In a recent survey conducted found that 50% of those asked said that turning to local help for advice or directions has lead to house calls, dinners, drinks and then eventually a route back home. So it does seem that instead of purposeful misdirection - loosing oneself, getting out of your comfort zone leads to travel far away from what most would typically expect.
Many unplanned change of directions or disposal of guide books or tourist advise are often the sure fire ways to experience landmarks and pockets of culture that would have otherwise not been found, the survey argued. Whilst holidaymakers seem to believe this is because of well honed noses for exploration, the likelihood is that happy accident and being relatively watchful prove to be a good way of soaking up local scenery.
Not all changes of direction are a worthwhile though, throwing caution to the wind in every respect is not always worthwhile, at least that is if one anecdote from a respondent is to be heeded. One unlucky tourist stumbled upon a "short cut" back to the apartment ending in a relaxing run for her life across a Reykjavik runway - brave soul or just missing of any sense of sense? Your choice.
The majority of these wrong turns, it seems, leading to seeing something far more interesting than they’d actually set out for – a charming bistro, pub, gallery or festival that would have been otherwise passed. The general hospitality and goodwill of the locals goes a long way though, holiday makers have said that they wouldn't have been put back in the right direction without a little bit of home grown information and kindness.
What’s more it seems that holiday makers often consider tech to be more of a hindrance than any form of help. Sat Navs or GPS without up-to-date software or incorrect maps leading unsuspecting vacationers down wrong lanes, into dead ends, similarly named towns miles away and almost in the wrong end of a harbour. It appears that no matter how well you plan or how well equipped you feel, often you just can't beat a little local knowledge.
The total of this is that many tourists actually want to live like the locals, to get closer to the "colour" of a country and locate hidden gems that most would miss. So whatever your stay from an holiday flat in a large resort, a villa or cottage in the country, perhaps leaving the tour guide at home might result in a much more memorable short break.