Some of my favorite blog posts to write are my travel ones. When I find out that I’ll be visiting a new country, I immediately go into full-on ‘research mode’ and start making a list of places I want to visit while I’m there. I have so much fun going to all these different places on my list and taking lots of photos to share in blog posts, and you guys seem to love them! I bring you photos from different cafes, farms, flower fields, and even the deep depths of the oceans, and in this post, I’m going to share how I find these exciting and hidden places.
If you’ve read some of my travel posts (you can find them all by clicking the travel section on my home page), you will know that I’m not one for fancy tourist-y places. The majority of the places I visit are ‘off-the-beaten-track’ kind of spots, and while they may be popular, they may not necessarily be the places that you see EVERYONE visiting. Of course, there are exceptions, for example when I went to NYC I wanted to try some of the famous cafes like Cha Cha Matcha (because I LOVE matcha), but for the most part I take you along to places like a cafe filled with only blue food, a farm where you can pick your own produce, and a farmer’s market you may only know about if you’re a local. I believe that the slightly ‘hidden’ places are even more special and that the discovery of a really cool and interesting place adds to the magic of travel!
So, if you would like to find out how I find the coolest places to visit… stick around!
My number one tip for finding places to visit would be to use social media to your advantage. It’s not like you have to spend loads of time on your phone pouring over Instagram accounts, but the trick is to build up over time. Whenever I’m scrolling through Instagram and I see someone visiting somewhere cool, I save it to a folder I have called ‘places to visit’ or a folder for a specific country I know I’ll be visiting. It only takes a couple of seconds, and just before I leave for a trip I can go through each of the places I’ve saved and look at them in more detail.
Most of the time I’m open to discovering any new place, whether it be a cafe, park, or store, but sometimes I have a specific type of place I want to visit, and that changes my ‘research style’ of finding it. For example, I knew that I wanted to visit a fruit picking farm in England a couple of summers ago. So I read a few articles about fruit picking farms in England, checked some reviews, and found out which was closest to where I was. Similarly, I wanted to find a field of sunflowers while I was staying in Byron Bay, so I spent a really long time researching (this location was quite hard to find) and in the end, I found a farm which had a sunflower field you could visit. My point is if you have a specific place you know you want to visit or a specific thing you know you want to see, don’t be scared to look directly for that. By looking for one direct thing, you can go into more depth and find some really exciting places.
This is something that I don’t think enough people do when they’re visiting a new place. Most people jump from taxi to taxi and fail to realize that you can actually stumble across some pretty amazing places that you wouldn’t have otherwise found if you just take a walk. This has happened to me countless times. Strolling around gives you the opportunity to try places that you may not have read about or heard of before, and for me, it’s the most powerful tip I can give you for discovering new places.
Who knows a place better than a local? If you’re visiting a place where you have friends or know someone who has lived there, get in touch and ask them what their recommendations are! I’ve been to Paris many times, but by far the most exciting trip to Paris I’ve had was the time I went around with a friend who lives there. She showed me some really amazing places that I definitely wouldn’t have found on my own. If you don’t know anyone in the city you’re visiting, don’t worry. There plenty of blogs written by people from a specific country, you are sure to be able to get in touch with a local and find their recommendations online.
I personally don’t use books to discover new places as much as I use social media (just because it’s easier to find specific blog posts and articles), but I think they’re still a useful tool. I’ve even used some tour books to discover new places in the city where I’m from, London! So don’t discard books as an option, they have some real nuggets of information that you may not be able to find online.
I hope that these tips are helpful to you in planning your next trip or holiday! Let me know in the comments if you use any of them and what your top tip for discovering a new place is, I would love to hear!