The Hot New Eco-Destination: Your Own Region!

This summer Greta Thunberg highlighted the high cost of jet travel to the environment with her visit to the US from Europe by boat. It made us all re-think our travel plans and highlighted a new trend: loca-touring! We’ve all heard of eating local and shopping local, but now you can travel local, too! You don’t always have to jump on an airplane, when there are so many things to see nearby.

I didn’t think we were setting a trend, but each summer a small group of my college music major girl friends get together for a few days in a new region that’s close to one of our homes. The time together to catch up and bond every year is just invaluable, and not going too far afield keeps the cost low. And we’ve been just absolutely amazed at the places we discover in our own backyards. Here’s a few things we’ve learned to make these loca-tours a success:

Set the dates early! Assign one person to wrangle dates and land on a weekend that is free for everyone. This can be challenging so start at least two to three months in advance.

Two nights seems best. We’ve found that’s just enough time to get caught up and take in some sights and activities in the area.

Pick a location nearby. Pick a location within three hours of driving -- this is supposed to be discovering local areas -- and don’t overlook places that are off-the-beaten-track, or you might consider boring at first glance.

Create a location-specific agenda. Pick things to do that’s unique to the area. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll find. When we visited my hometown of St Cloud, Minnesota we enjoyed places I had never visited before.

A bed for everyone. This might be an age thing, but make sure everyone gets a bed. Getting a good night’s sleep after talking all day feels luxurious.

Plan to carpool. We’ve found “car talk” is a big part of the fun. And using fewer cars is better on the planet, too!

A dining table with a variety of food on it.

Don’t plan to cook. Eating out at interesting places is the best way to get to know an area, local cultures and share an experience with friends. Research restaurants and make reservations before the trip. And especially look for farm-to-table, and locavore places that offer regional delicacies.

Build in some pampering. We’ve scheduled massages, nature walks, biking, guided tours, and lots of shopping, coffee, and chit-chatting.

Stay flexible. We are talkers, so we don’t always get to everything on the list — but who cares? And accommodating late comers and early leavers? Just let it flow. It always seems to work out.

Be sure to take a group photo! It’s the best souvenir!

At the end of the trip, we always feel more rested than our world-trekking friends and have spent a lot less of our savings. We’ve also gained new appreciation for our region that we can share with our friends and family for the rest of the year.

Inspired to book your own local getaway? Tips for Juno Packing: Always bring a swimsuit! Check out the fast-drying AquaSport collection. And SoftWik is our most versatile fabric. It always looks lovely, and can go from jammies to dinner and then to workout! Softwik Collection
Pack a QW legging or capri and you’ll be ready for that yoga class you’ll stumble upon or that beautiful walking trail that can’t be missed. QuikWik Collection