What is Off The Beaten Track?
The site for people who want to avoid mass tourism
Off The Beaten Track is not a general travel web site, but a site with a specific target audience: travelers who stay off the beaten tracks of mass tourism. We provide these travelers with high quality travel information. This information is absolutely independent: Off The Beaten Track has no ties to the world of travel organisations. The same goes for the people who write travelogues for us. Our travelogues are written by travelers like you and me.
It's a bad habit on the internet to assume that all travelers are alike. That makes it hard to find the information you're looking for. And also it's often scattered and not easily accessible. On the one hand, there's an ocean of private home pages with - often all too personal - reports of travel experiences. On the other hand there's a growing number of commercial travel sites that don't offer independent information either, to put it mildly. If you can find information at all, because an increasing number of pages contains just links (to links to links...).
Off The Beaten Track is a different kind of travel site, born from frustration with the information (or lack thereof) we found while preparing for our own trips.
Focus on the destination
Off The Beaten Track is a site for travelers who want more than sun, sea and beach. That could be local color, nature, culture... anything authentic that a country, region or city has that makes it an interesting travel destination.
Some prefer biking trips, others hike or ride motor bikes and still others opt for a fly-drive vacation or take the bus with their backpacks. One time to visit a city, next year maybe the trip of a lifetime... The ways of travelling and the time we have to travel may differ, but what we have in common is curiosity about the unique character of our chosen destinations. Therefore all travelogues on this site focus on the destination.
What we also share is an allergy for manifestations of mass tourism. We hate the big levelling machine that is the tourist industry, which already has distorted many a coastal region into a generic vacation park, where the local cuisine has been replaced with MacDonalds and other international cholesterol chains.
We love diversity, the cultural riches and the authenticity of other countries and peoples: cuisine, architecture, culture, traditions, the typical landscape that hasn't been turned into golf courses, "aqua entertainment parks," high rise hotels and vacation home parks.
We consciously choose types of tourism that respect nature and culture. Maybe not always for idealistic reasons, but in any case because of well-understood self-interest: we want to be able to visit interesting and beautiful destinations 'til the end of time. Because diversity makes us feel rich, not because we idolize other cultures. "Spiritual vacations" and workshop vacations have no place on this site: they are about personal growth and use their exotic surroundings just as a backdrop. For us exotic surroundings are no backdrops, but the very reason to travel and explore.
Travelers advise travelers
Off The Beaten Track is a site for and by travelers. Nobody can give a better impression of what a destination has to offer than the traveler him- or herself. That's why we publish travelogues written by travelers. Not by presenting the umptiest collection of links to stories on private home pages or by just putting all stories on our site just as they are. We give your stories the attention they deserve: professional editing, photo processing and web design. Travelogues on the internet shouldn't be inferior to those in print magazines.
Of course this only works if visitors of this site respond and share their knowledge and experience with each other. Luckily as many people are interested in doing that as there are people who want to read the travelogues. That is why our site is growing fast. Would you like to submit a travelogue? You'll find more information here: Reactions
Off The Beaten Track is a journalistic product and not a marketing device, that is why we work according to strict rules. Our independence is everything to us.
It goes without saying that we wouldn't be able to offer the information on this site for free if we didn't have ads. But we do not make any deals that involve the contents of the travel magazine. No advertorials, no promo talk, like most print travel magazines do. We only publish about a destination because a traveler submits a travelogue, never because travel organisations want to promote a destination. Travel organisations are never mentioned by name in travelogues, neither positively nor negatively.