How to plan off the beaten path travel

How to plan off the beaten path travel

You may be looking for off the beaten path travel destinations in 2022. Many people make bucket lists of must see locations to check off during their life travels. But how do you start to make a list of hard to find places? I mean, they’re called hard to find for a reason.

If you’re trying to avoid tourist traps, and are searching for off the beaten path vacations then you probably need some help finding the kind of hidden gems typically reserved for locals only.


Travel is becoming more niche

What’s your travel style?

Generation Hashtag’ is driving a demand for niche tourism. Not everyone craves the typical all-inclusive beach resort vacation that our parents longed for. Younger generations want an experience tailored to their personality. Whether it’s the cutest cat cafes, the rarest NFT art shows, or the most life altering Sedona spiritual vortexes – if you like it, there’s probably someone else out there that likes it too.

Think backwards. Picture yourself on the last day of your trip. While packing your bags at your Airbnb and preparing to catch a taxi to the airport, what are you reminiscing about?

Was it the never before tasted local street food from a friendly hawker? Or the underground gallery where you discovered a new artist? “Whatever is influencing the memorability of images, it’s not something we’re consciously aware of.” Chances are, if the experience was something you felt connected with and it intrigued your niche interests, you will be more likely to recall it one year from now. And a great picture certainly helps the memory live on.

But how do you find a local insider who can point you in the right direction? Finding those off the beaten path local spots capable of creating lasting memories can take some serious research.


No one wants to be the clueless tourist.

Trip planning’s endless scroll…

Social media has become the greatest source of inspiration, an incredible tool for connection, and also our biggest burden. Your trip to Paris will probably include a pic or two of the Eiffel Tower. But you’re not going to be satisfied (and neither are your friends & followers) with generic shots that you could have purchased at any airport gift shop.

More and more city explorers are looking for low key experiences. Ones that capture the subtly of a location’s underrated beauty. Or places down dark alleys that might be missed by travellers on hurried bus tours.

You’ve undoubtedly caught yourself stalking a stranger on Instagram who’s life just seems too perfect to be reality. Wearing the chicest vintage sunglasses, catching that last beam of sunlight before dusk at just the right angle. They’re eating oysters, of course. And the backdrop looks like a scene out of an Italian romance film.

How did they find such a hidden gem? What did they do to star in this unique moment?

You probably already know that you can use Instagram to plan your vacation off the beaten path. But how exactly do you figure out the exact address of local spots that will leave you with fond memories for years to come?

Elite Jetsetter has some tips on using Instagram to find geolocations and reminds us “some of the best information comes from locals with local knowledge.” But the truth is, making that connection with a local can be awkward, feel invasive, or simply go unanswered.

Plus, looking through Instagram geolocations may not get you all the way to the finish line. You could find a gorgeous location, but not have enough information to place it on a Google Map.

Locals and dedicated travel bloggers put a lot of work in to finding the most coveted hidden places. You should appreciate their time and effort. So if you’re going to reach out to someone you don’t know on Instagram to ask about a pic that you just can’t live without finding, keep a few things in mind before approaching.

Here are Elite Jetsetter’s :

4 Golden rules for asking people for locations

  1. Ask through a direct message
  2. Be respectful
  3. Be polite
  4. Don’t overshare

Basically, take the time to follow and like the account if you’re thinking about making an approach. Try to avoid the obvious ‘Where’s this?’ public comment on a post, and show the photographer that you value and admire their good taste. Fingers crossed you get a response.

An easier way to plan off the beaten path vacations

Sync collections of niche local spots to your Google Map

Supporting local businesses and supporting local creators doesn’t need to be a time consuming process.

You can also find off the beaten path travel locations without spending hours saving, reading, scrolling & reaching out to random strangers. Your niche trip planning could be effortless, and come with instant rewards.

NanoWhat is a social marketplace that lets you easily download local spots to your phone and explore all the possibilities a city has to offer. NanoWhat Locals share maps for free or sell maps for a small fee, and travellers get authentic and unique maps that can be synced to your Google Maps in a single click.

That means you can support the photographers, creators and locals you like without any hassle. Niche city maps are posted by people who want to share a city through their unique point of view.

Curated collections of places are added to lists. Find a list you like, pay a small amount (usually less than $10) and get an immediate download of the list to add to your Google Maps Saved Places for when you’re ready to use it.

Here’s what it looks like. Once you download a NanoWhat map, just save it to the Lists You Follow in your Google Maps app.


It’s extremely convenient if you’re already in a destination and want to fill an unplanned day or see the city from a new angle without the need of any research. Many NanoWhat Locals also connect their social media profiles to their map e-shops, so you can see if your travel style matches their aesthetic before buying.

Have fun exploring your travel niche and planning your next off the beaten path vacation. There’s lots of ways to go about it. But think about how you can make life long memories that are authentic and meaningful. Travel is a privilege. Wander the world with curiosity and respect, and share your adventures with the people your care about.

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