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Be a Visitor in your own City

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Recently I took part in an online survey which determined what percentage of the world you’ve visited. Since, for a large part of my working career of over 25 years plus during vacation time, I have been lucky enough to travel extensively and visit some wonderful places, I was actually surprised that the survey result was low – around 14% I recall! Why not try the survey yourself here (now offline) and see what score you get?

During many of my recent travels, especially to popular tourist cities, I have always taken the local hop-on hop-off open top bus tour to familiarise myself with the area, it’s geography and more importantly where all the important landmarks are – like tourist attractions, visitor centres plus the shopping and entertainment districts – and to find out a bit about the city and its history. Normally these tours take around 60-90 minutes and are often cheap and offer value for money so in my mind an ideal starting point of any visit.

But you don’t always have to go on vacation or a business trip to hop aboard an open top bus tour. Why not be a visitor in your own city? When was the last time you actually explored your local area like a tourist would? Living and working in Edinburgh, I’m lucky enough to have several different open top bus tours on my doorstep to enjoy and although I've now travelled on all of them, I still thoroughly enjoy the thrill and so do my kids who equally get something out of the experience. I’m also not far away from Glasgow where there is also a great City Sightseeing hop-on hop-off tour to enjoy.

By jumping aboard your local open top bus tour and being a tourist for the day, you’ll be amazed how much you’ll find out about your city. The tours are also a great, quick and cheap way to show-off your city to friends and relatives who come to visit.

So if you’re looking for things to do this weekend or are planning a 'staycation' during the next school holidays why not be a visitor in your own city – you’ll be amazed at what you’ll learn!