If you love to travel but tire of making your way through the local tourist spots, give experiential travel a try. Yes, you can still hit up the museum or sites that interest you—but most of your vacation will be spent having a cultural experience.
What Is Experiential Travel?
This growing form of travel is designed to immerse you in the culture you are traveling to and introduce you to the locals and their rich history. Yes, you can learn a bit of history at many of the tourist attractions, but this will be a more in-depth and firsthand look. Do this by traveling outside of the major cities, hiring a private tour guide to create a custom experience, volunteering with locals (not just expats), and even opting to rent an Airbnb or apartment instead of a hotel.
You Don’t Have To Leave The Country
Experiential travel isn’t just for international travel. For example, if you are heading to Seattle, WA for the first time you can wander the city and hit up a few sites like the Space Needle and Museum of Pop Culture—but also look for unique opportunities. This could be a simple as taking the Seattle Underground Tour, but also learning more about the rich Native American culture in the Pacific Northwest. Some of the local fare includes salmon, red delicious apples, Bing cherries, and a long list of specialty coffee shops found nowhere else but in Washington. Or try something you can only do in a handful of places in the country, such as Geoduck clam digging.
The goal is to leave the place you have visited feeling a sense of the communities who live there.