What’s Experiential Travel and Why Care?
The idea of tourism has evolved from being limited to visiting a place previously, to now absorbing a place and everything it embodies. The discerning traveler these days not only looks for niche places to explore but, more importantly, looks for real experiences that stay with them and help shape their perspective for the rest of their life.
Though there has always been and always will be groups of tourists who will go to places to visit the famous, touristy landmarks. But a new class of travelers – who visit a place to soak in everything it has to offer and specializes in – is gradually on the rise. It is this extraordinary new traveler who is driving the concept of ‘experiential travel.’
Experience the Unexperienced
Have you ever taken a cooking class in a local’s home or visited a farmer’s market instead of the supermarket?
Most people travel to break the monotony of regular life and bring a change into their lives. Yet, when they do go out, they visit the most obvious places frequented by tourists such as iconic monuments and shopping malls or laze around in their hotels.
Come to think of it. A new place has so much more to offer a discerning traveler, one who wants to breathe the city like a local, instead of partaking in the beaten path. The thrill of meeting local people within the community, trying the local cuisine, contributing to the community in a meaningful way, acquiring a skill/hobby/art the region is known for and learning the way of life of the locals is unparalleled.
Uncover the Hidden Gems
Every country has places left untouched by tourism, which retain their pristine beauty and are free from exploitation. A discerning traveler will always be on the lookout for such hidden gems. Because it offers something they might not have experienced ever before.
Experiential traveling includes a responsibility for the natural environment and the local traditions. People today, are increasingly aware of the importance of sustainability and the potential dangers posed to the environment. Hence, they incorporate this concern and choose experiences and behaviors that are more ethically responsible.
The idea behind experiential travel is to experience learning, to grow as a person even when on a holiday and bring back worthwhile memories from your vacation.
A lot of travel companies are offering a variety of such exciting, customized programs, based on the travelers’ preferences. So, you may get to choose from programs that give you a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture to programs that take you away from the ordinary and the routine.
Through educational and physical adventures, experiential travel offers just the right balance for people to have a more immersive experience, connecting with the community and traveling with a purpose.
Experiential Travel – Fast Catching Up
Experiential travel is growing in popularity especially with youngsters who want to experience more than the ordinary when they travel. It gives you a chance to:
Actively participate in your trip and make it personal, by including the experiences you are excited about trying.
Connect with the locals and immerse yourself in the local culture. Such real-life learning inspires and enriches your personality and your global perspective. You truly become a world citizen.
Understand a place much more deeply. You absorb everything from all angles, instead of looking at it through the prism of popular landmarks.
Break stereotypes you may have about a certain place. The idea of experiential travel is to broaden your mind and facilitate acceptance for a different way of life. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…”
Help sustain the local community, its traditions and lifestyles.
And probably most importantly, develop new strengths and skills within yourself that you may never have know you had.
So, the next time you think of exploring a new place, don’t settle for the obvious and routine program. Instead, research a bit and draft your own, personalized program that truly offers you the best chance to learn, engage, and experience a community, and its place in action.