“My favourite thing to do is go somewhere I’ve never been”.

And, if I’m not doing this you’ll find me helping others achieve it because that’s the next best thing!

Hi, I’m Alyse 🙂

See where I have been featured on my Press page!

Straight off the bat, you’ll notice there aren’t any pictures of me on this blog. This is mainly because I like to remain invisible (see what I did there?) and secondly, because I believe in recent years travel has become more focussed on the individual rather than the experience. I’m hoping to change that with my responsible travel blog so if you’re new here, I’m sending you a warm welcome and I hope to inspire you to be invisible, too!

What is mid-range travel & responsible travel all about?

Responsible tourism is tourism which minimises negative social, economic and environmental impacts, generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities.” ~ SustainableTourism.net  

With travel becoming accessible to more and more people, there’s also been a rise in the number of blogs dedicated to it. I noticed there are loads of blogs about backpacking on a budget on one end of the spectrum and luxury travel on the other. Additionally, I couldn’t seem to find any about how people can avoid looking like tourists when abroad and how we can still travel without contributing to overtourism issues

Now, let’s go back to early 2017 when I was researching responsible travel blogs. There was a large grey area in my findings, something was missing: Where were the blogs about mid-range travel for organised people who…

  • Need a dedicated site for travellers with a mid range budget, prefer to stay in 3* – 4* hotels and spend money on meaningful experiences that reflected this?
  • Want to travel independently and take their time at each destination while getting the most personalised experience?
  • Wished to be prepared and efficient, both before and during their trip?
  • Hoped to be almost invisible amongst locals by speaking with and learning from them?
  • Want to combine the above points to travel in a sustainable way to minimise any negative impacts tourism is having on locals and their communities?

Travel Budget Spectrum

Why The Invisible Tourist? And what is Invisible Tourism?

This grey area is why I created The Invisible Tourist. I’ve gone into more detail here about why I chose this apparently “undesirable” name for my blog.

I’m here to help if you’d like to learn more about what I like to call invisible tourism (which is often referred to as responsible tourism) and you:

  • Dream of travelling more with your mid range budget as mentioned in the graphic above but are unsure of where and how to start
  • Would like to save money by booking flights and accommodation without the help of a travel agent, avoiding fees and leaving more cash for the good stuff (you can discover how to do that on my Travel Resources page)
  • Have determination to ensure you get the most personalised experience on your trip by being be your own tour guide, efficiently seeing the sights independently and doing amazing activities at your own pace
  • Prefer staying in 3* – 4* hotels with creature comforts but don’t want to feel completely disconnected from the experience of local life – all without using Airbnb or homestay accommodation as this contributes to overtourism issues
  • Want to learn more about local customs, culture and how to overall be respectful of others when travelling.

The above points are the cornerstone principles of invisible tourism as they aim to minimise our tourist footprint in local communities. It means we can enjoy discovering new and exciting destinations all the while knowing we are doing our best to preserve the local culture, rather than diluting or destroying it. My 10 overtourism solutions will help you do all this on your next trip.

Astronomical Clock & Old Town Square, PragueStaying in a central location is key. Spend less time getting to and from your hotel, more time exploring

Is all this possible?

Absolutely! In time, I plan to fill this responsible travel blog with lots of tips and tricks, inspiring travel snippets and share my personal experiences which I hope in turn will encourage you get the most out of your next adventure. With my different perspective on travelling I’d like to think I’ve discovered the most effective ways to tailor an itinerary where each and every part of the trip is my favourite part.

Armed with a little research and the right tools at your disposal, becoming your own travel agent and travelling independently where possible is easier than you think!


Get to know The Invisible Tourist

Staying in a hotel and travelling with a suitcase rather than a backpack doesn’t have to mean you’re disconnected from having an authentic, personalised travel experience.

Where I’ve Been

I’ve visited 230+ cities, 31 countries and 4 continents! Head over to my Where I’ve Been page to see where I’ve adventured around the world in more detail.

Where I've Been

My Travel Philosophy: Quality over Quantity

To really get the most out of a destination, I believe quality over quantity is key. Learning the local language and being my own tour guide whilst exploring at my own pace allows me to gain a deeper understanding of a destination and its culture that can’t be covered in a fleeting visit.

I thrive on discovering what makes a city and its people tick, admire architecture from centuries long gone and will always strive to achieve an authentic local experience where possible to help local jobs and businesses.

Staying in a hotel and travelling with a suitcase rather than a backpack doesn’t have to mean you’re disconnected from these things (which many people seem to think)!

