WHY YOU SHOULD GO OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
We can tell you to go off the beaten track, but we’re sure you need a little persuasion before heading to numerous hidden destinations. Having traveled to many hidden corners of the world – most of them never disappoint. Here are 4 good reasons why you should do more off-the-beaten-track traveling.
Going off the beaten track minimalizes mass-tourism
Places like Venice, Barcelona, Rome, Dubrovnik, and hometown Amsterdam all suffer from mass tourism, and so do many places outside of Europe. Think of the Great Wall of China, the Egyptian pyramids of Giza, Ko Phi Phi in Thailand, the Taj Mahal in India, and even Mount Everest, where climbers regularly crowd each other in a long line to reach the summit. All of these spots are continuously flooded by large streams of tourists and this has serious consequences.
By sharing these places with people, we also hope to contribute to alleviating the harmful effects of mass tourism
Mass tourism harms nature and affects the liveability and authenticity of these places. For example, crowded beaches in Asia were permanently closed, you can no longer even sit on the Spanish Steps in Rome without risking a fine, and tourist tours of the Red Light District in Amsterdam are now prohibited. And we haven’t even mentioned the CO2 emissions that travel entails. It can be done differently. Going to a destination or spot that is more hidden, will spread tourism more widely, and hopefully, people can learn to appreciate the less crowded spots more often.
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You end up at amazing locations
By looking for alternatives yourself, by deliberately taking a different route and turning right where everyone else is going, by traveling at different times, or by choosing a different mode of transport. In this way, you will inevitably end up in new and exciting places and you can even uniquely experience those busy attractions. For example, experience the Grand Canyon from below instead of from above. If you fly to the popular Thai island of Phuket, choose accommodation on the northwest side, where you can still find quiet beaches. And did you know that the temple of Angkor Wat is fairly quiet just before sunrise?
It’s better for the environment
You get to off-the-beaten-track spots ideally often by opting for alternative modes of travel, which are often less polluting as well. Entire forests sometimes make way for new resorts and litter ends up everywhere. As a result, ecosystems pollute and disappear and the flora and fauna are in dire straits. Instead, rent a bike, walk through the small streets, or book a special train ride. It often takes you to places you would never get to otherwise.
It’s better for the local community
In cities, housing prices rise due to mass tourism and tourists cause a nuisance. This in turn results in original residents leaving their homes and cities and losing their identity. By sleeping in accommodations run by locals, such as homestays, and by consuming local products, you support local small business owners. Sleep and eat in big hotels and resorts and you never really know if your money is reaching the people.
Locals in Bolivia, by Ilsoo van Dijk
So, steer away from the usual. Go beyond the tourist traps, experience a place with only a handful of people. We are almost certain, that it will be a more rewarding experience. Go here for more Off the Beaten Track Destinations or check the articles below.