Thank you to Focal Headphones for sponsoring today’s post!
Every single trip we take together is better than the last. I feel like we’ve learned little tips and tricks of ways to better travel together, but also things to do during our trip to enhance our travel experience. Here are some of the tips we have learned to enhance your travel experience as a couple.
8 Ways to Enhance Your Travel Experience as a Couple
1. Listen to a book that is related to your trip
We’ve always been big fans of listening to an audio book together during travel. It’s a great way to pass the time together on long plane/train/car rides or during other down time. We usually get so into the books we choose that the travel time flies by. We especially love listening to a book together, rather than on our own, because we can bond during that time. Sometimes long travel days aren’t much of a bonding activity, but listening to a book together changes that. To make sure we are really listening TOGETHER and not just to the same book, we plug our Focal Spark headphones into a headphone splitter, which makes it so both our headphones are connected to the same audio source. Since Bassam loves listening to audio much louder than I do, it’s perfect that the headphones come with a built in sound remote. This way, I can listen to my audio lower than Bassam.
Lately we’ve started choosing books that relate to our travel destination. For example, we listened to Peter Mayale’s book on Provence during our trip to Provence. During our 3,000 mile France road trip, we listened to the Maisie Dobbs mystery series. Since we were seeing so many historical sites, we got really into the books, which are set post WW1. Choosing books that relate to our trip has really enhanced our enjoyment and made even the boring parts of travel so exciting.
2. Get lost and wander
Forget your itinerary, AT LEAST for a day, and just wander. Soak in your surroundings. Walk whichever way your heart desires without any plan or without heading in a certain direction. Enjoy whatever you see that catches your eye. Some of our best travel days have been the days we just wandered and most of our best travel finds have been ones we’ve discovered while wandering. The unexpected experiences are usually the most memorable, so give yourself the chance to have them!
3. Try to speak the language
Even if you don’t speak one word of the language, try your best! It’s always a great learning experience and you may walk away from the trip having picked up a few new words in another language! You can pre download Google Translate on your phone to look up words on the spot and save phrases you commonly use. Bassam often will have full on conversations with the locals by having them speak into his app and then having the app translate it. It’s often hilarious and it works really well! The locals always seem to appreciate our effort in trying to speak their language and we’ve noticed they are friendlier as a result.
Even when parts of the conversation are lost in translation, it just leads to hilarious travel stories for us to reminisce over. For example, we ate at this tiny little restaurant in an Italian village. The dining room was in an old man’s home and he didn’t have a menu. He didn’t speak a word of English and we don’t speak Italian, but we did our best to communicate. We ended up only one plate of pasta to share, which is not what we meant to do. The old man must have thought Bassam wasn’t letting me eat, because when Bassam went to the bathroom, the man brought me ice cream and told me to hurry and finish it before Bassam got back! I tried to give Bassam some when he got back, but the man wouldn’t let me and made a big deal over me eating it all myself. It was so funny! 😆
4. Pre download audio tours
I’ve never been a guided tour sort of person, but Bassam is. It enhances his experience to learn more about wherever we are at. We’ve started doing tours together and I admit, I’ve started to enjoy them a bit more than I expected since I do love to learn as well. The only problem is I HATE the pace of tours and want to go at my own speed. We’ve started pre downloading tours for the major locations we will be visiting and listening to them on our Focal Spark headphones. We can still learn, but we can go as fast or slow as we want. Win-win! There are lots of free podcasts and walking tours, so just Google whatever sight or location you’re interested in + “free audio tour”. You are sure to find something for almost every location.
Doing these audio tours has really enhanced our enjoyment while traveling. We’ve learned so much about the history of those places that we never would’ve learned otherwise and it gives us a deeper appreciation for where we are visiting.
5. Spend at least a little time where the locals do
We typically spend the majority of our time at local spots as we don’t really like the touristy areas. We know sometimes it is unavoidable since that’s where the big sights are, but we still think it’s important to spend time in the local areas. No matter how long your sight seeing list is, prioritize a bit of time to hang out where the locals do. You’ll see such a different side to the destination, get to know the people, and experience the country on a deeper level. Plus, the food at local spots is always waaaaay better than at the touristy ones. We try to avoid eating at touristy spots at all cost!
6. Try something new
On almost every single trip, we do our best to try something new. It makes for a really exciting experience, teaches us new things, and provides us with really great memories. In Alaska, Bassam overcame his fear of heights and we went on our first helicopter ride! The helicopter ride took us to a glacier and it was such an epic experience! In Oaxaca, Mexico, we tried almost all the local specialties, including crickets and worms! We didn’t love them, but we are glad we tried them.
Challenge yourself to try something new on every trip you take! You’ll be surprised how much it enhances your experience.
7. Listen to music from that country
We love listening to music from the country we are in. It exposes us to new music and we usually find favorites that we’ll continue to listen to once we are back home. Listening to music in the language of that country also helps expose us to the language and improve our own pronunciation. It also just helps us get in tune with the culture and the people a bit more! If we go out at night, we already know the hit songs since we’ve been listening to them and are able to party with the locals better.
We love listening via Focal Spark headphones. The cords are super long which makes it easy to have an impromptu dance party!
8. Bring something home to keep the magic going
We love bringing home something that reminds us of our trip and that we can enjoy at home. It keeps the magic going longer! Since we loved the cheese so much in France, we brought home cheese with us! It lasted a few weeks and every time we ate it, we reminisced about our trip. In Oaxaca, we found the perfect local made pottery to bring home with us. It was so much fun searching for the pieces we wanted to buy and each time we use them at home, we are reminded of the Oaxacan people’s dedication to beautiful presentation.
If you’re looking for the perfect pair of headphones to take on your trip, we recommend the Focal Spark headphones.
We love the Focal Spark headphones because they are so lightweight and easy to carry around in your bag all day. They even come with a super lightweight carrying case that won’t add extra bulk to your bag. They are also super comfortable, even during long hours of wear. The cord lies flat which makes it really hard to tangle. That’s perfect for me because no matter what I do, I always seem to tangle my headphones like crazy and it annoys Bassam so much! The sound quality is FANTASTIC, no matter what type of audio you are listening to and at what volume. As if all that isn’t enough, we also love the gorgeous cobalt blue color!