Sometimes, jetting away for a week or two is just what the doctor ordered. A chance to stay in a fancy hotel, eat delicious food prepared by top chefs, lie on the beach drinking cocktails and going shopping. But as enjoyable as these activities are, they’re not the sort of thing that you’d do if you want to really travel- if you want to explore new places in the world and really feel as though you’ve seen them properly. Instead, you’ll want to get off the beaten path and away from tourism. If you want to travel, rather than just go on vacation then here are a few ways you can go about it.
Backpacking allows you to see a destination in a different way. You’re not in the midst of the glitz and glamour of tourist hotspots- you’re not staying in a five-star hotel or dining in Michelin star restaurants. Instead, it’s a much more humble way to get around and appreciate a destination for what it really is beyond tourism. You’ll mainly be traveling on foot and by public transport which will enable you to really immerse yourself in the place you’re in, allowing you to see it as the locals would and not simply as a tourist. You’ll be going on tours, and discovering places that you simply wouldn’t come across if you were on vacation and searching for popular things to do nearby. It’s an inexpensive way to travel but can give you really meaningful experiences. You will leave a place feeling as though you know it, rather than just skimming the surface like you would as a tourist.
Stay somewhere different
Instead of staying in a hotel, why not look into different accommodation options when you travel? Not only can it be a lot cheaper but it can completely change the feel of your trip. There are lots of vacation rentals with the house for rent by owner online; these can be a little further out from the main tourist destinations, so could allow you to stay in a location that you might have otherwise overlooked. You could hire an RV and go camping, not just in campsites but out in the wild- as long as the location is safe and legal you’re good to go. You could look into travel hostels, these are cheap and cheerful and can be a great way to meet other travelers. Once you’ve decided on your destination, do your research and consider different options for where you could stay. While hotels are nice and luxurious, you can stay in a standard hotel room anywhere in the world. Going with something a bit more unique could add another dimension to your trip and make it extra memorable.
Speak to the locals
Speaking to the locals is one of the best ways to find places that are off the beaten path. Certain parks, restaurants, markets and other things to see and do will be mainly used by locals rather than tourists, chat with them to find out where these are. Again, it can give you a feel for what a destination is really like, and not just how it’s presented to tourists. Google and travel guides will, of course, tell you all about popular places and the things that lots of people want to see and visit when they arrive in a place. But there will be so many additional things that you’ll be able to discover by chatting to the people that live there.
Travel off season
Most destinations will have a peak season and an off season, mainly dictated by the weather. As most tourists tend to visit in peak season when there are lots aimed towards them to see and do, it could be an idea to go during a quieter time in the year. Not only will it be less expensive but it will be less busy. There won’t be as many shops, eateries, clubs and other hotspots open but as a traveler, this won’t be the kind of thing you’re looking for anyway. You’re able to explore things like parks and gardens, see the sights and much more without the hustle and bustle of a busy tourist crowd. On the downside, there might be adverse weather conditions during the off season depending on where you go, so do your research and come prepared. For example, you might need additional mosquito protection in the wet season in a lot of places in the world.
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