According to Forbes Magazine, the cost of the average American vacation is $4,580 for a four-person family. While that may sound like a lot of money for a trip that may only last for a week, getting off the beaten path can save you money and allow you and your family to see areas of the world without wading through throngs of tourists. Here are some ideas for getting off of the obvious road and finding the hidden gems on your next vacation.

Ask for Recommendations

Once you have a general idea of where you’d like to go, seek out personal stories and opinions about your destination. For example, if you’re going to Orlando, your coworker might know about a quaint little B&B that isn’t listed on the Internet while your cousin might tell you all about where to find a great romantic dinner for two. This will help you find the lesser-known hotspots and have a truly unique experience.

Plan to Travel Through Areas, Not Over

The Internet provides a ton of information on saving money and discovering the hidden gems of your destination. Those who want to find cheap flights to Australia should plan to fly into a large city at first and then arrange for alternative transportation to the area they’d like to visit. You’ll be able to schedule some time in the city you arrive in and then move through it on your way out, especially if you plan for leisurely travel. Tiny little shops and locally known must-see spots are easier to find if you’re moving through an area and ask the locals. By flying directly to your final destination, you could be missing out on a lot.

Consider a Travel Package

Sure, some travel packages are built for those who want a cookie-cutter experience, but there are plenty being offered for those who want to experience their destination as a local would. A good travel agent can find your packages offered for interests ranging from hiking and surfboarding to cenotes and catacombs. There are creepy tours, quirky tours and mixed tours that hit the highlights and high-volume attractions and mix them with off-the-beaten-path spots.

Plan for No Plan

Another excellent way to find hidden gems is to book your flights and a hotel for the first two nights, then make no other solid plans. Once you arrive in your destination, ask locals about attractions, restaurants, museums and sights you shouldn’t miss. The answers may surprise, delight and amaze you.

Traveling off the beaten path can be as simple or complex as you’d like. By keeping these tips in mind, you can see your destination for a viewpoint few other visitors get to experience.