When I travel I always seek the unexpected, that may sound like a bit of an oxymoron but knowing where to look to find that next hidden gem while you travel can lead to some truly amazing adventures. Here’s a couple of tips and tricks for helping you unearth those truly memorable adventures you’ll be raving to all your friends about for years to come!
1. Speak to other travellers
Speaking to other travellers, especially those who have been on the road longer than you, is always bound to reveal more about a place than a guidebook can! By chatting with other travellers I have had a number of adventures I didn’t plan for – I ventured to Cesky Krumlov in Czech Republic, Castle Tioram in Scotland, Sleep No More in New York City and had a slightly dodgy but ultimately memorable border crossing experience between Vietnam and Laos!
2. Strike up a conversation with a bartender
Or any local really. I’ve found bartenders to be some of the best though as getting cosy with customers is pretty much a part of their job (and they have great tips on local bars). And make sure you ask the right questions. Ask what they would do not what a traveller should do. And get specific! Broad questions get broad answers!
3. Find the magazine/website/newsletter that locals use to plan their weekends
As a Sydneysider I rarely, if ever, use the likes of TimeOut to find out what’s happening in Sydney. Instead I use Concrete Playground and, whilst living in New York, pulsd and Thrillist. These sites and their newsletters are aimed at locals. This means you’re going to get info on events and activities that are a little more niche and focused than the bigger guys who tend to focus on the bigger players (yes, TimeOut I know Phantom of the Opera is on this week…it’s always on!)
4. The writing’s on the wall
Message boards, both physical and digital, are great ways to unearth adventure. Local cafes will often have a board with info on local festivals, farmers markets, free theatre and more. Hostels too, often provide a board to help travellers connect and adventure together. Another way to uncover hot travel tips is to join a Facebook group for your particular destination and style of travel. Australia Backpackers, for example, caters to young, budget travellers exploring Australia.
5. Go searching, literally
Scavenger Hunts are a good way to discover parts of a city you would otherwise overlook. I enjoy doing a scavenger race because, hey, prizes! But you can also go scavening on your own time with the apps like Stray Boots.
6. Be Flexible
When it comes to unearthing adventure being flexible and open minded is key. If you have your trip meticulously planned out then where’s the room for those unexpected adventures?
Discovering the best adventure isn’t always easy but hopefully I’ve given you some tips to help you keep an ear and eye out for adventure. If you want help finding more awesome activities you can also check out this awesome little Travel Scavenger Website that’s just starting up (I may or may not have something to do with founding it ????).