This guest post was brought to you in partnership with Carly on behalf of Travel Zoo, the “beaten path” is always a topic of hot debate – a very interesting post!”
A well travelled road – the Eiffel Tower, but still so magical to see! – Image Credit
Experienced backpackers sneer at it, travel brochures discuss “getting off” it at every opportunity, and no-one can really say conclusively what constitutes it or not. What am I talking about? The so-called “beaten track” that’s what. Although you may have been lead to believe that you should try and avoid it at all costs, in reality it has certain advantages worth mentioning. Today we’ll explore a few of these reason…
When lots of people travel to a place, budget airlines sniff a money-making scheme, and before you know it they are offering bargain holidays with a price tag that appeals to budget travellers. There is no stopping you hopping on a flight to the popular destination and then heading out on your own adventure down the lesser trodden paths.
Even the bravest amongst us can find landing in a foreign country with nothing but your backpack and a (nervous) smile an intimidating experience. This inevitable fear is something that many travellers thrive on, but they’ll also be forgiven for needing a little period to acclimatise. It is much easier starting your travels in a place where you are surrounded by backpackers with whom you can share experiences and tips, and enjoy a friendly beer or two whilst getting yourself adjusted to this foreign country. Once you feel braver, head off alone – but the safety blanket of knowing that other travellers are around is not to be sniffed at.
Sacred Stone Henge – beaten track or not? – Image Credit
Anyone who has landed in Bangkok will tell you that finding a bus to your next destination is the easiest thing in the world – travel shops quite literally line the streets of backpacker hang outs, and all of the touts speak respectable English. You will be easily able to communicate where you want to go and at what time. Being able to sort things out this easily at this stage will build your confidence so when the time comes to negotiate the private motorbike tour with the guide who speaks no English – you will be well-versed in negotiation.
Even the hardiest of travellers will crave a beer and a chat with someone from home at some stage in their travels. You should make the most of these inevitable meetings and use them to learn about where others have been. You may meet someone who tells you about a wonderful family that they stayed with in the jungle, how you should get there and who you should ask for. You don’t find these tips in travel brochures. This word-of-mouth knowledge is the best source of information you will find on the road.
Why would so many people have been there before you if there wasn’t something wonderful to experience? Exactly. Don’t turn your nose up at what the road most travelled has to offer, or you might miss out on some spectacular sights and experiences. If the beaten track is a thing of the past then why is the Eiffel Tower so popular, why do hundreds of thousands of revellers flock to the Rio carnival ever year… because it’s fantastic, awe-inspiring, and actually worth the visit!
Surely the Rio Carnival is worth the visit? – Image Credit