All my life I have been enchanted by the romance of travel. To see new places, meet people, and immerse myself in different cultures, is to me, the very definition of a life well lived. For five years I worked as a teacher saving for the globe-trotting adventure I had been anticipating as long as I can remember. Having taken summer holidays before I knew the basics of travel, but nothing could have prepared me for the difficulties of striking out on my own. Particularly, I found interacting with locals intimidating at the best of times and terribly frustrating at the worst. So much goes into travelling that it is hard for a first time traveller to experience a place fully. I learned the ins and outs of travelling during a Tenerife travel, and would like to share my experience, in hopes of providing those with a passion for travel a few tips to help them along their way.
Tenerife is the largest and most densely populated island in the Canary Islands. Well known for tourism holidays in Tenerife provide entertainment for all kinds of travellers. Located on the North West coast of Africa, Tenerife boasts pristine beaches and desirable weather year around. These attributes draw in millions of travellers a year.
The Island offers many places to stay from traditional places to five star modern hotels. Not all of locations are created equal; however, and the biggest difference between them is the districts where they reside. The main tourist areas are on the north side and include; Puerto De Santiago, Los Gigantes, and Playa De La Arena. I like these three, because they are close to each other, offer lots of activities between resorts, are very clean, and assuredly safe. Beaches, sweeping cliff views, and adventure activities are all on display. I was young when I took my holidays in Tenerife and desired nothing more or less, than fast paced adventure day and night. Let me be the first to assure you can find it all in this district. Wildlife cruises and surfing by day and prodigious night life when the sun sets.
While these areas offer much they can quickly burn through pounds of travel funds. For travellers looking into cheaper ways of travel, I recommend Hostel Carel in El Medano. It is near the airport and by all comparisons a nice place to stay on a budget. There are several travel sights within walking distance and for those farther there are cabs readily available around the hostel. I recommend this for the younger crowds and lone travellers. Not only is it a great way to save a few pounds, but also the best place to socialize with fellow travellers.
Interacting with locals here is exceedingly painless and enjoyable. English is spoken by nearly everyone on the island, but it does not hurt to freshen up on a few Spanish phrases to impress or flatter the locals. I recommend especially “donde esta el baño” and “cuanto cuesta”. Translation: 'where is the bathroom' and 'how much does it cost'. These two phrases alone got me by on three holidays in Tenerife. Hiring a guide can be a good way to live the history of the island while visiting. Furthermore, if asked, a guide can be a gateway into the native culture. As a teacher, knowledge is my vocation, and a lot of the fun for me is studying the history, tasting the food, and putting myself in the shows of the people who live there. This allows my experience to be not only relaxing, as vacation should be, but also visceral and cerebral as well. I highly recommend this mode of travel to anyone looking to immerse themselves and get to know the native Canarians.
The following are a few logistical tips I have found very helpful when on my holidays in Tenerife, if also cliché:
1. First, leave room for purchases made on holiday.
2. Convert money before leaving the airport. Many places in Tenerife take debit and credit cards, but it can be a good idea to have a few spare Euros, just in case.
3. Plan car rentals and hotels in advance there are many sights, one of them linked below, that are great tools to meet this end.
4. Lastly, consider review travel safety. While those of us who travel often may feel we know the importance of these principals, it is important to have them fresh in mind whenever travelling.
Travelling is a many different things to all types of people. To me it is a romantic exploration of life and the people around me. To other people, it is a thrill with which nothing else can compare. Find what draws you to travel and build your trip around those ideals. I hope you, as I did, enjoy your holidays in Tenerife!
Ariana Louis is teacher by trade and traveller by calling. She sojourns abroad, either alone or accompanied by brothers Aaron and Azazel, in search of uncommon adventure and unique perspective only gained through local eyes. With a particular love for diverse Asian culture she holidays there more and more frequently, immersing herself in the sort of travel that leaves mud on her boots.