Why Off-The-Beaten-Path Travel Is So Rewarding

person sitting on the edge of a dock overlooking lake with towering mountains

You know about the Louvre in Paris and the Taj Mahal in India. But why not skip those mass tourism attractions and head to some off-the-beaten-path gems? Going to non-touristy sites not only benefits your personal growth, but also your wallet and your environmental impact. 

Keep on reading to find out why you should be traveling Jubel-style to incredible and unique destinations! 

What does off-the-beaten path mean, anyways?

couple photographer hot air-balloons in cappadocia at sunrise

Sure, everyone is saying that it is “off-the-beaten-path,” but what does that actually mean? It’s pretty simple -- off-the-beaten path just means somewhere that isn’t on every tourist’s radar when planning a trip to a particular country or region. Sure, it is worth seeing Versailles once, and Angkor Wat is absolutely beautiful, but why not combine these classic attractions with something a little out of the ordinary? 

A common misconception about off-the-beaten path travel is that you have to go somewhere you’ve never heard of before. Nope! You can find off-the-beaten path travel in all the hottest tourist destinations, from Jaipur to Florence! You just need to know where to look. 

Why should you go off-the-beaten-path?

hiker walking through a dense green forest

So now that you know what off-the-beaten path travel is, what even is the point of it? Shouldn’t you just go for the tried-and-true tourist spots and have an amazing time? That’s what some people think, but we at Jubel truly believe that heading off-the-beaten path is best not only for your personal development and expanding your worldview by meeting new people and seeing different ways of life, but also a number of other factors as well. 

You will learn more about the local culture

bustling produce market on the street

While it is great to see the cultural jewels that many tourist hotspots proffer, it is hard to understand what day-to-day life is like in those destinations. There are many easy ways to skip touristic travel and instead participate in country-specific activities. Again, this doesn’t mean you have to head somewhere very difficult to get to, but instead just trying to see places that aren’t necessarily ranked number one on Yelp or trendy on Instagram.  

For instance, avoid eating at restaurants near major tourist sites, as these tend to cater to tourist tastes, and instead head a little further afield to try local food. These easy hacks will allow you to learn more about your host country, which is a major reason people want to travel in the first place!  

Another great tip is to skip the cabs or the tourist busses and use public transportation. Not only is this more economical and environmentally friendly, but you may be able to meet people from your destination and chat with them. 

Your days will be less crowded and chaotic

orange juice cart serving clients

We’ve all seen the pictures of the stampede trying to get to Mona Lisa at the Louvre, or the reports that Venice is Disneyland- level busy

Leave the typical tourist sites for another trip and head to somewhere a little more peaceful. Whether that be the coastline of Máncora in Peru or the steep hillside town of Montepulciano in Italy, off-the-beaten-path destinations will allow you to skip the insane crowds and find some peace while you’re abroad (not to mention it’ll make for amazing Instagram pictures...)

Your wallet will thank you

laid out world map with money and camera

We all know that tourist traps tend to be overpriced. Well, why not get more bang for your buck by checking out some lesser known sites instead? Generally, this means going to the less popular cities (for instance, instead of going to London, head to Birmingham), staying in the less-touristic parts of town (South London instead of King’s Cross), and avoiding tourist sites with high entry fees. 

Another great travel tip is to go during the off-season, when your destination will inherently be less swamped with tourists and many hotels and attractions offer discount prices. Hello, Goa in monsoon season! 

Going off-the-beaten-path increases your spontaneity and adaptability 

traveler marveling at a beautiful white temple

Trodding the path less traveled means there is going to be less information about your destination available to you, as there will be fewer guide books and blog posts about your destination. While this may sound scary, it may also be the best decision you could make! 

Amy Green, M.A. writes in Psychology Today about the need for spontaneity in everyday life. According to Green, “Many of us have experienced the unparalleled satisfaction that arises from unplanned experiences, which exceed the expectations we never had the chance to build up.” 

Traveling sans guide book and expectations can help achieve exactly that, as you will not be able to plan out exactly what you are doing at every moment. 

Traveling off-the-beaten-path can benefit the local community, too

bright orange airbnb surrounded by palm trees

Your money is your vote. By spending money at local mom and pop shops versus mega restaurants, or staying at family-owned bed and breakfasts rather than large hotels (or AirBNBS, which The Guardian has claimed is “hollowing out” local communities), you are directly supporting the local community. So why not get off-the-beaten-path and head towards the destination less traveled? 

two hikers sitting on a peak overlooking turquoise lake and mountains

So there you have it! Getting off-the-beaten path is the perfect way to improve your adaptability, increase your savings, and do a little good while getting in an incredible and unique vacation. 

Want to learn more about some exquisite non-touristy destinations? Check out our ultimate trip planning guide and start daydreaming about your perfect vacation. 

Looking to head towards the path less travelled but want some help working out the tricky logistics? Jubel helps you easily craft a fully personalized experience matching: Your Style. Your Budget. Anywhere.