Staying at home and practicing social distancing is currently the most important and responsible thing to do amid the ongoing CONVID-19 pandemic. Yet we are all looking forward to a future when it will safe to travel again.
We currently don’t know when this will be, but the day will arrive.
Resuming travel after the corona pandemic however will – at least temporarily if not for quite a while – look different to what we were used to before.
It is very likely that restrictions to leave our homes and resuming travel will be lifted step by step, Being allowed to cross borders again will likely be one of the last restrictions to be removed, and there is no saying how quickly international flights will resume.
Before we are able to travel to all the beautiful places on our plant again, we are likely looking at a period of travelling more locally.
With the freedom to travel wherever we want and when we want, travelling locally, exploring our own city, region or country often comes as an after-sought as those faraway places often seem so much more alluring.
Yet there is actually so much to discover in your own city or country, and international travel to resume only gradually post the corona outbreak will give you a fantastic opportunity to finally get to know and appreciate your own city and country much more than before.
Being a tourist in your own town or region also comes with other added benefits.
Most importantly, you will help local businesses who are struggling as international visitor number are not only down but right now have dropped to zero.
In addition, travelling locally will involve a significantly lower budget compared to long-distance travel as you will save money on plan or train tickets and maybe even accommodation.
How to be a tourist in your hometown – 8 great ways to enjoy your city as a tourist
Buy a local city guide
You probably think you know your own city quite well. And whilst this might be the case, trust me you are actually neglecting lots of interesting things and miss out on some fun activities you think are just for tourists.
Actually, I am pretty sure you do not have a city guide of hometown. Am I right?
You know what? You should buy one. In fact, go ahead and order one online right now. So you can start to put together a list of places to explore once you are allowed to move around town again.
Start putting together a list of major tourist attractions in your city. You probably know about them but when has been the last time you have taken the time to go and see them?
Even better, in the early days when restrictions to leave home are only locals will be around with few visiting tourist attractions in their own city. Depending where you live, this will give you the fantastic opportunity to see and take photos from attractions that otherwise might be crowded with people all the time, like the Eiffel Tower, St. Peter’s Basilica, Neuschwanstein Castle or the Empire State Building.
Join a city walking tour or hop on the local hop-on-hop off bus
A very touristy thing, huh? It will enable you to see your own city in a completely new light though.
First of all, when are you actually taking time to drive around the main attractions having the time to look out of the window or walking around with a tourist guide listing to the story of the places you see?
You will discover a lot of interesting things you never knew about your hometown.
Join a food tour in your own city
When the time comes and restaurants and bars will open again and it will be safe to visit as a group, go ahead and book a food tour in your own city.
Food tours are an amazing way to learn more about a place and its people. But I am sure you have never considered doing this in your own city.
It will reopen your eyes to local dishes and flavours you might have not tried for a long time. At least not in a restaurant.
Search Instagram for interesting photo opportunities in your own city
You know all the posts ‘The most instagrammable places in XYZ’? Well, go ahead and search the most instagrammable places in your hometown. Then head out with your camera and re-create these shots; or even better try to capture the place in a new angle.
Check out city guides on travel blogs, Pinterest or other social media channels
Are you doing this when visiting other destinations? Then why don’t you do the same planning to visit your own city?
Check out what other people have done when they did visit your city, and which places, events or activities they liked doing most.
This will give you amazing new inside about the places and activities trending in your city. And these might not be the places you are usually frequenting.
Explore the local art scene
How often are you visiting local museums, art galleries or a local theatre?
There you go, now is the time to discover or re-visit all those places. With a great chance they are much less crowded than usually.
Book a staycation in your hometown
Why not spend a night in a fancy hotel in your own city. Chances are you are living somewhere in a residential neighbourhood. Go ahead and book a room downtown, ideally in one of the landmark hotels in your city.
And once you have checked in, ask staff for recommendations what to do in the vicinity.
Head out to the nearby countryside
Exploring the countryside closer to home has been actually an important point on my own bucket list for this year. Now it turns out this is likely to remain the primarily choice I am given this year, I am very determined to still make the best of trips to the countryside once this becomes an option again.
Trust me, once you start to explore the nearby countryside you will suddenly discover many hidden gems you did not know exist.
In fact, with most of us leading busy lives in the city, over recent years there has been an explosion of fantastic small boutique hotels in the countryside offering wellness weekends, culinary packages and other arrangements like hiking or biking tours, cooking classes and much more to help those living in the city to relax and unwind.
Go ahead and check out the opportunities in your proximity to your hometown. You will be likely surprised about the abundance of places within a two hour radius.
Did this post inspire you to become a tourist in your own city or region? Do you have other ideas what to do exploring your hometown or country?