28 Feb New Year, New You? Get Off the Beaten Path!
2017 has passed with its upsides and downturns, hopefully with all of you having the chance to take a trip to broaden your horizon and discover new worlds. But this is a new year with new challenges to overcome and new destinations to discover. And this year, instead of going with the flow, you should really take the road less traveled and visit places, cultures, and events that are off the beaten path. Here’s how you can start.
Forget the guided tours
Every major destination around the world has its share of more or less famous landmarks and wonders… and these are usually the ones visited by the largest number of tourists, especially during the season. But if you are tired of the places seen by everyone else and want an experience from a different point of view, forget about the guided tours and do a little investigation on your own. How you do that? Well, simply ask a local.
Locals are usually eager to direct visitors – especially friendly visitors, so don’t forget to smile – to places they know are good. If you don’t speak the local language, you can always seek out English-speaking expats online who will likely be glad to share their experience with you.
Avoid the peak
The mountains of Yellowstone are the most beautiful – and the most crowded – during the summer. But they are wonderful in the spring, too, and the view will most likely be breathtaking in the fall as well when the foliage starts to change its color. There are many places that are mostly visited by tourist during their peak season and ignored for the rest of the year – and they can offer you unique and wonderful experiences at every step.
Bonus tip: even obvious tourist traps can prove to be cozy, welcoming, and unique if you visit them off the peak hours of the day.
Take it slow
Many tourists make the big mistake of rushing through their itinerary as fast as possible to tick off all the planned landmarks from their lists. But this will barely scratch the surface of the place you visit – to truly uncover its hidden gems, you need to slow down. Instead of planning a vacation that will cover a handful of major cities, resorts, beaches, and mountains during a two-week vacation, spend more time in a place, dive deeper into its atmosphere, its rhythm, and its lifestyle. If you give yourself time, you will be able to understand the location deeper, find the hidden gems, and absorb the spirit of the place you’re seeing.