When I’m not traveling, drinking coffee, or thinking up and writing posts for TWG, I’m a holistic health and fitness coach. So combining traveling with finding fun, fitness-oriented adventures is my passion. And it keeps me healthy while on the road! I also talk with many people about how they combine their travels with adventures in fun and fitness. And we all had great ideas. So whether you travel solo or with family and friends, or whether you travel for work or pleasure, or a combination of both, see what you think of these ideas to upgrade your travel experiences.
1. It’s always great to get ideas from the locals, and in person.
When I’m in a new place, I always stop by the local running shops or sports stores to see what they recommend. Usually they have info not just about running but about biking or swimming pools, as well. Who knows, maybe you’ll join a local running event that you never even knew was happening while you’re visiting!
2. I’m old school when it comes to using maps.
Find a site you want to see that’s far from your accommodations and then plan a walk or bike ride to those sites. I usually find a coffee house I want to check out that’s far from my lodgings and head there!
3. I’m also old school when it comes to wandering and getting lost.
With my map stashed in my daypack I’ll just wander around. See an interesting street or shop? Trust your instincts and allow yourself to head off course. I’m sure we’ve all had amazing times doing this and finding just the perfect spot, store, restaurant, or site. Turn off the GPS and allow yourself to wander. Even getting lost can be a fun adventure. This happened to me in Prague and I ended up finding a store with just the right shirt for myself.
4. If you’re an active person like me, it’s likely you have many sports you enjoy.
Take a long walk to a swimming pool, and then walk back to your hotel. Rent a bike one-way and after you drop it off, walk back to your hotel. Walk to a park and join in a local bootcamp class. Meeting locals in this way is fun! Or combine an active adventure with your other passions. Do you enjoy movies? I do. Whenever I travel I try to catch a movie. I find watching films in other countries, even if they aren’t in a language I understand, to be fun, fascinating cultural experiences.
5. Are you an early bird and your favorite coffee house isn’t open yet? How about catching a sunrise?
Ask at your hotel where a great sunrise spot might be. I find this sunrise spotting activity to be particularly fun if you’re working through jet-lag and are up early anyway. Surely this will at least get you tuned into locating east/west and help orient you to your local location. I’m more of a sunset girl, but each time I see the sunrise I’m still awed by its beauty.
6. Enjoy the weather, no matter what…….and stay active!
This is one of my favorite travel strategies. Let’s face it, I’ve spent a lot of years living in places like San Diego and Hawaii where people say there is no weather :)) Over the years, though, I’ve forced myself to travel to places during their winter season, and it’s really been great for me. I’m no longer uncomfortable or worried about weather. It is what it is and I’ll embrace it all.
And just to show you I WALK my talk, this past December I spent 10 days in Vancouver, Canada, and we got WEATHER! It snowed, sleeted, and rained. Every day, one of the three, and on some days all three! Some days it was so icy the best mode of transportation would have been ice skates! Nevertheless, I averaged walking 7 miles a day. So, don’t let rain or snow keep you inside when you travel. The locals go out and about and you’ll feel much more connected to the community when you go out, too. And besides, it’s a lot of fun to talk about the weather over a late afternoon hot chocolate in some special cafe you discovered while walking around.
7. Always make a point of visiting the parks whenever you travel.
From the smaller pocket parks you find in so many cities, to the bigger more famous national parks, I’ve gotten so much pleasure from traveling and spending time in open green spaces. It’s not only a wonderful way to join in with the locals as they enjoy their parks, but I’ll bet you’ll sleep much better from all the fresh air and greenery.
8. As someone who’s a natural planner, this one is a challenge. Don’t be plan-less but PLAN LESS!
I’ve learned to couple planning with a healthy dose of spontaneity, and I’m having a ton of fun. This also helps with staying self-aware and learning to adjust my travels and adventures to match my energies. Coupling planning with spontaneity also helps when we travel with others. Maybe I had a long hike planned but a bike ride or walk by the beach seems more like everyone else’s speed. Group activities are part of the ideal travel adventure, too!
9. Go tech-less, for a change.
I’ve been coaching runners and triathletes for a long time and it’s tough to separate them from their tech gear. The just love having metrics about everything! But once in awhile it’s time to forget about the numbers and just get out and go. When you’re not focused on the numbers so much, you pick up a lot of other sensory experiences you wouldn’t notice otherwise. You see, hear, smell, and generally experience places differently this way. Try it and see what you think.
10. Use what’s available for an outdoor adventure.
Yesterday, I was sitting outside a coffee house and a young boy, maybe 13, was doing amazing things. He seemed like a PARKOUR magician. He was using what was around him: chairs, benches, concrete walls, flower beds, and having so much fun. It reminded me that we can get creative, think outside the box, and turn the outdoors into a wonderful physical adventure. I won’t be doing Parkour anytime soon, but I can certainly use escalators and walkway systems, like I did in Hong Kong to create an amazing adventure of my own!
11. Do you believe in rewarding yourself? I certainly do.
Been out walking all day in Dublin? A Guinness is always nearby :) Talk story, as they say in Hawaii, and share your adventurous tales with friends and family. And then plan your next adventure, or not!
Which of these 11 tips is your favorite? What would you add to the list? Let me know in the comments!