We all want to visit the places that everyone’s talking about – that’s human nature. But when numbers swell, destinations lose some of their luster. It’s true you can never have too much of a good thing, but a good thing can have too much of you. The solution lies in putting an alternative pin in the map, finding somewhere with similar attributes that’s not as well-known. After all, our planet is vast – surely there are enough hidden corners for us all to explore in 2020?
Instead of Bali
Bali has long been a staple for travelers looking for a getaway with a reasonable price tag. But if you’ve ever been to Indonesia’s busiest island, you’ll know how crazy it can get. For a similar getaway at a comparable price point – but without the crowds – consider El Nido on the Palawan islands in the Philippines. It is known for its gleaming beaches, radiant coral reefs, and multiple dive sites.
Instead of Zurich
Zurich, like much of Switzerland, is a city with high standards – and it has a price point to match. If you’re looking for photogenic towns set amongst soaring peaks and idyllic mountains, consider Georgia, which was once part of the USSR. Today, its capital Tbilisi is a buzzing blend of cafés, theaters, restaurants, and nightclubs attracting world-famous DJs.
Instead of Provence
Bordering Italy and the Mediterranean Sea, Provence has everything travelers dream of when planning a trip to the south-east of France. The trouble is, you’re sharing those dreams with travelers from all around the world. A two-and-a-half-hour drive east, the Le Gard region has equally impressive landscapes and fine dining, but you won’t have to jostle for views – or book months in advance for a dinner table.
Instead of Santorini
A favorite with Instagrammers, Santorini is the supermodel of the Greek islands. Don’t expect to win too much of her attention, however, because you’ll probably find yourself at the back of a very long queue. If you’re after something less high-maintenance but equally good looking, consider heading for Paros. Also in the Cyclades archipelago, this laidback island has the same white cube houses and arresting sunsets.
Instead of Zanzibar
Zanzibar’s star has been in ascendance for the last few years, and for good reason – its idyllic, pristine sands and welcoming resorts make it one of the ultimate beach getaways. But if you’re really looking to get away from it all, consider Pangani Beach, also in Tanzania. This under-the-radar coastal town is perfect for an authentic beach break.
Instead of Chichén Itzá
There are few places on earth quite like Chichén Itzá, but whilst the sight of the pre-Columbian city’s ancient Mayan ruins should be experienced by everybody, it’s also one of Mexico’s main tourist hubs. Whilst most travelers couldn’t pinpoint Palenque on the map, its ruins are equally stunning and ancient, but without the maddening crowds. You’ll find the Mayan temples swathed in mist in Mexico’s Chiapas region.