Being a tourist in your hometown is a great way to see it from a whole new perspective. We are so used to going about our daily routines that we become unaware of what’s actually around us. Always wishing to go on that perfect holiday to escape the daily grind that we forget to notice and appreciate the little things that are right on our doorsteps. Recently I’ve enjoyed spending more time in my local area so I wanted to share 5 ways to be a tourist in your hometown as a wheelchair user. I hope if you try some of these ideas that you’ll begin to look at your hometown differently and enjoy it as if you were on holiday.
1. Plan it out
For most people with a disability, there will always be some sort of planning involved whenever leaving the house. Whether it’s arranging the most accessible way to get from A to B, organising the essentials you need to take with you to finding the nearest accessible toilets or changing places. Before you can do all that, you need to know where you’re going. That’s when websites like Euan’s Guide come in handy to help you find accessible attractions, restaurants, cafes and more. The more arrangements you have in place, the more relaxed you’ll be and fun you’ll have. All you need for a great day out being a tourist in your hometown.
2. Take a tour
One of the things I usually do on holiday is take a tour of the city. This might be a bus tour or a walking tour of the city. These are usually great ways to see and learn more about the place you’re visiting as well as getting better acquainted with the area. Bus tours are also good for easily getting between the main tourist attractions without having to walk too far or draining your wheelchair battery. So if you do these tours on holiday why not in your hometown? I was surprised by how much I didn’t know about my local city until I took a tour with Edinburgh Bus Tours. You can easily have an enjoyable day in the city and act like all the tourists. Like Edinburgh, most city bus tours are accessible and offer a priority wheelchair space on board. You may also be entitled to reduced admission for you and your companion.
3. Go see a show
Another fun way to be a tourist in your hometown is to go see a show. I often look forward to seeing a theatre show or other live event when I’m in a different city. So much so that I realised I should do it more often in my own hometown. Now I check out the listings in my local town hall and nearby theatres for musicals, plays and comedy shows. If it’s good enough for tourists visiting your hometown then it’s good enough for you and me. I love live music and regularly go to music gigs, but adding in other events like theatre has added another exciting accept of enjoying the entertainment my hometown has to offer. Another bonus is most venues offer a free companion ticket and sometimes reduced admission for disabled people. Even better look for free events such as outdoor movie screenings and concerts.
4. Head to the beach
Having a beach day isn’t just for those times when you’ve jetted off and soaking up the rays in Spain and the likes. Beach days can be just as fun and relaxing in your own hometown. I know we don’t always have weather like the Mediterranean, but when we do, us Brits like to make the most of it and that may involve heading to the nearest beach for some fun in the sun. I’ve even spent cloudy days at the beach and still had the best time. Wheelchairs and sand aren’t usually a good match, but thankfully some UK beaches offer fantastic beach wheelchairs so you can dip your toes in the sea. Take your sunscreen, hat, beach towel, food and drinks for the perfect beach day as if you were a tourist. Hang around and watch the sunset to end the day on a high note.
5. Take a picnic to the park
No matter where I travel I always head for some greenery. I love the feeling of escaping the hustle and bustle of the streets and relaxing in a local park. Taking time out of your busy itinerary is a great way to unwind with nature before hitting up the next big tourist attraction. Read a book, study your tourist map, read up on the local history or one of my absolute favourites, have a picnic with all the lovely local food you’ve bought. Some parks even have attractions within them such as palaces or museums so it could be a good way of combining the two. I definitely think local parks should be utilised more whether a tourist in your hometown or somewhere around in the world.
- Go out and explore your hometown with an open mind
- Ask for directions to feel like a real tourist
- Ask someone to take your photo in front of the attractions
- Pick up leaflets on your town’s tourist attractions
- Take your camera and become snap happy
- Take out appropriate insurance cover for your wheelchair and carer
- Buy a souvenir magnet or mug to add to your collection
What are your favourite ways to be a tourist in your hometown?
Thank you to Fish Insurance for sponsoring this post, but as always all opinions are my own.