Offbeat Travel: ‘Traveling Off The Beaten Path’
Traveling off the beaten path – or as the more official phrase goes, offbeat travel – is all about digging deeper.
That could mean that you visit a popular tourist destination and, quite literally, take the path less-beaten into its lesser-documented neighbourhoods.
It could also mean engaging in activities and experiences that are beyond the ordinary tourist activities or taking local-led tours and activities that divulge the local way of life.
How can I start traveling off the beaten path?
Traveling off the beaten path doesn’t have to be a huge mission; it can involve small, conscious efforts to look beyond the surface of a destination. Here are my top tips:
- First, be prepared to identify, challenge, and (most likely) discard any pre-conceived notions you have of a destination. Approach the destination with a blank slate and see what picture it paints for you.
- When in doubt, ask a local for their recommendations. Locals have an insider’s knowledge of the destination. Ask, ‘where do you eat?’, not ‘where should I eat?’. Ask ‘what do you do in your spare time?’, not ‘what should I do today?’.
- Consider staying in a homestay, rather than a hotel. Second to that, staying in hostels (which can be found on my two favourite booking websites, Booking.com and Hostelworld) can be helpful because you can pick the brains of locals working in the hostel.
- Seek out tour companies who advertise themselves as ‘offbeat’, ‘experiential’, ‘eco’, ‘sustainable’, and ‘local-led’. These buzz words will lead you towards more immersive tours, often led by locals, which are designed to introduce you to an unusual, hands-on, or less-experienced part of a destination.