Who among us has scoffed at the idea of touring our own city? If we are honest with ourselves, it is probably a pretty high percentage. The fact is, most places have tons of great things to do if you know how and where to look. Every single corner of the globe has history. Every place has something that makes it unique. Learning about these things is a big key to exploring your own city and becoming a “hometown tourist” yourself.
Here are some tips to get you started no matter where you might live:
Start By Keeping a List
In the weeks leading up to your staycation, start jotting down things about your city that you have always liked but not explored. Also make a list of things you would like to do again. Keep them separate though. This list will grow quickly as you ask around at work, amongst friends and family and your own simple observations. Sooner or later, you will have a nice long list of things. Have your other “traveling” companions make their own such lists as well.
Whip out the old laptop
Once you have a nice long list to draw from, spend a Friday or Saturday night with a hot cup of java and your laptop. Find out all you can online about each of these things and narrow the list to the things you want to do the most. This should at least cut your list in half. Having the power of the Internet makes this simple process so much easier than in days past. Use it to the fullest.
Call on them in person…and in advance
If your list is still long, this will also help to trim it down. Go and pay a quick visit to each spot for a few minutes and talk with the people in charge. This will reveal a great deal about what your visit will be like. Plan accordingly. Ask lots of questions and think of the others that will be coming along as well. What questions might they want to know?
Stay somewhere special during your visits
If you stay at home you will save money, but it will seriously hinder the special feel of being a visitor. Instead, book a nice room and enjoy the getaway. You deserve it and your vacation will be a million times better. Take the time to book that room you never could usually afford if you can. The savings from staying in town will make up for it.
Take the time to do a nice mix of the known and the unknown
When you go to write out your plans for the vacation, write out a plan each day that you know you love and one that you are trying for the first time. Mix it up so that y, ou are sure to have a winner each day. This can offset any disappointments you might come across. Those can hurt much worse when you are in your own hometown. Make sure you carefully plan some surefire winners from your “I know I love it” list we talked about earlier.
Finally, mix in some history
Learning about where you live, the history and the excitement is very important. You should know about where you live and what has happened there in the past. Some of your history fun is probably worked into your vacation already, but if it is not you should add some in. Go to local parks, museums and nature trails. You will be shocked at the things that your city has to offer that costs absolutely nothing.
I love visiting my own favorite city and becoming a local tourist! How do you embrace, explore and support your own hometown tourist destination?