Off-the-beaten path vs. well-traveled destinations

I was reading through some travel trends recently and it got me thinking.  Many of the very popular tourist destinations are overcrowded and it’s a deterrent to many of us.  We want to enjoy these beautiful spaces with some solitude, without all the headaches of crowded travel buses, long lines, and rude tourists.  But, we also want travel to be simple, short and uncomplicated.  Sometimes, however, we have to make compromises.

Where I work as a historian, we have this photo album from a woman who went to Europe from the United States in the 1910s.  She went to Rome, Switzerland, Paris, etc.  Seeing the photographs from her perspective in the 1910s is amazing.  You can see these European cultures as distinct places before globalization.  You know, when people in Italy actually wore striped shirts as their everyday wear, and not what they put on to tempt the tourists into a gondola ride.  It was amazing to imagine what that experience would have felt like.

Many of us desire to have those types of encounters.  There are places in the world that haven’t quite reached the level of globalization many places have.  You know, the good old days before the United States ruined the world with the Real World and the Bachelor.  We also have to look for more off-the-beaten-path places where it’s just as beautiful, but people haven’t discovered how pretty it really is.

I have found some beautiful and fun places, and it excites me when I go to tag it on Instagram and it “doesn’t exist yet.” It encourages me that while the world is small, it’s still big enough that there are still some places that haven’t reached the masses.

There are pros and cons, however, to visiting off-the-beaten-path destinations vs. well-traveled destinations.  The key is figuring out what you want most from your trip.

I’ve made a pro and con list for visiting off-the-beaten-path destinations vs. well-traveled destinations.  These are my personal pros and cons, so take it as that.  I’m sure you can make your own!

Off-the-beaten path destinations

Well-traveled destinations

So what about you?  Do you like the road less taken?  Or do you like to follow in the footsteps of where many have trod before?

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