Traveling the world is one of the best experiences you can ever have, and if you know how to travel right, it will make the trip memorable and stress-free. Additionally, the more you travel, the more knowledgeable you become when it comes to finding out what to do and see, where to go to eat and/or drink, and how to have a good time. But for those of you who have only just started traveling, or haven’t done a lot of it, here are some tips to consider every time you visit another, new destination.

Learn a Bit of the Language

It’s always pleasant to hear someone from a foreign country trying to speak your language in order to communicate with you, rather than speaking in their own language thinking you’ll understand. The same goes when you are in an international destinations—foreigners actually appreciate when non-natives attempt to speak their language, even if it’s a simple “yes”, “no”, “please” and/or “thank you”. How many times have you seen someone smile when you said “thank you” in their native tongue? So the next time you plan your vacation abroad, take a few moments and learn a few basic words, people will appreciate it so much more than you may think.

Dress Appropriately

We’re all for expressing yourself, but sometimes, wearing something obscene or clothing that grabs attention can either make you uncomfortable from all the states, or become a target for theft. If you’re in a conservative place, say somewhere in the Middle East, consider wearing attire that’s a bit more cultural or at least not so revealing. Be yourself, but also be respectful.

Book Apartments versus Hotels

Another travel tip is to try booking an apartment or homestay rather than a hotel whenever possible. It’s a great way to experience how people live and what homes look like in the country you’re visiting. Plus, you’ll feel more like a local, and may be able to meet locals easier than staying in a hotel. We love Airbnb as an option to find an apartment or house, but there are other platforms including VRBO, Wimdu and Tripping. So go ahead, say goodbye to Hilton, Marriott or Best Western, and say hello to a home away from home in a completely new city somewhere else in the world.

Discover the Hidden Gems

Since travel has grown tremendously over the last few decades, places are becoming increasingly overcrowded. Because of that, seeing and experiencing destinations can be stressful, especially when you have to deal with crazy tourists and their selfie sticks. This is why researching the city’s hidden gems before you head out is an absolute must. Find out where the locals go to hang out, eat and drink—maybe even ask a local for some advice, it’s a fantastic way to connect with them and to have a good time. Sure, seeing the touristy sites can be interesting, but immersing yourself like a local with the locals will leave you feeling like you really got to know the place you were in.

Eat the Local Cuisine

This may be common sense, but eating the local cuisine should be at the top of your list. Stay away from having anything you can get back home (hamburger, fries, cheeseburger, etc.), no matter how hungry you are. The best part about being somewhere new is to fill your belly with authentic, delicious meals. Be it breakfast, lunch, dinner or even a snack, take advantage of the mom and pop restaurants, but do a little research or ask around—you want to make sure it’s a good one too!

How much research and planning do you do when you travel? Do you have any tips as a frequent traveller that you find extremely helpful?