer through Workaway, a community which connects travellers with host families across the world for a work and cultural exchange.
If staying with locals is something that you’ve always wanted to try but at the same time feel a bit uneasy about, use a reputable booking platform like Homestay.com, which allows you to get to know your hosts in advance through the website’s video call and messaging features. Another great way to integrate with local communities is to volunteer through Workaway
, a community which connects travellers with host families across the world for a work and cultural exchange.
Step out of your comfort zone and try something new
Travelling is not only about exploring new places and cultures, but also getting to know yourself better. It gives you the opportunity to challenge yourself and test your limits, whether it’s climbing unforgiving mountains or trying bizarre foods. You don’t need to go on outrageous adventures to get out of your comfort zone – even a simple thing like turning off all electronic devices and disconnecting yourself from the virtual world for a few days can be a challenging experience.
Need some inspiration for new experiences?
Get yourself a copy of 203 Travel Challenges
– a book packed with ideas for trying new things in different destinations, from rafting along the Tara River in Bosnia and Herzegovina to walking through an eerie ship cemetery in Uzbekistan. The team behind 203 Travel Challenges believes that travelling is a tool for personal development, and the aim of the book is to help travellers transform their trip into a meaningful experience.
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What is your top tip for making a trip more fun and meaningful?
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