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Like many of you, I am a former backpacker myself with extensive travel experience. A few years ago I took an extended trip to South America with my husband and long-time travel partner, in search of the next great adventure. What we found on this trip was that our travel profiles had changed substantially. Don’t get me wrong, we were still on a budget, but it was no longer about finding the cheapest room possible while still being able to get a few hours of sleep. This time, with a few years in the working world behind us, we had a bit more to spend and were interested in finding unique places with character. Whether our trip was 1 week or 1 month, we still wanted to see and experience the same types of things. Sometimes we were willing to pay up for a really special experience, other times we were traveling for extended periods and needed to curb our spending. We also realized that partying all night long was no longer what peaked our interest, but rather finding the people and places that would allow us to experience the culture and learn as much as possible. To our delight, all of these places existed… at very reasonable prices!

At this same time, travel websites began to flourish on the Internet. Finally, a way to find current information to replace the outdated and often incorrect info in our guidebooks. We soon found, however, that our quest to find unique experiences led to several hours a day pouring over blogs and sites – which often ended up being self-serving advertising by hotel owners and tour guides.

Thus was born the idea for OTR ( Discussions with our like-minded friends reinforced our hunch that indeed a resource was needed to overcome all of this. Someone needed to keep up-to-date information on the latest and greatest travel spots while maintaining a reliable standard and recommending only the best. It’s a tough job… but somebody’s got to do it.

Each of our recommendations is the independent, objective opinion of our editorial staff. We do not accept payment to be listed as a recommended provider on our site. In researching our recommendations, we speak extensively with our local contacts and accumulate as much information as possible from the many travel resources available prior to drawing our own conclusions based on our own experiences. Our recommendations, which fall out of this extensive research process, are what we consider the best-of-the-best.

What we look for in our recommendations:
• Uniqueness
• Charm
• Comfort
• Local flavour
• Hospitality
• Memorable Experiences
• Location

Through our research we are trying our best to find and promote local businesses and entrepreneurs, whose goal is to promote culture through sustainable development and by giving back to the local economy. Our local editors are on the lookout daily for new content, and we have partnered with publications in smaller towns in order to ensure that you receive the most up-to-date information. With this in mind we would like to point out that we use advertising in order to help pay for this site. Although this is our bread and butter, we do not accept any payments for comments or recommendations and the places you see listed on this site are here only because we think they are great options, and we have provided unbiased descriptions to accompany them.

If you are reading this, you are either an avid traveler or a friend of mine. Either way I encourage you to get out there and explore new cultures the OTR way!