Traveling can be a difficult thing to plan and coordinate because there is literally a whole world out there that you can explore. While it is never a bad idea to visit tourist hotspots, these destinations usually come with larger crowds and higher prices. If your budget is a bit tight this time around, or you just want to veer off the beaten path, here are a few unique travel ideas for yourself and your friends to enjoy.
1. Cabin in the Woods/Off-the-Grid
In a world where we are surrounded by technology at all angles, it is nice to give yourself a bit of a break from screens from time to time. Find yourself a nice campground, or a cute cabin in the woods on Airbnb, and get back to nature for a weekend. Bring books, art supplies, instruments, or anything that stimulates some creativity and peacefulness within. Have some real conversations amongst your friends and enjoy the small private world that you’ve created with each other. Also remember check out any nearby towns for events or supplies and support their local businesses.
2. Road Trip around the U.S.
Whether you start with a predetermined itinerary in mind, or you just jump in the car and go, a road trip with a few friends is a great way to see a wide variety of places and attractions. There are endless possibilities when it comes to the paths you take on a road trip. Keep in mind whether you want to see specific attractions or states, then time and budget yourself accordingly. Consider fuel cost, food, sleeping arrangements, how long you want to be in each state, etc. If a schedule does not matter to you, pick a direction−north, south, or right through the middle−and just drive.
3. Museum Hop
Look up museums, near and far, that pique your interests and go check them out. Maybe you decide to revisit ones that have new and interesting exhibits, or you explore new museums to uncover what amazing treasures they hold. Art stimulates conversations we might not otherwise gravitate towards, and you never know what you will discover amongst your friends while you observe various pieces.
4. Follow the Hiking Trails
If you’re feeling up to a little exercise, research some new hiking trails that look interesting or challenging for you. Expose yourself to some new surroundings, and reconnect with nature as you trek along the trees and mountains. Conquer local trails near your hometown, or those farther out in your state and surrounding areas. For an advanced hiking challenge, consider taking on the Appalachian Trail that stretches across 14 states, from Maine down through Georgia, and covers roughly 2,192 miles. Bear in mind that you’d need to set aside about 6 months to complete the Appalachian trail, and would need to sufficiently plan ahead in order to hike it in one go.
5. Used Book Stores
For the heavy readers and book lovers alike, make an updated reading list for yourself of books you want to read right now. Then look up some used book stores, or locally owned shops, and try to get all of the books on your list from these stores! It always helps to support local businesses, and you are likely to save a fortune compared to buying books through larger known companies.
6. Town Fairs/Carnivals/Amusement Parks
It isn’t often that we get to enjoy ourselves at an amusement park, or local town fair. They are a great way to let out our inner kid as we enjoy rides, performances, and endless amounts of delicious treats. Try to finally win that huge stuffed animal you’ve always dreamed of having (and were too broke to buy). Research smaller scale fairs to avoid huge crowds and long waiting lines, or splurge a little if you want to go to big name parks like Disney, Universal, or Six Flags.
7. Theatre Trip
Follow your favorite plays or musicals on the road, and travel to cities near and far to see the shows you have been waiting for. It’s tempting to want to sit around and hope for a show to come to you, but there is always the possibility that the touring company may skip your state entirely. If you have the funds to cover the tickets and the travel costs, go out and follow that show!
8. Tastebud Travel
Maybe you spent the day watching the Food Network and now you’re extra hungry, or you have had a specific food craving for days. Plan a trip to a city or state that is notorious for whatever dish your tastebuds are crying for. Philly cheesesteaks, Brooklyn pizza, Maine lobsters, New Orleans jambalaya. All of that and more is out there for you to enjoy. Always remember to appreciate the local culture and scenery while you enjoy your tasty meals. You never know what you’ll discover.