You could say that all types of travel are meaningful and worthwhile. But is that really true? In the age of cheap travel, it feels that we often end up visiting places just for the sake of it. And while it’s nice to take a random trip, the truth is that mass tourism does lead to some pretty unwelcome consequences, such as driving up local prices and causing environmental damage to the earth we love so much.
Another way is possible. In this post, we’ll look at some ways travelers can have more meaningful experiences, ensuring they create lifelong memories while also eliminating some of the more problematic aspects of modern travel.
Think Carefully About the Destination
Many of us are drawn to booking a trip to a specific place because it’s a popular destination or because it’s affordable. But in reality, those types of trips, while fun, can be somewhat arbitrary; you’re going because of external motivations, rather than intrinsic motivations. So when you’re planning a trip, think about what you really want to see and do. You’ll get more from your trip if it’s something that you genuinely want to do.
Find Incredible Accommodation
There are some types of trips where it doesn’t really matter where you stay because you don’t plan to be in the accommodation that much. But something is lost with those trips; where you sleep will play a fundamental role in your travel experience, so it’s always advisable to select accommodation that resonates with who you are and the type of trip you want to have. And in some cases, such as with eco lodges, the accommodation provides much more than just a place to rest; it’s an experience within itself. Spend a few nights in incredible, unique accommodation, and you’ll remember it for the rest of your life.
Connect With Locals
It’s understandable that the locals of certain destinations feel pushed out by mass tourism. But it’s not necessarily the number of people that visit that’s the issue, but rather what they do — or don’t do — when they’re there. Connecting with locals and learning about their local customs, way of life, culture, and more can be highly valuable to both travelers and the local community. You can connect by simply striking up a conversation, but for the most impact, look at taking a local tour led by a local company.
Do Your Own Thing
Many of us, when visiting a destination, simply read the top ten attractions and work our way through them. But what if you don’t have a particular interest in the types of things that appear on those lists? If you don’t go to museums and art galleries in your home city, then it makes no sense to visit one elsewhere. Instead, choose your own adventure. There are millions of things you can do when traveling that go beyond what you’ll find in a guidebook — it’s just up to you to seek them out and build an itinerary that speaks to you.