You often hear about how people love to travel to different destinations like Paris, New York, Tokyo, etc. It’s all names you’ve heard of, like The Eiffel Tower, Disneyland Paris, and Times Square in New York.
However, travelers are now inclined towards traveling off the beaten path. They attempt to uncover hidden gems that are the dreams of adventurous travelers.
Here is a complete guide if you’ve not heard much about uncovering hidden gems and destinations off the beaten path.
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What Is Traveling Off The Beaten Path?
Traveling off the beaten path is going to places undiscovered by hordes of tourists. ‘Hidden gems’ are places and attractions that are seldom mentioned in blogs or guidebooks and are really not spoken of.
It is the ideal way to get to know the locals of a place, away from the hordes of tourists. You can explore a location the way a local would.
It is a mindful way of traveling where you are conscious of your surroundings. The journey’s end will give you much more awareness of the place.
Why Travel Off The Beaten Path?
Traveling off the beaten path allows you to immerse in the customs and culture of another country and community. It makes you feel satisfied that you have fully experienced the country you traveled to.
However, it doesn’t mean you must skip all the tourist hotspots and popular attractions. You can visit these top attractions while also going off the beaten path and being able to experience what the country truly has to offer travelers.
Traveling in this way to uncover hidden gems is challenging. You won’t get signposts with directions. You might not even have an internet connection in some places.
It lets you step out of your comfort zone, which is challenging but is also what makes you grow as an adventurous traveler.
How To Find Off The Beaten Path Locations?
Here are some of the ways in which you can find off-the-beaten-path locations when you are traveling to different destinations around the world.
Make Friends With Locals
Befriending locals is one of the best ways to begin traveling off the beaten path. Locals know best about their country and will take you to excellent locations and spend time with you there.
Locals also include your hostel receptionist, local fruit vendor, or even a bartender at the bar that is closest to your hostel.
If language is a barrier to communicating with locals, you can use a language app or Google to translate phrases.
Follow Local Travelers
Local travel content creators are more likely to know about hidden gems in a location than anyone else.
Try to find the Instagram accounts of these travel content creators to get in touch with them. You can use hashtags with the name of the country or city where you hope to uncover hidden gems.
Another way is to find many local profiles using the recent tab. You could discover off-the-beaten-path sites by browsing these pages. You can also use keywords like ‘hidden gems’ or ‘off the beaten path’ on Youtube and Instagram.
Volunteer With Online Platforms For Travelers
Volunteering with online platforms for travelers is another of the best ways to start traveling off the beaten path to uncover hidden gems. It is also one of the safest ways, especially if you’re new to the arena.
You can use keywords like ‘volunteering opportunities’, ‘homestay’, ‘local’, and ‘community’ to get a local family as your host.
It could be a town far from tourist hotspots and significant attractions of the country. Simple things like going around with your local hosts when they are off on grocery shopping will enable you to uncover hidden spots.
Choose Accommodation According To The Location
You may use the ‘map’ filter when booking accommodation in a particular area. Take note of the accommodation options far from the main attraction sites.
Airbnb is ideal for finding spots that are off the beaten path. The experience is personal; guests can bond with the hosts and their families. It makes exploring a location and uncovering hidden gems more possible.
Join Social Media Groups For Expats
Joining social media groups on platforms like Facebook will connect you with people with extensive knowledge of the area.
You can type in the name of the country you want to explore, followed by the word ‘expats’. Expats love to travel and explore places, meaning they would likely know about hidden gems in a particular area.
They would also speak English and might be willing to join you in your adventures.
Tips For Traveling Off The Beaten Path
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you’re open to traveling off the beaten path to uncover hidden gems:
- Use local blogs and forums to give you insights into hidden places to visit.
- Be open to serendipity, the art of finding unexpected and exciting things. Sometimes the most amazing things happen when you least expect them to.
- Travel during the off-season when there are fewer tourists, and you have more chances to uncover hidden gems.
- Visit the smaller and lesser-known museums that are generally less crowded and may have unique exhibits.
- Be prepared with all the essentials you need if you discover a hidden gem and want to explore it. Outlighter.com lists some of the best tools, such as flashlights, that adventurous travelers should have.
Hidden Gems For Adventurous Travelers
Here are a few hidden gems that you should explore if you are an adventurous traveler:
San Blas Islands, Panama
San Bas consists of 365 islands and is a haven for adventurous travelers. You can explore secluded beaches and swim with colorful fish in the turquoise water. You can also sail the ocean on a traditional Kuna Indian dugout canoe.
Rajasthan is a vibrant state located in the northern region of India. It is filled with historic forts, colorful palaces, and prominent temples. You can camp under the stars or go on a hot balloon over the Jaisalmer dunes in Rajasthan.
Lapland is a beautiful region in the arctic, consisting of pristine forests and frozen tundras. It’s one of the best places to watch the northern lights and go reindeer sledding or snowmobiling. There are also tons of family-friendly day trips in Lapland.
The Danakil Depression, Ethiopia
The Danakil Depression is located in one of the harshest environments in the world. It’s a sprawling desert area with remote hot springs and volcanic activity. It is a place unlike any other where you can have a unique experience as a traveler.
There are so many off-the-beaten paths in this world that need to be traversed by adventurous travelers like you.
You must be well-prepared to uncover hidden gems by befriending and connecting with locals.
Joining locals will give you an insight into a place’s history and culture and immerse you in your travels.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Hidden Gem Destination?
A hidden gem destination is a lesser-known place that is not crowded by tourists or traversed by many travelers.
What Are The Hardest Countries To Enter?
Some of the hardest countries to visit include North Korea, Iran, Yemen, Angola, Libya, Nauru, and Kiribati. These countries are hard to enter due to remote locations, safety and security, accessibility, and complicated visa procedures.
What Country Is The Least Visited?
The least visited country is Nauru, which is the smallest Pacific nation. It is because it’s a small country that can be driven around in 30 minutes, and there is not much to do there.