Travel expert and HuffPost blogger Doug Lansky recently spoke at TEDx Stockholm to explain a familiar travel problem.
Travel, as he explains it, has shifted focus from "brave, uncharted, unique and authentic destinations" towards "safe, mass-market destinations and big business." The travel industry earned trillions last year. But, as Lansky asks, "Are we making travel better?"
Not necessarily, he says. Lansky cites an increase in "cheap" and "fast" travel as some of the key factors in the demise of unique or authentic experiences. Just ask anyone who's visited the pyramids in Egypt or attempted to get a glimpse of the Rosetta Stone in London. Instead of coming face-to-face with history, more time is spent shoving other tourists out of the way to take the perfect photos.
But there's a way destinations can reclaim "better" travel experiences for visitors and locals. Lansky suggests cities focus on "being unique" while also making sure that destinations grow organically so they don't become overcrowded. Visitors should make an effort to integrate with locals, whether it's practicing with a Frisbee team in Stockholm or joining a local birdwatching group, he says.
Next time you go on vacation, see if you can integrate some of Lansky's philosophies into your trip. With any luck, you'll find the authentic travel experience you've been craving.