One of my goals for this past year (and beyond) is to reduce my carbon footprint. Air travel is one of the most environmentally damaging ways to get around and it's also the focus of my life … Fortunately, I found a great and green way to nourish my wanderlust: decline!
While inviting both Southern California and Cape Town home, you don't have to travel around the world to have an adventure!
Experiencing your city to a whole new level will make you fall in love again. So how do you turn a weekend home into an unforgettable haven?
Here's my guide on how to plan the perfect stay!
Approach your stay the same way you would plan a vacation. Mark these dates from your calendar. Avoid making other commitments during this time apart from tours and fun things to do during your trip.
Once you've set a date, start searching for inspiration. Look for unique experiences and interesting activities, then write a route.
Book a hotel room
Sometimes you have to get out of the house! Booking a hotel will make the whole thing look more like a separate time, and you will come back refreshed.
Is there a place in town you've been looking at for a while? Whether it's a delicious hotel or a unique Airbnb, you can rent it yourself!
Exploring unique Airbnbs is one of my passions. I keep a growing list of places I am dying to stay. Check out the crash of the coolest Airbnbs in the United States for inspiration.
Cape Town, South Africa
Be a Tourist in your own city
Every person I talk to says the same thing: they have never taken the time to explore their own backyard.
Change this! Explore these historical sights and sights. See your city through fresh eyes.
Walk in places you've never been to and look for tours. Look for something that will give you a deeper dive into a side of your homeland you've never seen before. Think food or wine tours, guided history exploration, or even a haunted ghost adventure.
Photo tours are a prime way to find beautiful faces and capture the stunning shots you often go through.
Get a new way of transportation
Find a new way to get there: bike, stroll, bus, or Uber.
Who cares if it's not the fastest way? This is your time to do something different. Whatever you normally do, skip it during your vacation.
Taking a different route will give you a new perspective and open your eyes to people, places and things that tend to be off your radar. I have always found that public transport is the best way to get to know the local culture. If you drive most of the time, you miss a whole other side of town.
Try a new restaurant
Who says you have to travel to try food from around the world? Your city probably has many hidden gemstones that you have never come to live.
Make it a point to try new foods during your holiday.
Go to that hole at the wall, then over to the one you always hear people running. Grab a drink in a different neighborhood and go for a coffee on the other side of town.
Read about foodie foods from around the world. Make a list of the ones you want to try then turn it into a scanner hunter to find them in your city.
Allow time for relaxation
A stay is the first opportunity to steal some time for yourself. Find a local pool where you can relax with a drink (look for hotels that offer a day card). Lie down slowly. Give yourself time to relax on the couch and read. Whatever renews you, devote part of your stay to it.
When I have a heartburn incident, nothing soothes my soul like treating myself to a luxury hotel room for the night and having absolutely nowhere to go.
Get out of the grid
One of my essentials for a perfect stay is disconnection. Turn off your phone. Detoxify social media. Ignore your emails.
Do your best to embrace the present. Time will suddenly start to slow down and you can enjoy your time to relax.
Cross something off your bucket list
Now is the time to plan unique activities. Is there a class you want to take? Tap into a passion for dance, horse riding, ceramics, or whatever has caught your eye.
Look for fun and one-hour activities. See if there's something bold or different in your city. Try climbing. Find out if you are good at throwing an ax. Go crazy with it and you will create memories.
Have you made a stay in your hometown? What tips would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!