Lack of money. Not enough leave. The hassle of flying with kids…these are just some of the many factors that can come in the way of your plans to travel the world. But that does not mean you have to give up on your passion and let your wanderlust wither away. The trend of Close to Home Travel is meant to stoke your love for travelling by allowing you to explore a familiar world from a fresh perspective. From camping trips to guided tours and hotel stays, close to home travel is all about experiencing your hometown and destinations around it like a traveller.
Here are seven tips to help you ace the close to home travel trend and shake off the monotony of routine without shelling out too much money and time:
Start with a Bucket List
Imagine you have a friend visiting and you have to show them around. What would be the top attractions or activities on your itinerary? Start close to home travel escapades by making a list of 10, 20 or even 30 things worth showing off in your city or its vicinity and try to check something off your bucket list every weekend. From visiting a museum to exploring an old library, checking out a diner you have never been to, eating out at a fancy fine dining restaurant – take to it with a no holds barred approach.
Use a Guidebook
Just because you’ve called a city your home for years does not necessarily mean that you know it like the back of your hand, as much as you may like to believe that to be the case. This is especially true if you live in a large metropolis. Once you are done living up every experience on your bucket list, discover the hidden gems with help of a well-written guidebook. That’s the whole idea of close to home travel, after all. Let go of your inhibitions and just follow the recommendations, and you may fall in love with your hometown all our again.
Sign Up for Tours
Walking tours, open bus tours, heritage walks, ghost walks are all great ways to revisit popular spots in any town or city during your close to home travel escapades. Being led by someone who has an in-depth knowledge of every little detail about a place you have been taking granted for years will help you appreciate it a whole new light. If you see tourists bee-lining for it, it’s probably worth investing a Sunday in. After all, close to home travelling is experiential at best.
Reconnect with Nature
No matter how big or bustling a city you may live in, nature’s haven is never too far away. That’s why reconnecting with nature must definitely be on your close to home travel agenda. From farmhouses to eco-stays, village resorts or even basic camping sites, every city has a plethora of close-to-nature activities that you can turn to when the pressures of an urban lifestyle get too overbearing.
Get Your Adrenaline Pumping
Nothing works better for lifting up one’s spirits than a good adrenaline rush. Get yours by looking out for some fun adventure activities when travelling close to home. Kayaking, zip-lining, bungee jumping, Segway rides, air safaris, hot air balloon rides, racing – you may find some of the most thrilling adventures in your own backyard if you seek them out. If none of the organised adventure activities appeals to you, live up the close to home travel spirit to the fullest and drive to the nearest hill station or forest and take off on a hike or a trek, go swimming in a pond or river in the wild or go offroading on a bicycle.
Check into a Hotel
Whoever came up with the idea of a staycation, nailed it and how. What can be a better way to unwind and relax during close to home travel than a cosy hotel room, mini-bar and room service! When you really want to get away but really really cannot, just go, get yourself a hotel room.
Being lost is the best way to discover something new. Shake off the force of habit, step outside your comfort zone and explore a new neighbourhood in your city every other weekend to make close to home travel a part of your lifestyle. Look up a new grocery store in a distant neighbourhood and drive all the way to shop for your weekly supplies.
Once there, park your car, walk around, eat at a cafe, or stop for an ice-cream or yoghurt. Savour the experience and even shopping for eggs, milk and bread can be fun. Alternatively, drive to the suburbs for a lunch or visit a neighbouring village for a day-long walking tour. The idea is to hit the road without a clear objective or destination in mind and you never know what exciting experiences may come your way.
Inspired to give close to home travel a chance? Share your experiences with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.