Top 5 Tips for Fun Travel THIS Summer

May 5, 2017

As summer approaches, a lot of us are thinking about one thing: vacation! In making plans, French teachers like myself inevitably are thinking about traveling abroad. Maybe this is the year of your European adventure? Or, maybe you’re planning a trip to a new place in the States? No matter what you choose, these tips will make your time in a new place even more enjoyable.

1) Learn the language basics. This primarily applies to travel to a foreign country, but it can even be applied to stateside travel. You need to be able to communicate politely with locals. Learn the words for “hello,” “goodbye,” “please,” “thank you,” and “you’re welcome.” I find that knowing the word for “where” is also very helpful.

2) Eat local. Do NOT go to a new place and eat at an American chain. You will be thankful if you eat like a local. Try some escargots in France, poutine in Canada, tamales in Mexico, spätzle in Germany, paella in Spain, and shrimp and grits in South Carolina. Take advantage of the opportunity to eat something new.

3) fun travelWalk when you can. Sometimes time constraints make this impossible, but you will be surprised by how walkable most cities are. Walking lets you see things that you never thought you would. You may stumble upon an amazing park that becomes your favorite place in the world while on the way to a famous place. Use google maps on your smartphone and take your own path to new places.

4) Visit a local church. Do it. If you visit an English speaking church (this list is a good starting point), you have an amazing opportunity to connect with local Christians. You can also ask about their favorite restaurants or things you cannot miss doing in their town. If there is no English speaking church, still go. Even in a foreign language, you get to experience how global God is. It can be a very holy experience.

5) Don’t panic. Travel is fun, being with family is fun, and seeing the world is fun. No matter where you go, there are good people who will help you out. Being flexible and able to go with the flow always pays off. Don’t let fears drown out the adventure. Breathe and enjoy!

What do you think? What are your most useful travel tips?


Sarah Lehtinen has always been a teacher at heart! In her French classes, she wants her pupils not just to be students of language, but also of the world. She feels that global citizenship is one of the best lessons she can teach through language. Sarah enjoys trying new restaurants, yoga, ballet, coffee shops, and hiking. She is married to Simon, a fellow French speaker. They reside in Charlottesville, VA. Sarah teaches French III for Excelsior Classes.

The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the author and should not be taken to represent the views of Excelsior Classes, LLC or the consortium of teachers.