Thursday, 15 April, 2021 - 10:00

15 staycation ideas to fall in love with your local region

It’s spring, we’re desperate to get away, but it still doesn’t look like international travel will happen anytime soon. But don’t worry!

You can still enjoy the warm and sunny weather by becoming a tourist where you live, whether it’s your home or your Erasmus country. TWISPER has put together their favourite staycation ideas to help you fall in love with what's around you. You’ll want to do more exploration in your own city or country after this! 

Content sponsored by TWISPER.

1. Do a local food tour

Let’s be honest. How often have you eaten your region’s local cuisine? Do you even know what your local cuisine is like?

Do a food tour of the amazing restaurants serving traditional local food. This experience will make you feel like a happy tourist in your own area. You’d be surprised at the gastronomic discoveries you’ll make along the way. And as an added bonus, you’ll be supporting local restaurants that keep the eating out industry in your area alive.

Make sure to plan your visit in advance to pick the most unique place to try the local cuisine. For example, how about trying the oldest restaurant or bistro in your city? Aside from trying out local food, you can also experience the historical establishments that have permanently shaped your region’s food culture! By planning your foodie tour, you’ll have a more rewarding experience, because you know why you’re going to these restaurants in the first place.

2. Do a pub crawl

Pub crawls are great fun and an excellent way to meet new people as if you’re travelling for real. People hang out in pubs. You do a pub crawl with your friends, and this will help you meet new people. And as the saying goes, beer is the best social lubricant. While the booze flows, so does your confidence. Well, most of the time.

Visit different types of pubs. You can visit Irish pubs, sports pubs and other types of pubs like the iconic Churchill Arms in London, for example! One of the things that I am always surprised to find out whenever I’m in a new city is the astonishing number of pubs there are in the area. This staycation idea is a great way to discover these pubs and to really see what’s up.

3. Visit concept restaurants 

Get a full restaurant experience. Concept restaurants are places that have a unique spin on traditional dining-out experiences. For example, you can eat in the dark, get inside a restaurant on top of a building that rotates 360 degrees, eat Dinner in the Sky, or even eat on top of a Spanish volcano!

Sure, concept restaurants may be slightly more expensive than more local offerings, but they offer so many memorable experiences beyond eating a great meal. Good food is important, but sometimes you just need something outside the box for your staycation.

4. Become a tourist in your own city

See the landmarks. Buy a city tour guide. Being a tourist in your own city will help you discover new things you’ve previously overlooked and help you gain a newfound appreciation for where you live.

Do you even know about your city’s landmarks? You most probably do not and always took them for granted. Learning the history behind each landmark will reveal surprises about the history of your city or even country.

5. Have day trips to other cities 

Local day trips are the secret cheap travel hacks. You most probably don’t often travel to cities that are next to you, and that’s a mistake only a staycation can fix.

Go to a city that’s only an hour away, and spend some time discovering it! You’ll be amazed by what you discover in your neighbouring cities and how different it can be from your own. After all, no two cities ever look identical.

6. Watch a performance

When was the last time you went to a live arts performance? Probably a long time ago. Staycation is really all about discovering new things about your own city or doing things that you’ve never done. A staycation should mean getting away from your day-to-day routine in order to refresh your mind and gain perspective on other things.

Going to live arts and musical performances is an amazing experience because you feel the energy you just don’t get on screen. Witnessing a live performance is truly a different experience from watching it in the comfort of your own home.

7. Get outside

Getting around your city by biking or jogging is good for the body as well as helping you discover new areas that you might have previously neglected. You can do a tour of your own city and exercise at the same time! Use your phone as a map and see the places that you’ve never been to. This may even be as simple as walking through parts of your neighbourhood you’ve never explored before.

You can also organize a picnic in the park with your friends or family. If you are blessed with a warm and sunny summer, better take advantage of this by enjoying a meal at the park with your friends and loved ones.

8. Go hiking

If walking can be counted as a form of exercise, then hiking is, too, but with the added benefit of discovering the natural wonders of your own country!

