Booking.com shares tips and tricks to inspire travelers to venture beyond their comfort zone
Traveling to different destinations gives travelers the chance to experience all sorts of ‘new’ – from landscapes and landmarks, to cuisine and culture. But in order to try out these experiences, travelers must often navigate the unfamiliar - most commonly locations and languages. To reap the benefits of these life-enriching experiences, this can mean travelers need to step out of their comfort zone. For some, this is an exciting prospect. Over half (55%)1 of global travelers say that the best thing about travel is getting out of their comfort zone. However, for the 45% who may need a little inspiration to venture beyond their comfort zone, Booking.com, the digital travel leader connecting travelers with the widest choice of unique places to stay, a range of must-do travel experiences and seamless transport options, offers tips to equip travelers with the information to push their travel boundaries and broaden their horizons.
Getting around on the ground
When visiting a new destination for the first time, it’s useful to become familiar with the transportation system, as knowing the best way to get around can empower travelers to see more of their destination. However, nearly one quarter (23%)1 of global travelers said that not being able to navigate their way round and getting lost has made a past trip less enjoyable.
For the 31%1 of global travelers, who said that being able to navigate the streets or travel within a destination more easily would make a trip more enjoyable, Booking.com has launched its on-demand ride hailing service, providing Booking.com app users instant access to three million Grab drivers. Booking.com customers traveling to Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam can now instantly hail local on-demand rides directly through the Booking.com app (which also offers in-app cashless payments in their native currency). Making it easier for everyone to experience the world, whether it’s to visit the local market, a trip to the beach or exploring a nearby village, through Booking.com travelers can now use this tool to feel empowered to experience the destination like a local. Hailing a ride in Southeast Asia is now as straightforward as it is hailing a ride back home, as travelers now have the ability to access a local transport service, at local prices, which previously may have been out of reach. The ability to connect the various elements of a trip such as accommodation and on the ground transport through a single app, will also give travelers that extra boost to journey out of their comfort zone.
Additional on the ground tips include:
- Where possible, purchase transportation tickets online. This will not only save time, but may also take the stress out of having to navigate foreign timetables and a new language while on the go
- Keep a paper map on hand in case your smartphone loses battery or signal
- Download a language app so that you can learn the basics such as how to say the name of your nearest bus or train stop in the local language
Expand your palate
Food is one of the most exciting aspects of traveling to a new destination and over half (58%)2 of global travelers choose a vacation for its great food. So it’s important for travelers to indulge in some great food whilst away, which can sometimes be a challenge, when faced with so much choice and often limited knowledge on the best places to go.
How to sniff out the top local cuisine:
- Go where the locals go. For inspiration, visit the Booking.com Destination Finder and search for the top destinations endorsed for food by Booking.com travelers. For example, according to Booking.com data3, the most endorsed destinations for local food in key Southeast Asia countries are:
- Phnom Penh, Cambodia
- Indonesia (Banjarmasin)
- Malaysia (Tumpat)
- Myanmar (Yangon)
- Philippines (Tacloban)
- Singapore (Singapore)
- Thailand (Lamphun)
- Vietnam (Tam Dao)
- Consider booking a place to stay where the host can either point you in the direction of great local food, or (if you’re lucky!) have some fantastic local dishes cooked for you
- Think about participating in a local cooking class where you can try fresh produce and learn some tips to take home with you, or sign up to a local food tour where you’ll be able to scout out hidden gems loved by the locals, learn about a destination’s culture and cuisine, and purchase local ingredients and artisan products
Feeling comfortable with the lingo
For one in five (20%)1 global travelers, not being able to navigate or find their way around without speaking the language is a barrier in undertaking journeys, and one in five (20%)1 also worry about being understood whilst abroad. It can be a little daunting visiting a country when you don’t speak the local language, however travelers shouldn’t restrict their wanderlust to their vocabulary, as there are a range of tools designed to help.
Top tips include:
- Download a translation app that offers real-time and two-way translations, to empower you to ask questions when traveling, whilst understanding responses from the locals. In addition, try and learn a few key phrases in the language of the destination you’re visiting – even if it’s just a “hello” and “goodbye” as this is a great way to impress the locals
- Carry around the address of where you are staying, in case you get lost and do not know how to ask for directions
- Hire a local tour guide who can show you the local sights, while communicating in your language