Before I became an international globe trotter, I spent a bit of time poking around my own country. It’s, actually, what sparked my passion for global travel. Traveling locally gives you the opportunity to discover many hidden gems in your own back yard. It’s about more than that, though. It’s about seeing your country and its people through new eyes. Because I feel so passionate about this, I would love to share my thoughts on why traveling locally is so beneficial to both novice and experienced travelers.
As you can tell, there are lots of reasons why I feel that traveling locally is essential. Happy travelers can really benefit from exploring their own country, especially before going abroad. If you are toying with the idea of booking a local holiday/trip and would like a bit more insight, read through my list of reasons below.
I’m about to share my top 18 reasons why traveling in your own back yard is beneficial. If these don’t make you want to grab your backpack and start exploring your own country, I don’t know what will!
These are 18 reasons why you should travel locally.
1. No visa and passport required.
The beauty of traveling locally is that you don’t have to stress about getting a visa or ensuring that your passport is valid. You can simply travel. No strings attached.
2. No lengthy travel times (save on vacation leave).
One of the biggest pitfalls of traveling internationally is just how much time is wasted actually traveling between destinations. I remember traveling abroad and booking a trip that involved a whopping 18 hours in flying time. When you factor in the additional time for traveling to the airport, waiting times, and claiming luggage before you can exit the airport and head off to your first hotel – you realize that’s a lot of time wasted on a trip.
When you travel locally, flights are generally quicker, there’s no need to pass through passport control and custom, and you get straight to enjoying your holiday.
3. No excessive admin involved.
When traveling locally, there is a lot less to think about in terms of admin. You don’t have to worry about medical restrictions (vaccinations), you don’t need to arrange an international driver’s license, you don’t have to stress about international travel insurance, and you don’t need roaming or a new mobile phone. Traveling locally means less hassle.
4. Reduces your carbon footprint.
When you travel internationally, there’s no other choice but to travel by air. Airplanes contribute a massive amount in carbon emissions. Depending on the size of your country, you can completely remove air travel from your trip plans. Traveling by car or train won’t completely eliminate your carbon impact, but can cut back considerably.
5. Develops an appreciation for home.
As locals, we tend to overlook just how many amazing things our country has to offer. If you think about it, tourists spend thousands each year planning and going on trips to your country. Why would they do that? It was this type of thought process that got me thinking about it initially. The tourists flock to your country because it has something special to offer. Perhaps it’s time you found out what others appreciate about your country, so that you can have a newfound appreciation for it too.
6. You won’t get lost in translation.
When traveling abroad, there’s difficulty to be expected if you don’t speak the local language. I have experienced it first-hand. When traveling locally, you can rest assured that you already speak the language. Most of the time, there’s no need to learn a new language or even download a translation app.
7. Easy to arrange around a busy schedule.
Traveling internationally takes months of planning and preparation. Local trips require a lot less effort. If you have a busy schedule, you can arrange a quick getaway around your schedule or even over a long weekend. There’s no need to miss out on great getaways just because you don’t have much time.
8. It’s super cheap.
Traveling locally is cheap because you know what to expect. You will be dealing with businesses and vendors who use the same currency as you, and you are pretty much familiar with the local prices and rates already. When traveling overseas, prices can be high, especially if you are traveling to a country with a currency that is stronger than yours. Local travel requires no currency exchange and no high auto teller machine (ATM) charges when you withdraw money to spend.
9. You will learn about your heritage.
How much do you really know about your country? Have you visited the historical points of interest and learned much about its history? Your country’s history is your heritage and it’s important to know it. If you don’t have much background knowledge, traveling locally will be a great help.
10. Make new friends close to home.
Whether you travel internationally or locally, you are bound to make new friends along the way. The trouble with international new friends is that you often don’t ever see them again or never hear from them. When you make new friends locally, it’s easier to stay in touch and you can even arrange a holiday with them in the near future.
11. Boosts the local economy.
Traveling locally keeps the value of your money inside your country. When you travel abroad, you are boosting your destination’s economy instead. Therefore, traveling domestically is actually good for the betterment and success of your own local community.
12. You can invite friends and they will actually go.
I’ve been in a situation before where I have invited my closest friends to go on an international holiday with me. It was a disappointing experience because absolutely every one of them opted out. Why? Traveling internationally is expensive and takes a lot of time and effort. Traveling locally is more affordable and easier to do. When you invite friends on a holiday, watch their reaction to the suggestion of a local trip and an international trip – that should tell you everything you need to know.
13. Allows you to revisit childhood memories.
Remember those long Sunday afternoons you used to spend building sandcastles on the beach with your dad in your home town? Remember those family escapes you used to take to a mountain retreat many years ago? These places might be distant memories, but you can revisit them by traveling locally. Take some time to plot a trip to your favorite local places, where you made some of your most fond childhood memories.
14. Getting around is convenient and cheap.
Traveling locally is fairly cheap when you know which transport options are available to you. Local travel means you know all about the public transport options and how to cut back on getting around. If you are planning a road trip and have your own car, you won’t even need to arrange transport from A to B.
15. You can barter and trade with confidence.
Have you ever visited a foreign market and found yourself at a complete loss when you see the prices on offer? When traveling locally, this is not something that you need to worry about. You undoubtedly know what a reasonable price is for certain items and you can use this local knowledge to your advantage.
16. You know the risks already.
Many travelers worry about their safety when traveling. When you travel your own country, you are probably well aware of the possible threats and dangers. You already know what the most prominent risks are and how to take care of yourself in tricky situations, so there’s a greater chance of being safe.
17. You can do far more for less (and in limited time).
When planning a local trip, it’s easier to plan a variety of activities to jam pack into your days. Knowing the type of environment to expect, how the people are, and the realistic distances between sights and activities, puts you at an advantage when trying to do as much as possible on your trip.
18. It’s rewarding and refreshing.
There’s no denying that traveling locally can be a highly rewarding and refreshing experience. Most people travel so that they can have fun, relax, unwind, and return back to normal life, feeling refreshed, satisfied, and at ease. Traveling locally can achieve exactly that for you.
Plan a Local Trip & Get Ready to Pack Your Bags
If you haven’t tried traveling locally yet, there’s no time to waste. Before you spend time and money jetting off to the next international destination, give your own country a chance. Take a look at the various local travel packages, book an adventure, and get excited about packing your bags and venturing off!