How many times googling things to do near me you've been fooled? How many times you've been caught into the nets of Monsters like TripAdvisor, Expedia, etc? I suppose not less than me until one day I realized there’s something wrong with this. Probably like me, sometimes you are getting bored and looking for something to do nearby or preparing for the next journey and trying to fix your list of things to do at your travel destination. But you can’t, because it shows you what they want you to do, not with what you are really looking for. So, here I will share with you my secrets on how to find the right things to do for you (and not for the Monsters)! And some facts I’ve discovered are SHOCKING! So, let’s go to uncover the truth, and right now you are saving THOUSANDS of $ and reveal the secrets of how to search for the right things to do in the right places.
I feel fooled, searching for things to do near me
Sometimes all of us getting a bit bored and absolutely naturally we are searching for the things to do near us. I’m not different and usually, I saw the first page of Google, clicked on something that’s on the top, and booked some tour or activity. I usually search for things to do near me when I’m traveling. Everything looks okay. Right? And thus once upon a time, I’ve made a shocking discovery - I pay for all the activities I do. But there are so many things to do for free on your own and Google is NOT SHOWING them! The other discovery was even more interesting. Google shows certain tour providers on its page one when I’m looking for something to do.
I’m fun of hiking and I dislike walking in an enormous group. I guess nobody of such a group doesn't like that :) Why is Google showing me the only those options? Am I doing something wrong? That or so, the fact is that Google ALWAYS shows those enormous companies on the first page. So, if you go with the stream and don’t search deeply, almost ALWAYS you are landing in the nets of TripAdvisor, Expedia, or Groupon, etc.
You are pushed to book things to do
Google showing you what those big companies want instead. For example, when you search for the things to do near me in USA it shows you the 1st page and 4 of 10 (I repeat FOUR of TEN) positions are occupied by TripAdvisor, but with different domain names. Here's the proof:
Maybe it’s okay from the point of view of the business and I have nothing against all these big companies doing money in the travel sector, but wouldn’t it be logical to show TripAdvisor once and on the other 3 positions show something else?
But that’s not all...
Avoid Big Corporations
Big players are using distinct ways to dominate search results!
Obviously, if you compare one of those big players and a small local company providing activities, those big ones possess the financial capacity. They can force extensive advertising campaigns. The biggest of them even don’t need to pay for advertising on Google. Here is the moment where mid-size fish comes to the game but it’s still would not be a small local provider of the things to do nearby. Let’s take an example of New York and try to search for the things to do near me in New York.
TripAdvisor still dominates the search results, but here also Google Ads offering us tickets to the top attractions of the city. At the same time, except for all the major attractions, there are so many things to do in New York... We will talk later about that possibility.
One of the shady ways to dominate the first page of Google is a practice that many bigger companies do - buying links from the other websites to guarantee an excellent position in the search results.
Everybody working with search engine optimization knows the fact - incoming links are one of the most important factors in the eyes of Google, so this way it gives to your page gives more weight.
Big versus small can’t be equal
At any travel destination, there are a lot of local private tour guides, small tour and activity providers. They are often a family business. You can imagine how hard life those big corporations are serving them?
Why do you want to help a CEO of a big International corporation to buy a new yacht or build a new luxury villa? Isn’t it better to support those hard-working local people and help them feed their families? Care about that, because booking a thing to do from a local provider you are doing the right thing!
We are lazy - most of the people pay attention to the top page only
Google is huge, but most of us are non-digging over Google’s page one. And we are missing a lot because there is a lot of gold under the hood. That’s not Google fault, but ours. In fact, if I google for things to do near me, I would find approximately 5 billion pages. Not all of them, but a good portion of those on the first ten pages contain sometimes worthy and useful information.
Don't give up! I know, we are too lazy to dig. So am I but digging deeper into the search is one of the obvious solutions if you wish to find something specific to you.
People searching their things to do in the wrong place
The other problem, if it’s coming all the things to do nearby, is that there are more ways to find something your. Not all the ways to find an interesting activity are limited to search engines. Besides the regular tours or popular tourist attractions usually, there are a load of local sport and cultural events, shows, concerts, carnivals, fairs, etc.
Is that really what you are looking for?
But the key problem of someone looking for the things to do is not outside but inside. I mean if I’m bored and don’t know what to do, so why do not think what do I like to do? And well, it’s hard to meet a person who doesn’t like anything.
You can look for some activities to do for two reasons. First - you could dispone too much free time and second-your free time is very limited and you simply want to relax or to retreat from your daily routine. No matter what reason is, but the first thing you've got to do is to understand yourself. Even if you totally disarmed by the funnel of the boredom, here is a simple trick.
