If you’re looking for something to do on your next vacation, follow the rest of the world and join a cooking class.
Or book a bike tour, or both.
A recent report from travel website TripAdvisor ranked the top 10 travelling experiences in the world, based on an algorithm from the site’s reviews.
“Experiences are often the highlight of a trip, and a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture, or even explore your hometown. From a cooking class at a Tuscan farmhouse, to a glow worm cave tour in New Zealand, and three-day U.S. National Parks tour, these awards highlight the best things to do around the world, with something for every type of traveller,” said Laurel Greatrix, director of communications for TripAdvisor, in a statement on Tuesday.
Winners were also based on popularity during the last year.
In total, 345 experiences, tours and activities made the cut, AFP reports, including two experiences in Canada.
One of these experiences includes B.C.’s Butchart Gardens, a gorgeous floral garden located near Victoria.
Butchart Gardens in B.C. made this year’s best experiences guide on TripAdvisor.
The site also released a separate list for some of the best experiences voted by travellers in the U.S., including classics like a tour of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and the Hoover Dam in Las Vegas, but also cooking classes in New Orleans and the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii.
The experience factor
According to travel expert and writer Caz Craig Makepeace, when you are travelling, try to slow things down to make the most of experiences.
“It does not matter how many countries you have travelled to, it matters how deep your footprint was,” she wrote in HuffPost. “Have you really travelled to a place if you raced through and didn’t get the time to appreciate and understand it? The best way to travel is slowly. Stay longer in fewer places. It costs less, you’ll see more, you’ll learn more, you’ll grow more, and you’ll form amazing friendships.”
And while many of these experiences are popular tourist spots — which is a great way to learn about a country or city’s history and culture — you should also squeeze in time for making most of local experiences.
Writer Aziz Abu Sarah of National Geographic said allowing yourself to get lost in an unfamiliar area or walking around without a map or agenda, are a couple of the best ways to experience a country or city locally.
Aziz Abu also recommends picking up local magazines or using local sites to figure out where locals actually hang out, or even asking them the best places to go that are off the radar.
Check out the full TripAdvisor list below:
Top 10 Experiences in the World
1. Cooking class and lunch at a Tuscan Farmhouse — Florence, Italy
2. Berlin Bike Tour — Berlin
3. New York in One Day Guided sightseeing tour — New York City
4. Sydney BridgeClimb — Sydney, Australia
5. Vatican VIP experience: breakfast at the Vatican with early access to Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel — Rome
6. New Orleans cooking class — New Orleans
7. Rotorua Maori Hangi dinner and Pperformance — Rotorua, New Zealand
8. Best of Niagara Falls tour — Niagara Falls, Ont.
9. Vancouver to Victoria and Butchart Gardens tour by Bus — Vancouver
10 Wild Wicklow Tour including Glendalough — Dublin