Mumbai is one of the most exciting and vibrant cities in India. We’ve visited twice now, but have barely scratched the surface of all there is to do! We’re so excited to feature this article by local Mumbaikar, Palak Gupta, as she shares her insider knowledge for getting off the beaten path in Mumbai, India. [Read more…]
Search Results for: off the beaten path
We are so excited to share this guest post from Nick Kembel, author of “Taiwan in the Eyes of a Foreigner.” Nick has been living in Taiwan for over eight years and is full of knowledge on the best eats and places to visit that many travelers never make it to. He’s shared with us five of his top insider recommendations for getting off the beaten path in Taipei, Taiwan. They all sound amazing to us! Which activities do you want to do? [Read more…]
The best way to learn about a what to see, eat and do in a place is from the locals and expats who live there! That’s why we’re excited to share these tips from Akshata, a Mumbai native who now lives and works in Goa, India as a Divemaster. Her tips make us want to hop on a plane back to India and delve deeper into the coastal hippie paradise we only scratched the surface of in 2014. Read on for Akshata’s best tips for getting off the beaten path in Goa, India.
Getting Off the Beaten Path in Beijing, China
Getting advice from locals and expats before you travel is a great way to learn more about a city and make the most of your time there. We’re so excited to share this guest post from Sergi who lived and worked in Beijing for five years. In this article he shares his top tips on getting off the path in Beijing, China.
The best way to learn about what to do and where to go in a city is from the locals and expats who live there. That’s why we are so excited to share this guest post, written by Alex who was born and raised in Saigon, moved to Australia at 15, and now lives in Saigon again as an expat. In this article he shares his favorite places to eat, drink and explore in the city. Take it away, Alex!
We are so excited to share this guest post from Oliver Hyde, a traveler/business consultant who has made Mandalay, Myanmar his home away from home in Asia. We love getting recommendations about a place from people who know it well. Read on for Oliver’s insider tips for getting off the beaten path in Mandalay. [Read more…]
Getting advice from a local on where to travel can lead to some amazing, off the beaten path experiences. Kieran shares about his trip to Ban Mae Klang Luang, about 80km (50 miles) from Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. We’ve been to Chiang Mai several times, but had never heard of this beautiful rural village in the hills. The journey to get there sounds like quite an adventure too! (Directions at the end) [Read more…]
Huge thanks to our friends Nick and Dariece over at Goats On The Road for publishing our article about getting off the beaten path in Phnom Penh! We love sharing fun and offbeat experiences, and it’s an honor to have our article up on their site. Please read the article, share it, or comment below. Thanks a million 😀
A glimpse into our expat life in Mudanjiang, China, circa 2011.
Over the years we’ve learned that the more time we spend in one place the deeper our connection to it becomes.
We love seeing beautiful places, meeting people different from us, trying local foods, and getting out of our comfort zone. That’s what travel is all about!
Unfortunately, travel can be expensive and quick whirlwind trips during vacations from work often left us exhausted and out of money as we tried to squeeze in absolutely everything we could into a short period of time.
Over the years we’ve learned that slow travel is more our style. It allows us to get to know a place well, develop relationships, and try even more food! We are also able to space out the things we want to do, and do more things off the beaten path.
In tracking our expenses, we’ve also learned that slow travel saves us money.
Here are our tips on slow travel and ways you can stretch your hard-earned cash and gain a deeper cultural insight by extending your stay in one place.
Get to Know a Place More Deeply
On the sunny surface of the beaten tourism path, you are shown a packaged version of what tourism companies and sometimes even the government want you to see. Yes, still do the “must-do” activities and see the “must-sees”. They are popular for a reason! However, once those things have been checked off of your list, there is always more to learn about and explore. Get off the beaten track and check out neighborhoods not recommended in guidebooks, talk with local people, eat at street stalls (the more popular they are with locals the better), or even volunteer somewhere. These are some good ways to find out about what is really going on in a country, the good and the bad. Those unique interactions are usually what stick out most to us when we look back at our travels.
Have Unique Experiences
Traveling slowly has given us the opportunity to form relationships with local people and expats that we probably could not have done if we were only in a place for a few days. We have been invited to weddings, funerals, local festivals, and people’s homes to share meals. These are some of the most outstanding memories of our travels, and we feel so fortunate to have had these cultural experiences with new friends.
Eat Better Food, Usually for Cheaper
The longer you stay in one place and get to know the locals or long term expats there, the more tips and tricks you learn. One of the best things you can find out is where to eat delicious, inexpensive meals. When we breeze through a place in just a few days, it can be hard to figure this out. We have found we can cut our food budget down by a quarter or even half once we know where to find the good, cheap grub in town.
Save On Drinking Water
We are water guzzling fiends! ABH-Always Be Hydrating is one of our many mottos. In a lot of Asian countries tap water isn’t safe to drink and the cost of bottled water quickly adds up. Instead, we buy big jugs. Water jugs that is! We either ask someone at our guesthouse for assistance or just walk around the neighborhood to find a store that sells them. Then we bring the jug to our room and refill our bottles as needed. This trick has saved us hundreds of dollars over the course of our travels and stopped us from accumulating so many plastic bottles.
Save On Accommodation
When you first arrive at a place, it’s hard to know where to stay or if you’re getting a good rate. After a day or two staying in one area, we make sure to have a second look around at other accommodation options. Once we’ve found where we want to ‘set up camp’, we get to bargaining. A majority of hostels are willing to negotiate a lower rate the longer you plan to stay. We were able to get our beachfront guestroom in Otres Beach, Cambodia down from $12/night to $8/night because we planned to stay for a week. We ended up staying for nearly three! That savings really cut down on our living expenses for the month. If you plan to be in a place for a week or longer you can also look into renting an apartment. Websites like airbnb.com or roomorama.com are good places to start.
Save on Activities and Transportation
During the first couple of days in a new place we like to explore on foot. We take long walks around town, meet people, and get ideas on what there is to see and do. If we have specific ideas in mind for a place we want to go or activity we want to do, we try to gather information on different ways to make it happen. If we can avoid an overpriced tourist bus to somewhere by figuring out how to take local transport or renting a motorbike and going on our own we’ll try that out instead. This has saved us from being overcharged on numerous occasions and has lead to some interesting transportation experiences.
Not only does slow travel end up saving us money, but by making a place our temporary home we get to know it more intimately. Don’t get us wrong, getting out and traveling for any length of time is fantastic! However, we’ve found over time that a slower traveling pace suits us.