Remind your childhood, and what do you love to do, so try it again.
Must you even do what they want?
Or probably there are better alternatives for you? What I want to say is that you shouldn’t do what big companies push you to do but try to understand your internal desires. Because you are a unique person like all of us. Someone like fishing and the other one enjoys running, I love hiking and probably you love swimming.
Things to do near me are not only those what Monsters want you to do
After a few searches, I’ve got a basic understanding - there are many more things to do near me. And those things are not necessarily tours, activities or extremity popular tourist attractions.
And I can state some conclusions with clear proof:
- Many things you can do for free.
- You can always have a hobby.
- Surprisingly, you can even earn on hobbies.
- There are many more interesting ways to find things to do near you.
- If about travel, there are better resources to book your activities.
Well, let’s look at some of them:
You shouldn’t pay for your free time
For most people, their leisure time is limited to watching television, playing games, or surfing the Internet. Unless it’s useful and the Internet sometimes is useful, it could be an option, but in most of the cases, it is killing your free time.
So, those of us who understand the priceless value of our free time usually turn out up to getting fresh experiences. That’s when we fall into the net of big players on the travel and amusement market. We buy a ticket; we buy a tour and we go. But... is it possible to spend work-off time interestingly and free-of-charge? The answer is YES.
Here are a few simple solutions that not only guarantee you won’t be bored but also brings you some benefits:
- Start something new. Do you dream to do something you like, but you never tried to start a simple step forward? For example, what if you would like to do some sport, but do you think it’s hard? Or, what if you are an experienced traveler, and you've got a load of stories to share? So simply do your first step and it shouldn’t be hard.
- Study online for free. There are tons of resources on the Internet where are you can get an enormous variety of free courses. Picking up something new is always exciting, and even could be useful in your daily life.
- Learn a new language. The more languages you speak, the more interesting it becomes. I was using Duolingo's application on my phone to learn Spanish. The fact of how it is easy amazed me! After three months I was communicating with Spanish-speaking people. It was a beautiful sentiment when I realized they are understanding me :) That was seven years ago. Now I speak Spanish freely and even learning about various versions or Spanish in different countries of Latin America! Duolingo is free to use, and this is not the only option even it is perfect for me, but maybe there is something more suitable for you.
Your Hobby is one of the Key Secrets about how to not get bored
Why it is so important to find the right hobby for you? This secret is simple - your hobby brings you joy. Your hobby is what you love to do. Your hobby opens you more doors, brings you more true friends with the same interests and passions as you have.
A hobby cannot be boring by default!
A hobby brings fresh air to your daily routine and makes your life meaningful and colorful. In fact, there are endless reasons for hobby importance:
- It takes boredom completely off your life.
- It opens your connections with other people.
- Self-estimation rises because you become a more important and more interesting person for your mates.
- It takes the stress off your life and filling it with joy.
- A hobby teaches you to be a more patient person.
- It enriches your social life.
- It makes you a more skilled person.
- A hobby can bring new exciting challenges and targets into your life.
Instead of paying for things to do, you can earn money on them
What is beautiful about hobbies is that you can make money in your free time. There are people who mastered to convert their hobbies into a way of life and business. If you can find the right hobby for you and make it beneficial for the other people, it will totally change your life for the better.
Here is a list of some hobbies that are easy to convert it into your business:
- Playing music
- Private tour guiding
- Old car restoration
This is my top 10 choice but if you are interested to find more, you can read this article about the 78 hobbies that makes money.
There are better ways to find things to do near me if I search it right
Even having a hobby you might look forward to some unfamiliar things to do occasionally. Here again, I’d rather try to drive you away from the 1st page of the search results. Because there are many more options you have. What sometimes I do is exploring the map or Google Earth. Google Earth is a perfect tool if you love hiking because it shows you terrain in detail. No matter where do you live or where you are, you can plan an alternative route to trek and discover, completely off the beaten track. You even can find bizarre things on the map and it is full of secrets:
In fact, there are even more effective methods to uncover things to do you even had no clue they are existing so close to you!
Keep up and we’ll come to amazing discoveries soon.
That’s what you will find if it comes to the things to near you if you travel
Another typical situation that happens to everyone. When it comes to travel, experienced voyagers learned a universal rule:
Travel activities, tours and other things to do MUST BE PLANNED and booked IN ADVANCE!
And at this stage, hungry ‘monsters’ are trying to catch us again!
So, let’s do an experiment!
