What resources do you use to find things to do, places to eat, etc… when you’re on a sit? Love to see your suggestions.
@denniscnewman good old Google is my starting point for anywhere we travel. You can find out just about anything you need to know about attractions, restaurants, etc. just by clicking on the name of the town/city/province. Then you can drill down even further into specifid areas of that town.
Hi @denniscnewman An easy way to start is to open the Google map. It shows your location and provides suggestions for things to look for (such as restaurants, hotels, groceries, etc.) at the top of the window. There’s also a search bar and you can type in “historic sites,” “museums,” and more. On a lark, I once typed in “castle,” and my day was set. You’ll get rudimentary reviews, distance, directions at your fingertips. It’s great for exploring locally.
We also use Google as our go-to, but have had many great suggestions from owners as well. We love a local suggestion as sometimes it’s something we might not have found so easily on Google if we did not know what we were looking for.
We also got some free paper maps for hikes and scenic car rides in Boulder, CO yesterday from the tourist office. We try and keep digital but if the resources are there we sometimes like to put the phones away and use a good old paper map, which is what we did yesterday.
We have also previously bumped into locals at a coffee shop and they found out what we were doing and recommended places for us to visit and which shops we could take the dog we were looking after in.
Hope you find some great places to explore
My first port of call is often the visitor centre, if there is one. As others have said, Google and Google maps. When dog walking I’ll always ask other dog walkers for suggestions of other places to walk and often the home owners, if they’ve completed the Welcome Guide () might have filled in the appropriate section. Some home owners have left brochures and pamphlets of things to do and places to go in their area too. I also use a really good free app called Maps.Me which an American sitter told me about. It shows all the walking paths and mountain bike trails so great for finding different walks with or without a dog.
Google, yes. I also use the Meetup app (in the states, at least) to find interesting groups and events I might like to attend while on a sit. For example, I found myself in a new spot and signed up to join some folks my age for drinks and dancing and was warmly welcomed to some additional events while I was in the area. Since it’s in an area where I have done multiple sits I’ve been able to make real friends and even get some THS referral bonuses! People are often quite interested in our lifestyle!
Being single, I also use dating apps like Bumble, Tinder and Hinge to meet people. I’m clear in my profile that I travel full time and have had a great time meeting people that way too. Whenever I arrive at a new sit I open the apps because most are location based. Some apps allow me to change my location in advance so I can chat with people in the location where I will be going before I get there. I’ve been able to arrange meet and greets and some actual dates that way.
Thanks folks. We use google maps, but not to the extent that many of you do. We’ll start digging into in deeper. I also like the idea of asking around. That’s how I often find good places to eat.
Besides the ideas mentioned, one of the easiest things I do when considering whether to even apply for a sit in the first place: I do a Google Images search. If there aren’t any interesting photos of the location, that’s not likely to interest me. Or I’ll search “Day trips from X,” so I know what’s nearby.
I also do a search on DoorDash or some equivalent abroad. That’s because I’m not fond of rural places where good food is hard to get, especially if I go abroad and I won’t be comfortable driving. I don’t cook and I enjoy trying local foods. I also use Yelp. With DoorDash, Instacart, Grab, Deliveroo, etc., even if you don’t use delivery, you can find out what types of restaurants or markets are nearby.
You can even shop for some gifts or souvenirs that way. I did a sit in the U.K. recently and had Marks & Spencer deliver a bunch of soaps, chocolates, biscuits and other treats to my sit. I even ordered a British dog toy for my pooch. And everything went directly into my suitcase, without me setting foot shopping.
I might also check out the MeetUps or EventBrite apps for activities or group get-togethers.
When I’m not sitting and am doing road trips, Google Image search also is a good way for me to decide where to stop on the fly. If a place looks uninteresting in photos, I’m likely to skip it. I also google for “Best things to do in X.” If the list looks weak, I’m probably going to drive past it.
I google unique things to do in the area and vegan bakeries haha. On my sits I mostly stay inside but I like to find goods snacks and a unique museum to check out.