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How to Find Hidden Gems on Vacation

How to Find Hidden Gems on Vacation


Many people make the mistake of sticking to popular tourism spots during a getaway. While breathing in the beauty of an iconic landmark is exciting, you can learn much more about a city and its culture by heading off the beaten track. If you want to add more excitement to a break, you must venture away from overcrowded landmarks and explore new sights and sounds at a destination.

Here’s how to find hidden gems on your next vacation…

Don’t Fill Your Itinerary

Many travelers feel tempted to fill their day-to-day itineraries with many activities and attractions before they have even touched down at a destination. However, sticking to a full, rigid schedule could result in you missing out on a unique experience or a lesser-known beauty spot. Avoid overplanning to leave room for spontaneity during a vacation. It will allow you to return home with unforgettable, authentic travel experiences that could become the highlight of your trip.

Explore Nearby Landmarks

Most cities and towns are often a short drive away from other beautiful locations, fun-filled attractions and historic buildings, which are worth your time and effort. For example, if you’re planning a trip to the City of Light soon, check out these 10 best trips from Paris, such as sipping champagne in Reims or exploring the medieval town of Rouen. You’ll look back on the vacation with zero regrets.

Get to Know the Locals

Talking to the locals could help you discover hidden gems you might never have found. For example, they could point you in the direction of one of the best restaurants in the city, which might provide authentic, delicious dishes that will linger on your tongue. Also, they might know the best picnic spot, lesser-known historic landmarks, or the coolest bars in the city. It’s information you struggle to find in a guidebook or on a travel blog.

Explore a Destination

In addition to talking to locals, wander your destination aimlessly to come across one or more hidden gems, such as a charming restaurant or cultural sight. Leave the map in your bag and head down paths less traveled, which will allow you to learn more about a culture, connect with locals, and sample a country’s authentic cuisine. However, always remember to be aware of your surroundings and do not allow yourself to wander into an unsafe situation. 

Use Public Transport

Use public transport when traveling from A to B to soak up your surroundings, spot different sights, and experience life like a local. Traveling through various residential neighborhoods via bus or train will provide a bigger insight into a culture than visiting a popular landmark or attraction. Of course, there will likely be times and places where you may need to grab a cab or rent a car over taking public transport, such as at night or when traveling through a dangerous neighborhood.

If you keep the above advice in mind, you could discover many unique and unforgettable restaurants, landmarks, and attractions during a vacation alone or with your loved ones.

About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Her travels allow her the opportunity to pursue her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.


  1. Eric Gamble
    August 16, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    I think asking the locals and making friends is perhaps one of the coolest and best ways to find hidden gems on vacation. I am good at researching things like speakeasies, underground adventures, or off the beaten path type events but my wife, Darcee makes friends so naturally and she is never afraid to ask someone about a cool local thing to do that most tourists miss out on.
    Eric Gamble recently posted…The Ultimate Guide to a Guys Trip in Sheridan, WyomingMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 17, 2021 at 7:18 pm

      Yes I agree with you, Eric! Happy travels to you and Darcee 🙂

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