What's the best way to learn Mandarin Chinese?

Well, I’m a high school student and most likely won’t be able to visit China any time soon, so what are other ways I can learn?

Are there any websites/programs out there that have native speakers say something?
Also, what is the best way to memorize characters. I’m having a hard time remembering how to write them.

Should I learn simplified Mandarin and traditional? I want to visit China in the future. Are there any benefits to learning both? From what I understand, Traditional is only used in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Thank you :))

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