Hiking is also very simple to do. In all of the staycation ideas presented, it's probably the cheapest, too. All you need is some hiking shoes, water, snacks, and the belief that you will complete the trail. You can search on TWISPER for restaurants and bars to fuel up along the way. Maybe you’ll find a nice place on the edge of the mountain with a terrace to drink a refreshing pint.

9. Visit local wineries

You might know about exported wine, but do you know about the types of wine in your local region? A staycation is a perfect time to be a wine tourist in your own country.

A secret between people who love to visit local wineries is that they’re not just visiting these places to have a wine tasting tour. Normally, wineries are also in gorgeous and expansive rural locations with pretty amazing scenery. Lots of superlatives right there, but there’s truly something to be said about drinking a nice glass of wine with beautiful, landscaped vistas.

10. Have a luxurious spa treatment

Maybe a luxury staycation is in order? There are many hotels and wellness centers in your areas that offer the same pampering as in other places around the world. You can go to a local hotel and have a spa treatment, and you won’t even need to travel far!

Most of the time, many centres in your area offer vouchers to encourage footfall, so make sure to subscribe to their newsletter or go to voucher websites to see if they are being offered in your area.

11. Take a cooking or cocktail class 

Many restaurants and chefs host cooking classes in their after-hours. It’s not only an excellent way to learn the secrets behind some of your favourite dishes but also to meet other people who share the same tastes as you.

Cooking classes also have another hidden benefit to them: you learn about seasonality. Being aware of what’s locally available is an important step towards sustainability, and seasonally grown produce is just normally tastier than those that are not.

And of course, learning to cook means that you can learn an impressive new skill. And it’s also great for date nights, when you want to impress your significant other with your cooking skills. 

If you're more of the alcohol-loving type (we don't judge), then maybe you can go to a local bar that hosts mixology classes in the evening.

12. Go on a reading binge 

Books are different from other possessions. They’re more like friends and companions. In each book hides a small universe waiting to be explored just simply through the act of reading.

There are so many travel books to read that transport you to a different universe. There are books by Anthony Bourdain, Ernest Hemingway and Bill Bryson. Each author has a different flair to their writing and a way of sharing their perspectives with the reader.

And of course, there are also many different ways to read these books. Go to a park and lie on the grass. Lie upside down on your sofa. Have a nice bubble bath and read with a glass of cava. Unlike friends, books will go wherever you want to take them. Just don’t drop it in the bath.

13. Take an art class

When your life is so busy that you need a break from everything, art can be a powerful way to rebalance yourself and to reacquaint yourself with your more artistic side that you’ve long repressed to survive through adulthood. Kidding.

Creating art is also a way to allow yourself to create a mess. Yes, in art, the mess is a-ok. Your mentor’s art studio is spacious and probably covered in plastic or paper, so it is optimized for coloured mess.

And finally, art is also a way to get unstuck. Hush those inner voices, don’t listen to your inner saboteur. In art, anything goes, and this is where uncontrolled imagination can thrive. Who knows, you might discover a hidden talent along the way.

14. Visit an exhibition at your local museum

In museums, you get inspired and learn more about various cultures at the same time. What more do you want? Museums are an amazing way to discover different things and learn more about history.

There is always a museum next to you, and they always have something interesting to learn about. Visit your city’s local tourism website to see about upcoming exhibitions in your area. 

15. Splurge on a fancy restaurant

Go to that restaurant that is a bit fancier than your regular hangout. Invite your friend or your partner. If you can warrant yourself a bit of splurging, going to a fancy restaurant will really help you become more familiar with your city, as you indulge in luxuries that you normally wouldn’t.

Maybe there are some restaurants that are Michelin-starred in your area or have won some awards? In that case, a staycation might provide the best opportunity to visit them.

Go become a local explorer!

So here are 15 staycation ideas to make you fall in love with your local region. In a way, the best kind of travelling is when you're really enjoying the moment and taking your time into understanding the reason why you're going to these places in the first place. These staycation ideas are ultimately meant for a kind of travel that's slower but ultimately more rewarding. 

Download TWISPER to discover the local hidden gems that you've long overlooked and experience your city in a whole new way.

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