What do I do with my luggage after checking out from my hotel?

What do I do with my luggage after checking out from my hotel?

You’re ready to leave your hotel room but still have some time before you have the next place to put it… Maybe you want to go exploring or shopping or just out for a bite to eat before you move on to your next stop.

You’ve just checked out and you’re standing in the lobby, trying to figure out what to do with your luggage. Do you lug it around all day? Or maybe ask the concierge if they can hold onto it for you?

In this post we’ll cover everything from storing your luggage at the front desk, to using a baggage storage service. We’ll discuss when each option is best used, how much they cost, and how easy or difficult they are to access depending on where you are staying! And the last one on the list is my favorite. Let’s go!

Ask the hotel for a late checkout

If it fits your schedule, this can be a great option. Some hotels are very helpful this way and others have more rigid schedules and timelines. Just ask and you can have the ability to check out later that day instead of mid morning.

But sometimes this won’t cover your needs. If, for example, you are traveling to a very crowded city, there is a chance someone has already booked your now-vacant room. Before the hotel staff can help the next group of guests, your room needs to be cleaned. In order to give them time to do that, they might not be able to offer you much more time.

That’s ok. There are other options for you to do with your luggage after you check out of your hotel.

Ask the hotel if they have a place you can leave your luggage for a couple of hours

If you’re unable to extend your check-out time at a hotel, just check with the front desk to see if they will hold your luggage for you until later in the day. Now you don’t have to lug around a heavy bag!

Most hotels will just do this for you for free. I usually stay at Marriotts and they are usually happy to do that and put it in a storage room for me at no cost for a couple of hours.

It’s up to the hotel where you’re staying as to whether they charge for this service. Make sure you check with them before leaving your luggage. You don’t want to pick it up to be surprised by a storage fee of some kind.

And know that if it is a heavy travel season or if the hotel is busy, they might not offer this service at all.

It’s also common to find lockers at hotels, which are a convenient way to store your luggage for a small fee.

It is always a good idea when possible to plan this out before you leave on your trip. This way there are no surprises when you are on the road.

And know that a storage locker or storage service will be more secure than the hotel staff storing it behind the front desk or the concierge closet.

Ask the hotel if there are other hotels near them that would store it for a couple of hours

Ask the hotel if they know others near them that may offer storage services that your hotel doesn’t have. Or call a few yourself. It’s easy to do and can be a simple solution.

If you’ve booked a hotel or hostel in a well-known travelers or tourist area they will be very familiar with this need and have options and suggestions ready to go.

Look for self-storage options near you

ok, you’ve tried all the above and aren’t having any luck. If the hotels haven’t already suggested a self-service storage locker service, that’s the next thing you can look into.

One of the best things about self-storage services is they’re open 24/7 and have no limit as to how long you can store your luggage. As mentioned before, they are also one of the more secure options as well.

Store it at an airport, bus station, train station or taxi company you are using

Nearly every airport has a luggage storage area as well. When you check out from a hotel you can go store it there and head out for as long as you want.

It’s best to give them a call and check their rates and where it is relative to the gate that you will need to be for your next flight. And if you’re not flying, can you get to it and get back out easily and get on your way.

Also, double-check their hours to ensure you don’t have any issues there. Usually, they are open 24 hours a day, but not all of them are.

Similarly, Train and bus stations and sometimes taxi companies will have a locker area that you can utilize as well.

It’s always good to verify the size of the lockers as well, to make sure your bags will easily fit in them.

If you are flying, see if you can check your bags early

Many airlines allow you to check in your luggage up to four hours prior to takeoff. If you need storage for a longer time and the hotel or one of the other options we have talked about will cover part of the time you need, then you can bring it to the airport early and your problem is solved.

This can also help if you have a really long layover and your bags aren’t automatically being transferred to your next flight. Check em in early and then you don’t have to camp out with them at the gate for hours. You can go explore and enjoy your time at the airport.

Are you renting a car or hiring a driver? Leave it with them

Will you be doing some site seeing or renting a car or hiring a driver for a large amount of time?

Book that car for enough time to get you to your flight or next destination. That way you have a place for all your luggage and it is with you the whole time. Problem solved.

Send it with a postal company

You can’t find any other storage facility in the hotel, airport, and even surrounding bus and train stations. You don’t want to pay the money to hire a driver for the day. (I don’t blame you)

A more nontraditional way to deal with your luggage is to ship it to your final destination. Think about it. Post it and just get it when you get there.

When checking out of your hotel, you might want to use a luggage shipping option like USPS or My Baggage. This will allow you to enjoy the rest of your trip without worrying about lugging around suitcases across town.

Cloakrooms of museums or galleries you’re visiting

Museums or galleries you’re visiting

Some museums and galleries have storage sites where you can leave your belongings. Just ask. The same goes for other places you might want to visit. Check with them to see if they can help you, and if they can’t, ask them for ideas.

There’s an app for that

Does that surprise you? Hit you app store and search for uggage storage app. You will find a plethora of options.

I have found that most apps offer a map-based interface with pictures and detailed information about the property or business. It’s really easy to find what you’re looking for when using these types of apps, especially if English is not your first language.

The app can even provide the price estimates as well as reviews from other customers.

Some of the features I have seen are self-pick up and drop off, 24 hour access to luggage storage facilities near your location, online booking for convenience as well as an in app chat function if you need assistance with any aspect of their service.

The most popular apps on the market offer a free trial or a discounted rate. Pretty slick!

Make sure to check the reviews out thoroughly and you should be good to go.

Here are four you can check out for starters:

Nannybag

Locations: 10,000+ locations in 500+ cities (mostly across USA and Europe)

Price: Starting at $6 USD a day per bag

Radical Storage

Locations: At the time of writing, they have over 3,000 locations in 300 cities pretty much worldwide… And they’re the cheapest option too.

Price: Starting at $6 USD a day per bag

Airkeep

Locations: South America, Central America, Europe, North America

Price: Starting at $7 USD a day per bag

Bounce

Locations: 10,000+ locations in 500+ cities (mostly across USA and Europe)

Price: Starting at $5.90 USD a day per bag

There are plenty of luggage services for you to access quickly and book before a trip. There’s a whole industry of lockers and services that travelers can use.

FAQ

These are questions we get about what to do with luggage at times on your trips… Let’s make sure we answered all of them.

Can I leave my luggage at the hotel after checking out?

Yes, you can typically leave your luggage at the front desk or in a luggage locker after checking out. When you check-in just ask about those services. Hotels can typically help you for free or a nominal fee.

What to do with luggage after checking out of an airbnb?

When you check out of an Airbnb you can use the same ideas we have highlighted in this article, Lockers at transportation stations, local hotels, luggage storage apps, coat rooms at museums or other places you might be visiting, etc. But you can also ask you host if they can help or have any ideas.

What to do with luggage when you have a late flight?

If you have a late flight, your airline may be able to store your bags at the airport for free or a nominal fee.

Check with your airline about their specific policies.

If they wont or can’t, most airports have a storage lockers you can use.

You should also check with your hotel as well to see if they offer a baggage storage service.

You can also use web-services or the apps we mentioned above to store your luggage.

What do I do with luggage before my flight?

Check your bags in early so you don’t have to carry them around with you. Most terminals have storage lockers that you can use to lock your carry-on luggage up in so you don’t have to keep track of it and carry it with you till you board the plane.

Can hotels hold your luggage?

Most hotels are happy to hold your luggage for you for free or a nominal fee. Just check with the front desk or consierge.

I would suggest keeping your valuables with you though as that is the safest thing to do.

Will a hotel hold my luggage if I’m not staying there?

Hotels sometimes do hold luggage for people that aren’t their guests. You just need to ask. Lots of hotels have storage lockers that anyone can store their luggage in. Others have a storage room they can store you bags in.

