2015 is in full swing, and like many people, I am currently putting together my travel plans for the year. At the moment, they are looking a bit different than plans I have had in the past, and while I am not quite ready to release what they entail, I am looking forward to experiencing the world in a different way.
While I am making those plans, I have been reflecting on my past travel experiences and thinking of what I would recommend to all of you. Even though I have seen and done a lot, I am always looking for a new way to experience travel. No matter where you wind up this year, there are five travel experiences that you must try in 2015.
Like Flytographer, I believe that memories are the best souvenirs. However, when traveling, it can be almost impossible to capture those memories. Often, we have to rely on strangers to take pictures of us with the people we are traveling with, and they don’t always come out the way we hope. But, with Flytographer, you are able to capture a few moments in your travels and get an outside perspective on your vacation.
Not only do you get those precious memories, but the photographer is a local, who always winds up showing you the best spots in the city, which in my mind is worth any amount of money. Currently, Flytographer is in over 120 cities worldwide; pricing starts at $250 USD for 30 minutes.
For me, the best way to experience a country is through my stomach. This is why, whenever I travel, I try to find a food tour in the city I am visiting. So far, I have taken tours in England, Puerto Rico, and New York City with three separate tour companies, and each time I’ve left full and completely satisfied.
Each experience has been a bit different, but it’s been a great way to try all the local delicacies without fully committing. It’s also a great way to see the city and learn a bit of a history lesson through the food. My recommendations are Eating Europe, Spoon Food Tours, and Foods of NY Tours.
One of the best experiences I have ever had while traveling was a photography tour in Santiago, Chile with FotoRuta. Not only did I finally learn how to use my camera, but we wandered the city looking for different ways to photograph what we were seeing. By using my camera to see the city, I was able to look at what I was seeing in a new light and really get a feel for Santiago. Plus, I left the tour with a collection of photos I would have never had otherwise.
FotoRuta offers tours in Buenos Aires, Santiago, London, and Barcelona. Tours range from street photography to iPhoneography and help you not just see the city, but to become a better photographer.
Staying like a local is the best way to travel and an experience unlike any other. When staying in an apartment, you get to stay in an area where the people who live in the city are actually from. You get to shop for groceries in the local market, eat in the restaurants locals eat in, and wander around a different part of the city. It’s also a great way to stay if you’re traveling with a large group of people, and it’s often cheaper than a hotel.
It took a long time for me to be comfortable enough to take a bike tour around a city, but after my first one with La Bicicleta Verde in Santiago, Chile, I was hooked. A month later, I visited Montréal and took a tour with Ça Roule Montréal. It’s quicker than walking, and you get to explore areas you may have otherwise left off your list of places to see.
Even if you don’t want to take a tour, I’d highly recommend checking out the city you are visiting by bike. Many cities have bike shares, and two summers ago, I rode around New York City by CitiBike. I grew up spending significant time in New York, but seeing it by bike gave me a different perspective on the city.
However you choose to travel in 2015, I urge you to find a different way to see new places or old favorites. There are so many ways to travel and see the world and many experiences to be had, that we can’t limit the way we explore. These companies and the services they offer are proof of that.