PENNSYLVANIA, USA — The difference between a tourist and a traveler is getting to know a culture, according to Karen Gershowitz, writer and travel addict.
Since boarding a plane to Europe when she was 17, Gershowitz has visited over 90 countries and "gained friends and lovers and made a radical career change," according to her website.
In this week's Travel Smart, FOX43's Trenice Bishop spoke to Gershowitz about how to find the "hidden secrets" of travel destinations. She said that travel is all about being open to new things and new experiences.
Her number one travel tip is simply, to talk to people.
"Be friendly, smile at people, ask them questions, show that you're interested," she said.
Second, she said to plan a trip around something you love.
"It doesn't matter if it's sports, arts, or if it's food," Gershowitz said. "But whatever it is, go and do that and talk to the people who are around you because you'll mostly find locals and they know the really great places to go, and what to do, and the kinds of places to see."
Third, she said to pick up a paper and look for local events.
"Look for the festivals, rather than the places," she said. "That's where the people will be. They'll tell you whether the places in the guidebooks are worth going to."
Finally, she said to enjoy the journey and expect the unexpected.
Karen Gershowitz is the author of Travel Mania - Stories of Wanderlust, a vivid story of how one woman found her strength, power, and passion.
To hear more of what she had to say on FOX43, check out the clip above.