From all the press reports, 2023 might be called "the year of the tourist."
Travel gurus and Facebook alike are telling tales of wall-to-wall people in the piazzi, squares, and ancient spaces across the globe. Queues are hours long, baggage lost, and temperatures are rising.
These situations can turn a dream trip into a bad dream.
Fortunately, PLU provides an alternative option…an answer, a balm.
The secret? Find a home that’s not on the "popular" list. Choose different. It may be a town or city or countryside you didn’t realize was a perfect possibility.
To wit — our recent exchange to Saltburn, UK
(on another platform). In our 19 days there, we didn’t hear a single American (or French or German or fill-in-the-blank accent). And we’ve had a fabulous vacation filled with amazing hiking, delicious food, festivals, art, architecture, day trips by train to bigger cities, and views of the beautiful sea.
We’ve had the most lovely conversations with local folks. "Are you from America?" leads to news about local events, life in their town, how to find the trailhead, and so much more. People are curious about American politics and music. And they're willing to talk about Brexit or places they like to travel.
In fact, it’s fun to be of interest to locals instead of just another tourist.
We found a similar experience during our first exchange in 2018 in a small town in the Loire Valley
. Wonderful opportunities were available by foot or by car — without being surrounded by throngs of tourists.
We know that this concept might be geared towards folks with more time to travel or new travellers. We were there once, too. But it’s always been important to us to find different.
Fortunately, PLU offers the opportunity to broaden your horizons to find unique and wonderful places to explore.
Instead of typing in "Paris," for example, try just "France
." Use the filter/search option to choose your desires: hiking
, or village
, whatever they may be. And rather than zooming in tightly, look more broadly and take a look at the towns and homes which turn up in your results.
The key to finding something cool and different is to be open to discovering the unknown…something truly "off the beaten path."