Travelling has long been a favourite pastime for many Brits because it offers unique opportunities to escape the humdrum of ordinary life and disconnect from common stressors. Pre-pandemic, The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that UK residents spent a whopping £62.3 billion on overseas visits in 2019 alone, and we’re on our way to similar levels again.
Many people travel to simply see new places and have fun, but if you are looking for more than a tan and a couple of souvenirs from your next trip, here are some ideas for a more meaningful vacation.
Lend a hand
Volunteering is one of the best and most meaningful cultural experiences you can enjoy while travelling. And you don’t necessarily have to make volunteering the mainstay of your travel planning to lend a hand during on your trip. Organisations like Pack For A Purpose allow you to bring essential items like school and medical supplies to local communities in your destination. Give A Day Global also connects travellers with single-day volunteer opportunities worldwide, allowing them to give back in various ways. The hotels you stay in may also offer volunteer opportunities for you to help out with animal protection, conservation programs, and at local schools, so keep this in mind.
Share experiences with someone special
Every ardent traveller has undoubtedly been somewhere and seen something remarkable, only to regret there was no one to share that once-in-a-lifetime experience with. Travelling with someone special is one of the best ways to make your trips more meaningful. A study published in the Journal of Travel Research revealed that couples who took frequent trips improved their communication skills while abroad and felt more connected to each other after returning. You can book a cruise using online agencies such as Ocean Florida which provide a variety of holiday options that allow you to make meaningful memories with your partner.
Immerse yourself in the culture
Many people travel to foreign destinations but never really leave their world. They make the huge mistake of adopting a tourist’s point of view throughout, sitting on the sidelines observing everything without participating. You will likely not return from your trips with meaningful memories and experiences if you are simply a spectator. Consequently, it would help to immerse yourself in the culture of any destination you visit to better understand their way of life and come away with a more profound experience. Indeed, the most memorable travel occurs when you integrate into communities through interaction with locals and other forms of active participation.
A simple but effective first step to better immerse yourself in the culture is to leave the comfort of your hotel room and embrace the world around you. Then, head to local pubs and eateries to sample affordable indigenous food and drink. Also, try learning a few basic phrases in the local dialect and seek opportunities to interact with the locals as much as possible. Public transport can be a real eye-opener, so why not join locals in buses, metros, and trains instead of taking a taxi or group trip? You can do a lot of acceptable people-watching on public transport to observe how people experience everyday life in the area.
Learn something new
A trip can be one of your life’s most transformative experiences if you are open to learning new things. You can learn many lessons from travelling that no textbook or course could ever teach you. This reality is because numerous travel situations will force you to observe and figure things out. Also, you can take the initiative to learn about a destination’s culture, history, and people. You may even find out a new thing or two about yourself. As such, always seek out opportunities for meaningful learning on your travels. For instance, you can take a historical tour of a town or city, learn local dances at art centres, and sign up for a cooking class to learn how to make a local dish.