We love to travel, we love to explore, and we love to learn. This is why we choose careers in the tourism and hospitality industry. Travel is the best education, because it allows us to experience something new, to meet new people and to gain new perspectives. However, travel shouldn’t be limited to going overseas. You can “travel” in your own city, and still be surprised by new experiences. Here are 5 ways to be a tourist in your own city!
Utilize the Power of Social Media
Social Media is a big part of how we communicate these days. Our social media channels consist of our friends’ experiences and adventures. Are there some local landmarks or popular restaurants that you have been meaning to try out, but haven’t yet?
You can also search Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by using hashtags. Simply, type in a “#” with your city’s name and you will get a pretty good idea about what is happening in your city at any given time.
Another popular online source for inbound travellers is TripAdvisor.ca, where you can browse through a list of your city’s most popular landmarks and activities.
Browse through Local Event Listings
Check your local community papers to find events happening this week or coming up this month. Many of these activities and events are free and family-friendly. Attend a community arts festival or a live theatre performance. Support your local sports teams, and cheer them on with other fans from your city.
If sports aren’t your thing, you can also check websites like EventBrite or meetup.com to find local events or gatherings of interest to you. Through these meetups, you will also be able to meet locals and visitors.
Check Online for Activity Deals or Coupons
Websites like Groupon and LivingSocial are great for finding ideas for cool local activities, based on your interests. Not only are these a good place for ideas, you also get discounted prices too! It’s a win-win situation on finding fun and exciting activities around your city.
There are some local tourist attraction websites like VancouverAttractions.com or CityontheCheap.com (for travel in USA) that also offer coupons and deals for travellers, but these are also available to locals, so make full use of this perk!
Walk or take public transit
There are many ways to get around a city. The most comfortable way to do that for most people is to drive. However, doing this limits the potential that you have, with exploring new routes. It also eliminates the potential to interact with new people. Take an alternative driving route, or better yet, walk or take public transit to see your city from a new perspective.
A friend of mine takes the bus regularly to work. Rather than listening to music, she has challenged herself to interact and engage with people during her commute. Nowadays, we are all usually on our cell phones, in our world. My friend has noticed that a little kindness or a smile goes a long way. She’s been able to meet many new people, whom she would otherwise have never had the chance to get to know.
Try out new activities with Friends!
Many of us take our home city for granted. We get into routines where we visit the same places for work, school, faith and other occasions. We like to try new things but can sometimes be hesitant to do them alone.
Do you have a friend that participates in sports or hobbies that you have always been curious about but never tried? Ask them to take you for a test drive! You can learn the ropes, with the comfort of knowing that you friend will guide you. Paddle Boarding, for example, has become popular. Why not take a class to learn with a friend. It might also be a great way to reignite a lost friendship through learning a new activity together.
Another great idea is to be a tour guide for a friend or a group of friends. Make a list of 1 or 2 local landmarks and a “hole in the wall” popular restaurant. Then learn a few interesting facts about the landmarks and the restaurant, to share with your friends. Then switch places and have your friends take turns being the tour guide. You might be surprised by your own city!
Travel shouldn’t be limited to escapades in far off lands. Be ready to discover a whole new world in your own backyard. Happy exploring!