I like to give back to locals in other ways by shopping where they do, taking public transport to support local jobs and booking activities through them rather than the large tour companies where the money doesn’t trickle back down to the local community.

One of the most helpful tools for travelling is learning enough of the local language – it’s crucial in getting you what you want and where you need to go.

Paris Metro Map
I regularly use public transport (suitcase and all!)

My Travel Style: Mid-Range, Responsible Travel

In terms of budget, I’m a mid-range traveller as I tend to steer away from low-budget style accommodation like hostels. I can also be defined as a responsible traveller as always strive to blend in as much as possible amongst locals when travelling in order not to contribute to overtourism issues (which is why I won’t use Airbnb).

I’ll also book direct flights to my destinations 99% of the time despite any extra cost, rather than opting for multiple cheaper flights that take longer.

My mission on every trip I undertake is to slow down at my destination, take it all in and truly enjoy the experience whilst getting the most bang-for-buck. I constantly encourage my friends to do so too!

However, when recommending travel options to others I won’t always rule out a small, organised tour group in certain circumstances – when time is very limited and there is too much to see (a beginner’s trip to Europe with dozens of bucket list items to cover or cruising the Greek Islands, for instance). Small, locally-run group tours help your tourist money go directly back into the local community.

In saying that, I have travelled as part of a large tour group twice – On my first trip to Europe in 2008, which was a huge learning curve and turning point in the development of my travel style and again many years later on a cruise of the Greek Islands and Turkey. To be completely honest, I would reconsider doing another large cruise because of the negative consequences these are having in European port cities. 

 

Quirky facts about me

  • I’m a language hoarder. I know little bits and pieces of a few different languages, none of which I am fluent in, though! I speak elementary level French (albeit rusty) and I’ve learnt the basics of Japanese, Spanish, Italian, can read some basic Greek and I’ve recently started learning Russian. Give me a foreign alphabet and I’m determined to master it, even if that’s all I end up mastering ? I believe one of the most helpful tools for travelling is learning enough of the local language – it’s crucial in getting you what you want and where you need to go. More info how I easily learn language for travel here!
  • Love collecting hand-crafted, traditional souvenirs from each of the places I travel to. These are mostly mementos I turn into Christmas decorations so I can relive my travel memories every year. Here are some of the best souvenirs in Japan I found!
  • You won’t catch me staying in a backpacker’s dorm or travelling without my suitcase. As I’m an Australian and flying anywhere other than New Zealand means an 8+ hour flight, if I’m going somewhere it’s gotta be at least two weeks. Let’s face it, it’s always nice to travel with a few extra luxuries from home that help you feel like yourself (GHD, I’m looking at you) not to mention the extra space needed for shopping to boost those local economies!
  • I’m a self-confessed chocolate addict. If it’s there, it’s pretty much impossible for me to resist.
Language Hoarder
I think I am a language hoarder.

Being a responsible travel blog pretty much sums me up!

When I’m not travelling, I’m dreaming about it. When I’m not dreaming about it, I’m talking about it. You could say I’m a little bit obsessed with finding out more about this wonderful world we live in and to help best preserve the cultures of the places I visit. I have tonnes of research and material for places I am yet to travel to because I am determined to get there someday!

Finally, you won’t see a picture of me because, well, I like to remain invisible! If you’re a mid range traveller and would like to be an Invisible Tourist too, feel free to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for your regular travel fixes and personalised travel advice. Thanks for visiting and I truly hope my responsible travel blog helps to inspire you convert your travel dreams into reality!

Hope to see you again soon,The Invisible Tourist

 

Alyse
Author

Alyse has spent over 10 years travelling "The Invisible Tourist Way" and hopes to encourage fellow travellers to do so, too. She's passionate about history, preserving local cultures and travelling efficiently. A professional language hoarder, she can usually be found burying herself in travel books and Wikipedia articles. Her dreams? Always about the next destination and how to make the most of the experience.

4 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Bertahan Luxing

    Haha.. language hoarder. I think I’ve finally found a way to describe my sub-standard language skills in languages I wish I was fluent in.

    • Alyse
      Alyse

      Yes! That’s exactly how it is, Bertahan. It’s better to give it a try and not be completely fluent than to never try at all 🙂

  2. Avatar
    Betty Tham

    At last, there is a website that I can relate to!

    • Alyse
      Alyse

      I’m so glad to hear that, Betty! I knew there must be more of us out there 🙂 If you have any questions about your travels I’m here to help!

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