Finding the flight, hotel and transportation for your vacation is one thing. You search at least 5 different travel sites (my favorite being Google Flights as of 2022), but when you finally hit gold with a great deal, you secure all the important stuff and the excitement starts to kick in.
And sure when you travel internationally, you can do what people typically do on a vacation. Drink. Beach. Boat Party. Massage. And the all inclusive amenities. That’s nice, don’t get me wrong.
But what about the unique cultural moments you can’t experience anywhere else? The food, tradition, people, dance, language and lifestyle you see away from the resort or hotel? I went to Mexico and used a locals advice to find mouth-watering tacos, the place is called Tacos Rigo.
It’s simple honestly, finding those moments and trusting the source that leads you there. Some people believe it’s more safe, fun and cost effective to stay at a resort. I think that’s relative to your age, your confidence in traveling and knowledge of your destination.
As a solo female black traveler, I can tell you the 3 tactics I’ve used to find hidden gems and have unforgettable cultural experiences while you're on vacation are safe and data-backed.
3 Tactics To Find Hidden Gems on Vacation
#1 Ask A Local
People living there will know local spots that truly represent the community. It’s their city, after all. Locals the experts at showing you those restaurants or experiences you remember years later. They are also less likely to recommend a tourist attraction, so you can see a non-touristy version of the place you’re visiting.
#2 Explore On Foot
If you’re able to safely wander around the city, do it! You might walk past something interesting. Be sure you make sure you remember what direction you’re traveling and how to get back to a familiar location. As long as you can do that, you’ll uncover parts of the destination you never may have found otherwise.
#3 Zoom Feature On Google Maps
Sometimes Google Search or a list compiled of recommendations doesn’t quite do the trick, and you'll be looking for other things to do. For a quick way to see what’s around and find locations that won’t pop up on an initial search, open Google Maps and zoom in on the area you’re in. Go as small as possible to see EVERYTHING, and you can filter based on the category you’re looking in (markets, bars, restaurants, attractions, etc.)
Ultimately, I encourage you to get away from the touristy areas, leave your resort, and get a more authentic feeling for the country or city you’re visiting. And comment below what you think about this post!