Everyone has their own favorite style of traveling and so does each of our team members! In this new series, you will see how the people behind The Trip Boutique enjoy exploring the world. Today we introduce our software engineer and tech lead Igor, who lives – and often travels! – in Ukraine. Learn more about internal tourism, Igor’s favorite bike routes in Kyiv, and how personalization in travel helps you to save money.
Explore Your Own Country
As we become increasingly aware of the toll traveling – especially by airplane – takes on our environment, traveling without leaving the country (also called domestic tourism) has become more and more popular. Igor, who lives in Kyiv, likes new adventures and luckily for him, Ukraine provides enough excitement – from wild rivers and the Black Sea to mountains and breathtaking views. ‘I always find new things to do here,’ confirms Igor. ‘Just recently, I have ziplined over the Dnieper. With its 500+ meters in length, it’s the longest zipline in Ukraine – and also the fastest: you fly over the river with the speed of 80 km/h!’
Igor in Bukovel, his favorite skiing area.
If the city starts to bore him, Igor likes to escape to the Ukrainian Carpathians. During spring, summer, and fall, the mountains are ideal for hiking, horse riding, and quad biking, while winter is great for skiing. ‘The mountains are also the best place to enjoy our traditional Ukrainian cuisine.’ Igor recommends trying borscht, a red-beet soup, goulash, a meat and vegetable stew, kulish, an ancient dish cooked from millet, vareniki, filled dumplings, or salo, cured fatback.
View the City from the Saddle
Kyiv boasts many parks ideal for biking.
Speaking of internal tourism in relation to environmentally sustainable travel, the bike is the perfect means of transport in any destination if you want to travel both sustainably and like a local. On the weekends, Igor, too, enjoys going on a ride through the city, combining exercise, leisure, city exploration, and sustainability. If you find yourself in Kyiv, Igor recommends the following routes: take a ride across the central squares, passing the city’s many beautiful churches – St Sophia’s Cathedral, St Volodymyr’s Cathedral, and St Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery – or, if you fancy a bit of urban greenery, cycle through some of Igor’s favorite city parks – Feofaniya park, Holosiivskyi National Nature Park, and the M. M. Gryshko National Botanic Garden.
Save Money – and Still Travel
Domestic tourism is not only good for the environment but also for your bank account. Growing up in Ukraine, Igor knows that, for many people, internal tourism was (and for some still is) the only affordable option for taking their families on vacation. ‘You see, living in Eastern Europe can make travel abroad economically more demanding than people in the West realize,’ explains Igor. The reason for that is the low exchange rate of many Eastern currencies, such as the Ukrainian Hryvnia. ‘That’s why Ukrainians invest in getting to know their home country rather than spending way more for similar experiences abroad.’
While it is great to connect with your origins – how many people do you know who traveled to the other side of the world but have never been to the neighboring town? – one reason why Igor joined The Trip Boutique was to make traveling abroad economically more accessible to travelers. ‘Personalization in travel can be very helpful if you are on a budget. You can indicate how much you want to spend, and a digital concierge service will choose exactly which restaurants, hotels, and activities fit your price range as well as how many days you can afford to travel.’ In other words, personalized travel ensures that you don’t lose track of your finances and that your vacation remains a pleasant memory rather than a financial strain felt for weeks to come. If you want to learn more about how personalization revolutionizes travel, we have previously written an article on personalized vacation planners here.
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