Turning a Travel Destination into a One of a Kind Secret Adventure: 5 Ideas
I’ve always been a travel nut.
Well, not always. We didn’t travel much when I was a kid. It wasn’t until I started working and needed to travel for work that I was bit by the travel bug.🐞
Now that we’ve pretty much been shut down for 2 years due to the pandemic for travel for fun, I’m DEFINITELY ready to go again…soon. I always look for nature escapes, great architecture, arts & culture as part of my travel checklist. Geocaching is another way to create adventures too, and WHO HAS NOT thought about looking for platform 9 & 3/4 in London?!?
But there’s one special, unique, unicorian thing to look for in travel: one-of-a-kind secrets that can turn into adventures.
Here are a few examples, which I love. And I’m writing this post not only for the travel nerds like me, but I’m writing it for every travel, tourist, and destination bureau out there — I’m challenging all of you who work in travel & tourism to not only cover the basics but think about how you might create…a unique adventure for your tourists to go on that they can only experience in your place.
- The Bird Island Kindred Spirit Mailbox — Okay, might be considered slightly cheesy due to the Nicholas Sparks book, but I don’t care. It’s a mailbox on an uninhabited island where people can leave messages. The island is undeveloped — so you have to work to get there. Over 100,000 people have visited it and many have left notes in the mailbox.
- The Block Island Glass Float Project — I just recently learned about this one on CBS Sunday Morning, and the rules are in the link above. I love this idea because it gets people out and into nature to look for these tiny magical orbs. The adventure is hunting for them, but you’re actually exercising out in nature while hunting for them. There’s even a registry once you’ve found an orb, which is extra brilliant and people record their photos of their trip and their adventure and share it on the registry. If you’re in T&T — think about what makes your place unique. Do you have a cool cadre of artists there? Mapmakers? Architects? Culinary masters? Sports? Whatever that is — ask how you can maximize it and get tourists involved in the experience. That’s where the magic happens.
- Secret City Bars — In Paris, in NYC, Chicago — you name it, maybe even your city has a secret bar. It’s not so much the drinking for me as I’m not a big drinker — it’s how to get into them when others may not know is the fun bit.
- Atlas Obscura — this is a fantastic book I gave several times as a gift to others who have the travel bug. There are so many hidden travel gems within it. Spin-offs include Gastro Obscura and Atlas Obscura for Kids.
- Antique Week — I’ll admit it — I used to be a huge auction junkie. If you’re on the hunt for great antiques, either through shows or auctions, check out this publication. It’s for auctions, shows, and malls everywhere in the US. There are great articles on collectors and collections too. And every time I get around antiques, each and every object has its very own adventure that comes along with it. Unraveling that object’s adventure is another adventure in and of itself!
More adventures, please. After all, the magic of travel lies within the experience. And I hope those more obscure places took the time and space we all received in the last 2 years with the pandemic to re-think how we can all be inspired by one-of-a-kind travel adventures. When we can get back to them again! 🌍
Erin L. Albert is a writer and hopefully…traveler again soon.