While there is no shortage of “top travel blog” roundups, today I’d like to point you towards some unconventional websites that, as a traveller, I think you’ll love.  They’re not for everybody, but keep an open mind – you might find something interesting.

Kickstarter

Kickstarter is where small companies go to “crowdsource” funding for a new project – say you want to manufacture some new kind of travel sandal, but you need $50k to get going.  You use this site to get people to commit to a pre-order, and then when you reach your goal, you kickstart (get it?) your manufacturing process.  If the company doesn’t make their goal, nobody pays and the project is cancelled.

Why You’ll Love It:  There are some fantastic travel products on this site; I recently backed a cool travel wallet, and in the publishing section you can discover some great local travel guides on topics that just don’t make it mainstream (think: DIY beer tours of Portland Oregon on a bike).

Etsy

Etsy is a massive marketplace for handmade/homemade products and goods.  It has everything from wine charms to infinity scarves, all reasonably priced and easy to peruse the row and rows of items available on offer.

Why You’ll Love It:  If you’re in need of some new styling travel fashion, this is a great spot to look at – whether it’s a passport cover or a cool luggage tag.  There are travel pillows, travel organiser, and an amazing array of travel maps that make for great wanderlust souvenirs for places you haven’t been able to get to quite yet.  (Be sure to change the “Ships to” to your country for correct pricing.)

Unanchor

Unanchor offers a directory of independently written and published travel guides that range from 3 days in Seoul to a day of eating in Paris.  These guides are mostly authored by locals living the destination, giving you practical ideas and suggestions in an inexpensive PDF download form.  (All guides have a “last updated” date, so you can see how fresh they are!)

Why You’ll Love It:  While the directory doesn’t cover every destination, the guides that are available have been vetted and are a great place to start your travel planning.  Unlike a larger travel guide, these help you get your bearings and really are perfect if you’re plotting a citybreak or have a very limited amount of time on your trip.

What are some offbeat websites you’ve used recently?  Share in the comments!

All images are screenshots of company sites, taken by author.

Andy Hayes

Andy Hayes is based in sunny Portland, Oregon. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he works on his own lifestyle publication, Plum Deluxe.

Posted : Thursday, May 9th, 2013 at 10:00
Category : Holiday Tips
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