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A Guide To Experiential Travel: 5 Tips To Make Your Trip, A Journey Many believe travel as an overall break out from everyday schedule. It's a chance to escape from standard duties and irritants, and renew for a while before coming back to one's usual routine.

By Venkat J

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Travel can mean different things to different people. It is a matter of perspective and experience. While some people consider travel as an escape from their monotonous life, some strive for the knowledge they can find in far of places. Many travels for sightseeing and many others consider it a bucket list goal to complete.

In the 21st century, travel is an immersive experience. That's where experiential travel comes into play. It is nothing but an amalgamation of knowledge, history, culture and tradition, that is, what it means to be a part of the place. Experiencing real life in a place is when you get the true essence of that place. Moreover, it not only comes from the food we eat, the places we see or the adventure we find ourselves in but also the people we meet and bond with. It is an experience that we take back home as a learning and understanding of the vast world out there and our purpose to figure that out. That is when a short trip becomes a journey of our lives.

Given a chance, experiential travel is not something you would want to miss out. However, the question arises on how to plan it out through an itinerary. Given below are some vital tips that could help you in experiencing the essence of your travel.

Connect With The Locals

People make the soul of a place. Could you imagine a place with no people? The best way to understand a place is through connecting with the people who live there. In the age of social media, it is rather easy to find localities who can give you an idea as to how they go about their daily lives. Planning an itinerary becomes smoother when you know what you should not miss out on when visiting the town or city. May it be the Cherry Blossom Festival of Japan or the Loktak Lake boat ride in Manipur.

Furthermore, an ideal suggestion to connect with them is through booking home stays or do couch surfing for accommodation. Not only would you get an idea of how the lives are lived but understand what makes it different. Besides, nothing tastes better than home food, and perhaps, that is the real taste of the place you are visiting.

Choose Offbeat Towns Over Big Cities

Big cities are usually the first choice of the visit. With their changing architecture and the inter-mix of nationalities, they seem to be rather calling out. However, most of the cities are metropolitan ones and have the base experience as a common ground. Leaping from Mumbai to Bangalore, one wouldn't find what India has to give. Most of the activities in a city are well designed for tourists and their comfort. It is the offbeat towns and villages that make a difference. Without much tourist flow, they show you a calmer state of the world away from the hustle. Moreover, they give an authentic experience of the place.

Try Hands-on Activities

Learning as the locals give away a lot of hidden ways as to how they live their lives. Classes or adventure activities can give away a lot of aspects to learn the local culture better. For instance, a cooking class to learn the authentic dishes or perhaps, taking a hot air balloon ride to see the vast desert of Rajasthan. Moreover, there is no better way to learn the history of art and craft of the place than understanding how they do it. You learn from the locals in activities by the locals.

Learn The Language

A language paves a way into the hearts of the people. The basics of the local language can help you navigate through a place with the help of the people. Not everyone around the world would know English or your native language. When people see the effort you put in to understand them deeply; they help you out in ways you will always remember. Duolingo is probably the best and easiest way to learn foreign languages. Moreover, reading books and watching movies can give an insight into their culture and tradition for you to understand the place better while travelling.

Eat Street Food

Food is the way to the heart. But while talking about it, we talk about the authentic local cuisine that charms its way into the heart, giving you the taste of the place. The streets have a variety for domestic as well as international food but with a twist. While restaurants and dine-in have perfected their ways to cater to the taste of the visitors from around the world, street vendors stick to their roots.

Venkat J

CEO and Founder, Woovly

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