It does depend on the hotel though, and how busy they are with their current customers.

Can hotels hold your luggage before check-in?

Some hotels will hold your luggage before check-in. Though some hotels will only allow guests to store their bags at the hotel for a fee, many of these charges occur when you’re checking out.

Conclusion

Well, there you have it. Hope you found an idea or two in here helpful for you.

Whether it is one or a combination of a couple of them. The next time you have luggage but no place to put it, try one of these and let us know if we missed anything or how it went for you.

Cheers

Traveling to The Bahamas? Your 30+ Questions Answered!

Traveling to The Bahamas? Your 30+ Questions Answered!

crystal clear beach with a couple of boats anchored off the coast. arial view

If you’re currently planning or thinking of a trip to The Bahamas, then this post is for you. We’ve compiled 30+ questions that we’ve been asked by people thinking of traveling to The Bahamas and provided detailed answers and helpful tips for each of them. 

Whether you have a specific question about traveling there or just want some general information, our guide will help answer any questions that might be on your mind!

The Bahamas is a beautiful, welcoming island chain with so much to offer. Whether you’re looking for an adventurous escape or a relaxing retreat, The Bahamas can make your dream vacation come true.

In a place with such natural beauty and sunshine, you’ll find plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy like snorkeling on pristine coral reefs or kayaking among mangroves.

The islands offer plenty for land-lubbers too!

But I’m getting distracted. Let’s answer your questions. Check out the table of contents to get right to the questions that are most important to you, or simply read on.

Do you need a passport to go to The Bahamas?

Yes, a valid passport is typically required for all U.S. citizens to travel to The Bahamas. They will also ask you when you anticipate leaving the country as well.

If you will be in The Bahamas on a cruise, another Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document will usually suffice as well. Check with your cruise line for their specific instructions, and here is more information on WHTI.

Do I need a passport to go to The Bahamas on a cruise?

If you are a US citizen, you do not need to have a passport in order to take what is called an “open-loop cruise” (one where the beginning and end of the cruise are different locations) from the United States. You’ll need to show another form of proof like a birth certificate and government-issued ID though.

Is The Bahamas a US territory?

The Bahamas are not a U.S. territory and have been an independent country since 1973. The Bahamas were a territory of the United Kingdom before then and achieved independence from Britain on July 10, 1973.

It is now a fully self-governing member of the United Nations.

Where can US citizens go without a passport?

US citizens can go to the following locations without a passport: The U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

They are all located in the Caribbean or the Pacific Ocean. They are some great options for booking a vacation or some traveling, and you don’t need a passport for them!

US citizens cannot go to The Bahamas without a passport.

What is the best month to go on a cruise to The Bahamas?

The best month to cruise to The Bahamas is in January. It comes after the rainy and hurricane seasons and is typically really cold in the U.S. making a perfect time to visit.

One of the worst times to book a trip to The Bahamas is hurricane season… June through early November. If you book a trip during those months check the forecast before booking, and make sure you’re prepared for possible travel delays.

You can find some great travel deals at that time of year though.

But The Bahamas offer many incredible qualities all year round,

and you will usually find good weather and beautiful surroundings most anytime you go.

How many people live in The Bahamas?

There are more than 400,000 people living in The Bahamas. In 2019 it was 389,482 according to World Bank and The United Nations.

How big are The Bahamas?

5,358 mi² or 13877.km²

The Bahamas is a collection of nearly 700 coral islands. The largest five by island area are

North Andros 1,328 miles²

Great Inagua 596 miles²

South Andros 559 miles²

Great Abaco 442 miles²

Grand Bahama 423 miles²

How much does it cost to go on a cruise to The Bahamas?

Bahamas cruises from Florida for three or four days can cost from $200-$600 for an inside room with double occupancy.

There are other variables as well of course. And upgrades to things like an ocean view are always available for an additional $100-$1,300. And suites or balconies for another $200-$1,500.

Can you use your driver’s license in The Bahamas?

Foreign visitors may drive in The Bahamas for up to three months with their domestic driver’s license or an international driving permit.

Many forms of ID are accepted in The Bahamas, including driver’s licenses, passports books and cards. U.S. and UK driver licenses are valid in The Bahamas for up to three months as well.

Can felons go on a cruise to The Bahamas?

Yes, after all my traveling, and a bunch of research, I’m not aware of them asking about a traveler’s criminal record of those entering The Bahamas.

I would suggest if you are asking for yourself that you refrain from dressing in an extreme way… and be respectful when you present yourself to the customs agent and you should be fine.

What is the best cruise to The Bahamas?

There are lots of great options. Here are a few of my favorites. It is a big list but there are so many ways to slice-and-dice the different options out there.

Best Overall: MSC Cruises

They are great because they offer lots of different types of ships, so you can choose what fits your needs best. If you feel like you want a luxury experience, they have that. If you would rather be on the spacious ship with tons of activities and stuff to do or more like a floating resort then MSC is for you too!

The MSC Divina has some great features if you are looking at an all-inclusive cruise as well. It was voted best cruise line

Best for Families: Royal Caribbean

Families love Royal Caribbean because they have lots of great activities and facilities including an 18 hole mini-golf course, a video arcade room and kid’s clubs. And they are pretty affordable as well.

Best Value: Norwegian Cruise Line or Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line

These cruise lines make it affordable to travel to The Bahamas. They have great rates and options to get your whole family on a cruise without paying an arm and a leg.

Best for Couples: Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival is a great choice because they offer a lot of different cruise options, so you can find one that best fits your needs and price range. They have more family-oriented options, short “getaway” type trips, or longer vacations if you are looking for something more extravagant.

They also have lots of romantic features on their ships like sushi bars, chocolate fountains and loads of choices when it comes to top deck games.

Best for Adults: Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity offers adults a luxury experience that is unlike anywhere else, they are an upscale cruise line and have lots of onboard activities to choose from including golf courses, movie theaters, casinos and spas. They also offer some ships with nightly live shows like Broadway productions

Where do the cruise ships dock in The Bahamas?

The Bahamas is an archipelago of 700 islands, with the largest being Grand Bahama Island. Approximately 50 islands are inhabited and most of these are found in the western chain.

Cruise ships dock at a number of different ports on Grand Bahama Island including Freeport, Nassau and Paradise Island which is home to many hotels and resorts. 

There are a lot of different islands and ports in The Bahamas that cruise ships dock at. Here are a few of the bigger ones.

Disney Castaway Cay

Disney Cruise Line’s private island, Castaway Cay, may be the most spectacular beach and port in The Bahamas. The Walt Disney Company acquired a 99-year lease to the land on the Bahamian island in 1997. The lease gives the cruise company total control of how visitors experience their visit on the island.

Bimini Islands

The Bimini Islands are located approximately 140 miles west of Nassau and about 53 miles east of Miami. Biminis are the closest Bahamian destination to the U.S.

The Bimini Islands have a total population of around 2,000. They are made up of several cays and 3 islands – North Bimini, South Bimini, East Bimini.

Coco Cay

Coco Cay, an island in the Berry Islands in The Bahamas is one of the most popular destinations for people seeking a relaxing getaway. It is privately leased and used exclusively by Royal Caribbean for their cruises.

It is located approx 55 mi (90 km) north of Nassau and adjacent to Great Stirrup Cay, an NCL or Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island.

Nassau

The Bahamas’ capital and largest seaport is located east of Florida, USA. Nassau covers an area a little more than twice the size of New York City’s Central Park with a population of 275,000 people in total inhabiting just over 80 miles (207 km) squared.

MSC Ocean Cay

Ocean Cay is a private island in The Bahamas owned by the cruise line MSC Cruises. The company bought the small Bahamian island and built an exclusive cruise port there.

