The idea of local travel is about taking trips closer to home – within your neighbourhood, city, region and country. Travelling locally is easier, cheaper and better for the planet, while still getting all the benefits of an overseas holiday.
This is part 1 of a 3 part series
When I started to write this series back in Nov 2019, I had absolutely no idea what the world had in store. I didn’t publish the series immediately, because the idea of local travel was very overshadowed by the thousands of globetrotting travel bloggers, hopping from exotic location to exotic location. Travelling your own city and country didn’t seem like it would be a very attractive idea.
But now it’s 2020 and the tables have turned. Due to the global pandemic, international travel has almost come to a complete stop. Countries have closed their borders and those that have economies based on tourism are struggling. More than ever, the idea and notion of local travel is critical to keeping small tourism businesses alive, providing jobs for people and ensuring that the economy keeps going.
Without further ado, let me tell you what local travel is and through this 3 part series, you’ll learn how important it is and why it’s something that we should always continue to do, even when the global pandemic blows over!!
What is local travel?
In this context, the term ‘local’ is talking about the area that you live in. It can be on several different scales: your block, your neighbourhood, your town or city, your region, your state, your country, your neighbouring countries.
The term “travel” in this context relates to recreational travel. It doesn’t include your daily commute, it doesn’t include travel for work or travel to visit family.
In considering these two terms, it is clear that local travel is the idea of travelling in the place that you live. It reduces the distance you have to travel on a recreational trip. It is choosing to have a “staycation” whether that’s in your own home, in the next town or the furthest corner of the country.
Instead of one big overseas trip a year, local travel might look like a whole lot of smaller microadventures throughout the year. I love the term ‘microadventure’ coined by Alastair Humphreys. A microadventure is an adventure that is close to home, cheap, simple, short, and yet very effective. Want to know more about microadventures?
Local travel is something that we likely do unconsciously on a regular basis. We visit our local parks, the city’s iconic landmarks, the zoos and gardens, the regional parks, the museums and galleries. Yet I’m sure we often find ourselves repeating the same activities, frequenting the same restaurants and cafes.
In travelling locally, it is important that we do this intentionally, rather than mindlessly. Just as we would plan for an overseas trip and we would research the things to do, the places to see, the best eateries, we should treat our home in the same way, researching and planning our local trips. We should purposefully set aside the time for travel.
When we travel locally, this contributes to our sense of home, our sense of belonging and identity. It allows us to fall in love with where we live and to find joy in exploring our neighbourhood, cities, regions and country. It enables us to better understand our environment, our local. When a tourist asks for advice on what to see and do, we can tell them which spots are overrated and where to find the hidden gems.
How long has it been since you visited your city’s iconic spots? Is there a place that one of your friends raves about, but you’ve never been to? What was your favourite beach, park or activity as a child and when was the last time you visited or did that? Maybe it’s time to do those things at last!
Travelling has a number of benefits, including meeting new people, trying new things, and returning from travels refreshed. Each of these things can happen closer to home too. It is important to frequently step out of our regular routine and take a break from any stress. Setting aside the time to go somewhere different, to do something new, to leave the daily commitments behind can be so valuable, especially for our mental wellbeing.
Personally, I absolutely love travelling locally. I love it so much that I have a blog dedicated to travel in Auckland and New Zealand (you’re on it right now!). If you’re new here, welcome! I have also written a personal bucketlist for everything I want to do in Auckland and it brings me so much joy as tick those off.
This is part 1 of a 3 part series. Next, we will dive deeper with practical tips on how you can travel locally and the benefits you’ll receive when you travel locally.