How to Have a Travel Adventure Close to Home

map of the world with analog compass - how to have a travel adventure close to home

As COVID-19 restrictions relax and things open up again, we’re thinking a lot about local travel. We can’t wait to get back out and explore the world, but a) we’re not interested in bringing our germs to far away places and b) border restrictions and airport line-ups are making international travel a little less appealing right now.

And so, we’re turning our attention to our own neighbourhoods and getting our travel fix there. We’re sticking local, and making our own towns and regions our travel destinations. If you think you might be game to try some travel closer to home, here are some tips and ideas to turn your own neighbourhood into a travel adventure, wherever you happen to be.

Decide What Kind of Vacation You Want

Are you up for a day trip? A weekend away? Want to take the whole week? That might determine where the borders of your local travel will be. In some places, you might be able to draw a 10-block radius around you and have enough to keep you busy for a week. In other places, you might need 100 miles to have a cool weekend.

Make your local vacation exciting by thinking about what you really want out of it. Do you want rugged high adventure? A spa getaway? Urban arts and culture? How do you want to feel at the end of the trip? Relaxed? Inspired? Knowing the kinds of experiences you want to have will help you plan an itinerary that gets you stoked.

Like any trip you take, your local adventure experiences will be limited by what’s around you, so the next step is to…

Determine Your Assets

What does your region have to offer? Even if you think you already know, do some research and figure out what’s around you. An internet search might surprise you. Try to play to your region’s strengths when you plan your itinerary. You’ll have the best chances of success if you don’t try to turn your small, land-locked town into a beach resort vacation. Make sure to pick 2 or 3 highlights that you’re really excited about, and a relaxing spot, (that is not your house – remember, you’re travelling) for some down time.

Depending on where you are, these assets may or may not seem thrilling. To make this trip amazing, you need to…

Approach Local Travel with the Spirit of Adventure

Few people think their local sights are interesting, but that’s only because they’re local to them. Try to approach your neighbourhood in the same way you would approach a brand-new place you had travelled to. Think about it: if you were in a city you’d never visited before, you would probably love to get off the tourist track and find a museum without a line-up. Great news! Where you live, there is an excellent chance you can find that.

Branch out and try new things. Eat in places you’ve never eaten before. Order the foods the staff recommend. Mix with the locals. Ask people what their favourite hikes are. Stay in a B and B that really charms you for a weekend, even if it’s half a block away from your home. The shine wears off a place when we’ve lived there for a while. This is your chance to put the shine back on.

One way to do that is to…

Do the Touristy Things

Since nobody ever visits the tourist attractions where they themselves live, it will probably all be new to you. Even if the tourist spots don’t exactly suit your fancy, give them a try. After all, how many times have we all gone to visit an attraction in a new place simply because it was there and then had a wonderful time?

Of course, not every place in the world expects or is set up for visitors. And if you’re in one of those places, you might need to…

Think Outside the Box

If resources are thin on the ground in your neighbourhood, you can always get creative. If you want to immerse yourself in history for a weekend and there’s no local history museum, there might be an antiques shop or a flea market. Talk to vendors (from a 2m distance) – chances are, they’ll be able to tell you a lot about the history of where things come from.

No art museum? Visit an art market or a few local studios. No mountains to trek up? Maybe you can try rock climbing somewhere instead. Trying something new and really getting into what your area offers can help you make the most out of your neighbourhood vacation.

We hope you try a local vacation and get to know your own bit of the world a little better. Be safe, wear your mask, and enjoy your travels!

Feature image: Ylanite Koppens

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