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Keeping It Real in Popular Spots

Here are five tips for making the most out of your next trip.

Tourist celebrate festival Holi, image
Photo caption
A young traveler in India joins Holi, a spring festival celebrated as a festival of colours.


“New experiences help you see a destination in a more authentic light,” says AAA Travel's Doreen Loofburrow.

Hit the books Learning about the history and culture of a particular place goes a long way toward enriching your travel. “Even if you think you know the highlights, do a little reading,” Loofburrow says.

Learn some lingo Just a few words or phrases can be a great icebreaker: good morning, thank you, please, my name is. Who knows where the conversation will go?

Ask a local Get ideas from shopkeepers, taxi drivers, and friendly passersby, Loofburrow says, because no one knows the best places like the folks who live there. “Residents will give you tips you might not get from a guidebook or a concierge,” she says.

Enlist an expert An organized tour doesn’t have to be touristy. Seek out operators who hire local guides. “They give you such deep insights into a place,” Loofburrow says.

Relax your schedule Planning is nice, but so is spontaneity. Leave wiggle room in your itinerary to wander down a side street, drop into a neighborhood shop, or appreciate a scenic lookout you didn’t know existed. “Embrace the spirit of adventure,” Loofburrow says.

Photography by Natalia Deriabina/Shutterstock

This article was first published in November 2015. Some facts my have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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