Alternative Travel Guide – Characteristics, Methods, Ideas, Benefits, FAQ

Alternative travel by mini van

You have probably been hearing the term “alternative traveling, but what does this term mean? Explaining this term is not an easy task as it can be defined in many ways. Alternative traveling is a type of traveling in which the traveler becomes more involved with the destination. It is a type of traveling which involve traveling with a specific agenda or aim.

Alternative travel is a return to simplicity, authenticity, adventure, and self-discovery. The superficial aspect of the mass effect of the tourism industry is being abandoned in favor of a more responsible, more economical and more authentic travel.

The characteristics of the alternative travel. Several aspects can transform a normal trip into an alternative travel:

Take your time

Why go so fast? The world is big, it’s true. But it’s a shame to botch your travel because you are running out of time or want to see as much as you can. By choosing to take your time, you get a better sense of the moment and pace of the country you visit. Many slow and inexpensive (or even free) ways of transportation change your journey into an adventure route rather than simply going from point A to point B.

How? Hitch-hiking, cycling, walking, train, carpooling.

Share and Share

The alternative travel is a good way to make beautiful meetings and will privilege the exchange and sharing rather than individualism. It allows you to open up to others, to leave your ideas behind you and to live beautiful experiences. Whether for transportation or accommodation, with travelers or locals, the exchange and sharing are for those that embellish travel for sure!

How? Carpooling, youth hostels, AirBnB, guarding / house-sitting, exchange of houses.

To be in solidarity with the local population

Instead of just leaving the end of the world to be grilled on the beach, why not bring your knowledge in your suitcases and offer some of your time to locals? A very inexpensive way to travel, the solidarity travel allows you to give a helping hand to people who, in return, you will be offered lodging and food. In addition to helping them in their projects, you have the opportunity to discover and learn new things.

Learn to trust

Our mother often told us that we should be wary of strangers. It is true. But the travel often proves the opposite. Being on the road involves unforeseen events. Okay, a lot of unforeseen! And sometimes people you have never seen in your life and who you may never have paid attention to in another life reach out to you.

By traveling on the go, it has often happened that people offer us a meal on the road, we propose to spend the night at home … One day, a gentleman even offered us $ 50 and a box of Tic-Tac!

The alternative travel has the gift of restoring confidence in humanity. Always be vigilant especially if you are alone or on the run. But the journey teaches us to trust people, that they do not necessarily want us wrong but that they just want to be nice. And that’s still beautiful!

Discover the authenticity of a country

Do not hesitate to get away from big cities. Go explore, discover, go meet the people of the village in the countryside. They will have great stories to tell you!

It is sometimes difficult to avoid mass tourism and trying to do tourist activities that will make you more for a tourist than a traveler. And you have the right to have fun, the purpose of alternative travel is not to make it flat! Think outside the box so that you do not make your travel identical to thousands of others. Sometimes meeting with locals can make you experience quite new and rare

How? Go to areas less frequented by tourists, meet locals who will make you discover the area.

Get out of your comfort zone

Going on an adventure, you will have to get out of your little world of comfort to face the unknown that is the journey. No matter your personality or your fears, alternative travel is great for you to start small personal challenges. Get out of your comfort zone and see what it’s like! What is certain is that these small actions will add value to your journey. And on top of that, you can be proud of having accomplished all that.

How? Traveling alone, hitchhiking. Help to improve a language and discover new things, work abroad, etc. …

Review your needs

When we leave for the first time (or not), we often leave with a bag full of “We never know”. But there’s always that moment when we realize that finally, bringing this big crocodile-shaped buoy was not a very brilliant idea. Same thing for clothes. On the road, we learn quickly to get rid of the superfluous, to adapt and to be satisfied with what we have. This aspect also works hosting. Forget your idea of comfort as this is a notion that will change over time and places where you spend the night.

How? Do not take too many things off, hang out in thrift stores (and sometimes put a little sideways fashion), camping.

To discover oneself

In addition to putting oneself to the test by confronting the unknown, it is a whole new way of life that settles in you. The encounters, the experiences, the discovery of different ways of thinking, all these things will have an impact on your life. The alternative travel can make you realize things, give you new ambitions and new dreams. In addition to possibly catching the wanderlust, it is highly likely that the travel will change your outlook on the world, on life and certain values.


There are lots of activities that can be carried out when embarking on alternative travel. Among many others, we have these examples:

Trekking: It is an activity of great contact with the environment, these are excursions on foot, along natural paths: mountains, rivers, jungles, beaches, lakes, etc. It is somewhat similar to hiking but includes more aggressive scenarios, it requires some physical effort because it usually includes going up and down slopes. It is a very pleasant activity for nature lovers since it is about enjoying the road, the landscapes, and geography.

Kayak: It is a boat that is used for sports or recreation purposes, in tourism it is used to travel rivers, lakes and other bodies of water. It is very exciting and fun, and it is an excellent exercise that trains coordination and balance.

Diving: It is a very popular sport among people who enjoy the sea and its ecosystem. It is a contemplation activity, it is about observing the maritime flora and fauna to enjoy its beauty and learn from its interactions. To practice it, a piece of special equipment is used that is usually rented.

Ballooning: Through a balloon ride the tourist can uniquely observe a territory, the height gives the viewer a perspective that shows the whole landscape and allows you to look at the details, it is very exciting and fun. It is a remarkable experience that is recorded in memory.

Benefits Of Alternative Trips

* Unusual destinations are known, it is the opportunity to know exotic places that do not appear in most tourist magazines. It is an alternative for people who do not want to travel alone and have no one to do it with, the groups that form constitute excellent travel companions.

* You have a lot of contact with nature and with the natives, it is a way to get involved with the place you visit.
The destinations that are chosen for alternative tourism have not been overcrowded, therefore, do not suffer from crowds of people. That way you avoid queuing, waiting to be taken care of and many other inconveniences.

* Sports that involve nature, the outdoors and the enjoyment of the environment are practiced.
The trip is very free, although there is a pre-established plan, travelers can add some activity that interests them or removes another.

Despite being considered adventurous, alternative tourism may include luxury comfort in accommodation and transfers, that way you enjoy nature without sacrificing much comfort.

Other articles on our website about Alternative Travel

Alternative travel destinations

Alternative travel accommodation options

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you provide alternative travel agency services?

Yes! No matter what type of travel you are interested in, if there is an option to use travel agent services, Travelrows LLC Travel Company will provide them and will help with consulting and organizing your trip as much as we can.

If you have already experienced alternative travel, share your stories, reviews and ideas in comments or send us e-mail and we will publish it in our blog. 

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