Image source: Flickr - Staffan Scherz
We've all heard the phrase, "Don't rain on my parade." For travelers, it should be changed to "Don't rain on my vacation." While not many people actually want it to rain during their trip, the truth is that water coming down from the clouds doesn't have to mean disaster. In fact, it gives you an excuse to potentially have a memorable travel experience. To help you have the best vacation possible no matter the weather, here are six ways to spend a rainy day on the road.
Traveling is a great way to escape reality for a bit. And is there any better way to escape the stress of work, finances and daily pressures than with magic fingers literally kneading it out of your body? Try decadent treatments that infuse organic local fruits, honey, chocolate, vanilla, herbs and spices with massages into the skin, applied to the face and smothered all over the back, neck, arms and legs as you're wrapped in warm towels and sprayed off with Vichey Showers. Best of all, these treatments are good for you, so you're essentially spending your rainy day getting healthy. We recommend opting for a spa with loads of amenities like hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms and relaxation rooms so you can spend the whole day pampering yourself.
Not only are libraries free to enjoy, but they're also chock full of interesting finds. Whether you want to spend the day getting through a full novel, want to learn about a topic that's been on your mind or just want to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere while you flip through a magazine, draw or journal, the library is a great place to be on a rainy day. Moreover, many libraries host free events, workshops and exhibits, so a seemingly boring day could be the one where you learn how to build a website, make friends with locals over refreshments or even see a classic film.
Museums, art galleries, cultural centers, and churches - they're all great experiences to save for a rainy day. These types of venues allow you to learn more about a facet of local culture that interests you, typically for a free or affordable price. If you plan on visiting a bunch of local attractions, its worth it to look into discount passes offered by the city. You can usually learn more about these opportunities through a Google search or by contacting the local tourism board.
Take advantage of a rainy day by spending some quality time with your journal. Not your laptop. Not your tablet. Not your iPhone. Good old pen and paper. This way you'll have no distractions and can focus on getting out your true thoughts. Maybe you noticed an encounter during the day that made you ponder, or maybe there's a big contrast between the local culture and your own you'd like to delve further into. Write down your observations, thoughts and feelings and see where you end up. At the very least, you'll have created a written memory of your trip to look back on later.
This works best if you book an accommodation with a kitchen - which is a smart option for those who want to save money on the road. Even if you don't have a stove and cutlery at your disposal, this is a good day to book a cooking class. Spend your rainy day having an interactive cultural experience by actually doing something a local would do. Bonus: Cooking means you'll need to take a trip to the grocery store, an attraction in itself as you peruse foreign items that seem atypical to you, but common to the locals.
Huh? No, that's not a typo. The city you're visiting will have a completely different feel to it when its raining out versus when it's sunny. If you have a waterproof camera, you may even want to grab some unique shots of the local attractions in a new light. Just make sure there's no lightning. In that case, stay inside and watch some TV.
What are your favorite things to do when it rains during a trip?
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Jessica Festa is a full-time travel writer who is always up for an adventure. She enjoys getting lost in new cities and having experiences you don’t read about in guidebooks. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been teaching English in Thailand, trekking her way through South America, backpacking Europe solo, road tripping through Australia and doing orphanage work in Ghana. You can follow her adventures on her travel websites, Epicure & Culture and Jessie On A Journey. You can also connect with Jessica directly on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, or follow her epicurean adventures on Facebook and Twitter.
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