By Milda Urbonaite
There are many reasons why spending your holiday in your home country, tops long-distance international trips. It’s cheaper – you know the land better than tourists and can easily find better deals, avoid tourist traps, and use your own card instead of a rental.
You will also have an easier time getting around in even new places because you speak the language. Considering the current travel restrictions, imposed by the coronavirus outbreak, there is no better time to start exploring your own surroundings.
Exploring your homeland will open you up to learning more about its history, culture, and heritage. Finally, it’s a great way to meet new people and actually stay in touch after the trip, because you live in the same place!
Traveling in your country can be just as exciting as abroad. Here’s how to make the most of it.
Stay in local hostels, Inns, and B’n’Bs.
When we travel in our own countries, we often find it easier to get in touch with friends or relatives and crash on their couches. While that’s definitely fun and saves money, spend at least part of your holiday staying in local hostels, inns, or B’n’Bs.
This will give you more of an “I’m on holiday” feeling and put you in the position of a tourist, it will also put you in touch with local people and their travel recommendations.
Finally, you’ll be able to meet fellow travelers and share stories and experiences.
Visit the main tourist sights.
Don’t fall into the trap of “being a local” and skip all the cool touristy spots!
Even if you think you know the area or region well, you’ll be surprised that there so much more to learn about that “familiar” park, church, or monument. And of course, take plenty of pictures to memorize the experience!
Go on a guided tour.
You probably went on a guided tour a few times while traveling abroad, so why not in your own country?
You’ll be humbled and impressed to learn that there is so much more to the local history, natural resources, and culture than you know.
Don’t be a smartass during the tour (even if you actually know a fun fact, keep it to yourself unless asked!) and participate actively listening and asking questions!
Read a travel book or blog.
If, for some reason, tours are not available where you’re going, spend some time preparing.
You can find plenty of information on your travel destination online, on travel websites, blogs, and at your local library (remember those?)!
Make sure you also visit a tourist information center for additional insight. Once you have the resources, spend some time studying them, so when you get on the road, you can really experience the trip to the fullest!
Revisit childhood travel spots
Planning a trip at home can sometimes be tricky – where to go, what to see? Why not revisit your favorite childhood holiday spots?
You will be surprised how many incredible memories will come to life, you’ll be able to compare the locations then and now and share a part of your life with your family and friends.
You can also include your parents in helping to prepare for this trip – they will definitely have some tips!
Try different regional foods.
It doesn’t matter if your home country is big or tiny – there definitely are some regional foods that you haven’t tried yet!
Do a little research in advance, make a list of what you’d like to try, find local restaurants, and start sampling!
When visiting a new country, we take soooo many pictures! Do the same on your local trip!
Just because you’re “at home” doesn’t mean you should skip this fun part of travel. You can even devote some particular time for snaps – get up for sunrise or find a great sunset spot and feel like an artist.
Even if you’re super patriotic and a history buff, there is no way you know everything about your country, history, and different regions and cultures.
Be open-minded to what you discover, don’t let your prejudice close the door to learning more about your home and people who live here.
Use this travel opportunity to rediscover and not to confirm your own old biases.
Support local tourist areas and activities
Even if you can pack up all your food and necessities in the trunk of your car, don’t forget to support local businesses during this trip.
This can be as little as buying a couple of souvenirs, eating at a mom-and-pop cafe, or as exciting as going on an adventure tour such as kayaking, skydiving, or a visit to the nearest race track for some good old fashion horse race action, which can be just as thrilling as betting online on the Kentucky Derby odds through TwinSpires.com.
Take a look at what is closest to you and have safe trips, always following the recommendations concerning COVID-19 safety measures.