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Travel Advice - Take to the streets; walking and your vacation

When vacationing, you should take every opportunity you can to “walk the walk” of real vacations and spend time exploring your destination on foot. Taxis are a comfortable way to travel and mass transportation can get you there sooner than walking: however, the best way to experience the “real” destination is to stroll through neighborhoods.  Doing so will help you to understand the diversity, complexity, and uniqueness of your destination.

Walking allows you to look in the store windows and see what appeals to the locals. Walking, also, allows you to see details of the architecture and aspects of the neighborhood that you just cannot see when you are riding in a taxi or on a bus. Often, the neighborhoods surrounding  "attractions" are full of treasures waiting to be discovered.

 

Walking is a pleasurable experience, good exercise, and a great way of relaxing as you move along at your own pace (something that might be a luxury after a hard day of scheduled touring). When your touring becomes hectic, use walking as a natural way to slow it down and allow yourself to savor the delights of your vacation destination.

  • We recommend walking after lunch, as it helps avoid that after-meal  drowsiness.
  • A walk taken after your evening meal helps the digestive process and prepares you for a nice, refreshing slumber when you return to your hotel.
  • Finally, walking helps you burn off the calories you just could not resist when the tray filled with luscious looking desserts appeared after dinner.

When we have eaten dinner a distance from our hotel, we walk as much of the way back to the hotel as we can and, then, flag down a cab or hop public transportation. In other cases we will head out walking after dinner towards a destination that we wanted to see at night (great architecture illuminated at night is breathtaking), and, then, catch a cab back to our lodging.

If you are normally not a “walker”, break out of your mold and see what you have been missing.

  • Make sure you wear proper footwear for walking (see our article on  foot care during vacations).
  • Do not overextend yourself by walking long distances at the start of your vacation.
  • Work your way into longer walks as your vacation progresses and your feet will thank you.

When walking through any city be alert, as there are unsafe districts in every city.

  • Ask the hotel staff if the neighborhood surrounding your hotel (or wherever you are staying) is safe to walk during the day and night.
  • If you have any hesitation about walking in the area, pay attention to your instincts and find another means of transportation.

Finally, see ThereArePlaces Travel Planning Guide on Safety and Security to brush up on safety practices.

 

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