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How to be a hometown tourist

There may be no better time to explore the world around you. And we mean right around you. Here are a few tips every traveler can take to experience their home city like a tourist.

Actually take time off for a staycation

Actually take time off for a staycation

It may seem strange to use vacation days when you aren’t leaving town, but it’s a must if you want to truly enjoy your staycation. Extend your weekend by taking off a Friday or Monday, or get wild and use some PTO in the middle of the week for a close-to-home reset. Not only will this make your staycation much more meaningful, but you also totally deserve it.

Book a hotel or home rental

Book a hotel or home rental

Again, it might also seem counterintuitive to book a hotel 10 minutes away from your house, but it should be your first step after deciding on your “travel” dates. Staycations don’t have to consist of lounging around home in your pajamas—instead, you should try to experience your city as an out-of-town tourist would. And, a tourist would book a hotel or home rental, right? Changing your surroundings, even if those surroundings are just a quick drive away, will help you get in the right mindset and escape the normal, even for a few days.

Plan some excursions

Plan some excursions

Does your city have a great art museum that you’ve always wanted to visit? How about a beautiful park just begging for a leisurely stroll? Your staycation is the perfect time to finally check those items off your list. Create an itinerary as you would for any vacation by looking up the must-see spots, restaurants, and hikes, vista points, historical sites, and more. Then, either take that itinerary and create a self-guided tour or book an activity or two and allow someone else to do all the sight-seeing planning for you.

Take all the cheesy photos

Take all the cheesy photos

While you’re out experiencing your town’s tourist destinations, make sure to bring your phone or camera to capture your outings on film. If the Leaning Tower of Pisa deserves your cheesy selfies, your local attractions sure do as well. Besides, taking the time to take photos will help you appreciate the everyday beauty you might typically overlook and will be the perfect souvenir from a staycation well spent.

Dine at a new restaurant every day

Dine at a new restaurant every day

Come mealtimes, skip the room service and venture out to some of those restaurants you’ve been dying to try but never seem to have the time to visit. Find a place that offers al fresco dining, or get some take-out and enjoy your meal back at your hotel. Supporting local businesses is always a good thing, and, after this staycation, you can make a list of delicious places to take your friends the next time they visit.

Set aside some time for relaxing activities

Set aside some time for relaxing activities

Vacations aren’t all about excursions and excitement. Sometimes, you just need to take a beat and enjoy some good old R&R. Seek out a hotel with special perks like an in-house spa, rooftop pool, or a room with an oversized soaking tub (be sure to double-check availability before you book), or a home rental with a cozy den for catching up on your book club reads. Carve out time in your itinerary to simply sit back and take a much-needed deep breath. We promise it will feel just as good a few miles from home as it does halfway around the world.

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