I take a tour I can find on 2 ‘monstrous’ travel platforms and on the other one, which is much smaller but promotes tours of small local tour companies. So, I imagine I travel with my partner to the Canary Islands, exactly Tenerife island, and I want to take a private tour to explore the island. Wonderful idea, but to show you the difference, I have to find the same tour on all 3 platforms. And I found the private tour named the ‘Grand Tour Tenerife’ - it is the same on all 3 platforms and offered by a small local company that even having own website, but there’s no option to book online. The first two of them are almost always on the first page lurking for your money and for the third one you’d rather have to dig to the 2nd or 3rd page when you are googling for the things to do in Tenerife.
On the comparison chart you can see what results and what price I’ve got:
The conclusion is simple - to find the right things to do near your travel destination and to book them; Look deeper! It took me some 10 minutes, but what I’ve got after 10 minutes:
- I’ve saved 147.32 Euros!
- I don’t need to pay full tour amount (the 3rd one charge a partial payment at the time of booking and the rest is paid at the end of the tour directly to the guide. If I book a year in advance, so I don’t need to freeze my money)!
- I contribute directly to the local people and not feed ‘monsters’!
There are more ways to find exciting things to do near me and feel happy
As you can see, when I look for fun things to do near me and I’m not limiting myself to the obvious and traditional ways. I try different sources and do a little more effort to get to the point.
You shouldn’t depend on Monsters!
So, you literally shouldn’t be a slave of those big companies and fall into their wide nets on the Internet. It seems to be so easy to click on the first thing to do you found, but trying alternatives more customized to your needs and interests you WILL make your life full of joy and colors!
I’m lazy, I’ve made it, so you can
Yes, I’m a lazy person :) A long time ago I’ve discovered a weapon against my laziness. It’s simple:
To start the walk all that do you have to do is to do the first step. After first do the second, third, fourth and so on, so you walk now :)
The first step if we are looking for the things to do near me is to find these 10 minutes. And here’s what you’ve got:
I love to travel and I suppose you too. From my extensive experience, and I have been traveled to over 50 countries, I’ve learned these basic rules:
- 1. Always book a local tour with local companies and tour guides.
- 2. Plan and book activities in advance, let’s say in 6 to 12 months before your journey.
- 3. Try at least one extra activity you’ve never done in the past.
It because I understand, people who work in travel companies or tour guides plan their schedule and that’s not a superb idea to try getting tickets at the last moment. Local people know a lot of hidden games and beautiful places you never discover with big tour operators.
For example, if you never tried paragliding and you can do it at your next travel destination, so close your eyes and go for it. I promise you wouldn’t regret!
No more sitting with no idea what to do
If you have no clue what’d be the next thing to do, apply that simple ‘rule of the first step’ or 10 minutes in our case, and that automatically solves the problem. The diversity of the events and accessible activities near you will definitely surprise you.
No more sadness and depression
Sometimes hard life events cause a sense of depression in our hearts and usually when it happens we don’t want to do anything. Later it becomes like a circle with no exit. If this situation is known to you, so remember there is some way out. When it happened to me, I’ll be looking for new things to do near me to get busy and a miracle always happens.
Once you get occupied by something that absorbs you emotionally, all your sadness will go away and your life becomes beautiful again!
My Secrets to find very interesting things to do near me and never get bored
So, here are my secrets explaining how easy I can find at various, unusual, and engaging stuff near me, no matter if it’s by my home or on travel. The Internet is powerful, you can find everything, and here are ways how to do the right search effectively.
1. Be specific
If you are googling only for the term of things to do near me you must understand, you will get very wide results. Why do you have to do is to be more exact? For example, leaving in New York you will get better quality results searching for the things to do in New York. Or, in the case you’ve planned to travel somewhere, let’s say to Tenerife and you'd like to stay on the always sunny Southern coast, so opt for the things to do in Costa Adeje and there you will get much more promising results and not just TripAdvisor (even it still dominate and takes 2 first positions). Also, use Google suggestions:
Narrow your search by adding a location.
2. Look for the next pages of search results
Well, now you are searching for the things to do in an exact location, so Google understands you better and the next secret is to not stop on the first page and dig the next pages of the search results.
Usually 10 pages in enough to find something that drives you in.
3. Use the right resources to research and book, if you plan your travel
Say ‘Goodbye’ to the monsters of the travel industry and try to find and book authentic and unique tours and activities offered by local guides and small travel companies.
