We live in an age when there are a million and one ways to travel the world, yet most of us fall into doing the same old, same old.
This usually involves grouping our holiday time from work together, picking a popular destination, and boarding a flight for a few days of fun. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this approach, but it’s always a good idea to mix things up every now and again.
So if you want to travel the world differently, read on. Below, I’ve outlined a few ideas that break from the mould and put the excitement back into exploring.
Forget The Plans
We tend to think that in order to get the most out of our trip, we need to have every detail taken care of. This is not the case.
While it’s good to be fully prepared if you’re visiting a place that could be dangerous, most destinations don’t fall into this category. So for your next journey, why not consider ditching the plans?
If you’ve got into a routine of doing the same old things while you’re traveling, it’ll feel like a breath of fresh air to land, and realize that you need to think on your feet to figure things out. Trust your capabilities, there’s no way that you’ll fail.
Want to see a new part of the world, meet interesting people, and contribute something positive?
Then why not look at volunteering your time. You can do this in multiple ways. You can work with a registered charity and work with a specific goal, though be aware that there’s normally a charge for this.
The other option is to use a site like Workaway or HelpX; they connect volunteers with people who need help. In exchange for a few hours of work, you’ll get food and accommodation, and probably learn a new skill, too.
Visiting Friends and Family
Imagine living in the past, when you were fairly certain to live your entire life in the place where you were born. That’s not the case anymore; people are moving all the time!
As such, it’s possible that you have friends or family members dotted in another part of the world, be it across the country or in another country entirely. So why not visit them?
It’ll be enjoyable to spend time with them, of course, but you’ll also be treated to an insight into local life that just wouldn’t be possible if you were traveling there by yourself.
Set up a Base
The issue with visiting a different destination every time we go away is that we never really get to know the culture. We’re there for such a short period of time, usually just a few days, and how much can you really learn in that amount of time? Not much.
To get to know the culture well, you need to spend as much time as possible there. A good way to do this is to set up a base, and make the destination your “second home.” This will give you a chance to understand the culture on a deeper level, but also explore the surrounding areas, too.
If you select an , for instance, you’ll also be able to make the most of the cheap, short flights to the surrounding countries, too. Rather than traveling the whole world, pick one region and make it feel like home!
The problem that some travelers have is that they want to feel more like a local, and less like a tourist. But this isn’t always the easiest option, unless you take the option in the paragraph above.
If that’s not an option for you, however, then fear not: there is another way.
If you have a home in an area that has qualities that a traveler might enjoy (say, it’s in a large city, or surrounded by nature), then you could look at temporarily exchanging homes with another homeowner. They’ll get the keys to your property, you’ll get the keys to theirs, and for two weeks or more you’ll be able to live like a local in their own.
Say if you get to swap a house with someone in NYC, you can even just relax and make yourself home and just hire someone for an apartment cleaning NYC in one click away. It’s convenient!
Different Transportation Options
It’s not hard to see the appeal of flights. They’re fast and cheap. But before those two things, what do they really add to the traveling experience? They’re not luxury experiences anymore, so even that angle has been lost.
It’s mostly just a matter of spending time in a metal tube with two hundred other people: not that enjoyable!
Fortunately, there are more ways to get from point A to point B without going through airport security. The next time you need to get somewhere, look at a train, boat, or car. They take longer, but they’re way more fun!
Avoid the Travel Hotspots
There’s a reason why tourist hotspots emerge. It’s because there’s something worth seeing there!
But in some places – let’s say Times Square in New York – the good sides of the attraction are dwarfed by hordes of people, bad food, overpriced gimmicks, and so on. It might sound like a radical idea, but it could be worthwhile leaving these areas behind altogether.
It’s much better to spend your time in an authentically local, reasonably priced neighborhood rather than a tourist trap.
See Your Local Area
But who says you need to travel to another country anyway? You don’t!
If you’ve never explored your own home country, then you’ve got an awesome spot just waiting to be discovered. This is especially true if you live in a country that receives a lot of travelers; there must be a reason why so many people go there.
Check out what’s located within a couple of hours’ drive. You might just fall in love with your country all over again.
Work With the Money You Have
Finally, how about making your adventure more interesting? Set a small budget, and see how far it’ll take you. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. You’ll find you can do a lot with minimal money if you put your mind to it.