When planning a trip, you can certainly google top vacation destinations and attractions that are worth visiting. The search results abound in articles mentioning the top 5, or 10 places you should see. But what to do if you want more than that and are looking for hidden travel gems? How to find the best unknown travel destinations, and what tools can help you do it? Keep reading!

Why should you look for hidden gems to travel to?

Popular tourist destinations and landmarks are undoubtedly cool. But there are a few reasons why it’s worth getting off the beaten track:

  • Avoid the crowds – if you want to enjoy a place without hordes of other tourists, looking for hidden gems is the best way to do it. Usually, people don’t make an effort to go to unknown places, which gives you the opportunity to explore secret traveling places in peace and quiet.
  • Find better value for money – hotels, shops, and restaurants in popular tourist destinations tend to be more expensive than those in less-visited areas. Choosing districts and regions that aren’t particularly touristy is a great way to travel on a budget.
  • Get a more authentic experience – when you visit a place that’s not on everyone’s radar, you’re more likely to get a taste of the local culture and meet people who will show you their homes, habits, and traditions. This way, you can really get to know other countries.

Unknown travel destinations are called hidden gems

Image source: Unsplash

Discovering hidden gems – 5 tips that can help you

Finding hidden gems can be a hard nut to crack. After all, it probably isn’t enough to type a simple query into Google. Otherwise, the gems wouldn’t be hidden.

Fortunately, there are a few tips and tools that can help you discover unknown holiday destinations around the world:

  1. Do thorough research – try to check out lists of off-the-beaten-path places. Type relevant queries into Google and see whether anything comes up. Browse popular travel websites like Travel + Leisure, go through Facebook groups, and Instagram photos tagged with a hashtag of your location. This is a great source of information and inspiration.
  2. Benefit from Google Maps – Google Maps is a helpful tool for finding hidden gems. You can use the “Explore” function to see what’s nearby or use the “Search” function to find specific places. Moreover, if you zoom in close enough on the map, you’ll also be able to see user-generated photos of different locations. This can give you a good idea of what a place looks like and whether it’s worth visiting. Thanks to the Street View function, you can actually travel the world without leaving your home. Perhaps this way you’ll find something no one has ever seen before.
  3. Search for travel blogs – this is another effective way to find hidden travel gems in the world. You can learn a lot from blog posts written by people who have already been to specific off-the-beaten-path places. Frequently they travel for a living, so they know exactly how to find unique destinations, and they share this knowledge for free.
  4. Use social media – social media can be a helpful tool for finding hidden gems, as people often share photos and videos of unusual places via their channels. Search for hashtags related to off-the-beaten-path travel, such as #hiddengem or #offthebeatenpath. If you see that someone has been to a place that’s of interest to you, text them and ask for recommendations or directions.
  5. Download experience map apps – they allow you to see user-generated photos or videos of different places around the world. Using tools like YouMap, you can also create your own map and build communities to exchange opinions with other travelers.

The takeaway

How to find hidden travel gems? Go off the beaten track! In this article, we shared five ways to find a unique travel destination. Make an effort to find inspirations and places that aren’t popular tourist destinations. Using social media, maps, and apps will help you plan your hidden gem vacations.

Although planning trips this way is more challenging, the juice is certainly worth the squeeze as untapped destinations will surely take your breath away.