Exuma Islands

The Bahamas consists of many island groups and districts. Exuma is one of them, located in the Bahamanian Southern islands with 365 cays (small islands), a total area of 72 miles² (187 kilometers²) and a population of around 7000.

Great Exuma Island is the largest island in the archipelago. It’s 37 miles long and 61 square miles (158 kilometers²). Little Exuma is 11 miles² (29 kilometers²).

The capital and largest town of the island is George Town/Georgetown, with a population of about 1500.

Harbour Island

Harbour Island is part of the Out Islands, a destination in The Bahamas located off its northeastern coast.

What is the cheapest month to go to The Bahamas?

The lowest-priced flights in The Bahamas tend to happen from August – November. Because there aren’t a lot of people who tend to flock to The Bahamas in search of a beach holiday during this time there are lots of great deals to be found at the hotels and resorts.

With the islands being less crowded it can be a fantastic opportunity to have a more quiet and relaxing vacation than when it is packed with tourists. Just keep in mind it is hurricane season.

Can you take a ferry to The Bahamas from Florida?

Yes, You can take the Baleària Caribbean ferry from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Bimini in The Bahamas. It’s a convenient and affordable way to visit The Bahamas!

Can you see The Bahamas from Florida?

No, you can’t see the western islands of The Bahamas as they are 50 miles from the Florida coast. But being that close, it is easy to find a ferry or boat that can take you there.

There are ferries from Miami, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and other Florida ports as well which travel the short distance to The Bahamas.

Can I use U.S. dollars in The Bahamas?

Yes, you can use U.S. dollars in The Bahamas. In fact, the Bahamian dollar, the official currency in The Bahamas, and U.S. dollars are used interchangeably. If you are traveling to The Bahamas from another country, I always recommend converting your currency into Bahamian currency before your departure to avoid the hassle and high exchange rates of changing your money on the island.

Is it dangerous to go to The Bahamas?

It is not a dangerous country to travel to. Especially if you follow some basic safety tips. The risk of experiencing violence or theft. However, there are some things you should be careful about while you’re on vacation regardless of where you are.

– Keep your money and important items in a safe place.

– Avoid walking around at night by yourself or flashing cash while you’re out partying. It’s best to take taxis home if possible, but not the unmarked ones, and use common sense when looking at your transportation options.

– Be aware of what is happening on the news while you are there.

– Use caution when on the water, whether it be by boat or swimming in the ocean. The water and beaches are beautiful but follow any signs that prohibit swimming to make sure you don’t get caught up in a rip current or end up getting hurt.

So you are aware of some of the crime hotspots… Most of the crime reported throughout The Bahamas is in New Providence and Grand Bahama islands. But it is likely this is because there are more people that live there.

Crimes, such as burglaries, sexual assault and robberies do happen in The Bahamas. That said, these crimes are usually not as prevalent in tourist areas.

Why is The Bahamas so rich?

The gross national product or GNP per capita is one of the highest in the Caribean. The Bahamas economy has largely been developed by tourism and international financial services. When tourism flourishes they do really well. The inverse is true as well.

How much are flights to The Bahamas?

The price of your flight will vary based on a number of factors including the time of year, the airline, how far in advance you book your ticket and what airport you will be flying from. My favorite way to find great prices on flights is Google Flights.

How much is a trip to The Bahamas?

Traveling to The Bahamas can be an expensive endeavor or a relatively cheap one depending on how you like to travel. Do you like to live out of a backpack and stay in hostiles or do you need to have a 5-star hotel with personal wait staff and a new excursion planned and provided for you every day? Most of us are somewhere in between.

The average hotel price in The Bahamas for two people is $175 USD. And flights, depending on when you fly and from where are about $375 USD. So, a week-long trip for two to The Bahamas including flights and hotel costs on average $1,800 to $2,000. Keep in mind additional costs for food, transportation and activities or entertainment.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway with your better half or a month living out of a backpack with friends, you can still find affordable vacation packages that offer great value in The Bahamas. 

Is Jamaica part of The Bahamas?

Jamaica is not a part of The Bahamas. The Bahamas are an island country in the Caribbean Sea that lies south of Florida and Cuba. The islands are a chain of 700 islands from east to west with just under 400,000 people living on them.

The island nation of Jamaica is south of The Bahamas and Cuba and west of Hati. When it comes to Caribbean vacations, they both have a lot to offer – Jamaica with its lively, bustling atmosphere and The Bahamas with its laidback island vibe.

The people of The Bahamas speak English as well as some Spanish. The official language of Jamaica is English, and the unofficial language is Patois.

What islands can you go without a U.S. passport?

Here are five exotic places you can go without a U.S. passport, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Altogether, these five places encompass thousands of miles of beautiful tropical

paradise and thousands of beaches, ruins and adventures fully accessible to you without a U.S. passport.

The Bahamas are not on this list because it is an independent country and you need to have a passport in order to travel there.

Can you drive from Florida to The Bahamas?

While The Bahamas close to Florida, you can’t drive from Florida to The Bahamas.

To get there, you need to cross about 50 miles of ocean so flying or taking a ferry are better options than driving. 

How long can I stay in The Bahamas?

Thirty days is the maximum amount of time U.S. resident non-citizens will be able to stay in The Bahamas after their arrival date without a visa, even if they have a valid U.S. Passport.

If you are a Canadian citizen, you can enter The Bahamas without a visa. If you plan on staying in the country for longer than eight months, however, then you will need to apply for one through your local embassy or consulate.

Which is better Bahamas or Caribbean cruise?

The Caribbean is full of great options for a vacation, but you can’t beat the convenience of traveling to The Bahamas. In the end, it really depends on what you are looking for. They are both great options and a lot of the times a cruise to one will overlap into the other as well.

Caribbean cruises are usually a little cheaper, but travel to and from the islands at will can be more difficult. The Bahamas is very close to the United States and many people prefer having a shorter trip at their destination. Additionally, The Caribbean has more opportunities for excursions and activities than you will find in Nassau or Freeport.

They are very similar in a lot of ways. The Bahamas is technically closer to the U.S., but then again there are many different islands in the Caribbean you can visit which will save you time and money on travel. You might also want to consider whether or not you plan on doing a lot of excursions and what type you would enjoy the most.

The Bahamas is a great place to visit with its famous Atlantis Resort, while the Caribbean has some of the best white sand beaches ever! If you are looking for good snorkeling and scuba diving spots then head on down south to The Bahamas.

In the end, just hop on google maps or Instagram or your favorite travel site and look at options in both and you will find what best suits your vacation needs and travel style.

What should I avoid in The Bahamas?

Here are a few mistakes you should avoid when traveling to The Bahamas!

Hitching a ride in an unmarked taxi

Whatever you do, don’t take an unmarked taxi in The Bahamas. There are many cabs and taxis that are legitimate and marked, but it’s better to be safe than sorry! Stick to the ones with the taxi company’s name on it and be sure to ask for a receipt when you get out. Better yet, tell them you will need one when you get in.

You can also use Uber or Lyft in The Bahamas, which is safe and reliable!

Drinking water from a tap or unfiltered source

One thing you should avoid is drinking any water sourced from an unknown location – even if filtered. Tap water can also contain harmful bacteria and viruses. If you’re unsure of the water quality, just buy bottled water!

Just staying at your hotel or resort (like The Atlantis)

There are so many incredible things to do in The Bahamas! Don’t stay at your hotel or resort the whole time!

Here are a number of things you can do

– Waterparks

– Explore the Pirate Museum

– Snorkel with dolphins and sea turtles on an excursion

– Visit a local market for souvenirs (Nassau Market)

– Dive the Great Blue Hole 

– Go on a boat tour of the islands 

– Visit an underwater museum and aquarium

– Watch a sunset from your private beachfront villa or yacht club dock

– Rent a boat and go deep-sea fishing 

– Watch flamingos in the wild 

– Ride a jet ski or parasail over crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea 

– See some amazing wildlife, including turtles and iguanas on Grand Bahama Island’s beaches

– Spend time at one of many beautiful white sand beaches like Cable Beach or Lucayan National Park Beach on Grand Bahama Island or Treasure Cay Beach on Abaco Islands’ coastlines in The Bahamas where you can snorkel, swim, kayak, fish, scuba dive and more!

