To the experienced traveler, the even most acclaimed living accommodations and sightseeing can feel commodified and boring. If you’re not the fanny pack-daunting, Hawaiian shirt wearing, resort camping type of vacationer, typical tourist landmarks and attractions might not be for you. Sometimes, a unique experience in an off-the-map location is really what you are looking for, but adventures like this are often hard to find. The key is in the approach: Knowing not only where to look but how to look.
Research In Advance
Doing your homework before you take a trip might seem obvious, but it is often overlooked. Not only do you want to scope out your hotel or hostel, you also should comb the Internet for articles and message boards pertaining to your destination to look for like-minded individuals. Here, you might hear about secret spots and hidden treasures that others have found — leads to embark on your own journey.
Talk To The Locals
Simply talking to the hotel concierge or tour guide will most likely lead you to tired, “touristy” locations. However, sometimes a less-likely suspect will yield a more fruitful bounty. Perhaps the busboy at your hotel knows of a nighttime bonfire on an off-the-radar beach. Or maybe the woman from the nearby bodega knows of an underground nightclub on the other side of town.
Befriend Other Adventurers
Sometimes, finding others in your same situation can be beneficial. Even if they aren’t from the same country, or don’t speak your native language, other travelers seeking adventure can be valuable companions. Combining forces with people like this allows you to tap into each other’s resources and leads and, in turn, multiplies your chance for finding something truly unique.
Get Out And Explore
Trusting your own sense of discovery is the best way to trailblaze. It might be as easy as leaving your hostel or hotel basecamp and venturing out into the surrounding area. However, avoiding the advice of others is riskier and can even be dangerous depending on where you are. Make sure you always know where you are in relation to your living accommodation and be cautious.
For most of us, time in the car is “me time.” You can listen to that podcast you’re captivated by, blast that pop song and sing along at the top of your lungs or listen to the next chapter in that biography e-book you’re almost finished. A road trip only amplifies those opportunities. So, next time you’re traveling by road, take the wheel and take control. Opt for a rental car on your next vacation, rather than a rideshare, taxi or public transportation, and enjoy the open road on your own terms.
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