Go. Do. Move. Get up off the couch. If there’s one thing that holds true in travel, it’s that the more we see, feel, and experience, the more rewarding life tends to be. Famous Abe once put it, “it’s not the amount of years in your life, it’s the amount of life in…” — you’ve heard it before. But what does it mean to travel? What does it mean to experience a place? Are we simply hopping around, checking off destinations, filling up passports and curating Instagrams in attempts to build some kind of splashy resume?
There are dramatic nuances to the ways in which we travel. If your vacation to Istanbul revolves around luxury hotels and gaudy rooftop bars, that’s all fine, but it’s only a sliver of what the city has to offer. If your visit to Cape Town is strictly for the shark diving and penguin colonies, you might miss out on its history, culture, food and music scenes. Luckily, here at AllTheRooms we have your back in planning the most rewarding, varied, and personalized travel itineraries. Figure out the best things to do for any destination and make sure you’re getting the most out of your vacation.
The new age of exploration is all about self-exploration: finding your boundaries and figuring out what you’re capable of. Even if you wouldn’t particularly describe yourself as an adrenaline junkie, there’s something to be said for adventure travel. Trekking to the tops of volcanoes in Guatemala, kayaking alongside whales in Alaska, cave diving in Mexico’s cenotes — these are the kinds of experiences that introduce you to wild new landscapes and allow you to see a place from new perspectives.
When you walk into a thumping Korean Karaoke bar in the heart of downtown Seoul, you’re going to feel a bit disoriented but in a good way. The same goes for a Mexican fútbol match, a Colombian salsa bar, the Soviet Bunker theme park in Lithuania, and the chaotic food courts of Singapore. Sometimes, the best things to do while traveling are those that nudge you towards the very fringes of your comfort zone. When brainstorming your next vacation, consider putting yourself in the shoes of a local. Eat everything, deny nothing, and see what you can get yourself into.
That being said, sometimes traveling looks like the opposite: white bathrobes, hotel room service, pinky-out cocktails and swim-up pool bars. Sometimes the intention of traveling is to nuzzle yourself proudly and defiantly inside your comfort zone, giving an emphatic, week-long “no” to the rest of the world’s chaos. And you know what? You deserve it. Travel costs today have made treating yourself well within reason. Think all-inclusive vacation packages in Antigua, destination resorts in Croatia, and family-friendly getaways in Italy.
History and Architecture
Historical tourism is one of the most rewarding, educational, and jaw-dropping ways to experience a new country. Sure, understanding how people get along nowadays is one thing, but what about 100 years ago? What about 1,000? Walk amongst the Pantheon and consider the impact Greek civilization has had on future generations. Gaze upon Stonehenge and cock your head in confusion. Visit the Alhambra and dive into Spain’s Muslim roots. These are the types of experiences that make your journey feel a little less vain. Root your travels in greater contexts of history and culture and marvel at feeling so small.
Given the sheer quantity of things to do, searching “things to do” can be a scary task. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, or if you’ve been led astray down too many fruitless internet rabbit holes, don’t fret — you’ve landed in the right spot. We’ve compiled the most comprehensive list of local suggestions, pro tips, and novel ideas to serve as your virtual travel companion.