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One of the best parts about traveling to a foreign country is having the chance to experience a culture that isn’t your own. While you can get a dose of a foreign culture by sticking to popular tourist destinations, you’re really only going to see the tip of the iceberg if you do this. If you really want to make the most out of your next vacation and immerse yourself in a new culture, venture outside the tourist traps and consider these tips.

Do Some Research

Before you head to a foreign country, you will want to do plenty of research on its culture. You should do this even if you plan to stick to the tourist destinations just so you don’t accidentally offend anybody in your ignorance. Enough research will also help you if you plan to go off the beaten path and explore parts of the country that tourists often don’t see. In any event, it’s a great way to plan for your vacation, and all it takes is a little bit of time on Google or at a library.

Try the Local Cuisine

One of the best and most exciting parts about immersing yourself in a different culture is the chance to try food that you wouldn’t have encountered elsewhere. Some people might be a little squeamish about foods that are too different from what they’re used to, but remember that most of the foods that you will eat are regularly enjoyed by the locals. Think of it as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to truly try something new.

Chat With Locals

You can learn a lot about a local culture by having conversations with people around you. Not only will you learn more about the best restaurants and opportunities for local entertainment, but you’re immersing yourself in a foreign language, which is always the best way to learn how to speak it.

Attend a Festival

Most large developed countries have festivals that are open to everybody. Attending one of these festivals is a great way to experience what the culture has to offer. Plus, it’s a lot of fun and makes for a memorable vacation.

Ditch the Hotel

Instead of booking a stay at a luxury hotel in a major tourist destination, consider going off the beaten path and staying somewhere else. Not only will you find more opportunities to immerse yourself in the local culture at an AirBnB or a small hostel, but it will be much less expensive than staying at an overpriced resort.

Keep an Open Mind

This is by far the most important tip we can give you when traveling to a foreign country. You will never truly separate yourself from your own culture when you travel, but you should always keep an open mind about what you see around you. Experiencing different cultures can be a wonderful way to educate yourself about the world, so embrace what you see around you, even if it is different from what you know.