Sometimes you can book directly with them, but tour people are always busy and not always having time to process bookings. That’s why a lot of local tour providers around the world list their tours on TripsPoint - this platform is making them getting bookings easy and keeps everything perfectly organized. Additionally, you get rewarded for any contributive movement, no matter you book or publish.
The other reason you prefer to book at TripsPoint is that I am sure you always have the best tour price and can pay most of the booking at the end of the tour.
4. Check out YouTube
Another tip for lazy people :) if you are looking for general information about your next travel destination, try to use YouTube. You can use the same search terms as you’ve been using in Google. On YouTube, you will find a lot of shorter and longer videos published by locals and travel bloggers, as well as a lot of very practical information. You can find a lot or shorter or longer travel guides like this one:
Exploring YouTube, you will also paint a picture of your next travel destination in your mind.
5. Try a new hobby
Well, this is the biggest, the most effective, and the most long-lasting solution. I’d call it the SECRET NR 1 - YOUR HOBBY :) Not like for the tours, to find YOUR hobby, you’d rather have to browse your mind and not the Internet.
Famous business coach Deana DeBara in her article published in TheMuse showing us 4 basic ways how to find a hobby you’d love to dive in:
- Convert things you’ve tried and love to do into your hobby.
- Remind the things you loved to do when you were a child.
- Understand yourself and fit a hobby that would be perfect for your type of personality.
- Try randomly distinct things to do and keep going with something you really enjoy or what’s making you fun
6. Try to make your hobby working for you
Again, what’s amazing about hobbies is that some of them are quite easy to convert into your profitable and, the most important, enjoyable business! If you are passionate about photography, art, pets, or fun of gardening, it would be rather easy to make your hobby earning money.
Gary Drumm in his book explained all the options and the process in detail and if you are excited by the idea to convert the things you might love to do into the business, you can get the book here:
At the same time, it is really not so important because any things you do with a bit of effort you can drive on a business path. The article explaining how to make your hobby a profitable business explains to you step by step whole the process.
7. Switch off geo-location in your browser
Another trick you can do trying to discover new things to do is to turn off geolocation in your browser. To do so, you go to the settings and it's different in every browser, but the simplest solution is to open New Incognito Window in Chrome, so your search wouldn't be tracked and you can see slightly different results of your search.
You will be surprised because your search results for the things to do will differ totally from those with geolocation turned on!
Have a hobby, travel a lot and always try new things to do
As you can see, combining your hobby, traveling as much as you can, and as far as you can, and trying new things to do no matter where you are right now - this is the SECRET to always have fun, be happy, positive and meaningful!
To find a new hobby - dive into your dreams and just do the 1st step to make it true, other steps will come by itself and a natural prolongation of your exciting way to the dreams!
For those of you thinking, are there any things to do near me? when you are traveling the world, all you need to do is head to TripsPoint and see what there is on offer in your destination.
It really is that simple: visit the website, type in your destination, and you will get to see what kind of activities are available where you are and never be bored again!
Search for things to do near me at any place you will visit.
Live a life full of fun and joy today
Becoming busy with the things you love to do, with something that leads you to the joy and happy feelings, is not only a way to spend your free off duty time. This means much more! Doing something you enjoy is also your source of energy, both mental and physical health and finally success in life. Now you know if not all, so most of the secrets and tricks that helped me to find the right things to do near me. So, you are welcome to do your 1st step, that one starting the journey!
Greg Lucky - the entrepreneur, author of a few traveling and SEO blogs, writer and premium content creator, traveler, and founder of the TripsPoint booking platform.
1. The Guardian, (2013). Article ‘How to get more free time in your day’ by Homa Khaleeli, the Guardian’s joint deputy features editor. [Accessed 08 May. 2020].
2. SkilledOfLife, (2020). Article ‘Why hobbies are important’. [Accessed 08 May. 2020].
3. The Daily Californian, (2017). Article ‘How my hobby became my career and my career became my hobby’ by Maya Eliahou, The Daily Californian’s author. [Accessed 07 May. 2020].
4. American Communities Project, (2019). Article ‘Cultural Ties: Where Americans Meet and Part on Leisure Time’ by Ari Pinkus, the ACP editor. [Accessed 05 May. 2020].
5. The Muse official website. Article ‘4 Ways to Find a Hobby You Love (Because It’s Good for Your Life and Your Career)’ by Deanna deBara, a freelance writer. [Accessed 07 May. 2020].
6. Global Goose travel blog. Article ‘How to Find Awesome Local Things to Do In Any Travel Destination’ by Kelly Dunning, a Canadian freelance writer. [Accessed 07 May. 2020].