How to Travel Solo in Your Own City: Ten Tips to Fire up Your Inner Wanderer

by | Apr 20, 2024

Elderly woman travels to Barcelona solo travel at home
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Last updated on April 21st, 2024

10 ways to get curious about your own backyard

By Amanda Burgess

When’s the last time you looked at the place you call home with the wonder and curiosity that fuels your travels? If you’re hunkering down instead of travelling, you can still flex your wanderer muscles by viewing your home city or town through the wide-angled lens of a traveller.  Getting curious and exploring your own city isn’t just a boost to your local economy – it’s a serious mood booster for you. Tack on the exercise that comes with exploring on foot, and it’s a boost to your immune system to boot.

To stoke the fires of inspiration, we present 10 tips to help you shed your this-is-home blinders and soak up your city like a traveller. The only difference — you’re travelling at home! 

1. Follow your city’s hashtag for inspiration

You know all that obsessive scrolling you do on social media before heading out on trip? Apply it to your own city. Follow its hashtag. See what people are up to and posting about. You can also search your city on Pinterest, where ideas and inspiration abound. So many people are looking at their little corner of their city with fresh eyes. Spend some time seeing all the corners of your city through those various lenses and decide what you’d like to go see for yourself.

2. Get a fresh perspective on the familiar

Human beings are creatures of habit. Finding wonder in the familiar starts with breaking routine. Drive everywhere? Try walking. Live in a house? Get to a lookout point or view your city from the top of a skyscraper.

When is the last time you watched the sunrise or sunset as a solo traveller at home? Admit it, you’ve chased one or the other (maybe both) on your international adventures. Research the best places in your city to see both. Snap photos and compare them to other sunrise/sunset shots in your collection – or simply let the beauty of both experiences wash over you. Formed a two-home bubble with a friend or family member? Consider a brief home swap to experience your city from a different neighbourhood.

3. Tap into your interests

Think about the things that fill you with joy when you visit a new place – museums, art galleries, theatre, street art, cultural attractions, sporting events, nature experiences – and hunt some up in your own city. Some you may not be able to experience in person, but many museums and galleries are offering virtual tours or setting up offsite drive-through exhibits.

Take or create your own street art tour. Search for the nearest (or most far-flung) hiking trail. Airbnb has a running list of online and in-person experiences in and around almost every major city worldwide. You can take cooking classes, join guided meditation sessions on a farm with animals, go on walking tours, and more – at home and around the world.

Explore your city’s Events listings on Facebook, blogs, and news sites. See what’s on offer, online and in 3-D reality.

A view inside the Natural History Museum in London, England.

Local museums can be a wonderful way to travel at home/ Photo credit Envato

4. Get a bloggers-eye view of your city

Another way to find out what’s new to solo travel at home is to go to the experts – local bloggers. Search for city bloggers or foreign bloggers who have visited your city. 

Scan their posts for unique things to see and do. Get inspired by their experiences, thoughts, and reactions. Note what speaks to you. Follow their ‘a day in X-city’ itineraries.

5. Dive into your city’s history

History buff or not, brushing up on your city’s history is a sure-fire way to deepen your connection to it. If walking tours and hop-on hop-off bus tours aren’t yet available in your city, spend some time researching its historical highlights and the available tours. Ghost stories tickle your fancy? Read about the haunted haunts of your town and get inspired for places to tour or visit when possible. Have a love for certain global cultures? Research the formation of a cultural neighbourhood in your city. Then visit it on foot, walking around to note restaurants, shops and points of interest you’d like to explore. Railway junkie? There are museums and tours catering to that – and almost any other interest. Find an area of history that calls to you, and explore your city’s unique spin on it, noting places, people and sites of interest.

 6. Forget what you know – get curious

When we visit a city in another country, we’re naturally curious. We follow our intuition and instincts. We ask questions. Peruse itineraries. Get recommendations. We do as much as we possibly can, experience and see as much as we can because we’re not sure when – or if – we’ll be back. How many things have sat on your must-see, must-do list for your own city? When it’s home, we always think we’ll have the time. And we never make the time. We think we know everything there is to know about where we live. But we don’t, so brush off that list. Get curious. Ask questions. Check off an item or two.

7. Tap into your inner tourist

You might be more traveller than tourist, but experiencing your city’s tourist attractions can be an eye-opener. Sure, there are the ones you know. The ones you take visiting friends and family to see. How long has it been? Maybe it’s time to visit again. You have a different experience each time you visit a familiar place, because you are different with each visit. Then there are the places and experiences that may not be on your radar. Pick up a brochure (or two) at a hotel or info kiosk. Ask a concierge in a different part of town for their recommendations on what to see and do in the area. Poll friends for the best experiences their neighbourhood has to offer. Make a list of all the Instagrammable sights in your city and visit the ones that speak to you.

Illustration of people enjoying city park

8. Get inspired by entertainment

Perhaps there’s a song with lyrics inspired by your hometown, or the city you currently call home. Or maybe a movie or television show was filmed there. Or a favourite book that is set in it. Let entertainment be your guide – create a self-guided tour of sights and places that inspired musicians, filmmakers and authors. See your city through their lens.

9. Take a women-led local tour

Explore corners of your city you’ve never ventured into, dive into its history, and discover hidden gems on a local tour. Bonus points for a women-led tour that will allow you to meet other curious and adventurous women in your own backyard. Search for tours in your city in our Women’s Travel Directory.

10. Try Housesitting at home with Trusted Housesitters

Trusted Housesitters connects home and pet owners with sitters to solve a common problem – how to travel cost-effectively, and have your pets looked after when you do. There are memberships for owners and sitters, and a combined membership.  Why not find a local opportunity to housesit? 

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Amanda Burgess is a Toronto-based writer and creative strategist whose bags are always packed for her next adventure. She is a Certified Cancer Journey Coach who creates a safe space for cancer patients and caregivers to design their dream lives – while living with cancer, and on the other side of it. Amanda freelanced for JourneyWoman until December 2021.


We always strive to use real photos from our own adventures, provided by the guest writer or from our personal travels. However, in some cases, due to photo quality, we must use stock photography. If you have any questions about the photography please let us know.

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