Travel is such a commodity these days; it can sometimes feel as though we have already seen so much of the world. Of course, that is a terribly entitled thing to say – but if you are a traveler in search of a truly authentic experience, it can be very easy to grow bored with the typical tourist attractions that plague most major destinations. The bustling crowds, the noise, and the often overpriced entry fees can mean that your money and patience are both worn thin before your trip has even really begun – not ideal when you’ve set off on a round the world trip for the next few months! However, there are many ways that you can become a true traveler, rather than a mere tourist, and going off the beaten track is one of them.
Here are a few ways you can see a more organic side of your chosen destination and probably experience some pretty amazing things while you’re at it too.
Find out what else there is to do
Type into Google ‘what to do in….’ and hundreds of different options will most likely appear for some of the most popular attractions in that specific place. Of course, some of these are popular for a reason – and going to some tourist attractions doesn’t automatically make you a ‘bad’ traveler. Some are most definitely worth seeing a few times over, but if you want to find some hidden gems, you’ll have to dig a bit deeper.
Speak to some of the local people about what else there is to do, and keep an eye on local magazines and newspapers for information on local events.
There tends to be Couchsurfing and traveling communities in nearly every city in the world, so consider meeting up with some of these for a broader view of where you are staying.
If you’ve found an excursion you want to take or an event you want to attend, make sure you are prepared enough – especially if it is literally quite far off the beaten track! When you are in a foreign country, it can sometimes be every man for himself. So, in the event that you can get a ride home, or that you end up staying for longer than planned, make sure you have everything you need to make your experience positive and comfortable. Companies like Score Survival have excellent ranges of hiking and camping products, so no matter what happens you’ll always be able to bed down for the night.
Watch out for scams
Although 99% of alternative tourist entertainment is totally legitimate, be wary of people, who may be trying to scam you. They could, for example, take money off you and promise to take you to a stunning waterfall – but then mysteriously go missing midway through the trek, leaving you stranded. Don’t blindly trust anyone, pay anyone a large sum of money upfront, and always take a second person with you for safety measures.