It’s no secret COVID-19 took over the world and paused international tourism for an indefinite amount of period. Until we can safely travel again, domestic travel seems to be the best & most beneficial option at this point. With several destinations handing out travel rewards, some countries promote travel within their borders to encourage citizens to explore more of their home country.
Domestic travel may not sound as spectacular as international travel, but there are still many benefits, in small & big ways, eventually contributing to the health of our planet and diminishing the spread of the virus. It is the perfect chance to explore more of your country, get into solo traveling and 7 other benefits of domestic travel, listed below.
Reason #1: You Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19
By traveling within our borders, we take our responsibility of stopping the spread of the covid-19 virus. By staying within our borders and taking the necessary health & precaution measurement, we can assure ourselves & other citizens of the health & wellbeing of the country.
I am currently residing in Portugal (as an expat), and this beautiful country has declared the “Clean & Safe” stamp of approval, giving by the Turismo de Portugal. As such, the official statement declares this serves to “distinguish tourist activities which are compliant with hygiene and cleaning requirements for the prevention and control of COVID-19 and other possible infections.” Knowing this, I am happy to travel around in Portugal and explore even more of this country in all safety. Thank you, Portugal!
Reason #2: You Support Your Local Tourism
Another way of looking out for the world’s health and safety is when it comes to the economy and tourism of your country. Some countries heavily depend on their tourism incomes, and with the pandemic many have seen a huge decrease in income streams. By traveling in your own country and giving back to your economy, you help you country recover from the damage COVID-19 has caused.
All types of touristic companies have suffered from a setback, and this is your chance to give back and give your money to companies that support your local region or country, and show your support and love for the country you live in.
Also, as mentioned, there are some countries who are giving out rewards to those who travel domestically. Read more about this in my previous blog post about travel rewards.
Reason #3: You Keep Your Travel Spirit Alive
Let’s not forget about this amazing benefit: YOU get to travel again! Yes, you, travel lover, are finally free again to explore. To leave on a road trip, hop on a domestical flight, stay in an enchanting B&B, meet new people, and have meaningful experiences.
In the end, that’s what travel is all about. It starts within yourself, and it’s all about your mindset & perspective. You could make this period amazing and go on beautiful trips and discover more of the country you live in. Or, you could be pissed you can’t go to Bali and stay inside until October. Which one is it going to be?
Also – this time, there might not be new languages or new food to be discovered – depending on which country you live in -, but I am sure every country has its own delicacies in certain regions and there might be some dialect, so that counts too, right? 😉
Reason #4: It’s Your Chance to Start Traveling Solo
On the other hand – also considering this is more a solo travel blog & business – this could also be your perfect chance of starting your solo trip! There are SO many benefits of traveling solo, I cannot even get started. Check out these blogs if you want more information. It has changed my life, and let me to become a solo traveler coach, and I know it can change your life too in many ways.
As there are several ways to slowly get into solo travel, domestic travel is a perfect and safe way to get started. You already know your country, the language(s), and your way around & means of transportation (mostly). Home is not far away – you are disconnected, but still connected on some level with your home base.
Besides that, it’s an interesting way to get out of your comfort zone in your home country & be free spirited in a region you have never been before. I encourage you to not start going on solo adventures in places you are way too familiar with, as this can block you from going outside your comfort zone.
If you want to become more confident with solo travel, go someplace new! A lot of experiments have shown that people are more successful in changing their habits & getting out of their comfort zone when they are in someplace new, not known or familiar. That also explains why you feel so free on holiday: nobody knows you, you are on new grounds.
Reason #5: You Become More Appreciative & Grateful
The pandemic has taught us many things: be more considerate of your health, the environment, the planet & other people. Appreciate what you have. Have patience. Live with yourself (or others). Value your freedom, health & wellbeing. So, this next reason, we really have to thank to the pandemic. See it as a blessing in disguise, the rainbow after the rain, the light at the end of the tunnel.
The pandemic has cause a huge shift in the world. Somehow, we all became more loving and kind, and look out for each other. People want to speak their truth. Crises around the world get the necessary attention, if it’s not from the media, then from the citizens of the world. Not only do we value our health and wellbeing, we value our freedom and our rights, our place and existence in this world.
Phew, back to my point now! Because we couldn’t travel, we were longing for it so much more – you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Now that it’s slowly returning and we have the chance to get out there again, we are so much more grateful & appreciative. We realise the value & worth of our freedom and being able to travel around without having any significant worries.
As you travel in your homeland, you start to look for places that are worth visiting. Along your journey of planning this trip, you might discover very interesting places and companies. You’ll realise that your country is beautiful, that tourists visit it for a reason, and that is has a rich culture & history. Yep, I am shamelessly saying this about all countries out there, because it is the truth: they all have a story, a history, their own unique style & sights to be discovered.
Reason #6: The Place Is All Yours
Can you imagine, if you live in some of the worlds’ most popular touristic attractions, that there are NO tourists?
Depending on whether your country opened its borders yet and the destination you choose to travel to, I think we can all agree that touristic hubs are less populated than normal. This is great news for locals and citizens, as you are the main visitors now! That means no more waiting in line, no more overcrowded places and no more mass tourism.
Maybe you’re extra lucky and you’ll find lower prices, as the demand is lower. Maybe the prices are the same. Anywho, this is an amazing way to connect more to your country and the local touristic companies. Go on fun activities and don’t worry about it being overcrowded or waiting in line too much. Embrace the calmness and serenity, until the tourists are back again.
Reason #7: Manage Your Budget Differently
Let’s not forget this important reason of why you should go out there and travel within your borders: the green stuff! As you can skip the expensive flights, you can either choose to travel on a budget or spend your vacay money on other things. Overall, I would say you can save a lot of money traveling domestically instead of internationally.
However, if saving money it not a goal of yours and you wish to treat yourself to a nice vacation, you can choose to upgrade your accommodation style and opt for a 5* hotel instead of the normal 3* or 4* hotels. Maybe you can upgrade your vacation with renting that awesome car you always wished you could drive in, or a treat in a spa centre: there are so many ways to spend your money on a way that is comes back to you in so much value. By choosing to spend your money on travel, you already made a huge step into that direction. Now, it’s up to you to choose what type of travel you wish to go on and what you want to get out it this.
Also, reconsider your travel insurance now that you’re in your own country. Probably you can save a lot of money on that as well. Check if your country has any subsidiaries, incentives, vouchers or others types of rewards for domestic travellers, as those might come in handy!
Don’t forget: in many cases, properties are still obliged to ask you for the touristic tax. Even though you’re technically not a tourist but you’re just roaming around in your own land, you still have to contribute to the tourism & the economy by paying this small tax.
Reason #8: Bring New Travel Buddies!
We all have that friend or family member who is afraid of flying, or traveling long-distance. Well, good news for them, because while traveling domestically, you don’t necessarily need to take the airplane! You can easily travel by car, bus or train – or whatever transportation options are in your country: ride a camel in the desert, ride a donkey in a Greek village, take a ferry to a nearby island – everything is possible!