– See a show at The Bahamas National Theater

– Take a day tour of New Providence Island, including stops at Fort Charlotte and Sandy Point Beach Park 

– Visit Grand Bahama Island to see its famous pink sand beaches and go deep-sea fishing or scuba diving off Long Bay Beach Resort’s pier 

– Hike through nature trails on Cat Island, home to some of the world’s oldest living trees and one of only two places where you can find flamingos outside of Latin America

And the list goes on and on.

Skipping the grocery store

Make sure you hit the local grocery stores! There are so many great new tastes, products and flavors that can be found in local stores and markets. This is one of my favorite things to do when traveling anywhere!

Expecting punctuality

The Bahamas has a very laid-back vibe and it is not uncommon for someone to be a few minutes late. If you are planning on meeting with somebody, or if you book a table at a local restaurant or book an excursion and things get started a little later than you specifically booked, don’t fret. Take a deep breath and remind yourself you’re on vacation. The Bahamian culture is very laid back, and it’s not uncommon for someone to be five or ten minutes late. If you’re meeting somebody local or working with local services, and they are running behind, don’t get stressed out about it! In their mind, they are on time.

Wandering alone in The Bahamas

This one depends on your comfort level. I don’t typically worry too much about wandering around my travel destinations alone, but some people do. Those people might not know how to spot areas to stay away from or shady people. It’s not for everybody! I typically suggest having at least one other person with you if you go for a walk-about.

Traveling to The Bahamas during hurricane season.

The summer months are often considered hurricane season in The Bahamas, so if you or your family is thinking about traveling there this year then be aware that it might not be the quiet and relaxing vacation that you were looking for.

It’s not always bad weather though and you can find some killer deals in those months as well.

I do recommended visiting in the winter months for both safety and peace of mind.

Is Nassau or Freeport Bahamas better?

That is a tough decision. I prefer Freeport. Both are really great, but Freeport feels more culturally rich and laid back, which I value in a vacation spot.

Freeport, the quieter and safer of the two cities, has better beaches (though not as many), a smaller selection of shops for tourists, and a type of atmosphere that I like.

Nassau (393,000 people)

Nassau is a popular cruise ship stop, which happens to be the capital of The Bahamas. With beautiful hills and beaches as well as its offshore coral reefs. It’s no wonder Nassau has become one of those all-around fun spots for so many, including those who like diving and snorkeling! 

You’ll find many pastel colored buildings in this city with origins from British colonial-style architecture; their colors are so vibrant, and they stand out even more when you see them in person against the backdrop of blue skies or crystal clear waters. One building worth mentioning specifically here is Government House – originally painted pink but now sporting a light shade called English Rose – back in 1812 during King George II’s reign over England. It was later renamed.

Freeport (43,000 people)

Freeport is the gateway to The Bahamas! The city has a variety of exciting things for visitors and residents, like beaches with white sand lining the coast. You can’t go wrong visiting Lucaya district where there are resorts, shopping centers, nature trails. There are fantastic snorkeling opportunities on Deadman’s Reef. If you’re more interested in underwater caves than above water activities then head over to Roscoe Village which features extensive undersea passages that provide excellent opportunities for exploration.

Can you walk to a beach in Nassau?

Yes, absolutely you can walk to a beach in Nassau. There are a number of very nice beaches. Some within walking distance and others you could easily bike or take a taxi to get to. There are a bunch of beaches in Nassau! Here are our favorite ones (link)! 

When should you not go to The Bahamas?

If there is a time to not go to The Bahamas it would be Hurricane season. It is officially from June 1 until Nov. 30. But, just like in the U.S., August through October are the months that hurricanes are most likely to occur. Those are the months I would avoid.

What is the coldest month in The Bahamas?

It gets cold in The Bahamas too! Usually, December through Feb are the three coldest months, just like in the U.S. Back in January of 1981, it dropped to 43 °F or 6 °C, and in February 1996 it hit 48 °F or 9 °C.

How long is the flight to The Bahamas?

In-air flying time from the United States to The Bahamas is about 3 hours and 45 minutes. This measurement is only for the actual flying time. If you need to, remember to add more time for the plane to taxi between the gate and the airport runway, picking up or dropping off bags, arriving early at your gate, and time in line at security or customer service desks.

And remember that The Bahamas is two hours ahead of the Central time zone here in the U.S. as well.

Is The Bahamas a third world country?

The Bahamas is considered a third world country. However, they do enjoy good healthcare, infrastructure, technology and a stable political environment.

The political stability of The Bahamas

TheGlobalEconomy.com, which uses an index that rates over 200 countries between -2.5 as weak and +2.5 for strong political stability. The average of the 200 countries they have data for is 0.00 on their index

According to them, from 1996 – 2019, the average during that time for The Bahamas was 0.96 points with a maximum of 1.28 points and a minimum of .73.

What nationality are The Bahamas?

The Bahamian people are primarily African (85%) with European descendants (12%) and Asian and Hispanic residents (3%) mixed in as well.

In conclusion

The Bahamas are a great place to visit almost any time of year. You’ll be in warm, sunny climes all year round if that’s what you want–and in shorts and tank tops come December or January when it starts getting cold back home.

There are lots of great places to stay, and the food is great too. The Bahamas are perfect for a family vacation whether you want to visit on your own or with friends–or if you are looking for some adult-only spots to relax or escape to.

I hope this post has been helpful to you as you think about or plan your next trip.

Travel the world from your home with the coolest live streams and webcams!

Travel the world from your home with the coolest live streams and webcams!

live camera stream of a mama bear and her baby cub in the woods near a stream

I just discovered some incredible live webcams that have done the trick! 

If you are like me, you have put your travel plans on hold for right now and may be looking to change up the entertainment options around your house or just a different soundtrack for your workspace. Am I the only one? 

Live streams aren’t the glitchy jittery, “nothing is happening for hours” things they used to be. (yes some of them still are, but there are some cool ones out there now too!) 

I want to share a few I recently found with you in hopes that at the right time or place they will be just what you are looking for. 

These days live stream video streams allow you to see (in full HD) what’s happening around the world from your computer or web-enabled TV screen. It’s like having a window into another place, with sights and sounds that are different every single day!

It can be fun to click around to find the perfect live stream. It can also be a pain. Whether you’re looking for a quick, relaxing break from life’s daily grind or just need something new and interesting we’ve handpicked these some of our favorite streams! What are they? Scroll on and see for yourself… and make sure you check out the last one. It is one of the best.

All the places you can go!

Live Bald Eagle Cam in Iowa

Witness this majestic bald eagle as they feed and raise their chicks. You can watch a real-time view of wild eagles nesting in a valley tucked away just north of Decorah, Iowa. (depending on what time of year it is)

See for yourself how these amazing birds look up close or chat it up via the comment section if you want more details about what is going on there. At the time of posting this article, there are two babies and it’s easy to just sit and watch them for some time.

Frying Pan Tower live stream

The Frying Pan Tower is an imposing lighthouse established in 1964 by the U.S Coast Guard near Cape Fear, North Carolina to warn ships of shallow waters nearby called the “Frying pan shoals”. The tower sits 34 miles off-shore and was originally built so that sailors could avoid these dangerous waters!

This tower is no longer used for its original purpose, but it’s an important ecosystem for marine wildlife and provides a beautiful view of the sun rising and setting over the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors can now watch sharks live underwater via camera feeds right from their computer screens!

