When was the last time you discovered a local landmark or business that you didn’t know was there? In Ontario’s Highlands, we have some amazing spots and experiences that you might be surprised to hear about.

For example, did you know the longest canopy boardwalk in the world is located in Haliburton Highlands? Or that Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site is found in Lanark County? Or that the oldest Polish-Kashub settlement in Canada is found in the Ottawa Valley?

You may not wish to travel outside the country right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still explore new places and have new experiences. The time to explore locally has never been better – the provincial government is moving forward with a program to offer tax incentives for travel within Ontario in 2021.

When else could you have an epic vacation and save money at the same time? Read on to discover how you’ll benefit from travelling local this summer.

You’ll Save Money

We mentioned the travel tax incentive for Ontario travel, but that’s not the only way you’ll save money. Local travel removes much of the most expensive elements of travel, like flights, train rides, or spending a week or more in an expensive hotel in a foreign country (that exchange rate is not fun). Stay close to home and you’ll find the bill at the end of your holiday easier to manage.

You’ll Be Responsible

Travelling local reduces your carbon footprint (no fuel-sucking flight!) and can be the best way to have an eco-friendly getaway. Travelling slower and to fewer destinations is good for the environment, and your wallet. When you’re travelling locally you also have more opportunity to explore a region by bike or on foot, which is good for the earth, and your health.

You’ll Have Less Stress

If you’ve ever booked an international holiday, this will make sense to you. When you travel local, you won’t need to spend hours online trying to decipher the baggage requirements, travel advisories, vaccination recommendations, or itineraries. Local travel is easier to plan, less stressful, and makes a holiday more – well, holiday-ish – so you can sit back and relax and drink it all in. Which is the dream, right?

You Can Be Spontaneous

Have you ever woken up in the morning and thought “Today would be an awesome day for a road trip?” When you travel local your adventure can be spontaneous - just head out on the road and see where your whimsy takes you. No planning, just the freedom to explore and know you have your home base close by when you’re ready to head back.

You’ll Feel Good

Knowing you’re supporting the local economy just feels good! These are your friends, family, neighbours, and coworkers who own the businesses all around you, and you get to support them and have a great vacation at the same time.