Have you ever wondered how you can support a small business without knowing the area? Or maybe, you think “It would be cool to know the spots the locals love.” I can help! The last couple of years I have dedicated time, money, and resources to try and learn the best ways to support small and local businesses even if I don’t know where to find them. If you use any of these tips, let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear your experience.
The Best Ways to Find Local Gems on Vacation
I think it’s helpful first for you to know a bit about keywords. Keywords are what a search engine uses to tell you “vacation” is similar to “travel.” So, here are some keywords I use when following the tips below. Sometimes, they populate the same information, other times it is helpful to use them both/all! You can copy/paste the keywords below and add the city you are headed to for some Googling help.
Keywords to Search: Supporting Small Businesses on Vacation, Travel and Supporting Local Businesses, How to Support Family Owned Businesses While Traveling / Finding Locally Owned Businesses on Vacation, Small Businesses “Enter Location”
Tip 1: Using Instagram to Find Local Businesses
Like the keywords I mentioned above, hashtags are an amazing resource to use when planning out a vacation. Don’t worry, if you are not a detailed planner, you don’t have to even plan your next meal until right before you eat – you can use hashtags on the go!
One of my favorite ways to find businesses when I am in a new city is to use Instagram and search “CityName+Eats” or “CityName+Food” or “CityName+LocallyOwned” any variety of these can help you to find businesses that are working to advertise their location on Instagram. More often than not, the small businesses in the area are way more active than the corporate owned restaurants. When I find one small business that is active on Instagram, I will then look at the other hashtags they use and see if any are location specific to help me find more local spots!
Tip 2: Go to the Welcome Center
Not every city will have a Welcome (Visitors) Center, but most do! Especially if you are going to a vacation spot. Usually, the people who work in them are people who grew up in the area, and know all the local favorites. You might even get discounts for the places that work with the center to advertise for their company. The easiest way to find visitors center is to just google it! I usually search something like, “City Name + Visitor (or Welcome) Center” and the first couple of results will be what I am looking for.
Tip 3: Pinterest
Pinterest has hundreds of thousands of content creators, and one of the most popular categories is travel! Create a Pinterest Board, or find a blogger you like and visit the tools they have created for you. The Pinterest algorithm will pick up on the spots you are looking for, and feed you similar content with even more travel guides! If you start pinning local spots you find, more will show up.
I’d love to know if you use any of these tips for your next trip or vacation, so be sure to connect with me on the socials!