Traveling the world is often more than just reaching a destination; it’s an opportunity to explore new cultures, learn history and traditions, and create lasting memories. If you’re interested in traveling while working remotely, the balance between productivity and leisure becomes crucial.
In this article, you’ll discover the top seven things to do while traveling, with tips and ideas to make your journey productive and enjoyable. Besides, if you’re traveling with children, you’ll find some insights on engaging them in the trip. Read on!
Where to go and what to visit while traveling
Besides visiting local landmarks and taking a tour bus around the city to experience popular attractions, consider exploring your destination through more immersive and engaging travel activities. Here are some uncommon suggestions to enhance your journey and make it memorable.
#1 Go to a library
Libraries are safe havens for tourists and locals who wish to take a quiet break from the hustle and bustle of cities. By visiting one during your travels, you can discover unique literature, delve into architectural uniqueness by observing your surroundings, explore local history by going through photo collections, and immerse yourself in a serene environment that drives intellectual curiosity. Generally, libraries are open to everyone and often do not require any entry fee. However, some popular ones may have specific sections, exhibits, or events requiring a fee.
One of the most popular libraries in the world is the New York Public Library. Its entrance is guarded by lion statues, the ceilings are adorned with murals, and rooms hold books of historical significance and cultural richness. The library hosts various events, exhibitions, and talks that can enhance your visit. Sitting down at a Rose Main Reading Room, you can write a postcard, indulge in fun coloring pages for teens, read a book, make a travel plan, or simply take in the beauty of the massive chandeliers and atmosphere of wisdom and reflection.
#2 Bike around the city
Biking allows you to explore a city at your own pace, access hidden nooks, and is generally environmentally friendly. You can stop at local markets, interact with residents, and quickly navigate streets and parks. Cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen are well-known for their bike-friendly environments and offer various routes that introduce you to their respective cultural and urban landscapes.
Moreover, today, lots of metropolises provide rental bikes, such as “Citi Bike” in New York City, “Santander Cycles” in London, and “Vélib'” in Paris. You can rent one of these bicycles, take a ride throughout the city, explore landmarks, parks, and urban scenes, and leave the bike at numerous designated docking stations whenever convenient.
#3 Visit a museum
Museums offer a window into your destination’s culture, history, and innovations. Selecting less-visited, specialized museums—like the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, Croatia, or the Paris Sewer Museum in France—provides unconventional insights into aspects of society and history that are often overlooked, ensuring a unique and enlightening experience.
You can also visit iconic museums with world-famous artworks and artifacts, such as The Louvre in Paris, the British Museum in London, or the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. They often host souvenir shops where you can purchase small replicas of historical artifacts, postcards featuring notable artworks, and other themed merchandise to remind you of your journey and cultural experience back home.
#4 Hike a mountain
Mountain hiking offers a physical challenge and introduces you to diverse terrains and breathtaking vistas. In places like Machu Picchu in Peru, you can discover ancient civilizations, while Mount Takao in Japan provides spiritual enlightenment amidst nature.
During your hike, you can take striking pictures, encounter wildlife, immerse in serene solitude, navigate diverse ecological systems, and forge new friendships with fellow hikers. This activity is perfect for adventurers willing to learn, explore, and engage with like-minded individuals in some of the planet’s most stunning and untouched settings.
#5 Embark on a gastronomic adventure
Gastronomic adventures allow you to taste the culture and traditions of a place. You can do so by exploring local markets, street food stalls, and cooking workshops. Trying street food in Bangkok, Thailand, or participating in a pasta-making workshop in Bologna, Italy, you get to engage with local culinary arts and discover their defining flavors.
You can try unusual flavors like durian ice cream in Singapore or spicy chapulines (grasshoppers) in Oaxaca, Mexico. Discover local delicacies like snake wine in Vietnam or surströmming (fermented herring) in Sweden. These culinary experiences will enrich your travel, offering insights into the local way of life, traditions, and culinary history.
