I would go on vacation several times a year if I could. I love everything about traveling: the journey to my destination, staying in hotels, trying new food, and of course the beach! I get REALLY antsy if it’s been a bit since I have been able to enjoy a different scenery or be somewhere other than home. And unfortunately, we are unable to travel as much as I would really like to, so I have had to find creative ways to fulfill the feeling of being on a vacation while not traveling far from home.
Here are some of my tips for others that feel like I do:
Try someplace new
This may seem like a no-brainer, but often we get stuck in the grind of visiting and eating at the same places. Sometimes, something as simple as visiting or eating somewhere new is all you need to have a new appreciation for the area in which you live. For example, today I tried Taconooga for the first time. For a little while, I felt like I was somewhere else. Even if you have lived in the area your whole life, there are surely some places in the vicinity that you haven’t been to before.
Take a different route
I generally take the freeway to the zoo, but some traffic recently led us to a back way that I hadn’t taken before. It was a beautiful drive and it reminded me of the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida. I find that I get this same appreciation whenever I take time to drive by or walk by the beautiful river. It isn’t the ocean, but it definitely has a charm of its own.
Visit local attractions
Even if you have a membership to the zoo or the aquarium and have been a million times, there is still something special about escaping the everyday grind and visiting some exotic animals or fish for a while. Though our zoo is relatively small, going there reminds me of being at Busch Gardens. Also don’t hesitate to spoil yourself or your kids when visiting local attractions; a hot pretzel, ice cream, and the occasional souvenir make anyone’s day more special!
Take a day or overnight trip
We are lucky enough to be within a couple hours driving distance to a few major cities and numerous unique places and activities. Last summer, the kids and I visited my friend in Nashville for the day and got to enjoy their beautiful zoo and eat at a pizza place that we had never tried before. That little day trip satiated my need to travel and we were home that night. We are planning a return visit this summer, though we plan on staying in a hotel for a night for fun!
Stay in a hotel
Who doesn’t enjoy staying in a hotel and whose kids don’t enjoy hotels? (My son asks me weekly if we can go stay at one.) You can get a room for the night in your city or somewhere nearby just to enjoy the change of scenery and the awesome hotel breakfast in the morning. I haven’t done this yet in Chattanooga, but have considered it many times after a long day of exploring downtown.
Visitors give a new perspective
One of my favorite things is when one of my best friends visits me from California each year and I am able to explore Chattanooga like a tourist again. We spend the majority of our time downtown enjoying the sights and eating at our favorite restaurants or trying new ones. Since my friend stays at a hotel, my family and I also get to enjoy some time there; some of our favorite activities are hanging at the pool, which always makes the kids (and me) happy, and enjoying happy hour at the hotel.