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How to Travel in Your Own Backyard
One of the
biggest pieces of advice we give to those
wanting to travel more, is to simply travel in
your own backyard.
It’s one of the most overlooked and cheapest
ways of having more travel in your life.
Especially if money AND time
is a problem for you.
When I say your “own backyard” I classify
that as within a 1-2 hour radius from your home.
And it can simply be a day trip or a quick
We think of travel and we look to far-flung
places. We don’t think of stopping to view
what’s on offer in our own streets, or
Travel doesn’t have to mean a trip to Bali
or hiking in Nepal. It’s a mindset, and you can
carry that mindset wherever you go, even if it
is just down the road.
For the past three years we explored much of
our local area. We come from the scenically
Central Coast area on the
east coast of Australia which happens to be only
one hour from the
sights of Sydney and the great town of
Combing those three areas we have enough
activities and attractions to satisfy most
people for a very long time.
Benefits of Local Travel
The benefits of “staying local” and exploring your own backyard are
Cheaper Price – it costs a lot less than going on
an extended trip. You don’t have to pay much in
fuel, accommodation, spending money and
certainly not on flights.
Less Planning – no stressful planning in advance.
You can pack and go the night before or even
that day. And you don’t have to research
flights, or keep up to speed on political events
Less Packing – at most you will need a day pack
or a small suitcase.
Less Time Away – if you have a busy life or heavy
work commitments, you don’t have to worry about
getting time off.
New Appreciation – by getting out and experiencing
new things in your own backyard, you will get to
see your place in a new light and be more
grateful for where you live.
No Burnout –
having to constantly pack and
unpack, deal with airports, border crossings and
visa issues can lead to burnout.
Get Refreshed – travel, no matter how long we go
for, enables us to get away from the normality
of life. By rewarding yourself and getting away
you will feel refreshed come Monday.
How to travel in your own backyard
It’s time to put the travel glasses on and
explore your own home town and region. New
things you could do include:
Discover new walking trails
Explore new beaches
Enjoy a picnic in a new park
Shop at local markets
Go horse riding
Go for random drives
Participate in local festivals
Hire kayaks on the lake
Bike different cycling trails
Eat at a new cafe
Climb a new mountain
Below are my tips on resources to use for
finding new things to do:
1. Check Your Local Tourist Board Website
They can be a great resource for creating a
list of things to do. If you were a tourist
coming to visit your home town, what things do
you think they would like to do?
2. Use Social Media
Not only is Instagram good for inspiration,
but most photos have a geotag so you know where
they’ve been taken. Search for your home city
e.g. #Sydney and check out the stream. Click on
the geotag to see related photos.
Go to your profile and click on the “Search”
button at the top right, and then choose
“Tags”. Here you can type in every
keyword you’re looking for and it will show
you every Instagram picture tagged with this
Follow the #hashtag of your city. Also
follow your local tourism boards twitter feed
for information, deals and inspiration. I use
Hoot suite platform and have streams created of
various hashtags to follow.
Your local friends will be sharing their
photos and activities. Get inspired to visit
too. And again, follow your tourism board and
favorite places to learn about deals and events.
I recently wrote a whole post on
How to Use Pinterest for Travel
3. Use Foursquare
Foursquare is a location based check-in social network
which has become a good resource of getting tips
and suggestions from locals and other users who
leave feedback on where they’ve eaten, had a
drink, chilled out at a cafe etc.
Another top way to tap into the suggestions
from locals and other travelers in your area.
4. Talk with Your Friends (and other locals)
Locals hold all the secrets to where the
best places to eat, drink, sleep, shop and stay
We love getting travel advice from other
locals. They can tell you when specials are on,
where to find deals and the best times to visit
Seek out conversations with taxi drivers,
police officers, college students, hotel
concierges, receptionists, and other travelers.
5. Choose one (or two) Weekends a Month
Make a plan to do at least one new activity
a month. Before you know it your eyes have
opened up and you’ve started your new travel
6. Do the Familiar with a New Twist
If you have a favorite beach, next time you
go, try stand up paddle boarding or learn to
7. Stay at a Local Resort or Hotel
Choose a special place you’ve always wanted
to go for a weekend getaway. We did this at the
Crowne Plaza in Terrigal, a favorite place of
ours to hang out as a young adult. We loved
being able to stay the night.
8. Hire out An Apartment with a View for
Your Next Party
We recently did this to celebrate my 40th
birthday, and for our going away party for our
road trip around Australia. We all spoke of how it felt like we were
already on holidays.
9. Have a Family Photo Shoot
Choose a favorite place and use it for a
family photo shoot. Snap the kids playing and
the family having fun. You’ll feel like you’re
on holidays, and it will look like you are too.
So from now on when you think about how to
travel in your own backyard, just develop that
travel mentality and I can guarantee you’ll
start to find ways to create the adventures.
Start by taking day trips, then short
breaks. You don’t have to have oodles of money
to travel. Begin in your own backyard.