5 Unorthodox Activities to Try While Traveling

travel activities

For those who like to travel regularly — or even dream about traveling regularly — there are a lot of activities that are commonly recommended. Most anywhere you might look to go in the world, for instance, you’ll have the option of visiting local museums or historical sites; you’ll be able to take a walking tour or head out on a hike, and there will be recommended bar crawls, or at least local food and drink delicacies to seek out.

These are all extremely worthwhile activities for travelers! They’re popular for a reason, and they often allow someone taking a trip abroad to get a better feel for the culture of a given destination. At the same time, however, focusing on these types of ever-present recommendations can lead to the exclusion of some other worthwhile activities. With that in mind, we want to highlight some fun options you may not have considered, but which are also available at a lot of great destinations.

1. Ghost Tours

This is an activity you may already associate with just one or two destinations around the world. For instance, Savannah, Georgia (an underrated destination!) is famous for its ghost tours, which explore the history and supposed haunts of the city. London, too, has a few well-known attractions that could be described as ghost tours, or at least something similar. But the truth is this is a more widespread concept than you may expect! San Francisco, New York, Barcelona, Paris, Tokyo…. Lookup any of these cities along with “ghost tour” and you’ll find options. And we simply love the idea, because while some of these tours can be legitimately spooky, they also offer entirely different ways to see cities and learn about aspects of their history.

2. Rooftop Dates

This is another suggestion that’s fairly specific to city tourism, but it’s one that more travel guides should include. It’s not a stretch to say that just about every medium- to large-sized city in the world has a few rooftop drinking and dining options. And while they’re not always the best culinary establishments in town, they always have sensational views. This should be taken into account when you’re planning your travels, and it’s why we’d recommend seeking out some rooftop date spots anytime you’re visiting a place with a respectable skyline or scenic overlook.

3. Cooking Classes

Read up on the world’s best cities for food and you’ll find an incredibly diverse range, highlighting everything from the blended traditions of Mexican cooking, to the street stalls of Singapore, to fine dining in Rome and Florence. As much variety as there is in great food destinations though, they all have one thing in common: They’ll teach you the basics. Virtually every destination in the world that’s well known for its cuisine will offer cooking classes of one sort or another. And really, there’s no better way to capitalize on your travel experience than to learn some recipes and techniques that enable you to take the local cuisine home with you.

4. Pottery Classes

Just as it can be a treat to engage with local cuisine, getting a feel for the arts can also be an unforgettable experience at a lot of destinations. And sometimes the best way to do this is by seeking out a pottery (or ceramics) class! Lest you think this is something of an “old-school” idea meanwhile, we assure you it is not. For one thing, you merely input your destination and “ceramics class” in a search bar, you’ll often find multiple options, indicating pottery is actually quite popular all around the world.

For another, we simply have to point out that a few of the biggest celebrities in the entire world evidently count this among their interests! According to an article on movie star side hobbies, Brad Pitt is a regular with the clay, and he coaxed Leonardo DiCaprio into joining in on occasion. We’d say that makes pottery plenty trendy and cool, and all the more worth seeking out as an activity at your destination.

5. Forest Bathing

Speaking of the celebrity factor, some major stars have also played a role in popularizing “forest bathing” in recent years. A couple of years ago a piece on forest bathing’s healing power mentioned that Kate Middleton makes a hobby of it, and pop star Justin Bieber is known to be a fan as well. But what actually is forest bathing? Basically, it’s the practice of isolating in nature, be it by way of a walk, a meditation sitting, or even some outdoor yoga. It’s being taken more and more seriously as a wellness practice, and it’s also a wonderful travel activity. A bit of forest bathing gives you the opportunity to clear your head (say, after a long commute day or some busy daytime tourism), and it also encourages you to explore the nature around your destination.

So there you have them! These are just a few suggestions, but each one can add something fresh to your next travel experience.

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