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What comes to mind when you consider traveling in your immediate vicinity?
As a tourist, are you visiting your hometown? Maybe a mini-adventure or a staycation is more your speed. You can get to know your backyard better by participating in some of these activities, which are great options for close-to-home adventures, but they are not the only ones.
There are times when approaching local travel from an entirely different perspective is the best way to go. Forget about visiting the typical tourist attractions in your city; when was the last time you let chance guide your exploration or checked something off your bucket list while at home?
If you’re looking for new, unique, and out-of-the-box ideas for exploring your local area, these suggestions are a great place to start.
Play a game of sightseeing roulette for some fun
What would you say if I told you there was a way to turn your backyard stroll into an exciting and unplanned game of chance? All you have to do is keep an open mind and follow the steps outlined below, and you’ll be ready for an unplanned adventure.
- The first step is to choose a starting point within your city or a location close to your home that is accessible by car. This starting point could be a well-known landmark, a bus station, or even your favorite coffee shop. You have numerous options.
- The second step is to toss a coin and decide whether to act based on whether the coin lands on heads or tails. If you live in a larger city, you could also try the following: Print out a map of the public transportation system, circle twelve stops on the map that you don’t frequent, and assign a number from one to twelve to each of those stops. The following step is to roll some dice and see which number corresponds to which stop.
- Step 3: Go out and explore! If you don’t know where you want to go or where you want to go on your trip, it’s a good idea to just go with the flow and see where the road takes you. You may find yourself in an unfamiliar neighborhood or discover a hidden gem you were unaware existed.
Bring a picnic to enjoy while exploring the nearby parks and gardens
In the COVID-19 era, a picnic was an ideal excuse to get outside, spend time in the fresh air, visit nearby parks, and share a meal with close friends and family (which is something we certainly appreciate now more than ever).
Preparing and transporting a picnic can be a chore; however, with so many restaurants now offering conveniently packaged meals to-go, it’s never been easier to master the art of the picnic — even for the most lazy of us.
Grab some homemade treats or a store-bought feast and head out to one of your city’s parks, beaches, or other green spaces for an evening of dining in the open air. You get bonus points if it’s a new location for you, or even if it’s just a new perspective in an area you’re already familiar with.
Complete a major task on your bucket list before you die
Have you ever wanted to try an extreme sport such as skydiving or zip lining? You might want to try stand-up paddleboarding or get some surf instruction. Perhaps it’s a different type of activity that doesn’t qualify as an extreme adventure, such as improving your photography skills or learning to sail.
Make a list of everything you’ve ever wanted to try, and then figure out which of those things you can do in your backyard or a nearby location. Make a list of everything you’ve ever wanted to do.
If you want to take on a challenge, such as a multi-day hike, but are unsure how to do so at home, you should look into tour companies that offer hiking trips in your area. Leave the planning to the professionals and enjoy all of the benefits of going on a guided tour, from the knowledgeable tour guides to the added sense of calm, among many other benefits.
When we travel around the world, we look for new challenges and experiences that we will only have once in our lives. However, who says you have to travel to another continent to try any of these activities? Consider what you could accomplish in the privacy of your own backyard instead.
Find inspiration from local blog owners, video bloggers, and social media influencers
This is great news for anyone looking for local travel inspiration because your favorite influencers are likely to spend more time exploring their home cities, states, and provinces. Backyard travel is currently popular. After all, these daring travelers are experts at discovering hidden restaurants, underappreciated tourist attractions, and other types of off-the-beaten-path destinations of every imaginable kind.
Assume, for the sake of argument, that you live in London and are interested in the activities that local bloggers are involved in. Simply search for “bloggers based in London” or “London + bloggers,” and there you have it! You’ll be one step closer to discovering a treasure trove of unique things to see and do in your area.
Find the best restaurants in your area that are within a reasonable driving distance of your home
Have you ever taken an international trip centered on the cuisine of that region? Why not try the same approach in your current location?
Find popular dining destinations that are no more than a couple of hours’ drive from your home to plan a vacation centered on your region’s cuisine. Take out a map and look into all of the places that pique your interest for a possible trip, whether it’s a bustling metropolis, a sleepy village, or something in between. After that, narrow your options and begin researching the best restaurants in the area you’ve chosen as your vacation destination.
You could then go a step further and make a list of additional restaurants to try based on the recommendations of people who live in the town or region you chose to explore based on the information you gleaned in the previous step. Chat with the wait staff at the restaurant to find out where they think you should go next in the area.
You’ll not only return home with new ideas for local excursions, but you’ll also have a compelling reason to leave your hometown and delve deeper into the culture and landscape of neighboring areas.
Using the crowd to find local travel ideas
When looking for things to see and do in your area, ask your friends, neighbors, or coworkers for recommendations — the restaurants they love, the places they go to get closer to nature, and the cities they visit for a weekend getaway. They will almost certainly have a wealth of information to share with you.
It’s always interesting to learn about other people’s favorite places, and you never know what you might find thanks to other people’s recommendations.