Watching the sunrise as well as sunsets can be pretty great from Frying Pan Tower.

Some copy about it…. And a link to the cam

Go to Patagonia!

The Torres del Paine National Park in Chile has some of the most pristine wilderness parks in the world. Get inspired for a future trip by watching this live stream focused on one area, Rio Serrano that is quickly becoming a tourist favorite!

Check out the live stream here.

Go Diving

A soothing soundtrack and the calming imagery of kelp flowing in this underwater scene from Channel Islands National Park in California make for a great experience. I couldn’t stop watching it. And it makes for a great soundtrack too.

I was watching the Atlantic Ocean here for about five minutes and all of a sudden I saw something big! It was a shark. Really fun to see.

Again a shout out the Frying Pan Tower cam. While there are many other vibrant marine life nearby, check out the sharks that occasionally pass by as well! Check it out here.

Here is Grace Bay Beach, Turks and Caicos  

Enjoy the vast blue waters and still be able to see some of the bright coral reefs, then check out this webcam. You’ll get a glimpse into the Seven Stars Resort and that laid-back resort lifestyle!

There is another one of Grace Bay Beach here as well.

Turks and Caicos is such a beautiful island with its crystal clear water and some of the most beautiful sandy beaches in the Caribbean, alluring scenery of towering palms swaying to meet calm waves crashing on the shores as well as some of the most luxurious resorts.

See if you can see the Loch Ness Monster!

For those who are wondering if the Loch Ness Monster is a real creature, this camera will settle that debate for you. If there really is some kind of monster living in the lake, don’t be surprised to see it jump out from time to time! Here you go.

How about Nice, France

Are you looking for a place to visit? Nice, France may be the spot! With its beautiful coastline and not-so-crowded beaches in summertime, it’s perfect for your next vacation. Or check it out anytime with this live webcam.

The South of France is typically swarming with tourists in the summer, but if you take a look now, there’s plenty of wide open coastline available for those who want to spend their time enjoying it rather than fighting through hordes and crowds.

Catch a glimpse of orcas in BC

Explore’s live stream cameras offer viewers views of the orca population in Johnstone Strait, a protected body of water where killer whales spend their summers. You might try what I do from time to time and open up one of these links and leave it running and just go about your day. Then if you hear some whale activity going on, then pay attention to what’s happening.

The whales aren’t always live. If they’re not, you’ll find highlights from their previous broadcasts on the site. Here’s a clip of them in action. Not only can you see them swim by from time to time, but you can hear them too! Pretty cool. 

If we want to learn more about these majestic mammals, or just enjoy some beautiful footage for our viewing pleasure, these cameras make it a lot easier to observe them and enjoy another place besides the same old thing every day. 

Here in sunny Nassau, Bahamas

The Bahamas are known to be a haven of warmth, relaxation, and fun in the sun with plenty of things to do on land or sea. This tropical paradise has it all from luxurious resorts perched atop white sand beaches where you can sip umbrella drinks by day then unwind at night listening to live music; crystal clear waters perfect for snorkeling adventures through coral reefs teeming with colorful fish waiting just below the surface; pristine lagoons that border private beachfront homes complete with their own infinity pools overlooking stunning turquoise seas – we could go on!

Enough of that though… If you want to get a feel of Nassau right now, check out the Albany Marina Cam in Nassau, Bahamas right here.

And check out our most frequently asked questions about a trip to The Bahamas right here. ((Link))

How about a South African Safari

Don’t know when you’ll be able to visit Africa? Don’t worry, we have a couple of options for you.

WildEarth TV has been broadcasting live interactive online safaris for over a decade. Join them in watching the animals go about their daily routine every sunset and sunrise against the brilliant African landscape.

The professional gamekeepers and park rangers in the video will take you on a safari through Kruger National Park and Maasai Mara National Reserve to find wildlife, like elephants, zebras, giraffes.

And you can watch it all from your couch or favorite comfy chair.

Check them out here and then set some time aside to hop on your very own safari from home.

With Africam’s internet live streaming cameras you can see all the animals up close in real-time. Just select from one of their many views and enjoy a virtual safari as it happens!

Behind the wheel of a big rig on the open road

Big Rig Travels has been broadcasting for more than 13 years. Ride along with your “tour guide to the American Highway” and get a glimpse into the real working life of an American trucker!

You can tune in and see everything they do, from taking care of their fleet at home base through hauling freight for a living!

It’s a live first-person account of what it’s like to criss-cross the country in an 18-wheeler from Steve, who has been driving for over 30 years.

Check out the surf in Hawaii

From the safety of your computer, you can take in a live stream set up at one of the world’s most popular surfing destinations, the Pipeline break on Oahu’s North Shore in Hawaii. Check out beachgoers and surfers as they catch waves on this North Shore beach where it is still possible to enjoy what many people consider “the world’s best big wave.”

Here’s Yosemite

This one is OK but fun to watch for a little bit.

It is a pretty awe-inspiring view of this mighty waterfall.  This live stream of the park’s Upper Yosemite Falls shows the water cascading down is so soothing and calming in person that it has many people coming to see Upper Yosemite Falls all year round.

A place that has always been a popular destination is Yosemite Falls. With 2,425 feet of cascading waterfalls and an incredible view from the top, it can be seen why people would want to come see this beautiful sight in person. Upper Fall allows you to watch for peak flow near early summer as the snow melts down into the Valley below.

And HalfDome.net has a bunch of webcam timelapses – all the way from sunrise until sunset and then back to night! They are kind of fun too.

Queenstown, New Zealand here

Start dreaming about a trip to Queenstown, the epicenter of adventure on the country’s South Island, by watching the light change on Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables Mountain Range that surrounds the small town.

Check out an active volcano

This live stream is the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica, one of many volcanoes found there. It’s been on hiatus for a few years but you can sometimes see spews of water vapor and gas to keep things interesting!

Check it out, Costa Rica volcano live stream

Here is Sydney, Australia

The view from this live stream is breathtaking. You can see the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and city skyline in all their glory. On a nice day, you might even catch a boat or two gliding across the water below!

Here is the Sydney live stream.

Fancy a trip to the zoo or aquarium?

There are a number of zoos currently offering choice live streams of the critters they house. If you need a quick break from your stressful day, look no further than live stream feeds at zoos and aquariums. These camera feed sites offer the opportunity to view animals in their natural habitat without having to leave your computer! You can explore different habitats of animals like seahorses, porpoises, sharks, or even birds. On these cams, you will see lions prowling around their pen looking for prey or giraffes lazily eating leaves off trees. And don’t forget about the penguins!

Oakland California Zoo

Currently, the Oakland Zoo has a couple of live streams that allow you to get up close and personal with the bears and elephants.

San Diego California Zoo

San Diego Zoo has 13 different animals with webcams on them. Check them out, there are even a few babies to watch.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium. There are 9 different animals on camera at Monterey Bay! And everything from penguins and otters to sharks and jellyfish.

Between all of these, you’ve got live streams dedicated to at least one of your favorites. Give them a try and let us know what you think!

And try getting on your local zoo or aquarium’s website. Or, use Google to find others around the world and see what fun exhibits you can see for free around the world!

Dorset, England

The harbor in Dorset, with its prime location on the English Channel and constant activity of boats coming and going, is a spectacular sight. If Dorset is what you are craving, and you happen to be looking while it is still light out over there (They are 7-ish hours ahead if you are watching from the U.S.) then you might enjoy this live stream from Haven Hotel.

So, you can blow bubbles

Then there is Andie & Mike’s bubble cam in their south Florida backyard. All you have to do is click the button labeled “Bubbles” on this couple’s backyard live stream and a stream of bubbles floats across their patio. It’s a fun interactive one.

Kind of a fun twist on the live stream.

