Last month I visited a new city in northern Minnesota and got completely lost. Duluth is located at the cross borders between Lake Superior, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The city, which is completely new to me reminded me of one of the biggest difficulties I encounter while travelling to new places. Where should I eat? What museums should I visit? Where should I seek lodging? Time is precious when travelling. Making the best use of your time is key to a successful trip! Below are just a few tips I found that help me when travelling to new places, and even old places.
Take time to visit the visitors center
This is best done as soon as you can after you have reached your destination. This may eat up some of your time initially but it will pay off by saving time throughout your trip. Travel centers are dedicated to make sure travellers like yourself have the best time possible while visiting so you’ll come back again and again. Advisors who are experts of the local attractions will be there to answer any questions you have and will guide you to whatever you are seeking from your trip. From lodging to hiking, and to some of the best local diners, travel centers can help you and should not to be ignored. If a travel center for your specific location isn’t available, check and see if there is a state or country travel service or an online service like www.exploreminnesota.com. Planning ahead is key, so visit online or in person. I promise you it will enhance the value of your trip.
Talk to the locals and seek out golden nuggets
I’m not talking about McDonald’s. I am talking about local secrets or traditions that you get the inside scoop on. Experiencing a new place like the locals is often what makes brings people back, and what may even make you want to uproot and relocate. Finding these “golden nuggets” is much easier said than done. Locals often won’t share where the local swimming hole is or where the best local venues are to preserve its uniqueness. However, it can be done. The hardest thing is initially talking to the people. I like to start with waiters and waitresses or even the employee’s at the local supermarket. Start there and see what you can find and if it isn’t working for you, try somewhere else. Remember, locals and golden nuggets are the key to your happiness. Okay maybe not but they may make the difference between a good trip and an amazing trip!
Use an app
Have you ever been travelling without a clue about what you are going to do next? Minutes pass slowly as you scramble to find your phone to ask google what you should do next. This is the best time to pull out a quick app that will help you find a place to eat or activity to do fast. An app I use while travelling is the Yellow Pages app from TapYellow.com, similar to a maps navigation service, it uses my location and routes me to whatever services I am looking for. There are numerous apps out there that do this so you have to just find what works best for you.
Travelling can be a rewarding experience when done right. As I mentioned before, these are things that I have found useful during my travels. This means that they may not apply to you or even work for you. Try them out and see what works and what doesn’t. Revise your plan again and again after each trip. Whether you’re going out of country or just to visit the next state over, I hope these tips have helped you gain some insight into travelling to new places!