After the universal lockdown traveling is now possible again. Still, some borders stay closed, and some of us are still reluctant to go to other countries. However, this does not mean that we can’t enjoy traveling this summer! We’ll just have to do it close to home and treat it as an opportunity to know our part of the world better. Let us explore all the new ways to enjoy partial freedom and travel locally!
Join tourist groups
If you don’t mind group adventures, we advise looking for local amateur initiatives like trekking, canoeing, or city exploration groups. These are usually non-official groups of particular hobby enthusiasts. Usually, you can find them on Facebook, as they rarely have some sort of official website. “Trekking Milano” and “Urban Explorers” are just a couple of examples. Joining such groups is free and allows you to travel locally in a great company of people who are likely to have some interesting stories to share!
Check local guided tours
If you live in a tourist city such as Barcelona or Prague, you are likely to have access to loads of guided tours for tourists. Although some of them are quite banal, boring, and overpriced, you might still find some hidden gems among them. For example, Naples can offer a tour in an underground geothermal zone, and in London, you can do a speedboat tour. Have a look at the local offerings, and who knows, maybe you can discover new sides of your city!
You can finally give a chance to all the different experiences that the sharing economy has made possible. Webpages like Airbnb, eatwith, and others offer unique ways to spend time and money – like taking dressed tours, or cooking a traditional dinner, or doing a bar crawl. The choice is so huge that anyone can find something exciting. Again, prices can be quite nice these days, while foreign tourists are lacking.
Do thematic tours
If you’re one of those people that would rather organize their own adventure, there is an interesting way to go about it: find a theme! It can be your favorite local author or music band. What are all the places they lived in or visited? Try following their steps! The theme can be much wider – like visit all the lighthouses, or (our favorite) local wineries. All the information is out there online, so pick something exciting and get nerdy about it!
Change mode of travelling
All of us have a pattern of traveling – for example, Olga enjoys visiting exhibitions and festivals, while Kate likes nothing more than to climb somewhere high with a view. But why not try mixing it up? If you normally never go to a museum – maybe there are some interesting ones out there, give them a go! If you only stay in the historical centers of the cities – why not explore their parks or suburbs? And in case you usually travel city-to-city, maybe try avoiding them altogether and check out some nature parks or secluded sights such as castles.
Change means of transportation
When you explore places close to your home, it might not feel like traveling, because by your usual means of transport it does not take long to get there and is quite banal. Well, maybe here hides your solution – try different means of transportation! New means of traveling show you new sides of the familiar places and opens up new possibilities. For example, if you always go by train or a car, opt for going by bike! Or just walk – then even a trip to a nearby village will be a long eventful journey! If this still sounds boring, look for rentals of interesting equipment – electric bikes, segways and other wheeled means of transportation will sure turn your trip into an unforgettable adventure.
Another thing that can spice up your close to home traveling is trying new accommodation. If you usually stay in the hotels, why not try renting a flat? Even if you’re just visiting a neighboring city, living in a flat will show you the place from the eyes of the locals, and put a new spin to the experience. Moreover, you can look for unique accommodation options – like renting a boat or a lighthouse. You can even get a good deal on it now, as accommodation business is starved for clients. If you’ve never stayed in a tent in a camping ground, why not try now? This will let you go to the places far away from the official touristic routes filled with “traditional” accommodation.
Do an enogastronomy tour
Have you tried all the traditional dishes of your area? How about the wines or beers? If your answer is “no” (or “I am not so sure!”), it means that it’s time to explore the local food and wine/beer culture! Enogastronomic tourism is a great way to learn more about local culture through its food and drinks and it also gives you a chance to find your own new favorite dish!
Do what you have always been postponing
Are you one of those people who live in France in a city located 3 hours from Paris by train, but you have never been there because “it’s so close, I can go there any time”? Or maybe you still haven’t visited the major museum in your city? The time has come! It’s time to do things that you always wanted to do, but never found time for.