We always remind ourselves to go for an immersive experience whenever we are travelling, but don’t quite end up sticking to the promise. We’re frantic about getting the best Instagram picture so that hashtags like #wokeuptothis can be used. But how about, for once, we stop looking for validation and look for an immersive experience in the truest of sense.

Here are some pointers to keep in mind when you’re out on your next trip that’ll help it in being simple, economical and hassle-free:

Pack light

It’s so unnecessary lugging around all those items of clothing you know you will never wear; yet take them out of sheer attachment! You’re a traveller. Take the bare minimum. If there’s something you really urgently need on your journey; every place has shops that cater to human needs. Try and look presentable, but don’t over do it looking like you’re walking the ramp for some show. Cut yourself the stress of looking picture perfect.

Look for experiences, not luxury

It’s awful but sometimes, we’re so caught up by the beauty of a property, that we completely forget that the locale may offer experiences that one quite can’t fathom sitting in an Uber-luxurious properties. Go out, look for local home-stays, camps, mingle with the local people, make friends for a lifetime and taste different food and drinks including the ones available on streets.

Trust your two feet to take you places

You don’t have to be a professional nomad for this. If you’re bitten by the travel bug, make sure you go the full way by exploring a place on foot. You’ll see how you chance upon quaint cafes, hidden architectural gems, local home-stays where you can expect some kind of conversation with travellers from other parts of the world – that you would have otherwise never noticed had you been in a cab or bus. Doing this will save you some bucks, make you fitter and get you a bagful of memories.

Volunteer in your own, little way

The best way to give back to the place you’ve been exploring, is to volunteer in a small but helpful way. You could use your skills to teach a language or sign-up for a cleanliness programme. It’ll be a rewarding experience because you’ll end up interacting with the locals like never before and learn about their culture too.

Learn a tad bit of local language

The locals really appreciate it and are more likely to help you if you speak their language or at least attempt to. So at least learn a few basic greetings and courtesies in the language before you start out.  Speaking to them in their language might get them to spill some information on the best restaurants, shops, deals and destinations in town.

Don’t stick to an itinerary all the time

Take some time out to wander aimlessly in a place. Let yourself be surprised by what you chance upon. It could be some sight-seeing or an adventure sport suggested by another traveller or street food options suggested by a local. Relish the freedom of being able to walk the roads of a foreign land and try to capture the sunrise and sunset with a coffee in your hand. Go slow sometimes, there’s only so far we can run.