Exploring a new city can be a fun experience, but it also presents a few challenges. Whether you are visiting a brand new place you’ve never been or re-visiting a city from long ago, you want your visit to be productive and full of adventure. Our family has had the opportunity to visit many new cities over the past few years and learned a few things about exploring new areas. These tips help us find some hidden treasures and allow us to make some great memories.
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5 Tips for Exploring a New City
Talk to the locals.
Find someone who lives in the area and ask them for tips about the best places to visit. If you don’t know anyone in a city where you are going to be spending time, then talk to your Facebook friends. Ask them for suggestions. Facebook brings together people of different areas who often travel in other cities and destinations. Since I was planning on doing some shopping in northern Kentucky, I wanted to find some outlets and bargain stores. I found a friend who lives in the area who was able to direct me to some great discount shopping!
Update the GPS.
Once you have a few ideas of where you want to go, put the addresses in the GPS so you can see where everything is on the map. By adding the destinations to your favorites, you will easily be able to navigate to each place you want to explore.
Tip: Remember to put in the address of the place you are staying. This will make it easier to find your way back to home base while you are away from home.
Always check your gas tank.
I had a friend in college who occasionally allowed me to borrow her car to go to the grocery. Her only rule was that if we used the car, we must refill the tank. She was adamant that her car should never be below half a tank. That rule is something we should all live by. Before you set out on an adventure, make sure your gas tank is full. You never know where the road will take you and you don’t want to end up running out of gas.
Plan for detours.
The one thing you can be guaranteed of when you explore a new city is that there will be detours and delays. Plan a few extra minutes into your schedule so you will be able to get everything done that you want to accomplish. There will probably be roadwork or construction that delay your arrival time. If you see that you are going to be stuck in traffic, hit the detour button on your GPS and find a new route. This might give you an opportunity to see some of the city that you had otherwise missed.
Stay safe and be alert.
Exploring a new city may lead you into places you don’t typically visit. Be alert and aware of your surroundings. It’s always smart to keep your doors locked and an eye on your surroundings. Carry your keys in your hand when you are walking toward your vehicle. Take a picture or mark the location where you park so you will not have to spend time aimlessly walking around a neighborhood that you are not familiar with. There is no reason to be afraid of unknown neighborhoods, but it is always better to be aware and safe rather than have regrets that you were not cautious and alert.
Visiting a new city is an exciting opportunity. Enjoy the new surroundings, attractions, landmarks and the inevitable detours and delays. You may just end up discovering something even better than you planned.
What tips do you have for exploring new cities? I’d love to hear!