An expedition to the South Pole

Here is a cool South Pole live stream that is in Antarctica at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. As you might expect, Antarctica is the coldest and windiest continent.

South Pole live stream here.

This might not be the most eventful live streaming experience, but one that can be cool to check in on at least once. 

Red River New Mexico live stream

Red River, New Mexico is a destination for people who enjoy experiencing the outdoors. With outdoor adventures in every season and cultural experiences that you or your family will remember forever!

The Red River Ski & Summer Area has skiing opportunities all year long with cross-country trails available during the winter months. For those more adventurous types, there are plenty of off-road OHV options as well as horseback riding if it’s too cold outside or if you just prefer horses over snowmobiles. 

If water activities sound like they might be more up your alley then try fishing at one of the two lakes or tubing through some rapids on an inner tube down the river…the possibilities here seem endless!

Here are a couple of live streams that you can check on the weather up there before you plan your weekend trip up there.  Cam #1 and then these ones too.

Dogs, some young and some old

So, if you are an animal lover, you likely have your favorites. If you love dogs and have a soft spot in your heart for senior dogs, you will enjoy this feed from the entry at Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary in Mount Juliet, Tennessee.

Click over to watch senior dogs sleep, eat, and play. Find out when to catch what you want to see most live over at Explore.org or on their dog YouTube channel

If you have never seen inside a real dog shelter, check it out for sure. You’ll see all different breeds living together peacefully free from abuse and neglect. 

These dogs are seniors who may have been abandoned by their previous owners due to illness, old age, or the life circumstances of the owners.

But they also have other really great dog-oriented live feeds as well, like this Great Dane service dog web stream where you can see puppies that are being raised to be service dogs.

The perfect place to watch the comings and goings of Great Danes, including current service dogs and future service dogs (also known as puppies) – who are having a lot of fun! Meet staff members from SDI’s volunteer team in training.

Notre Dame Cathedral Live

Notre Dame is a cathedral located on the Île de la Cité in Paris. The church’s Gothic architecture, its vast rose windows, and abundance of sculptural decoration set it apart from other styles used during this time period. Some distinct features include its grand organ as well as beautiful church bells that provide an enchanting sound to visitors near or far.

The Notre Dame live stream is an up-to-date look at the famous cathedral, which just reopened to visitors after a year of repairs. It was a popular live stream for some time as the iconic landmark was closed and shuttered for most of 2019 as it recovered from the damage caused by a fire.

Check out the Notre Dame live stream here.

Check-in on some beautiful wolves

There some really cute cubs in the wolf dens at the Wolf Conservation Center in New York. You just have to catch them at the right time of year. But even if the cubs aren’t around or as little as they were last Spring, there is still plenty to see of these fascinating creatures in their live streaming cameras.

They have Red wolves, Mexican gray wolves, and ambassador wolves. And with the help of webcams, you can watch them live their daily lives. You can also see seven different packs and are always on the lookout for any interesting activity that might pop up!

You can even reach out to the center if you see anything interesting happening on their live feeds.

Would you like to go to Venice, Italy?

The Italians really know how to up the game here. This collection of live webcam streams footage from various cameras around Venice’s beautiful canals and is set to the music of Interpreti Veneziana.

It’s nice that it rotates through a number of different cameras. And the soundtrack they have given us is fantastic! 

A few times while writing this article I have put it on in the background just to listen while I write or get distracted and work on other projects.

Get out on a river

I don’t know which is more relaxing if the sounds of ocean waves crashing or of a river flowing over rocks. 

If you love river sounds as much as I do, you will enjoy this one. It’s the Smith River in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park in California. This literal “live stream”, sorry had to insert the pun there, sounds so great. Get a glimpse of it here.

Sometimes you will see a kayaker or fisherman or some wildlife using the river.


Or you might catch some kayakers playboating on North Carolina’s famous Nantahala River.

Another fun one is the Nantahala River webcam shows rotating views of the river. If you didn’t know, this is where world champion kayakers practice, and in 2013 they competed in the Freestyle World’s Wave, a world championship competition for the sport. 

Can’t go wrong with bears, salmon, eagles and wolves

Spoiler alert. This is a highlight reel from a live webcam, but it is still fantastic! The wolves, bears and occasional eagles hunt together and provide ample entertainment.

You get to watch salmon venturing up the falls, while brown bears, wolves and eagles all compete with each other for the best spots. On the page with the live feed, it tells us that “the largest and most successful bears catch and eat up to 30 salmon (that’s more than 120 pounds of fish) each day!” 

Another quick volcano live webcam

The live stream is from an area that is not publicly accessible. This live wide angle of Halemaʻumaʻu is courtesy of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Did you know there is a live stream from the International Space Station?

This one is fun. Live streaming 24/7 from the International Space Station, Earth is seen from cameras aboard the International Space Station. Every 45 minutes when there isn’t any transmission due to nightfall or other breaks in transmission, they do show some prerecorded footage. 

Here, let’s watch the grass grow, literally

Did you know there’s a live webcam in Colorado that allows people to watch grass grow from the comfort of their living rooms, and even on Saturdays? It started as an experiment for one homeowner who wanted to document his drought-stricken lawn. If they’re lucky enough, viewers may even catch him out mowing it!

It might not be the most exciting to watch… but I had to include it. 

Live streams for days!

If you still can’t get enough, there are also some really great streaming options right now if you head over to YouTube and search “webcam live”. You can see some streams of some really cool stuff like the northern lights or volcanoes erupting, any number of beaches, even Times Square. Check those out here

The best way to do it is to search for a general term that you are interested in and then change the filters at the top of the page to only show the live options. So you could search the word “news” or “puppies” or “outer space.” Just like that, you have so many options!

And there you have it!

Hope you found something interesting in that collection. I enjoyed poking around the web and seeing what options were out there these days. If you want to see what life is like in other parts of the world or just have an interesting time exploring something new, then these live streams are a fun way to do just that! 

I hope that you enjoyed watching them as much as we did.

New Neuroscience Study Suggests Getting Out The Door Grows Your Brain And Boosts Mood

New Neuroscience Study Suggests Getting Out The Door Grows Your Brain And Boosts Mood

In today’s fast-paced world where we’re constantly overwhelmed and bombarded with information, it can be hard to make time for ourselves. 

In a new study published in Nature Neuroscience, scientists found that getting out of the house and experiencing new things leads to more positive emotions because novelty does so many good things for our brains. 

And those new novel things don’t have to be big. Just a trip to the store or a walk through a new part of your neighborhood works.

The brain is like an open book when it comes down to the way its cells respond after being exposed to something novel or unfamiliar. Novelty triggers our brains to grow new synaptic connections which helps us in many ways. Your ability to learn is one of them!

Additionally, these new connections can also help us feel better and stave off degenerative diseases as well.

If the psychological benefits of growing new grey matter with exercise and novel experiences interest you, you have to read Spark by John Ratey MD. It’s fantastic! I can’t recommend it strongly enough!

Back to the study published by Nature Neuroscience. It found subjects who got out at least once a day were also more likely to get out the next day as well.

The set up

The scientists kept track of the locations of 122 people in both Miami and New York City over several months. The team analyzed their moods and then their movements with GPS. The subjects reported how they felt via daily text messages. 

It was discovered that the test subjects that felt the happiest were those that had a wider variety of daily experiences.

A few quotes from the study: “New and varied experiences are broadly beneficial for the brain and for humans in general,” said Aaron Heller, a co-author of the study and psychologist at the University of Miami. Aaron told Inverse about the study. “Even if you may not tend towards exploring, there are benefits to doing so, regardless of your past experiences.”

The subjects didn’t even need to go very far. Even small outings or short trips near home created enough novelty and adventure… even within a couple miles of home.

Scientists found that the people who even just did something in their own neighborhoods rather than sitting at home or at work all day reported better moods.

