If flocks of tourists heading in the same direction, for the same experience, at the same time don’t do it for you, then you may be one of those “off the beaten path’” travelers. This is a traveler that turns left when everyone else is turning right, and ventures into areas less known.
This type of travel can take you into the most spectacular situations, allowing you to create lasting and impactful memories. They may not all be perfect memories, but they will be worth telling a story about. Going off the beaten path is not always easy, but if you know what to look out for you could find yourself experiencing a destination in an entirely new and exciting way.
If you are looking to stray from the usual tourist spots on your next traveling adventure you are going to have the throw away the guidebook and look a bit deeper. The secret spots of a destination are generally harder to come by than a simple Google search or picking up a few pamphlets.
Firstly, you can try looking at what travel bloggers are talking about. There are many blogs that delve deeper into cities, villages and landscapes, scoping out the best places to see that are less exposed. They can also help you with a few tips on getting there.
Before you leave on your trip, reach out to friends, family and your social networks asking if anyone has traveled to your intended destination and whether they found any awesome spots worth exploring.
If that doesn’t take you far enough off the path, then start talking to the locals. Once you’ve arrived at your destination, start conversations with anyone that you are able to get in contact with – other travelers, the staff where you are staying, shop keepers, etc. You might get a few uninterested responses, but no doubt someone who will have a tip for you on where to go, or may even take you themselves. Try to make sure that this is a reliable source though, you don’t want to get sent into a dodgy area.
Always try to make sure that you have enough money to get yourself where you want to go and back again. Be sure to roughly plan out how to find the location and try to learn at least a few phrases in the local language, just in case a sticky situation should arise.
Planning too much often takes the fun out of the adventure, and plans often change anyway. So be spontaneous, be open to anything and willing to take the risk of the path less traveled, and you could be on your way to creating some awesome memories and discovering a few gems.