Anyone interested in not having a typical adventure while vacationing? Doesn’t it frustrate you when you’re planning a vacation, to see almost everyone goes to the same places! Everyone does the same things, and ultimately gets the same tourist experience. If you want a different type of vacation, consider getting away from the tourist traps. Get more into the local experience of your destination.
No typical adventure: how to plan a trip away from the tourist path
Here are four great ways to plan a vacation that will take you off the tourist path, and let you see the place you’re visiting through the eyes of a native.
Find a local Inn or Hostel
One of the best ways to stop being a typical tourist when on vacation? Get away from major hotels. Instead, look for small, local housing options. These will give you get a better feel of what life’s like for people who live in the area. Inns, bed and breakfasts, and hostels, give you the chance to meet, and talk, to locals. Often, the foods served in these places will be local specialties, rather than meals prepared specifically to appeal to the palates of tourists.
Ask a local what to do
Too often, people on vacation get ideas of things to do in a given area from tourist websites, as well as travel agencies. Instead, get to where you’re going, then ask a resident for recommendations. Locals will know the out-of-the-way places, and activities, the travel brochures don’t mention. If you follow the advice of a native resident, you’ll have a more unique, and real experience of the place you’re visiting. Much more authentic than the typical tourist agenda would ever be able to give you.
Look for online lists of little-known attractions
Though tourist sites aren’t your best bet for finding things to do in a given place, there are websites that specialize in non-tourist travel. In particular, be on the lookout for lists of attractions for returning visitors to your travel destination. If you’re in England, for example, you can look for some of the hidden spots to visit in London. These lists are compiled for people who have already exhausted the tourist traps in a particular place. If you use these lists to plan your first visit, you can skip out on most of the tourist traps altogether.
Get away from urban areas
If you’re planning on visiting a major city, try to dedicate at least one day on your trip to getting out into the surrounding countryside. The farther you get away from urban centers, the fewer touristy attractions you’ll find. In rural areas, you’ll get much more local flavor, a sense of the history and customs, of the area you’re in. Some travelers are concerned that outlying areas are less friendly to visitors, but the reality is often the exact opposite.
If you can’t spend multiple days in the outlying areas of the region you’re traveling to, try to hit a few key points. Make sure you stop for lunch, or dinner, at a small, local cafe. See the scenery the area has to offer, and find a site, or two, of historical interest. It’ll give you a better understanding of the region’s background. These activities will allow you to see the real heritage of the place you’re visiting, rather than the version of it largely constructed for the enjoyment of tourists.
Taking a vacation that doesn’t drag you through the usual tourist traps can be a thrilling experience. The more closely you can associate with the locals, the more of a true native experience you’ll get to enjoy.
Author bio: Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.