The findings also suggest a bidirectional and cyclical relationship between mood and new experiences.

Researchers found that not only do new and novel experiences out of the house every day help people feel better but that people with positive emotions are more likely to seek out unfamiliar environments as well. And those individuals who have negative feelings may not be as willing. 

You might say to yourself, or to me, “That seems obvious.”

But those that are feeling negative can “course correct” and feel better by choosing to get out and create that novelty in their day.

The concept of “choice” is important here because feeling good or bad can impact our quest for novelty.

And then that novel experience creates an environment that makes it easier to make that choice again.

Co-author Catherine Hartley told Inverse. “We find that if I feel better today, I’m likely to move around and have more novel experiences and have more experiential diversity the following day, and vice versa. If I have more novel and diverse experiences today, I’m likely to feel better not only today but the next day [as well].”

What do these findings inspire you to do?

This inspire you to learn more? Or get outside and do something novel today?

Here are some ideas for things you could do right now:

– Pick a road or direction you have never driven and just start driving… or head in that direction on a walk or your bike. 

– Find a restaurant you’ve never been to and plan to go tonight. 

– Try out a walking path or bike path you’ve been meaning to try. 

– Or call that one friend you keep meaning to catch up with and tell them you’ll meet them at a park you haven’t ever been to. Need help finding a park? Just hop on Google Maps and scroll around. Explore the green areas. 

– Go for a photography walk and challenge yourself to take 50 or 100 photos. 

– Go to a new neighborhood and go for a walk.

All you need to do is make a list of experiences that sound fun around your own hometown and take them for the ride today!

If you need more ideas, we have a great article on finding things to do near you here.



Want to take this idea to the next level? 

Obviously getting out to do things is helpful, a walk around the block, stopping to “smell the roses” while doing so helps even more. But if you want to shake things up a little more try a microadventure.

They are a little more of a commitment and in some ways… but speaking from personal experience, they are a real treat and will really help with mood and make great fodder for your social media profile as well!


If you liked that one… one more.
 

But if microadverntures don’t sound like your thing, that’s fine. Just do whatever is doable today. Just try something around your neighborhood today. The key is to use this feel-good strategy right now. 

Whatever you decide, make it small and “doable.” It’s more important that you actually get out. Don’t get stuck trying to plan something big… or making your list… Just stop and get in your car or on your bike or just start walking somewhere new. Done. You’re growing new brain cells and improving your mood already!

Hope you found this motivational. As I sit and write this, I feel the need to get out and get going. Think I will go for a walk. 

How To Find Cool Places To Go Near You, In Your Own State, Or Anywhere In The World

How To Find Cool Places To Go Near You, In Your Own State, Or Anywhere In The World

Map of the world with pins in it showing places to go or that someone has been in their own state and around the world

We are going to show you ways to find cool travel ideas in your own state! There are so many great reasons to travel, even if you need to stay closer to home. And when was the last time you really tried to find fun new things to do or places to go near you?

You might be surprised by all of the interesting and unique places you can find to explore right there close to where you are.

We’ve got ideas for you whether you prefer to plan in advance or just get out the door and figure it out later… and whether you prefer the digital world or the analog one.

I’m sure there are a few ideas in here you haven’t thought of before. Here are some great resources for finding travel ideas in your own state! Enjoy!

Social Media is a gold mine!

Your social media platforms are a treasure trove of great ideas for staycations or discovering new places to travel abroad. Pinterest, Facebook, Youtube all have search functions and most have the ability to tag images and posts with locations so you can track down where the photo was taken as well.

I’ve done this before on a number of occasions.

Before taking the kids to Spain, and outside the United States, for the first time My wife and I searched for city and region names on YouTube and found great videos on culture and food and ideas for places to visit.

They loved learning a bit about the language by doing this as well and became more familiar with what to expect when we got there. It added to the excitement and anticipation for the trip.

I also used this technique on Pinterest to find new ideas and plan out the route of a multi country road trip. There were four friends going, and we all pinned places we thought looked cool to a group board and use that board to create a map right on Pinterest. That determined our route for the trip.

The best thing about using this technique is that the platform you are using will see what and where you are looking and try to be helpful by giving you more of those types of things in your search results and news feeds.

This can help you find things you weren’t even looking for. Then you can discover things that work well that you didn’t even think to search. This happened to me when I was looking for a place to take my wife for a birthday trip. I was looking at beautiful sand beaches in one location and then Instagram started bringing up other pictures that were sandy beaches for other parts of the world as well.

Try hopping on your social media site of choice and searching for a local mountain range or lake or city… or even just your state name and see what comes up.

Instagram, Twitter, Facebook accounts of local tourism boards, influencers and photographers

There are always Instagram accounts that just focus on your state or even a specific city or area that you want to find something to in. As you search for those locations pay attention to the names of the accounts and see if you can find accounts that focus there. They will have tips and ideas that go along with their posts at times that will lead you to fun things to do or new places to see.

Another great thing about finding these types of influencers is they will use smaller or specific hashtags that will be more helpful in our next suggestion as well.

Check out more specific/smaller hashtags

Similar to our last suggestion, but this time just looking at the hashtags. Try to stay away from large generic hashtags like #Utah or #texas. Look on the accounts of the influencers to just found. You might see some like #utahunique or #austintexasplaces

Searching through tags will usually bring up pictures and videos from people who have visited that place.

And to find these tags for places you aren’t as familiar with, Just look at those influencers you found earlier. Their posts will have them. Check em out!

Google will never fail!

Google has a lot of tricks up its sleeve when it comes to finding great things to see and experience in your state. You can use the traditional google search and google maps too.

Google maps the right way

Google Maps is super powerful! You can get ideas from it and see satellite pictures and photos others have taken and see reviews there too! All you have to do is search it in the right way. Check out our list of search ideas for Google Maps or Google’s search page below.

One of the things I like to do on Google Maps is to save or “star” a place that looks cool so I can find it again later when I am planning a trip or when I am actually in that area.

The best Google searches to find cool things to do in your state

Whether it is Google search or google maps, with the following searches you will have a big long list of places to see and things to do in no time!

Try the following, minus the quote marks:

“Landmarks (state/city)”

“Things to do (state/city)” or “coolest things to do (state/city)”

“Best things to do (state/city)”

“Entertainment (state/city)”

“Attractions (state/city)”

“Visitor Center (state/city)”

“good for kids (state/city)”

“Good for family (state/city)”

“Bed and Breakfast (state/city)”

“Hiking trail (state/city)”

“best spot to take pictures in (state/city)” – these are usually more popular places and pretty great ones. If you are looking for more hidden gems, try hopping over to Instagram and looking through the hashtags or locations to find some great spots for photo ops.

You get the idea by now, right? You can also try each of those searches and replace “(state/city)” with “near me” and get additional great results super close to you.

Get creative! Google has lots of different ideas for the area you are looking to travel to.

Go talk to the staff at visitor centers

Visitor centers are associated with national forests, cities, and national parks have them. Any of these are a great place to start looking for ideas. When was the last time you actually stopped in the ones you live close to?

Many of the folks that work at these visitor centers and are local and like to get out and play as well offer great advice on cool places and experiences that will meet your specific preferences.

That’s what I did… pretend you’re new in town and looking for things to do. I went into the visitor’s center and asked what are some of your best attractions in the area?

They gave me a map with all the cool places highlighted and told me about each one. This is especially helpful if you have limited time or want to find some new things to do.

It doesn’t matter where you live in the United States, there are lots of great travel destinations within driving distance of your home!

My wife and I live in northern Utah and had never really traveled to southern Utah as a destination. We took a week recently and drove down without a plan as to where we were going to go.

