It’s one of those worst-case travel scenarios you never plan for: pick a destination, research the best deals on flights, spend months planning your itinerary only to get sick by the time you arrive. Don’t worry, your trip isn’t a total bust. Here are 8 ways to experience a foreign country without even leaving your hotel room:
1. Look out the window. It’s sounds too simple but it’s true; you get a great understanding of how a city works by watching the locals live their daily lives. Take a look at how people move around: do they bike, walk, drive or use public transportation? Look at where and when they eat, how they dress, how they communicate, and acknowledge how it’s different from your life back home. Plus, buskers are always entertaining… and you don’t have to tip ’em from your room! Of course, you’ll be curious about the weather too. If it’s cold and wet, you’re best indoors anyway!
2. Read all about it! Even if you can’t read the language of the local newspaper, scroll through and take a look at the pictures; you’ll probably see places you never knew existed. Check out magazines that give insight into your destination. Read pamphlets that advertise local events and museums. Often these pamphlets will provide info on popular attractions and plenty of pictures. If all else fails, read your totally bland and boring guidebook, which will inevitably put you to sleep. But if you’re sick, you need the zzz’s anyway. 분당풀싸롱
3. Watch TV. You should always watch the local news to see if there’s any breaking stories you need to know about. Plus, the news will show you around the city, especially human interest stories and local events. Watch the popular sporting events or check out the culture and entertainment programming to discover what the locals are interested in. Just know that in many foreign countries, nudity and naughty language are permissible. It’s like pay cable without the extra cost. Score!
4. Order local food. The hotel staff will have plenty of recommendations for great local restaurants that deliver national or popular cuisine. Just call the concierge and ask if they can order you food that the locals eat. You might want to skip room service since the food is usually grossly overpriced and unauthentic.
5. Contact a tourism office. Even small cities have tourism centers with a staff that speaks some English. Ask them about events taking place around the city, or have them send reading material to your hotel room. Tourism centers will have plenty of information explaining customs and detailing cultural events, exhibitions and celebrations.