Here at Go Ahead, we think that meeting new people and having new experiences is what makes travel so great. While each of our itineraries brings you into the heart of local communities and culture, here are some of the extra-special highlights that get you even closer to these customs and traditions.
Enjoy a home-hosted dinner
For this favorite experience on our Australia & New Zealand tour, Kiwis (as New Zealanders are commonly called) volunteer to host small groups of travelers in their homes for an authentic, homemade meal. A group of four to ten travelers are driven to the Kiwi family’s residence, often on a large farm in a rural area of New Zealand, for the opportunity to chat with the family over a multi-course meal they’ve prepared themselves.
“The host family that volunteered to cook us dinner was so welcoming!” says Nicole, a Senior Customer Relations Representative. “Visiting their home as part of a small group was a highlight of my trip.”
Insider tip: Bring a small gift from your hometown to share with the family to share a piece of where you came from.
Meet with the Masai Mara
A visit to the local tribe of the Masai Mara is a once-in-a-lifetime experience on our Tanzania Wildlife Safari. Says our Senior Marketing Manager Katie, “It was definitely an experience I will never forget. They let you see their homes and see what life is like for them—they’re genuinely kind, warm people.” Travelers can participate in one of their traditional tribal dances while learning about their customs, from the way they build their huts to how they dress.
“Out of every travel experience I’ve ever had,” Katie continues, “visiting the masai is the one that most vividly sticks in my mind.” We’ve heard similar stories from many of our travelers—Africa is a cherished memory because of the animals they spotted in the wild and the landscapes they saw, but mostly because of the people they had the chance to meet.
Witness ancient traditions
In Central and South America, you can get a first-hand glimpse at how ancient traditions have become part of a modern culture and economy. In Peru, one day is spent visiting the local school Sol y Luna, which provides education to underprivileged children thanks to donations from a local hotel.
“It was so touching, a really powerful experience,” says Alex, a Senior Customized Tour Representative. “I was most looking forward to Machu Picchu, and as amazing as it was, the day at Sol y Luna was even more memorable.” Afterward, you’ll visit the mountain village of Umasbamba and be paired with a mamita—which translates into “little mother”—to learn how their community grows potatoes and makes crafts to sell to tourists. “It felt very authentic. Everyone loved it and we all felt a great connection with our mamitas,” explains Alex.
Have you ever experienced one of these special moments on tour? Tell us about it in the comments!