Have you already heard of the term ‘Creative Travel’? This type of hands-on travel, also referred to as ‘experiential travel’ or ‘immersive travel’ (and sometimes even ‘transformative travel’), is a form of tourism focusing on experiencing a particular place by actively and meaningfully engaging with ts history, people, culture, food and environment.
Whatever activity you participate in, the ultimate ‘goal’ in creative travel is to understand the culture, people and/or history of a place more deeply by connecting with it actively, rather than just visiting it passively.
Creative travel doesn’t just have to involve activities that feature a certain creative form of arts and crafts, such as making pottery in Japan or going painting in the mountains of Switzerland, but it can also focus on other forms of travel that is inspirational and/or helps your understanding of yourself or the world around you.
You can think about learning a language or a typical local sport on location, or activities such as local cooking classes, photography workshops or festivals you can participate in… But there is so much more!
In this post, I explain you more about this travel style and will give you tips of creative activities all around the world.
CREATIVE TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD
Happiness is a state of activity
Creative Tourism Definition
Even though the term ‘experiential travel’ is already mentioned in books since 1985 and ‘creative travel’ was coined by professor Greg Richards and Crispin Raymond in the early 2000s, this type of travel seems to have become more and more popular in recent years.
Especially among Millennials, where experiencing something new is often preferred over travels that leave you feeling rested and recharged, creative travel offers a wide range of interesting activities to choose from.
According to the Creative Tourism Network (more about them at the bottom of this post), creative travel is considered “a new generation of tourism”, that offers visitors the opportunity to “develop their creative potential through active participation in courses and learning experiences, which are characteristic of the holiday destination where they are taken”.
Whether you travel alone, as a couple or with a family or group of friends, there are many activities around the world offered in the creative tourism industry, such as educational courses and workshops and creative experiences where you get to learn different art forms or even adventure activities where you interact with the local nature and people in a fun, yet authentic way.
What would you like to experience?
Creative Travel Around the World
Now, I love a good Bucket List when I see one, but at the same time I also feel strongly that travel isn’t just about ticking activities and popular sights of a list just to be ‘done’ with a destination. What about you?
There are so many more experiences you can have on the road that let you truly connect with the culture, people and nature of a place – experiences that will let you learn and share skills, bridge cultural gaps and leave you with a sense of fulfillment that snapping a selfie in front of a famous landmark just can’t do… and those we call ‘creative travel activities’.
While creative travel is really something that you can do all around the world, there are some countries that have included creative experiences into their overall marketing and are a bit ahead when it comes to providing activities, workshops and other hands-on cultural experiences and I love to share them with you.
With the help of personal travel experiences of my blogging colleagues from all over the world, I aim to compile the ultimate list of creative tourism ideas from Africa to Asia and Oceania and from Europe to all corners of the Americas:
Hands-on travel experiences in Africa
Hands-on travel experiences in Central and East Asia
Hands-on travel experiences in South Asia
Hands-on travel experiences in Southeast Asia
Hands-on travel experiences in Japan
Hands-on travel experiences in West Europe
Hands-on travel experiences in Mediterranean Europe
Hands-on travel experiences in East Europe
Hands-on travel experiences in Oceania
Hands-on travel experiences in North America
Hands-on travel experiences in Central America and the Caribbean
Hands-on travel experiences in South America
5 Reasons you Should Travel Creatively
01. You Learn New Skills
For me personally, this is one of the best benefits of creative travel. The more you see and experience, and the more people and places you encounter, the more ideas you will have to fuel your creativity. Get out of your comfortzone, try new things and you’ll be amazed by what you will learn!
02. You Understand Other People Better
When was the last time you truly engaged with someone else’s culture? Travel is the number one way to expand your world and interact with people that live and probably think in a different way than yourself. Many creative travel experiences make you slow down, which gives you the time to ask questions and hear other people’s stories.
03. You Develop Patience
Creative travel teaches us to constantly adapt to new situations, to be observant and to be ready for any changes… all in an environment that is completely unfamiliar to us. You develop patience and problem-solving skills, that go hand in hand with creative thinking, which will always help you further in life.
04. You See the Beauty of the Earth
While you might think that all creative activities can be done in any location, even at home, participating in these experiences in another countries adds the benefit of seeing our planet in a completely different way. Painting with a mountain view, playing sports overlooking oceans or rivers, picking fruits in gorgeous orchards, our earth is a beautiful playground!
05. You Get to Know Yourself Better
Self-awareness is a skill that’s indispensable in anything you do, whether you are traveling, working, studying or playing around. Getting to know your limits and talents through creative travel, you will become better in taking initiative and act on -and fulfill- your life goals.
Is Creative Travel Something for You?
Of course, it will take some time to gather all of the world-wide activities for you (and I might never fully get there, but I hope that what I’ve compiled for you so far inspires you to think outside the box and choose hands-on activities on your next trip yourself. If you did, please let me know about it, I would love to hear it!
And if you’ve found new activities that you feel would make a good addition, leave a comment below, so I can include it for future travellers seeking to get to know a certain destination, rather than just rushing through it.
Safe (and Fun) Travels!
Learn more about Creative Tourism
If you are looking for more creative tourism examples, then make sure to head over to the website of the Creative Tourism Network, as they are a fantastic source of information and inspiration for your upcoming travels.
The Creative Tourism Network is the international organization for the Creative Tourism development worldwide. They offer consulting and training to tourism professionals and also host the Creative Tourism Awards to reward projects, companies and destinations that foster the new generation of tourism with the active participation of tourists in creative activities.
Creative Traveller’s Handbook
My travel blogger friend Elena wrote a wonderful book about creative travel that I can highly recommend reading. In this inspiring handbook, she answers not only the question who creative travel is for, but she gives practical tips on how to be creative on your own travels and how to plan your next creative trip down to all the details.
Read my Full Review of the Creative Traveller’s Handbook >>