How To Be A Tourist In Your Own Hometown
It’s vacation time, and you’re ready for a break and some new adventures. But maybe this year the budget is a little tight, you don’t have the time off from work to go very far away, or maybe there are things going on in the world that doesn’t make travel feel very safe. Many people find themselves in positions like these periodically.
Cheer up! That doesn’t mean you can’t have a vacation…have you ever considered being a tourist in your own hometown? In fact, you may have spent so much time travelling and seeing other sights around the country that you may not have enjoyed the experiences right in your own “backyard”. Many people may call this a staycation, but I think of it as exploring your own world.
My experience being a hometown tourist…
In 1967 we moved to Seattle. We began our exploration of this beautiful city and learning its history. We went to many places the locals had never heard of. Then we branched out and did 3 day trips to surrounding areas including up into Canada. We have covered most all of the Western part of the state. Back in 1994 we took a 2 month road trip that went as far east as the Dakotas and south into New Mexico. We stayed off the freeways and poked into little towns. We got interested in the history of each place. Most small towns have historical museums with a local docent who loves to talk about their area. Part of that trip became learning about gold rushes back in the late 1800s. Seems “gold fever” hit from California, Oregon, Idaho, Washington and up to Alaska. We did it all.
So make your plans to do your own exploring close to home and then branch out. One day as we were having lunch at Zion National Park the waitress said “you speak English“. Yes, we said we are Americans seeing our own country. She said they rarely get Americans. How sad, as we have the most beautiful country in the world. So go, and write your own stories.
Use these planning tips for your hometown vacation:
- Begin your planning by creating an itinerary – don’t leave this valuable time to chance, treat it like any other vacation you would, or have taken and decide where you want to go, what you’d like to see, and what you want to do. (If you have children going with you, include them in on this important planning session, they may have ideas you haven’t thought of.)
- As on a regular vacation, establish a daily budget.
- Reserve a hotel, or maybe a bed and breakfast…there is nothing that feels more pampered and on vacation than not making your own bed or cleaning the linens.
- Research the attractions in your area:
- Is there a great beach nearby?
- What about a great Farmers Market?
- Are there local historical sites, museums, monuments or landmarks?
- Is there a sporting attraction you could attend?
- Could you take a ferry boat or a trolley car ride?
- You can save money on food, but if possible, eat at a restaurant you’ve heard of but never taken the opportunity to go to.
- Take a walk around the city…it’s a whole different perspective than when you’re driving through in your car. (And besides, it feels very touristy.)
- If you’re an outdoors person, don’t forget things you can do outside…are there any hiking trails or fishing holes in the area?
- Get a new view of your city…find one of the tallest buildings or viewpoints and take the elevator up and enjoy the landscape.
- Many towns feature free local events such as concerts or movies in the park where you can enjoy a picnic.
- Act like a tourist and take plenty of pictures!
- Maybe you don’t live in a large city, if that’s the case, you can check out the local outdoor activities, go to a hotel with a pool, or even travel to a neighboring town or possibly a big city nearby.
- Your hometown vacation doesn’t have to be long, if you only have 2-3 available days, you can still have a great time, and come home feeling refreshed.
These are only a few suggestions to get you in the planning mode, I’m sure you can come up with a lot more of your own. If you could use some help, give me a call, I can help you with hotel reservations and ideas for activities.
I am a seasoned traveler and travel agent… Contact me, together we can plan an awesome hometown vacation.