Ask someone to name all the foreign cities they’ve visited, and it’s likely that they’ll rattle off a list of capital cities or well-trodden tourist hubs. This is, of course, understandable. These population centers tend to be the easiest to fly in and out of, house the famous sights travelers want to see, and are full of accommodation options at all prices.
And yet—that’s exactly why you should avoid them. At least if you’re interested in the kind of travel that subverts the expected and leaves room for experiences that locals would actually want take part in. And, according to American Express Travel’s 2018 Trend Forecast, that’s exactly what a majority of travelers do want. The survey found 57% of respondents would name “exploring a new destination they’ve never seen more” as their top travel goal for the year, with 52% enjoying “getting lost and spontaneously discovering hidden restaurants, shops and bakeries.”