Going Somewhere?

May 31, 2009 at 7:47 am | Posted in Adventures | 2 Comments

bus_palmetto2Over at Tiny Choices, the tip for the day is: Vacation Locally. “What with the economy tanking, many folks are sticking closer to home for their vacations this year,” they write, “but it’s a green decision, too. Cut out the airline portion of a holiday and you’ve just eliminated the biggest polluter by far!”

So true! Just as you can scavenge entertainment by finding free concerts, lectures, slide shows and the like (consult the calendars for nearby colleges, art galleries, park districts and libraries, and borrow DVDs and CDs from libraries), you can scavenge a whole trip by taking public transit (or walking) somewhere that deserves a closer look, has free or cheap admission, and is near free or cheap lodging. Start by consulting maps of your area. Are beaches nearby? Mountains? Big cities? Be creative. Just because a place is nearby doesn’t automatically mean a place is boring or that you already know everything about it. Make it a themed trip, for example: Commit yourself to spending a whole day each in all the museums within a forty-mile radius of your home — or sampling, say, all the early-bird specials within a forty-mile radius. Sporty? Circumambulate a mountain, lake, or town. Retrace a historic route just as our ancestors did: on foot. Or just take a fun break enjoying all the legal freebies you can find. (Advance research will help.) Where to stay? CouchSurfing is exactly what it sounds like: Stay overnight with willing strangers anywhere in the world for free (with the understanding that your couch is available for future visits too). We’ve never tried it ourselves, but friends of ours love it.

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