Whether your traveling solo, as a couple, as a family, or on a group trip, you’ll inevitable find yourself in at least one city. This is where the major airports are, the train stations, the bus terminals — it’s how you’ll inevitably get to a new place. The problem with traveling to cities is that there is so much to do there, and it makes it hard to leave. But how can you really see a country if you’ve only seen a single city?
The good news is you do NOT (and should not) stay 100% in cities when you travel, or find yourself city-hopping as you travel along the public transportation systems – which is way too easy to do!
The reality of it is that it’s difficult to escape cities while you’re traveling – trains, busses, and planes generally only stop in these more populated areas, and so the only way to get off the beaten path is by private car, hiking, boat, or on horseback. (…sounds like the olden days, right?)
Whenever I travel I try to get out of the cities and into the country side if at all possible. While cities are exciting and full of energy and entertainment, they can also be draining. Getting off the beaten path and into nature is so much more beautiful, adventurous and refreshing.
A private car is obviously the easiest way to explore a country since you can control your own schedule. Just get an international drivers license before leaving your home country that is valid for many other countries. This will let you rent a car and head out into the countryside to explore smaller towns and the natural landscape.
Driving can also save you money as you can pack camping gear into your car and camp instead of paying for hostels or hotels along the way. All you need are a few tents, a couple of gazebos for extra shelter (or not), some games, food and drinks, and you’re good to go. There are so many amazing places in the world where you can only stay if you camp! Many countries offer free roadside camping with no permits needed. Others require a permit, or camping only at designated sites. Check online for each country’s specific camping rules.
When I’m looking for a relaxing vacay I’ll ditch the city for the beach. Hop in the car (or on a train or bus if you can find one!) and head to a small seaside town to relax and unwind and explore life outside of the city hustle.
Another way to get out of the city is with private group tours who will drive you and a few others to fun, beautiful, and often unspoiled places. There are many travel companies, but Con Tiki, Intrepid, Off the Beaten Path, and Viator are great places to start your search.
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