The best things to do on vacation

I am fortunate enough to be going on vacation for the next couple weeks, and while a number of very stressful things are planned (including COVID testing and quarantining, don’t worry!), I am trying to stay positive by thinking of all the fun things you can only do, or truly appreciate, while you’re on vacation.

One thing I love and missed a lot the past year(s) is people-watching. I feel you can learn so much about a new city or culture just by watching people, what they do or eat or wear, do they go out in families or groups, what kinds of shoes people wear, what do the local weirdos look like.

What do you like to do or appreciate on vacation?

Pub crawl! Followed by checking out the local convenience stores. Played a wonderful holiday of convenience store roulette in Japan. WTF is this?

Hint: if it’s in a bottle or carton, no matter what the fruit on it is, it’s usually tea.

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I know it’ll change now that we have a kid, but on previous vacations, Hubby and I would always try to get in some mini golf and winery/distillery tours. We also look for attractions that are unique to the area - for example, when we went down to Williamsburg two years ago, we signed up for a morning at a gun range where we specifically worked with colonial style muskets and rifles. We also sprang for going on a carriage ride.

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Whatever I want!

I usually went away on my own on my holidays when I was single. I did whatever I felt like, no need to compromise, no guilt if I spontaneously changed my mind.

I love walking, so just walking around in new cities/places discovering things is great in my eyes.


I was puzzled by “convenience store roulette” till I realised that you don’t mean that Japanese convenience stores often have a roulette table… I expect. Japan does have strange things, if you’re a visitor. They say you can buy underwear from a vending machine. But I suspect that’s a publicity thing and not a big business… surely not?

That kind of thing gets such traction on the internet because “~weird pervy Japan~” is like a self-fulfilling prophecy or something. Japan is such a normal conservative country, like have black hair and wear suits and use fax machines and sit quietly on the train normal. The underwear vending machine thing is like if foreigners thought regular Americans went around doing like 2 girls 1 cup or something equally fringe and bizarre.

I do like to people watch here though, here are some photos I shared on another thread from a recent walk:

Neither of us could read kanji so it was a lovely game of deciphering what filling was in the onigiri or what type of sochu I was drinking. But no, no roulette tables. As it happens, gambling is rather highly restricted in Japan.

I may start a “Tales of the Gaijin” thread.

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