Adrenaline & Adventure · Backpacking and Beyond · Hacks For Wanderlust · Travel Listicle

4 Tips For Traveling Off The Beaten Path

Photo Credit: Be My Travel Muse


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.

4.) Research

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.

Tips for traveling off the beaten path


28 thoughts on “4 Tips For Traveling Off The Beaten Path

  1. The best way to travel off the beaten path is to take a road trip and not have a set agenda. It’s so much fun to explore that way!


  2. Renting a car is definitely one of the best ways to get off the beaten path! I rented a car when I was in Puerto Rico and it got me out of Old San Juan and into local places I never could have gotten without it. It also gives you the freedom to come and go as you please! Great tips 😀


  3. Agree with you….lots of research is necessary to be able to have a real local experience. Nice tips especially the renting a car in Europe. The freedom to explore makes for a wonderful experience.


  4. Research is the most basic thing to do. It may require a little bit of extra time but it’s going to make your traveling life easier. I have yet to experience renting a car when on a trip.


  5. You are really good at finding the off the beaten path. I often take the usual road when I’m in a new place. Sometimes, chatting with the locals will give you hints on where else to go which you wouldn’t normally find in guide books or travel magazines. Cab drivers often point us to places that are not part of tour packages.


  6. Excellent tips! I haven’t joined a hospitality exchange network, I’ll be looking into it after your recommendation. Seems like an ideal way to meet locals.
    I’m with you on doing research up front. It has saved me countless headaches being prepared and knowledgeable while on the road 🙂


  7. I have always been used to travelling the way tourists always do it, with the tours and all that. It’s really nice to be able to take a break from that and just discover new places on your own. It’s a bit challenging and scary but it’s still a good life experience. At least once.


  8. It really is so important to research! I’ve come to rely a lot on bloggers for initial tips and then going from there. It’s always great to know you have many options, just in case something else doesn’t work out.


  9. I think these are very important tips – especially research! If no proper info about the place, we can really land up into troubles.


  10. I remember when I had my first out of the country trip and it was a work assignment in Paris. The first lesson I learned was that I should research the place before going there. I was able to explore but I could have gone to more places had I researched before the trip.


  11. Going off the beaten track is easier for a couple than a big group. I enjoy researching about places to see. We have been using AirBnB in last few trips abroad which has been so far so good. Driving is really ideal but so far we have only done that in the US. Driving in Europe seems so much more challenging.


  12. Great tips… I also travel much in the roads less taken… But I differ from you in 1 point, I guess travelling alone makes me cover more areas and enjoy more than with anyone else!


  13. Great tips in here, chickadee!
    In response to Karen’s comment….I’ve had some creeptastic AF experiences with Couchsurfing personally, and so have plenty of other women I’ve talked to, but overall I still hear generally positive things. Myself, I typically use work-exchange sites like Workaway to find more “offbeat” places to stay. I stayed with a woman in Penang who started and runs a cat rescue in a former fishing village about 30 minutes by bus from the main city, right next to the national park and not touristy at all. Since she usually has 4 or 5 volunteers staying with her at a time, I wasn’t isolated or alone, and the experience was not only social and positive, but also safe for a solo female traveler.


  14. Tried 2 and 4 already. Number can be a little risky so I wouldn’t think of doing that and 3rd tip something that my hubby wouldn’t want because he’s too lazy to drive. But if the driver comes with it and is not that expensive, it’s a go! 🙂


  15. Was planning to do this sometime soon but alone of course, for self discovery purposes. Thanks for the useful tips!


  16. I totally agree with doing some research before visiting a foreign country. It is also a good idea to not wander in a new place alone but with a trusted companion!


  17. I’m a sucker for travelling and exploring diverse nature and beauty from the outside world. I believe having a good background research of your intending destination is quite important. But sometimes, unexpected journey trips can be fun tho risky too, still it’s all good!!


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