#6 Board a scenic train journey
Scenic train journeys, like the Glacier Express in Switzerland or the Rocky Mountaineer in Canada, offer a unique travel experience with striking landscapes. You can traverse towering mountains, serene lakes, expansive forests, and rugged wilderness. This kind of journey provides a comfortable travel experience and allows you to observe and immerse in the picturesque sceneries.
Riding the panoramic trains, you can capture exquisite views, connect with other travelers, share stories, and create new memories while savoring local flavors and enjoying onboard services like gourmet dining, first-class seating, and guided tour commentaries.
#7 Join a local artist workshop
Participating in a local artist workshop supports local artisans and allows you to dive into traditional crafts. You can engage in a Batik painting workshop in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, or learn about traditional Maori carving in New Zealand, connecting with local artists and getting hands-on experience and insight into the cultural significance of their craft.
Moreover, this activity allows you to meet like-minded individuals, expand your social circle, and build connections with people passionate about art and creativity. Participating in a local artist workshop can also inspire your artistic endeavors, as you’re exposed to different styles and approaches, discovering new perspectives and art techniques.
How to properly plan your trip
To ensure a smooth travel experience and minimize potential hiccups, create a checklist and organize your itinerary well in advance. Here is a quick step-by-step guide on how to plan your trip effectively:
- Define your trip. Decide on your destination and the primary purpose of your trip, such as vacation, business, family visit, or exploration.
- Budgeting. Consider travel, accommodation, activities, and daily expenses to determine your budget.
- Travel arrangements. Book your flight, train, or bus tickets while comparing options to secure the best prices and timings.
- Accommodation. Choose and reserve your accommodation, considering location, budget, and comfort.
- Itinerary planning. Outline your activities and places to visit, balancing relaxation and exploration.
- Smart packing. Pack according to the weather, activities planned, and any travel restrictions.
- Travel insurance. Purchase travel insurance to safeguard against unforeseen circumstances.
- Document organization. Ensure your passport, visa, and other necessary documents are in order and securely packed.
- Gather local knowledge. Research local customs, language basics, and safety guidelines for your destination.
- Stay flexible. Keep your plans adaptable to accommodate unexpected changes or new discoveries.
3 fun activities to indulge with kids while traveling
Traveling with a family can be a fulfilling experience where you get to enjoy new destinations and engage in fun activities for kids and adults alike. Some tips for traveling with kids are planning ahead, prioritizing flexibility, and allocating downtime for rest and recreation. You can engage your kids in the planning to drive their anticipation for the journey while also helping them feel involved and considered.
Here are three things you can do when traveling with kids to ensure a smooth family trip experience:
Explore interactive science museums or centers
Science museums and interactive centers often have hands-on exhibits that engage children’s curiosity and make learning fun. From interactive displays on physics and biology to planetarium shows, these venues provide an entertaining and educational experience. For example, you can visit the Exploratorium in San Francisco, USA, or the NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Visit amusement or theme parks
An amusement or theme park is an excellent way to spend an exciting, fun day. You can go on roller coasters, carousels, and various themed attractions that bring joy and adrenaline to the whole family. Theme parks, like Disneyland or Universal Studios offer live shows for adults, gentle rides for the little ones, and thrill rides for the older kids. Besides, there’s always a variety of food stalls, gift shops, and spectacular parades that make lasting memories.
Engage in outdoor sports and games
Plan some time for outdoor sports or games suitable for the destination—for example, beach volleyball, paddleboarding, or even a simple game of frisbee in a park. Outdoor play keeps kids active and allows them to enjoy the natural surroundings. Besides, it can be a refreshing break from structured activities and sightseeing, allowing family members to unwind and have fun.
Traveling is an opportunity to experience new cultures, embark on exciting adventures, and create lasting memories. From the serene halls of historical libraries to the bustling streets navigated by rented city bikes, your journey can be easily filled with enriching experiences. As you explore various destinations, whether alone or with a family, immerse yourself in the local atmosphere, balancing planned activities with spontaneous endeavors.