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Travel trends are continuously evolving; one minute we’re looking up guided tours to participate in and the next we’re reading travel blogs on the hidden gems of popularly visited countries. One trend that has appeared time and time again is the need to experience a new place in a way that reflects on their personal values and to see life through the eyes of the locals. We can’t help but have this desire for authentic travel, and we’re always looking for ways to make sure that we’re living in the moment rather than being those typical tourists that people have come to dread.
Straying away from the touristy itinerary can be difficult for some, so we’ve compiled a few tips as a starting point for your alternative take on traveling:
1.) Join a hospitality exchange network
Whether you find someone to host your stay or sign up for a house swap, using this alternative form of accommodation will help you immerse into the culture of locals. Couchsurfing has been described as “an incredible way to experience the hospitality of a new destination with the inevitable local touch provided by your host,” while with housing exchanges, you’re offered free lodging in a place that you’ve never been to before.
2.) Travel with a companion
With varied interests and skills in your arsenal, you and your friend can cover more ground than you could on your own. Having a partner in crime will help you do and see more as both of you force each other out of your comfort zones to discover new places and cultures.
3.) Rent a car
Particularly useful for those traveling in Europe, this tip is one of the quickest and most economically ways of discovering all the tourist-free towns, villages, and other destinations. Most European airports offer airport parking and car hire solutions for different travelers, making it simpler for you to rent a car and drop it off at almost any airport car park. In some cases, the lots are located a little further away from airport premises, but hubs like London Gatwick provide free shuttle buses from the car parks regularly to ensure your prompt arrival at the terminal.
If you’ve been following my blog, you know very well that I take my research very seriously. You don’t have to necessarily commit to making concrete plans, but reading a few articles, blogs, or travel magazines here and there will introduce you to new places you haven’t heard of. Talk to travelers and locals. You’ll never know what word-of-mouth location you’ll be adventuring to next.
Remember that choosing the road less traveled doesn’t always come easy. Sometimes, the most incredible places are difficult to reach, while some are almost unheard of. They say it’s all about the journey, not the destination. But you know what, sometimes, the destination is just as satisfying even if the journey was a little more convenient and practical. A little knowledge may even go a long way. So tell me, how do you prepare for offbeat destinations? Feel free to share your own tips in the comments section below.