Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > TravelBuzz
Reload this Page >

Do you Accidentally Tour when traveling?

Do you Accidentally Tour when traveling?

Old Jan 17, 12, 4:47 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: USA - HNL, SEA, DEN, ORD, MCO, and all points inbetween
Programs: Way too many!
Posts: 1,177
Question Do you Accidentally Tour when traveling?

It occurs to me that after all the years of travel, I have really never "Toured" much as TOURING typically goes. Accidentally? Perhaps a bit. But not as a rule. I fly into a city. Get my business done. Maybe go to dinner, or some other activity. I DO, however, go underground and mix with the culture a lot. Local spots, hangouts, etc.

London. Been there, oh, maybe 50 times. NEVER been to the tower of London, or Big Ben or other "Touristy" stuff. But I have been to many great local venues, bars, restaurants, clubs, a few really great LOCAL hangouts. I've met with locals, had great discussions, and felt like I was a part of the city.

Paris? Been there, oh, maybe 50 times as well. NEVER HAD been to the Eiffel Tower, nor the Louvre until two years ago, when I brought my girlfriend and she wanted to go. I happen to speak French, and have, like London, been to many great local venues, bars, restaurants, clubs and local hangouts. I've met with locals, and had great discussions, and yes, felt like I belonged in Paris. I used to live in Paris and never went to these places either.

This is exactly like when I lived in New York. I have NEVER been to the Statue of Liberty, for example. I lived there, but never toured the city much.
Unlike me, my girlfriend makes it a POINT to seek out typical tourist sites and visits them in every town she visits for business or pleasure.

I'm wondering if many of us heavy travelers really ever do touring, or if it's just accidental and catch-can.

Do you go to tourist destinations and see the standard sites? Or do you go underground and interact with the locals. Maybe neither? You swoop in for business, and never mix with pleasure?
RobbieRunner is offline  
Old Jan 17, 12, 5:07 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Marriott or Hilton hot tub with a big drink <glub> Beverage: To-Go Bag™ DYKWIA: SSSS /rolleyes ☈ Date Night: Costco
Programs: Sea Shell Lounge Platinum, TSA Pre✓ Refusnik Diamond, PWP Gold, FT subset of the subset
Posts: 12,497
Originally Posted by RobbieRunner View Post
This is exactly like when I lived in New York. I have NEVER been to the Statue of Liberty, for example.
Me neither, but I used to hang out at the dive bar across the street from the Milford Plaza. I did walk over to the Intrepid Museum one time, though.

I'm not much of tourist; I'd rather hang with the locals.
N965VJ is offline  
Old Jan 17, 12, 5:12 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Earth
Programs: whatever it takes
Posts: 334
What you may call "touristy" - sometimes are just historical sites - assuming it hasn't been "made too touristy." When I was in the corporate world and got sent on biz trips...I always tried to do things for fun, unique, learning, and/or not available back home - beyond what you mention -- which sounds more like std nightlife the world over more/less.

Company had a policy of paying for the weekend hotel, per diem,etc.. because that would make the airfare much cheaper.

Used to fly to Hamburg, Germany...I recall 2 distinct extensions where one time I took a train to Berlin and explored that city, WW2 history too...while staying at the plush Swissotel (Not that expensive cuz the USD dollar was $1 = 1.15EUR!).

One time I took a train to Cologne, rented a car and drove from Cologne to Frankfurt via Mainz and Wiesbaden. Went to the Gutenberg Museum (Moveable type) in Mainz and also public spas in Wiesbaden (And Cologne) where everyone was/is naked -- young (Teen and younger), old, male/female, all mixed together. Very natural. The one in Wiesbaden is in the center of the city...public. Great architecture too!

**Fully naked family spas should be everywhere in the world...in this regard the Germans have much to teach... ** Every culture has "strengths" and "weaknesses" -- it is this that has motivated me to travel in the past.

On a biz trip to Amsterdam, I stayed the weekend....and in one day via train went to Leiden, Delft, Den Haag, & Rotterdam..seeing a mix of museums, architecture, etc...I already knew Amsterdam from a personal trip a few years earlier, so this was a chance to see more of the Netherlands away from the more "touristy" Amsterdam!

I have the exploring bug...which (Among other reasons) led me to quit that job and go traveling independent for much longer periods of time.

