This is a sponsored giveaway with Mums the Word Network and RCI.com. All opinions are my own.

When it comes to vacationing we all want it to be special and memorable. It’s easy to get sucked into the must see and must do of specific locations and miss out on a truly authentic experience. Instead of planning a cookie cutter vacation where you do and see things from a list, choose to make your vacation authentic and experiential with these tips.

 

Choose your destination for the culture: This year I’m treating myself to a vacation for my birthday. It didn’t take me long to decide where I want to go – New Orleans! I can’t think of anywhere that has as much cultural diversity as the Big Easy. A combination of French, African, Spanish… It gives me goosebumps just thinking of how culture rich the city is and how it has survived even the most damning hardships.

I’m quite intrigued by the Voodoo culture in New Orleans – Marie Laveau’s tomb is on my must see list.

New Orleans vacation

Immerse yourself in the culture ahead of time: New Orleans goes way deeper than Interview with the Vampire and Bourbon Street. I’ve done a ton of Googling to prepare myself for my trip. I’ve learned some interesting facts like the first Opera performance in the U.S. was in New Orleans circa 1796. It’s also where poker and jazz originated.

I also learned that Mardi Gras did not originate in New Orleans, it actually started in Mobile, Alabama. Who knew?!

 

Choose accommodations that let you live like a local: One of the best ways to live like a local is to stay in timeshare units, which often include kitchens and living spaces. With a kitchen, you can cook according to the local customs. There’s no better way to live like a local than to cook and eat like a local!

  • Want to give timeshare a try? You can test out the accommodations without a long-term commitment through sites like EndlessVacationRentals.com, which offers amazing deals on a variety of accommodations options, including vacation ownership units.
  • Or, if you are ready to commit to authentic travel by purchasing timeshare, you can add a vacation exchange membership through companies like RCI, which allows you to swap your vacation ownership for accommodations all over the world.

New Orleans vacation

Visit local markets and farm stands: I’m a humongous fan of farmers markets. Fresh produce, people watching and the chance to delve into local lifestyles intrigue me. This goes hand in hand with immersing yourself in the culture of your destination as you can interact one on one with the locals.

I may be secretly hoping to bump into my own personal Prince Charming at a Farmer’s Market. That’s always been a fantasy of mine.

 

Don’t plan every moment: Besides a few must see places (Marie Laveau’s tomb, Cafe du Monde, Audubon Zoo etc…) I plan to just wing it while I’m in New Orleans. I want to enjoy myself not stress over sticking to a schedule. I want my experience to be authentic and spontaneous so I can enjoy every second of it.

I’m going on this trip with 1 motto in mind – Live for the moment. I can’t wait to share my experience with  you and I hope you found this post helpful in planning your upcoming vacation! Do you have any tips to share? Be sure to leave a comment below.