It’s hard during this time of restricted travel not too long for far-flung adventures. But there’s no reason this should all be wasted time! There are many travel bucket list experiences you can have locally while you’re waiting for international travel to open back up. We’ve highlighted three of them below to get you started, but if there are other activities you’ve been dying to try, we encourage you to do a little research and see if you can make it happen somewhere near you!
Hot Air Balloon Ride
· Napa Valley: Located only an hour north of the big cities of Oakland and San Francisco, California, Napa Valley is one of the best places in America for hot air balloon rides. And of course, you can make a long weekend of it by touring the many wineries in the area.
· Willamette Valley: If you’re located near Portland, Oregon, you’re going to want to head 40 minutes south to Vista Balloons for an adventurous tour.
· The Rockies: For a true thrill, journey an hour and a half from Denver, Colorado to Grand Adventure Balloon Tours. You might even get to see a bear (from the safe distance of your balloon).
There are many life-changing ways to have a wildlife encounter. Epic ideas that come to mind are a safari in Kenya, a journey around the Galapagos Islands, or a trip to Komodo Island in Indonesia. But for now, you should try:
· Whale Watching: There are lots of places to get up close and personal with whales in the United States. Get started around Boston, Massachusetts with tours to see humpbacks leaving from Plymouth, or around Seattle, Washington with orca tours in the Puget Sound.
· Dolphin Encounters: While swimming with dolphins isn’t always great for the dolphins, you can still get up-close and personal to these magical animals in underwater viewing pods on tours like this one in California.
Just make sure you do your research and find eco-friendly tours that are conducted in a way that promotes learning and conservation and minimizes disturbance to the animals.
Give Van Life a Try
You’ve probably seen the Instagram photos of folks who have converted an old van into their own personal paradise and park it in front of natural wonders for the best bedside view ever. If you want to try this adventure out for a bit, here are some ways to do that:
· Trekker Vans is locally-owned and operates out of San Francisco and Los Angeles.
· Escape Camper Vans rents vans brightly painted with artwork from many locations including New York City, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Atlanta, Denver, and Salt Lake City!
· Peace Vans Rentals specializes in the Pacific Northwest, renting out of Seattle.· Native Campervans offset the carbon footprint of their vans! You can rent them from Denver, Salt Lake City, or Las Vegas.
To purchase parking at your local airport, visit https://www.onairparking.com/