5 Tools For Helping You To Travel Off-The-Beaten-Track
Venturing off the beaten track can be a chance to get away from the tourist traps and have an adventure. Of course, there are risks to avoiding the touristy places – you could end up somewhere boring or you could even end up somewhere dangerous. This is where technology can help. There are a number of sites and apps that can help you to discover less touristy experiences without wasting your time wandering aimlessly around or being talked into dangerous situations. Below are 5 examples.
Atlas Obscura is a website that has been running since 2009. It helps catalogue obscure sights and attractions around the world. Users can search for a destination, which will then bring up various weird and wonderful things to do in the area. You’ll find a few major attractions listed on this site, but it’s mostly less touristy stuff – stuff which even some of the locals may not know exists. Content is user-contributed, but is pretty well-moderated and there are warnings to let you know if an attraction is no longer running.
Travis Travis is a travel planner app with a difference. It allows users to map out their travels with pictures and stories. On top of this, you can check out pictures and stories shared by other travelers – including recommendations of off-the-beaten-track viewpoints, restaurants and hotels. In other words, you can plan and record your routes, while connecting with other avid travelers.
Like A Local
Like A Local is a website that allows you to experience cities ‘like a local’. Local residents upload tips of attractions to see, places to eat, places to shop and other things to do. This can allow you to get away from the touristy areas and discover the hidden gems that only the locals know about. The site also comes in app form and can be used offline for when you don’t have wi-fi or data.
Staying with locals while traveling could help you to save money on hotels, while also giving you a true insight into how the locals live. CouchSurfing is a site dedicated entirely to helping connect you to locals who may have a bed (or couch) free for you to sleep on. The site requires travelers and hosts to both create profiles. Travelers can leave references, plus the site has a dedicated Trust and Safety team, which can make the couch surfing experience safer than if you were to just go home with a local you met in a bar.
EatWith is another app that allows you to connect with locals. This one allows you to connect with locals willing to cook dinner for you in their home. This could give you a true taste of how the locals really eat. On top of finding local willing to cook for you, you can also search for cooking classes and other off-the-beaten-track food experiences. It could save you money by not having to eat at restaurants each night while still allowing you to eat out.