I think it’s safe to say that social media has bitten most of us with wanderlust and travelers are now exploring unimaginable corners of the world. As travel continues to become more people’s motivation, they will seek experiences that are completely unique whilst being affordable. With that said, it’s why we are seeing a rise in alternative travel.
Alternative travel, or termed also as anti-tourism, is a new way of experiencing travel to make it more meaningful and not conventional in nature. There are a number of reasons why people find alternative ways to travel, but I think the biggest determining factor is attainability. Budget is often something we consider when book flights and accommodation. Alternative travel makes things a bit more affordable as you save money or even make money along the way. Secondly, you learn empathy through authenticity. It’s a deeper dive into the culture and it’s people, and so you become hyper-aware of the way people eat, think, worship, and work. Finally, alternative travel brings accountability as we might look for ways to decrease our footprint, volunteer, or support locally.
Now that we know the benefits of alternative travel, let’s dive into some of the best ways to do it!
There is no better way to travel the world than by saving the world! There are a number of Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that act as the middleman between volunteers and local communities. All you have to do is cover the cost of some of the logistics and food per month!
2. Wellness Retreats
Travel teaches us so much about ourselves as we are oftentimes put in the most vulnerable of situations. There’s something so special about coming back from our travels with a peace of mind and reconnecting with ourselves. Think about ashrams, camps, and spas!
3. Teach or Study/Learn Abroad
The beauty of traveling abroad is exposing yourself to so many different cultures, why not partake in that? In college, I spent a year studying abroad and used it as an opportunity to learn a language and travel the region. There are also options to go abroad to teach English or learn/teach whatever you’re passionate about! Languages not your thing? Why not learn to cook up a Moroccan feast with La Maison Arabe?
The easiest way to get accommodation covered is house-sitting! You can find house-sitting jobs from a weekend to a year in length! It allows you to travel slow, live like a local and save an enormous amount of money. It’s how I was able to getaway to Haapsalu for a weekend in Estonia for free!
5. World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF)
This has become a growing trend among young people who want to do good for the world by promoting sustainability and I got to partake when I went apple picking in Kent. WWOOF is a global movement that connects people with organic farmers to exchange cultural, social and educational experiences without monetary exchange. Ecotourism allows people to truly live, learn and share organic lifestyles!
So, are you considering an alternative way to travel in 2020? What’s on your itinerary?