10 things to do when it rains on your trip

A woman looking at books on a canal boat bookshop

It is sure to happen at some point during your travels, you will be hit by a miserable rainy day (fingers crossed it will be an exception rather than the rule). Particularly if your destination is about the weather and the outdoors, this can really suck, I feel for you, and sometimes it is hard to perk yourself up or know what to do. Here are 10 ideas that I pull from when stuck in this shituation.

Indoor local/artisan markets

If you are in a city or even a small town, there are likely to be markets you can spend some time nosing around! Think farmers markets for treats, vintage markets for some stellar finds, or art markets to find that unique piece that just needs to be in your living room. Markets are often indoors and if not sometimes have some sort of protection for bad weather so they are good spots to leave for a day you know the weather might turn on you.

Food/bar/pub crawl

Are you somewhere that is famed for its food and drink scene? Indulge! Hopefully you are with company and you can share some bites and get some drinks around town. It might be a bit more spenny than your typical day but you can visit the best spots in the area, find some gems, and you will definitely sleep well after.

Museums, galleries, & libraries

Enrich yourself with some local culture. I am not just talking about taking in the exhibitions themselves, but also witnessing the architectural beauty of these buildings which can be sights to behold. Maybe you don’t usually prioritise museums and galleries, so now is your chance, and they are particularly great if you didn’t do too much reading up on the history of your destinations beforehand. Once again, good to plan to visit these kind of sites if you know there is going to be a rainy day during your stay.

Cooking class

I absolutely love tasting all the different cuisines around the world, and the flavours my palate has experienced abroad has definitely influenced my cooking at home. A cooking class can be a way to learn how to spice your food, balance sweet and sour, or even just nail the cooking of a fresh piece of fish. If cooking is your passion, there is nothing better than some hands on experience and local culinary wisdom.

Hit a local hotspot

I am talking about finding a popular game pub (board games, ping pong, darts, anything), a karaoke bar, a bowling alley, a pool/billiards hall, or an arcade. Some of my best memories on my trips are hanging, chatting, and laughing with my friends at establishments like these. This is a chance to see how people from different places spend their leisure time and what niche haunts are on offer, whilst potentially giving you a chance to try and beat the locals at a game of pool.

Cards, a book, and a coffee shop

Live like a local, in my opinion it is the best way to travel. Find a quirky coffee shop, or if you are alone, google a rad hostel with some awesome communal areas to find some company. I always bring a pack of playing cards with me when I am on a trip and love learning new games from my friends on a commute or a down day. Spend the day drinking good coffee, living that cafe scene life, and getting sucked into your book du jour or hell even a good Netflix binge.

Get out if you’ve got the gear

If you are in Peru or some other destination where you knew you would be out and about with the possibility of rain, hopefully you have come prepared. If the rain is not awful and you have got a cagoule, get out there! The weather can clear up mid-hike and hey, sometimes, it is part of the fun, or why the memory stands out later on. One of my favourite stories from a trip to Toronto was getting absolutely drenched whilst helping my two friends carry a mattress about 20 blocks (long story and definitely not dressed appropriately). If it is just rain, get out there!

Trip admin

If we are talking a full on storm, windy as fuck, no chance you are going out kind of day, use the time to journal about your trip for future reference, plan the rest of your trip, and declutter your photos, because hunny you know you need the extra storage space!

Crafts class

Google what is on offer where you are staying. It could be kite making, glass blowing, jewellery making, paper lantern making, or a pottery class, the possibilities really are endless. If you want something a bit more mobile, try a dance class!

Go to a local gig

See if you can find a bar that has live music on! This is a great way to discover the local music scene. Another tip would be to check out whether they have Sofar Sounds gigs where you are. I have been to a couple of them before and highly recommend them. The organisation puts on intimate gigs at ‘secret’ spots where you can bring your own drinks. In London, I have had the privilege of seeing some really awesome local flats through this company which made perfect makeshift stages for the artists.