With these 9 benefits of travelling locally, you will be determined to see more of your city, region and country, swapping those complex and expensive international trips for low stress, cheaper, more enjoyable local trips.
When I wrote the 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.
This is part 2 of a 3 part series. Local travel is the idea of taking recreational travels within your neighbourhood, city, region or country. Read Part 1 – What You Need To Know About Local Travel here.
These are the nine reasons local travel is my favourite way to travel.
1. You save money
This is always a winner for me! It costs so much less than travelling internationally. You can save costs in a whole bunch of different ways, whether you BYO food on the trip, or you choose cheap accommodation, you can save so much when travelling locally. Whether you’re trying to pay off your student loan or saving up for a house, this is the budget-friendly travel choice. It’s also easier to save up little chunks of money for lots of smaller trips, rather than saving for a one-off mega-expensive holiday.
2. You save time
Since you’re travelling shorter distances, you’re saving so much time on these trips. Whether you spend an afternoon exploring your city or a weekend in the next town, you are cutting out those miserable hours sleeping on an airport bench in transit. Less time spent travelling means more time enjoying your experiences.
3. It’s low stress
The logistics of travelling locally are minimal in comparison to an international trip. If you’re a planner, you’ll be able to plan this with ease – no dealing with foreign hotels, no deciphering complex transport systems. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about travel insurance, jet lag, changing currency, learning a new language. How easy is local travel?! Count me in!
4. It doesn’t need to be a long trip
Staying closer to home means that you can do a whole bunch of small trips and excursions, rather than a big month-long trip to somewhere exotic! You don’t have to use up all your annual leave in one go, instead, take a trip over the weekends, or use an evening after work to go on a microadventure. Do a few week-long trips throughout the course of the year, ensuring you get the escape you need and find the time to recharge and refresh.
5. It’s familiar to you
Local travel doesn’t allow for culture shock. You’re in a familiar space. You can speak the language (goodbye, Duolingo), you understand the currency (and won’t pay exorbitant prices because you can’t figure out the exchange rate..) and overall, it takes the stress of unfamiliarity out of the trip. Travelling locally allows you to travel in a familiar place, while still having an adventure, relaxing, growing and learning.
6. You can be spontaneous
I love this one so much, because 90% of my trips are on a whim. Read about the time I climbed the Pinnacles at midnight if you don’t believe me! Another time we threw everything in the car at 11:00pm and camped overnight with 2 other spontaneous friends. I prefer the spontaneity because the weather in Auckland and around the country is so unpredictable, all the planning in the world can’t choose sunshine.
7. Your friends can come along
Another favourite of mine is the fact that you can take your friends along with you! Since local travel is so much easier (see all the previous points), it’ll be a breeze to convince your friends to join you. You’ll make memories to last a lifetime and perhaps you’ll even start a tradition and go back over and over again?!
8. You get to know one place really well
As I have grown up in multiple cities, I’ve found it so, so valuable to explore and really get to know each one well. I love the feeling when you can finally navigate with ease, I love when you’re chatting to a tourist and you can offer them a whole bunch of tips, I love when you discover those hidden gems, I love when you have special trips to places that are so close and so beautiful. I’ve had all of these experiences both in India and New Zealand. It is so important for me to know the ins and outs of where I live.
9. It contributes to your idea of home
This concept is really important to me. Home is so much more than just a place, it’s a feeling. Getting out and experiencing your city and country makes it feel more like home than ever before. Travelling locally allows you to create moments and memories, build relationships, and home will become this beautiful, rich experience.
And if all of those reasons aren’t enough to convince you, the impact of local travel on the environment compared to international travel is minimal! On a planet where we all need to do our part, this is such a good way to contribute. By reducing the distance you travel, you are reducing your impact.
While travelling locally is extra important in 2020, I believe it is one of those things that we should adopt and incorporate into our lives going forward.
Let me know in the comments below the one place that you’ve always wanted to go, but you’ve never found the time to do it!