Hi everyone! In light of summer travel being at an all-time high and the exciting trips that people are planning, I thought it would be great to share the best ways to explore a foreign country. Through traveling and visiting my home in India, I have learned how some people get stuck in tourist traps and only visit what I like to call, the “fancy-shmancy” places. I want to show you some of the best ways to make sure that you are getting the taste of culture without paying tons of money or having an unsatisfactory experience. I have been to many European countries including, most recently, Hungary and Austria. In the process, I saw the best ways to explore and travel on a budget.
The truth is, culture, no matter the country, comes from the heart and the home. As fun and exciting it is to go out to restaurants in foreign countries, that is not the best way to find culture or good food. In fact, when I traveled in Vienna, Austria, the only satisfaction I got from the food during the trip was in a small, local grocery store settled in the rural mountain areas of the countryside which sold meats, cheeses, and the creamiest milk. No restaurant ever gave me that level of freshness or tastiness. I am not saying that some restaurants do not also have tasty food, but visiting those small stores allows you to see what many natives eat and enjoy.
Before we leave for trips as well, my dad and I also enjoy watching TONS of YouTube videos regarding the best foods to eat and the best places to go from natives or other travel vloggers who have definitely done their research. The best people to watch for affordable travel advice are the following YouTubers:
The Endless Adventures
Samuel and Aubrey
When you visit countries in Europe or Asia, the best thing you can do is walk! Walking around will give you some of the best experiences and memories. When we visited Budapest, Hungary, the most amazing part of the entire trip was a walk my family and I took on the first night. We crossed the bridge between Buda and Pest, and walked up the steps to look out upon the entire city. The view late at night was dazzling and made for a splendid time. The more spontaneous and flexible that you can be, the better memories you will make. A great way to do this is to map out some of the top places that you want to see and try to walk most of the way. If not, take transportation to the closest possible place that will help you walk an appropriate distance.
Finally, the best way to make the most of your stay is if you are the historical type like me, tours are not the answer, but instead, through exploring on your own. We ditched the day-long tours of the Austrian palaces and decided to use the time to look into the architecture, history, and structures on our own. That way, we were not trapped in a whole day of exploring if we were bored after five minutes, and also not exhausted by the end of the day. This was the same for food. There was no time during our vacation that the four of us bought four separate dishes. We got small amounts of food, entrees or deserts, and shared them. That way, if the food was not good, we were not out $100, but also were satisfied with the amount that we had to eat.
These are the best ways that I have learned to explore. Please DM me on IG @eviespaceblog with your additional tips so that I can add them to this list. If you try them out, please also let me know how they worked!