So hopefully you’ve gotten this far on sheer curiosity on what I mean by travelling without travelling. What I mean is that you can feel like you are travelling to a far off place by only going a short distance from where you live. Let me show you how.
Growing up, my family wasn’t one that went to Disney World, or visited Europe. We went to Niagara Falls, Canada because that was where we were from. As a kid, I was so jealous of the other families who travelled all over the world. Luckily, my mother saw this duress and did her best to give me the travel experience in our own ‘backyard’ and on a budget.Now, you can literally travel in your own backyard i.e. set up a tent and the whole thing, but for an adult, this may be a tad bit weird. Imagine talking to your significant other, “Honey, I’m just going to camp in the backyard for the night.” There are other alternatives.
Pull out a map…
I would hazard to guess, that if you pulled out a map, or went to an online mapping service like Google Maps and looked at a 50km (25 mi) radius, that there are some places you have never been to. Perhaps it’s due to never having a reason to go there. Here is a GlobeTrotter Travel Tip. First Pick a reasonably sized town or city and write it down on a piece of paper. Simply search the city name, plus ‘things to do’ into google. You could also poll your Facebook or Twitter friends for their go to place to visit in the place you are looking to go. I guarantee there is someone you know that has been there and done that and might give you some special insight into what to do and what to avoid.
It’s your choice as to whether you give the trip a purpose or not. If you go without a plan, who knows where the day might lead. You also run the risk of getting bored, or cold feet on where to go and may miss some interesting things. My mother used to make a plan to try out a different grocery store in each little town and while we were there, we’d see other things the town had to offer. Here’s another Globetrotter Travel TipNow. I use an app called ‘GasBuddy‘ (iPhone/Android/Blackberry). Need gas? Load up GasBuddy and see where the cheapest gas in your area might be. Go to a station you’ve never been to. Now you have a reason to be there and while your there you can explore the area. Feeling brave? Ask the gas attendant where his favourite restaurant is, or where the locals eat. Another great Globetrotter Travel Tip is to always ask Where do all of the locals eat? I will be expanding on this in a future blog post
Next, go to a social ranking site like Yelp. After typing in the city name search for one restaurant with the ratings, cost, and category you would like. Now you have a whole afternoon planned.
Well we’re here…now what?
What you do while your there is really all up to you. Maybe it’s site seeing. Every little town has some history, if you learn about this it could be a great conversation down the road and will deepen your connection with the local communities. You might like to shop. I’ve found some of the most interesting gifts and items in hole in the wall country stores. Regardless of where you choose to go, there is something to see. My tip is to choose a town/city with at least 5000 people. Otherwise you might be watching cows graze.
Now you have some tips on how to travel without travelling with these budget travel tips. I know that when I was young I looked forward to these little adventures and it didn’t hurt our family’s bank account. If you have some additional ideas, please leave them in the comments below. We love to hear from you!