Read time – 3 minutes
As travel becomes more accessible than ever before, more and more adventure travellers are heading off the beaten track for the ultimate escape. Here’s why you should do the same.
In a world where we’re able to map and geo-locate every inch of our planet, there’s something very special about getting off the beaten track. But as travel increases, it becomes harder to find these moments.
Lesser Know Places to Visit
Overseas travel for UK citizens “reached record levels in 2016” says the Office of National Statistics (and they should know). They say the number of overseas trips taken has increased more than 8% since the previous year, as more and more of us are able to travel more frequently to different places.
And whilst it’s exciting to know that more and more people are able to enjoy the great depth and breadth of experiences and joys that travel can bring, we’d like to seek out some of that just for ourselves.
That’s where the off the beaten track adventure comes in. Perhaps as a reaction to a world where everything is so easy to share (and overshare), having a little selfish urge to get something all to yourself is becoming more common for the adventurous traveller.
If that’s how you feel, you’re not alone in wanting to be on your own sometimes. It’s become an increasingly important factor for travellers – in fact, according to research by booking.com, “Travellers [are] unleashing their inner explorer like never before. 45% plan to be more adventurous in their choice of destination in the coming year, while 47% would like to explore corners of the globe that none of their friends have been to.”
Most intriguing is the 47% who want to go somewhere no-one else they know has visited. This desire to seek out something new is what drives us off the beaten track. But what are the rewards?
There’s a certain magic to be found away from the hotspots. Whether you’re exploring cities you can’t sneak a preview of on Google street view, eating in places that have never featured on TripAdvisor, or just discovering a wild corner of the planet where none of your friends have already been, that off the beaten track moment often becomes the lasting memory of your adventure.
Ladies collecting firewood
The Moonstone Trek
For many of us, it’s simply the chance to escape the crowds. Whilst the ever-popular Inca Trail always draws in the crowds, the lesser-known Moonstone Trek takes you along a winding trail through the Peruvian Andes. The scenery is no less spectacular, but because the Inca Trail hogs the limelight, this route is practically deserted.
“I didn’t see another tourist for the entire Moonstone trek. No unwelcome bumbags edging into my photos and no dollar-hungry stalls laden with ‘souvenirs’. This was a refreshing theme over the next four days.” asserts Dave Richardson, Exodus’ Sales Team Leader, of this off the beaten track favourite.
And as he says, it’s that feeling of having a whole mountain range to yourself – just for a few days – which is truly spectacular.
For others, let’s be honest, it’s simply a hunger for something new. An unusual destination or a hidden gem can appeal purely because it’s somewhere you don’t know too much about, and that spirit of adventure and discovery can carry you forward.
Claire in Albania
For Exodus’ Merchandising Manager Claire Sheriff, it really was that simple. “I hardly knew anything about Albania before I went, but what can I say – it amazed me. From the mountains to the coastline, it was just simply stunning. But the friendly people and amazing variety of food really sealed the deal for me. I would encourage everyone to go somewhere unusual at least once!”
If you want to venture off the beaten track, see more of our trips below.