An Unexpected Tip Will Have You Taking The Best Travel Photos Of Your Life

When you're travelling for the first time to a new location, one of the biggest worries you might have is losing your way in this strange, exotic destination, finding yourself at the wrong end of town, and struggling to make your way back when you don't speak the language or understand how things work. We get it — destinations like London, Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Mumbai are bustling, confusing, and intimidating for first-time visitors. It's normal to want to avoid getting lost at all costs. You can do all the prepping in the world, like never straying beyond your pre-loaded Google Maps pins, and just sticking to the tourist areas. But when you never stray beyond the tourist map that your hotel gives you, what does that mean for your travel photos?

Some of the best snaps that come out of travel adventures aren't of the massive tourist draws like the Eiffel Tower or the Taj Mahal. Sometimes, the most memorable and meaningful pictures we can take come from those unexpected moments, where we followed the unbeaten path, and found something unique. That's why some travellers are saying that to get the best photographs while travelling, you have to ditch the map and get lost. Here's why. 

Your photos will be unique when you take the unbeaten path

David McKay, photographer and author of "Photography Demystified, The World of Travel Photography," wrote for travel site 1000 Travel Tips that getting lost while traveling has been his fave hack to get unique and beautiful travel snaps that no one else has. "If you simply start walking, you WILL get lost and it is awesome!" he wrote. "Every turn and corner will afford you interesting photographic opportunities that most 'tourists' never see." Noting that getting off the beaten path will "feed" your snaps, he added, "Your photographs will contain life and emotion rather than just another tourist shot."

He goes on to suggest that if you want to photograph prime tourist destinations, wait until all the tour buses and tourists are sleeping. So that means either going in the middle of the night or in the early morning, when you can have the locales all to yourself without other tourists ruining the composition. McKay wrote that he had Venice's famous Piazza San Marco all to himself at 5:30 in the morning, making for excellent snaps. You can have the same experience. Nicholas Goodden agreed, writing for F Stoppers that his photography improved when he didn't know where he was going. "I discover new things and look at everything with fresh eyes, the perfect way to stimulate my excitable brain cells on the hunt for that street photography opportunity." Let this be your sign to get lost.