We found a visitor center when we arrived in Kanab Utah and they gave us ideas and routes and hikes. We started with those and hit another two or three visitor centers that week. It was amazing all the ideas we found and new places we discovered along our route.

My wife and I have a list of another dozen things we need to get back down there and check out on our next trip.

Visitor centers also have free wifi, which might be useful if you need to find a place to stay or just check emails or make a call and you don’t have cell signal.

Also generally speaking there’s someone working most days of the week. But they can still help out with local travel or excursion ideas!

Ask for personal recommendations from friends and family

Another place to find local or in-state travel ideas is from other people. You can ask for friends and neighbors in person or on Facebook or other social media for their own personal favorite spots or experiences.

This is an easy way to be able to ask a lot of questions from people you know and trust for details and suggestions of things to do.

Find and watch movies or tv shows filmed in your state

This is s fun way to get ideas for new spots and to learn more about your state.

As you watch them, make note of some of the locations in them, and you are set!

You get the idea, right? This can be a fun way to prep kids for bigger trips to foreign countries as well. But that is a topic for a different post.

Check official websites related to state and local tourism

Most states have a tourism office or department that offers travel information and ideas for the place you live in. The destination guide section is usually very helpful when it comes to finding new things to do close to home.

Here are the links to all 50 state tourism offices in the US: ((((link to list article)))

And these are great resources to start with, but you should also use the internet and other social media platforms to find travel ideas.

Get tips from likealocalguide.com

This is a cool site that offers some interesting city guides mostly in Europe and North America. One of my favorite parts about this blog is their use of actual locals to give interesting insights and tell about the area from their perspective so you can find cooler and less touristy things. So you, as a local will find new things to check out as well.

Find unique places to stay near you on Airbnb or vacation rentals

Airbnb is a great way to find unique places near you. You can look for houses, apartments or even experiences like tours! The best thing about Airbnb is that the site offers different pricing options so it could be right for whatever budget you have in mind.

On top of all this, they offer pictures of the properties and those experiences! And again the reviews help you know better what to expect. It’s nice to know they are from real people. It sure helps to have details from other people besides the host to explain parts of their experience that might resonate with you.

Get ideas from Atlas Obscura

Atlas Obscura is an all-in-one resource for places and topics that you never knew existed. It has articles about travel tips, articles about events, and some weird facts about all kinds of places.

Just drop in your state, country, province, or a city you are thinking of going to.

It can be a great resource for finding places you might not know about. You and use the Atlas Obscura website and explore what they have to offer. It’s a one stop shop for just about every place you never knew existed.

Check out their travel guides on Pinterest or follow them on Instagram where they give ideas of cool places in your area

Travel sites and blogs are great

These are great because you get more lengthy reviews and tips that you won’t likely from other sources. And there are loads of great travel sites and blogs out there! You will find a lot of them as you search through different things like “best things for families to do in (city name)”

There are plenty of websites with information on things to see and do, including forums and message boards all over the internet.

You might find a specific site that either you really like or that specializes in an activity you also like or an area you will be traveling to. Add them to your web browser’s bookmarks or save them in some other way.

Try Groupon to find great ideas!

Did you know you can hop on Groupon and find experiences in a specific city? There are some great prices and some really fun things to do there. Give it a try if you’re looking for some unique ideas!

The website makes it easy to find the best deals and offers of the day. You can even save your favorite searches, which is really handy to do when you are trying to plan trips in advance. Groupon also has some excellent social media channels where you can get updates on what’s trending and popular as well.

It can be a great way to explore new destinations or even find some activities close to home that you didn’t know existed.

One of my favorite Groupon deals was for a guided bike tour of Paris! It’s really amazing how much more enjoyable it can be when you have someone who knows their stuff guiding your group.

You can also try TripAdvisor or Expedia’s travel guides-both offer plenty of experiences tailored to your budget.

Get tips from likealocalguide.com

This is a cool site that offers some interesting city guides. One of my favorite parts about this site is their use of actual locals to give interesting insights and tell about the area from their perspective so you can find cooler and less touristy things.

The advantage to you as a local is you will likely find cool new things to do.

Use travel guidebooks and local magazines dedicated to your destination

Check out some of the local magazines that dedicate themselves to travel and see what they have to offer. There are also plenty of guidebooks for each state, but if you’re looking for a more in-depth read then check out books like National Geographic’s Great American Road Trip or The New York Times’ 36 Hours series.

I used to love going. into bookstores and picking up these guidebooks and leafing through them their pages dreaming of going to different places.

They also make a great resource to bring with you if you know you won’t have cell signal or want some good old fashion analog reading.

Additional Travel Tips

CAMPING & RV TRAVEL

Camping is a great way to keep travel costs low and immerse yourself in the outdoors. If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out sites like Campendium or The Camper’s Catalog.

If you want something more high-tech there are also lots of options depending on your needs. For instance, if you don, t want to be bothered with cooking food and you don’t mind spending a little more, check out the Insta-Home Instant Portable Kitchen.

Just think about what your travel needs are before investing in something that may not work for you.

Camping is great way to keep travel costs low and immerse yourself in the outdoors.

some cool sites:

Freecampsites.net – This site is great for finding free places to camp. It’s a great tool whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip.

I have used it to find sites in the past. It was very helpful! You just simply use your smart phone’s location to find camping near you.

Campendium.com – Campendium covers all aspects of RV travel, including camping and cooking tips.  IT is an app and a website. The Campendium app can help you find amazing places to camp, whether in your state or when you travel.

You can take a virtual visit of campgrounds as well. Their collection of over 21,000 different campgrounds are throughout the lower 48 U.S. states and Alaska.

Airbnb.com – You know what Airbnb is. Just filter down to campsites. Done.

Hipcamp.com – Think of it like an Airbnb for upscale and unique camping opportunities. Hipcamp has since grown into the most comprehensive resource for discovering and booking unique outdoor stays. They have a lot of glamping opportunities, including some really great treehouses!

VIRTUAL TRAVEL (VR)

Virtual Reality is a fun new way to travel without really having to do much of anything at all. With VR headsets and apps, you can have travel experiences without ever having to leave the house. They really do give you immersive interactive 360-degree experiences into different locations around the globe.

Some of these VR apps will even allow you to travel without a VR headset, which is great for people who don’t have one!

Just need your phone and a cheap VR viewer like this one. You can find great VR content in your phone’s app store or try YouTube. We can expound on this topic in future articles for sure!

Some other thoughts on VR and its uses for your travel bug.

– visit exotic locations from the comfort of your own home.

– explore museums in a new way, like an art class with a world famous artist.

– experience history and science through interactive exhibits (you could travel back to Ancient Rome or see what it’s actually like on Mars)

– go on safari without all the additional expense

– travel to see live music performances, sports events, comedy shows or movies not yet released in your area

Obviously, these travel trips aren’t the exact same as being there, but you will be surprised by how truly fun and entertaining or educational they can be.

ROAD TRIPS

Most likely your inner state trip will be taken by car. Road trips are a fantastic way to get to know your own state. They give you a chance to explore different landscapes and learn about the history of your destination. We will write more on this in the future too.

Here are a few tips to get your car ready for your next road trip.

-check your oil and other fluids

-make sure the air conditioning or heater is working before your next big drive. This will keep you and your passengers comfy on your journey.

-keep an emergency kit in your trunk: backup keys, jumper cables, flares for emergencies.

-keep an air pump for your tire and some other tools in the car.

-bring a map and guidebook with you too, just in case of emergencies like getting lost.

-check tires for damage and tire pressure

-bring a phone charger

-bring a travel-size cooler with some snacks

-fill up your gas tank before you hit the open road

There are a lot of other things we could talk about when it comes to going on road trips, but these are some basic reminders.

In conclusion

Those are some of our best ideas when it comes to finding ideas for travel in your own state. Hope you found it helpful.

Happy travels!