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'Where to go' may no longer be the only question

Internationally Known

'Where to go' may no longer be the only question

For many, vacation travel is what one should see - whether museums, restaurants, bars, architecture, places of worship, nature. 

 

But I'm noticing promotions by small companies - a new kind of travel - 'experiential'.  Cycling through a countryside.  The chef taking a group shopping for local ingredients, then making that evenings' dinner all afternoon.  Local guides who lead you to the lesser known spots fascinating spots of their city.  Local geologists, botanists, economists, historians who lecture while you walk - and get all your questions answered. 

This seems an exciting and pivotal shift in the tourist industry - opening many more possibilities than the old "I visited ___". 

 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!

7 Replies
Nationally Recognized

Re: 'Where to go' may no longer be the only question

Honestly, I would love this, but being a budget traveler this sounds like $$$ to me. 

 

My partner and I steer clear of any sort of tour like activity if we can because a) we do prefer to go at it alone, b) we are always on a budget, but if we could swing it, then we would happily participate in a local experience. 

 

This also sounds a bit like what airbnb experiences are offering too? 

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Internationally Known

Re: 'Where to go' may no longer be the only question

Yes, I have noticed they are rather expensive... certainly to cover the costs of the experts giving the tours, and all the specialized people participating along the way.  Thanks for sharing!

City Slicker

Re: 'Where to go' may no longer be the only question


@Migmatite wrote:

Yes, I have noticed they are rather expensive... certainly to cover the costs of the experts giving the tours, and all the specialized people participating along the way.  Thanks for sharing!


Being a local tour guide beside the primary profession should be fun. Even the locals living within the city or country could may have not any idea about other wonderful places or things to do.

Internationally Known

Re: 'Where to go' may no longer be the only question

I love the idea of this, but we also travel on a budget. Maybe splurging on one of these per trip would be ok. I'm more about experiences instead of stuff anyway. I also like to do things other than just hitting up the most popular places when we travel. 

Internationally Known

Re: 'Where to go' may no longer be the only question

Sort of echoing what people have said so far, I think things like that are a great option if you can afford it.

As someone who can't really afford it, I will instead mention couchsurfing.org. (Which I've mentioned a bunch recently... I feel like I'm starting to sound like a shill for it but I promise I just love it!) I've met people in all different professions and with different interests that way, and had the opportunity to see, learn, and do many things along the lines of those kinds of tours just by happenstance.

Sometimes staying with friends opens up those opportunities, too - I have a friend from Barbados, and when I stayed with her, I got to tag along to an improv night, as a friend of hers was a performer. Then a couple of days later, another friend who was a high school science teacher invited us on a field trip she was doing with her geology club kids. We got to explore the beaches on the north shore of the island and I learned all kinds of things I would not have otherwise while visiting those spots.

So three cheers for more "off the beaten path" tours, but also certainly it helps to make use of the network of friends, family, and "friends you haven't met yet"!

Internationally Known

Re: 'Where to go' may no longer be the only question

I do think that there are some reasonable ways to get good tours. I had mentioned on another thread that I had done a tour of China and it was totally guided and I learned so much from most of the guides. I am also just now online booking a themed tour of street art in Paris via Air BnB, and I found a coupon that lets me do it for $25 for two people, so about half price. I think that there are also audio tours that you can download so you can guide yourself while also appreciating the local knowledge. I also once bought an economic walkng tour of Reykjavik based on a recommendation here. It was $30 (I think) per person, but it really made my experience of the country much richer.

Stately Explorer

Re: 'Where to go' may no longer be the only question

I think you're right, "experiencing" somewhere appears to be the new trend. It might have stemmed from AirBnB's experiences, as well as the lovely couchsurfing community. There have been many a time that I've done a "trade" for couchsurfing. I'll make dinner in exchange for a local guide to take me hiking or something of the like. I think it's create though as it really does bring out the adventure and possibility of travel!