When your Central America holiday is still months away, you can be doing more to plan for your journey than booking hotels and poring over guidebooks. If you want to have a richer, more authentic experience, here are some ways to spend your time.
Learn Spanish bit by bit
Learning the local language is going to add volumes to your experience. You don’t have to sign up for a college course or buy an expensive learning system, either. Start looking at sites such as YouTube or apps on your smartphone and you’ll find there are many free resources for learning a little bit of Spanish, day by day. Spending even five to 10 minutes a day learning new words and phrases can help a lot and improve your cultural understanding.
Read some history books about Central America
Central America’s history is a long and storied one, and learning it doesn’t have to involve poring over boring history texts. Whatever region you’re headed to, get recommendations from your local bookstore about historical non-fiction must-reads for that region. Doing so means you’ll have some context when you finally find yourself under the arches of some of the region’s colonial churches, or staring out at the view from an ancient ruin.
Dig into Central American expat groups and trips off the beaten path
Guidebooks are good, but social media outlets such as Facebook can help you dig deeper into what it’s really like to live and work in a particular place, and what the locals like to do. Search for “Expats in Nicaragua” on Facebook, for example, to get a sense of what the locals are doing.
Research short-term volunteering options
To really get to know local life, you have to be able to access local people. One of the best ways to do that is to volunteer within the communities you’ll be staying in. From short-term stints teaching video to longer-term experiences teaching English, I’ve found that to be the best way to meet people and to practice my language skills.
You’ll have a lot to look forward to on your Central America Holiday, but to make your experience even richer, try one or all of the above mentioned tips.
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A Great Travel Tip
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