Now my "travels" are focused more inward...but that is another story.
EqualOpp is offline  
Old Jan 17, 12, 5:20 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: DCA/IAD/BWI/ROA/LYH
Posts: 54
I'll answer kind of hypothetically since I am not a business traveler. But as a grad student having traveled to other countries for conferences, I always take some time to visit the important (as opposed to the "important") things of the country. That is in London I wouldn't pass the Westminster Abbey, or the Louvre in France, or the Colosseum in Rome. It is a part of the history of the country, which I am also fond of learning before or after going. Of course mixing with the locals and going off the beaten path is always in my schedule, but never first over the city's historical places/monuments etc.
kostasn0 is offline  
Old Jan 18, 12, 12:24 am
  #5  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,098
When there is time, and when there is interest. I have spent many a dreary day off in hotels in the midwestern US. What am I going to go see in Tulsa or Des Moines? In Des Moines I had trouble finding a good night spot that wasn't a biker bar or Applebees.

Obviously my 200 trips to Vegas (196 of them Biz) involved seeing alot of stuff, even if I didn't want too! Finally braved the traffic and saw the Hoover dam from the ground. Seen it from the air countless times.

Frankfurt provided nothing spectacular to see, but I made sure I went out and took in the city. Same with Dublin, Zurich, and Brisbane.

I made a point of getting extra days at both ends of the 1 trip to Tokyo just to explore. Loved it, but it's really only the tip of the bizzare iceberg that is Tokyo.

London is a regular trip for me and like you, it was not until my 25th or so time there that I actually made a point of seeing the touristy stuff. I meant to earlier, but the weather was usually crap. I always get to the pubs and clubs though and my London friends laugh when I say I want to go see Buckingham Palace or the Tower.

Been to Paris only 4 times, never wanted to see the tower but I missed the Louvre and I regret it.

Amsterdam..always make some leisure time. Never took a canal tour or rented a bike!

Prague was a regular stop in the early 2000s, and I actually scheduled work around being able to play tourist every time (I went about 12 times). Fascinating place!

Hong Kong is usually a whirlwind where I am greeting by local colleagues at the airport, whisked to a bar, and hungover in my hotel the next day. Never saw much outside of the bars and the industrial district but I have seen the harbor at night. Tai-pei is much the same, plane-to-bar with 7 raging alcoholics who think messing me up means being a good host. Only been twice.

I don't get to the middle east much, but my biz contacts in Cairo made arragements for me to see the pyramids without my even asking.

Copenhagen was the oddest place I ever was. I wanted to go out and have fun, but their idea of fun is more akin to bird watching. I still made a point to walk around when I could.

I love Italy, even Milan which is more of a euro-scape city like you find anywhere. I was only in Florence twice, but did the full on tourist thing each time, and booked time for it. Rome is a blast, and my first trip there was as a tourist so I got all of it out of my system by the time I did the occasional biz run there. Rome and Montreal traffic scare the crap out of me but I still venture out into the streets.

Last edited by pinworm; Jan 18, 12 at 12:31 am
pinworm is offline  
Old Jan 18, 12, 1:40 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: BRS
Posts: 336
I make a point of visiting the supermarket wherever possible. Work tends to send me to first world destinations, and I like seeing the localities little quirks reflected in the way *normal* people shop.

I'll do the odd touristy thing, but only if it's an attraction I'd be likely to visit the equivalent of at home. that works out about 1 in 5 destinations.
Weean is offline  
Old Jan 18, 12, 6:55 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Earth
Programs: whatever it takes
Posts: 334
Originally Posted by pinworm View Post
Frankfurt provided nothing spectacular to see, but I made sure I went out and took in the city. Same with Dublin, Zurich, and Brisbane.
Guess you weren't in Zurich during the annual Street Parade...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI7-...eature=related
EqualOpp is offline  
Old Jan 18, 12, 7:12 am
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: CHA, MAN;
Programs: Delta DM 1 MM; HH Diam,Hz PC,
Posts: 11,094
[QUOTE=RobbieRunner;17832979]

London. Been there, oh, maybe 50 times. NEVER been to the tower of London, or Big Ben or other "Touristy" stuff. But I have been to many great local venues, bars, restaurants, clubs, a few really great LOCAL hangouts. I've met with locals, had great discussions, and felt like I was a part of the city.
QUOTE]

I want to University in London and am over 50 years old and I have still never seen the Crown Jewels.

When I first went to New Orleans - sorry N'awlins, I did walk down Bourbon Street and go in a bar down there.

