Finding Things to Do in a New Place

Hopefully we’ll be able to travel again soon and when we do, we’ll want to find things to do where we’re traveling. Finding things to do in a new place can be easy and is so much fun. You probably have some ideas of what you’d like to do when you vacation someplace or you wouldn’t have chosen to travel there. When I chose Charleston, I wanted to see the historic architecture I’d heard so much about. I knew it was on the beach, and if you’re from a place where there’s winter 9 months out of the year, the beach sounds heavenly. So, I had some ideas as to what I wanted to do. But, what’s the best way to see the architecture? Which beach do I go to? Answering all these questions requires some research.

Ask People Who Have Traveled There Before

First, ask other people who have visited the place before for some tips and suggestions. My sister had traveled to Charleston a few months before I did. She told me which beach to go to. She suggested a seafood restaurant she really liked. She also told me I should definitely take a carriage ride around the historic areas. I did realize that my sister may be able to afford more than I can when vacationing, so the beach and seafood restaurant were in some wealthier areas. The restaurant was pretty pricey, and when I tried to make a reservation, they were booked out a week! But, I trusted my sister and didn’t do much research on these things, so I went to the beach she suggested any way. I had to pay for parking, which I didn’t anticipate, but it was only about $6 a day. When I couldn’t get into the restaurant she suggested, I spent an hour or so driving around looking for a different place, finding one, sitting down, looking at the menu, gasping, and leaving after paying for our drinks. That night, I ended up taking the kids to a dumpy bar for cheeseburgers. Not the best dinner. So, for the rest of the week, I used Yelp to find other places to eat. Or I asked locals. Asking locals proved to be the best idea. They always suggested something delicious. 

Use Groupon

One of the best ways to find things to do in a new place is to browse Groupon for some deals. I found a good price on the carriage ride my sister had suggested this way. And I found a good deal on plantation tickets on Groupon as well. We also bought boat tickets to Fort Sumter on Groupon. Groupon will have ideas for tourist attractions as well even if you don’t use the site for deals. You can also search for restaurant deals to save a little money.

Find Out What’s Unique About a Place

There are usually a few reasons why the place you’re traveling to is a popular place to visit. Maybe it’s in the mountains, so you should make sure to take some great hikes with beautiful vistas. Maybe it’s next to a beach, so you can plan on spending a few hours at the beach every day. Maybe it’s the architecture like Charleston. Maybe it’s the city life, like New York City or Chicago. Doing everything that makes a place unique will not only be fun, but will allow you to really get to know a place and its culture better.

Don’t Do Too Much Research

You want to plan some time when you don’t have things planned. This gives you time to just explore a place and what it has to offer as it comes. This can be valuable too. For example, when we took the carriage ride, I really wanted to walk along the historic streets a little bit more. So, afterwards, we walked to shopping, restaurants, and residential neighborhoods just to get a taste of things that interested us in the moment. Sometimes it’s just fun to poke around and explore. 

Let the Kids Decide

If you over schedule, the kids might hate the vacation. Planning some downtime to just explore may allow the kids to talk about what they’d like to do. Every time we went out to eat for dinner, I asked the kids which of three or four options they’d like. They really liked the beach, so after the first day, I planned more time at the beach for the second and third day. When we went to the flea market, I let them pick out a treat. My youngest also found a big ship he wanted to tour. Kids will have more fun and be more cooperative if they have a say too.

Just make sure you don’t over schedule yourself. If there’s too much to do, plan on coming back again another time. Remember it’s vacation and you should de-stress and not be overwhelmed. Enjoy yourself and take it easy.

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