Vacationing in Your Own Backyard: The Do’s and Don’ts

Going somewhere new is always exciting, but it’s also fun and rewarding to explore your own city every once and a while.

Living in New York City, especially, I can get stuck in my routines and not even notice the wonderful world and sites around me. A lot of people can relate. Once you have your schedule in place, it’s easy to only really breathe in your surroundings and smell the roses when you’re in a new place.

Remembering to appreciate where you live and what’s around you is so important!

Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do while you tour your own space:

Do’s

  1. Do go to a restaurant you’ve been dying to try, even if it’s a splurge. When you’re exploring your own surroundings, it’s easy to get caught up in your typical budget, but this won’t actually feel like a trip or vacation if you don’t move outside your comfort and some budgetary zones.
  2. Do bring your phone, but don’t be glued to it. Phones are crucial to navigation, looking up reviews, and documenting your travels, but staying stuck on your phone will distract you from what’s around you. Sure answer texts from friends and family, but try to only check your phone a few times during the day.
  3. Do plan your trip ahead of time. This will help you get into the mentality that this is truly a vacation, and in doing research you may find some new sites to see that you otherwise would’ve passed up. Planning also helps to get you excited for what’s to come!
  4. Do support a different sports team. Sporting events are great ways to experience different places. No matter if your favorite team is playing or not, going to a new stadium and cheering alongside fans is a great immersive tip.

Don’ts

  1. Do not sleep in. It’s time to get up and get going! Let yourself sleep in a little, but don’t stay in bed all day. The world is your oyster and it’s time you see it! If it helps, make a reservation for breakfast to get you up and motivated.
  2. Do not be afraid to look like a tourist. It’s easy to feel embarrassed when you’re lost, don’t know what you’re doing, or taking a silly picture when you’re home, though it’s somehow not embarrassing when you’re on vacation. Living with the mindset that you’re experiencing things for the first, and maybe only, time will help you come out of your shell.
  3. Don’t go to your usual places. For all intents and purposes, you have never visited this city before. Only keep your favorites places in mind to avoid them!
  4. Don’t go home too early. Live like it’s the last day of your trip and you’re soaking up every last minute! Stay out late, see a show, go to happy hour, visit a dive bar. Live out your backyard vacation as long as possible. On a similar token, try not to go home at all during the day. Act like you checked out of your hotel already and the city is all that’s left.
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