If I have time, I usually like to take a guided bus tour of a city. Did it in Buenos Aires, Branson, MO; Vancouver; HNL; etc
GRALISTAIR is offline  
Old Jan 18, 12, 7:23 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Programs: PC Plat RA, SPG Gold, AS MVPG
Posts: 811
Usually the first time I go to a place for work, I take some time to see the 'famous sites'..
The times after that, if i go again, i'll just chill out at local places..

But i love to travel/sight see, so of course i'll sight see if i go to a place i've never been before..
vmsea is offline  
Old Jan 18, 12, 2:29 pm
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Canada
Programs: UA*1K, BA Silver, Accor Plat, Marriott Gold, Carlson Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 21,746
so really, you fly a lot for work-related reasons, but don't really travel all that much...
rankourabu is offline  
Old Jan 18, 12, 2:38 pm
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Durham, NC (RDU/GSO/CLT)
Programs: AA EXP/MM, DL PM, UA Gold, WN A-List, HH DIA, Hyatt Disc, IHG Spire/AMB, Marriott Titanium, Hertz PC
Posts: 31,424
I like to mix things up. While I do have a disdain for something touristy, some sights can be fun and often people flock to them for a reason. I went to Chicago last year to see a friend of mine and as part of our activities we went to Navy Pier and watched fireworks. Touristy? Absolutely. Fun? Again, absolutely.

The one issue I'm far firmer on is trying to avoid touristy restaurants while traveling, particularly in other countries. If the menu is in English or features pictures? I want nothing to do with the place.
CMK10 is offline  
Old Jan 18, 12, 3:01 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Programs: PC Plat RA, SPG Gold, AS MVPG
Posts: 811
Originally Posted by CMK10 View Post
The one issue I'm far firmer on is trying to avoid touristy restaurants while traveling, particularly in other countries. If the menu is in English or features pictures? I want nothing to do with the place.

How do you avoid it if you're travelling for work, got a short timeline etc..
unless you have time to research ahead of time?
Hotel restaurants i avoid for sure though..
vmsea is offline  
Old Jan 18, 12, 3:12 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: UK
Programs: Emirates Silver, BA, Flying Blue, Virgin, IHG
Posts: 949
If it's a new city then I definitely try to see the key sights (and it's a great incentive to get out of bed and deal with the jetlag) but if I've been before I might use some free time to get a massage or pedicure. I'm always worried I won't get another chance to visit somewhere so tyr to do as much as I can - sometimes it back fires though - had my first trip to Saigon in November and did as much as I could in the city as I wasn't sure if / when I would be back. Trouble was I got back to work and was asked to go back again begining of December. Still found some things to see but kind of wish I had saved a bit more for future trips.

One of the first things I do when I have a new trip planned then I buy the relevant pages form Lonely Planet for my kindle and start planning my sightseeing (but then one of the attractions of my current job was the opportunties to travel).
HelloKittysMum is offline  
Old Jan 18, 12, 3:53 pm
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Durham, NC (RDU/GSO/CLT)
Programs: AA EXP/MM, DL PM, UA Gold, WN A-List, HH DIA, Hyatt Disc, IHG Spire/AMB, Marriott Titanium, Hertz PC
Posts: 31,424
Originally Posted by vmsea View Post
How do you avoid it if you're travelling for work, got a short timeline etc..
unless you have time to research ahead of time?
Hotel restaurants i avoid for sure though..
I'm very good at researching. A little work with Google, Restaurant Rewards, Urban Spoon etc. on the day before (or on the flight in) can work wonders!
CMK10 is offline  
Old Jan 18, 12, 4:29 pm
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: USA - HNL, SEA, DEN, ORD, MCO, and all points inbetween
Programs: Way too many!
Posts: 1,177
Originally Posted by N965VJ View Post
Me neither, but I used to hang out at the dive bar across the street from the Milford Plaza. I did walk over to the Intrepid Museum one time, though.

I'm not much of tourist; I'd rather hang with the locals.
Now THAT's a REAL New Yorker! I can still hear the jingle as advertised hourly on WPIX or WNEW in New York... "The Milford Plaza is the Lullaby of Old Broadway!" .... That, mixed in with the "CRAZY EDDIE!" Ads. His prices really were... "INSANE!!!"

And yes, I agree. I usually hang with the locals. I ask the cab drivers where they go to hang out.
RobbieRunner is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: