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Many of us have looked forward to taking a trip only to come back feeling disappointed and wishing they had made more of an effort to see a certain location. Whether it is because you have chosen only to go to the most popular tourist spots or you didn’t make an effort to meet anyone new, it’s common to find yourself wishing that a trip had gone differently.

When this is the case, there are some actions you can take in order to make your next journey more meaningful. Here are some tips.

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1. Get off-the-beaten-path

If you are planning a trip to Paris, it seems ridiculous to miss some of the main sights. Flying all the way there only to skip the Eiffel Tower might be a mistake! However, once you have completed the main attractions, you might want to look for non-touristy things to do in Paris instead of just focusing on the top lists. Not only can this make your trip unique, but it can get you out of the rut of feeling like your trip is just like everyone else’s.

2. Plan some fun activities

Want a new way to see the main city? You might want to think about looking into new ways to discover it. Think about doing something like a Denver scavenger hunt when you are in Colorado or a walking tour when you are in Seoul. By doing some other types of activities that you wouldn’t normally, you can get to know the area better and find out some historic information that you couldn’t get from a guidebook. It often takes just a little bit of research to find something new that makes your trip special.

3. Meet some locals

You can read all about a destination online, but the best way to really get to know it is by taking some time to talk to some locals and see where they would recommend you go. Meeting local people gives you access to some of the best restaurant options and things to do outside the top-ten lists you find in the guidebooks. Overall, it makes for a more authentic experience. Who knows? You might even make a new friend while you’re at it.

4. Pause for a moment

It can be tempting to rush around and see if you can see everything while you are in a certain destination. However, it’s likely that the moments that will resonate with you the most are the ones where you take a moment to breathe and relax. Consider sitting down on a park bench or having a second or two to yourself in your hotel room. This can help you to process your journey and can help you to think about everything you witnessed.

Creating a meaningful trip doesn’t have to take a lot of work. By doing a bit of research and really allowing yourself to get to know a place, you’re more likely to enjoy where you are and to return home with memories that will last for years.