I would venture to guess that one of the main forms of marketing that everybody from small restaurants to national tourism boards love to leverage are appearances on cable television shows. Speaking from personal experience, seeing shows such as Diner’s, Drive-in’s & Dives, House Hunters International, Drinking Made Easy, No Reservations and Mancations make me add new places to my list of places to visit every single time I see one of the shows.
For many people, this is their primary source of research for their upcoming vacations. Shows that focus on certain states or counties, or even dedicate entire shows to eating or drinking in specific locales are what drive vacationers to plan their trips around and to these destinations.
However, for so many of the people who will read this, including myself, one of two things happens whenever we go on vacation:
- We will take a vacation to a certain destination, fit everything we can into the trip and consider that location as DONE.
- We will visit the destination and spend the time we have dedicated to one attraction or activity, and proclaim as we leave that “I must go back” in order to experience everything else.
I cannot even begin to count the amount of places that I have visited, some as many as 5 or 6 times, and still want to revisit them, if not for the sheer purpose of experiencing even more than I already had.
What this has resulted in for me is scattered experiences for my vacations. To propose a solution for this, I believe it is time to introduce another travel game:
Choose Your Own Adventure
Pick your travel buddies. Watch some TV or do some online research. All depends on the House Rules.
You can set a pre-determined theme or pre-determined destination, complete with research, or you can decide to choose the destination and the theme when you arrive at the airport. Any mixture of this game along with First Flight or Spin The Globe is acceptable.
Once the destination has been determined, pick your theme. Some suggestions are:
- Microbreweries (or just Beer)
- Diners, Drive-ins & Dives
- National Parks
Then your trip has an underlying theme, such as hunting down every microbrewery within a 50 mile radius, or hitting every single restaurant from a No Reservations episode or Diners Drive-Ins & Dives season.
The joy in the simplicity is that instead of doing 15 different things around a city or destination, you are completely and wholly tackling an entire category. By the time you head for home, you can call yourself the not-so-resident experts on that category.
Beer Trip Boston 2011 Anyone? Who is in?
Day 28. Way 28. Stop running around. Choose your own adventure.
Has anyone ever done a themed trip?
Our last was a “Wine Weekend” in El Dorado County, CA.
Share your stories, photos and recommendations in the comments below!