Let's Travel Locally
May 14, 2020 • Viktoria Steinhaus
5 min read
Discover what’s around you and support the economy with a local adventure.
As the world of travel changes, we must adapt. It’s time to put our passports away and spend the next few months, year even, travelling locally.
Every country is suffering a major economic recession and as citizens of our respective countries, it’s our duty to stimulate the economy. Now, I’m not saying go spend all your money shopping, but I’m talking about putting your money back into the pockets of your fellow countrymen. It’s time to support local tourism, explore our own backyards and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us.
Plan a road trip with many stops
Tourism plays an important role in both Australia and New Zealand and many towns will suffer immense losses where tourism is heavily relied on. What’s the best way to support these towns? Plan a road trip.
Choose a route off the main highway where small 'Mom and Pop' shops need your business. Fill your tank from locally-owned petrol stations and stock up on snacks from the local dairy. Grab a coffee from the neighbourhood cafe or coffee cart to support small businesses over well-known chains.
Be sure to abide by your country’s travel restrictions, which may only allow regional travel. Grab a map and find places close by you haven’t visited before.
In Wellington? Take a drive to Cape Palliser and explore the wild Wairarapa.
Stay at locally-owned accommodation
Skip the hotel chains you’re familiar with and stick to family-owned accommodations on the road.
Rather than give your money to international corporations, let’s keep the money within our home country. Pop on your Campermate App to search for family-owned motels, hotels, campsites and caravan parks. Click on the accommodation option to see details on its ownership.
If you’re heading out on a hike, stay in huts on the trails or at state parks where the money goes back to the land. In New Zealand, there are over 200 DOC (Department of Conservation) campsites for you to choose from or if you are in Australia, choose from hundreds of National Parks like Queensland’s Boodjamulla National Park.
For those looking for bachs or homestays, try to avoid sites such as Booking.com or Airbnb that take big cuts from the local’s pockets. Book through their own website or try calling up the accommodation provider to see if you can reserve a spot.
Explore your own backyard
If travelling outside your region isn’t allowed yet, why not play tourist in your own city? Search for trails near your city and go for a walk. Dine at new restaurants or support your favourites. Grab some takeout and have a picnic in a scenic spot or grassy area that you haven’t visited before.
Check out your own city’s website to find what tourist spots are available. Hire a bicycle from a local outfit and cycle areas you typically drive. Near the water? Try out paddleboarding, kayaking or surfing if recreational activities are permitted.
Find new spots you’ve never been to
Use this time to explore areas you’ve talked about visiting, yet still haven’t. It’s common to avoid exploring our own regions and countries because it’s always there on your doorstep. With international travel a current no-go, this is your chance to go to those places you’ve put on the backburner.
Open the map on your Campermate App, and search nearby towns and parks, you’ve never been to. Plan a day trip or an overnight camping trip to experience something new in your own backyard.
Tourists hotspots are empty
One benefit of closed borders is fewer people travelling around your home country. Take this opportunity to visit those incredible hotspots that you typically avoid due to tourist overcrowding like New Zealand’s famous Tongariro Crossing. Check out viewpoints that are usually packed with selfie-sticks and enjoy these less-busy times.
Drive by the golden arches
When we’re on the road or even near home, it’s easy to choose the easy, convenient option that offers a drive-thru window, but in these times we must use our influence (money) to back up the smaller guys. Skip the Macca’s and KFC and choose a local pie shop, cafe or restaurant. Check out sites like Trip Advisor to help you find food nearby or simply ask a local in town where to find a great meal.
Another great option for purchasing food on the road is to look for roadside farmer’s markets that often offer meals and drinks. Choose wine and beer produced in your country and try to buy food grown or produced domestically.
This is our chance to support our home who have taken care of us during these difficult times. Let’s get out there and travel locally and support local businesses.
Where are you off to first after lockdown? Share below in the comment section!