Ever feel like your travel bucket list looks a bit… well, like everyone else’s? Let’s shake things up a bit. Instead of just hitting those same iconic spots, why not discover places that offer a fresh, unexpected thrill? Ready to see the world through a different lens? Here are 12 off-the-beaten-path destinations that promise to reignite your wanderlust.
Swap the Eiffel Tower for Mont Saint-Michel in France
While the Eiffel Tower is undoubtedly iconic, Mont Saint-Michel offers a medieval charm and coastal beauty that’s equally enchanting. Rising majestically from the tidal flats of Normandy, this island commune is a testament to architectural splendor and natural beauty.
Skip the crowds and explore this stunning island commune surrounded by mesmerizing landscapes.
Ditch Machu Picchu for Choquequirao in Peru
Step off the beaten path in Peru and exchange the bustling crowds of Machu Picchu for the hidden marvels of Choquequirao. Nestled high in the Andes, Choquequirao rivals its famous counterpart in archaeological significance while offering a more intimate experience.
This alternative to Machu Picchu invites you to trace the footsteps of the Incas without the tourist hustle, offering solitude amid the historical grandeur.
Visit Raja Ampat Over the Maldives for Pristine Waters
While the Maldives may be synonymous with azure waters and overwater bungalows, consider redirecting your gaze to the untouched beauty of Raja Ampat in Indonesia for an aquatic escapade like no other.
This archipelago, nestled in the heart of the Coral Triangle, promises pristine waters and untouched ecosystems that have earned it the title of the “Amazon of the Seas.” Experience unparalleled underwater beauty with fewer tourists and a more budget-friendly experience.
Trade Santorini for Milos in Greece
Swap the bustling Santorini for the serene charm of Milos. The island, adorned with surreal rock formations and pristine shores, offers a more intimate encounter with Cycladic beauty.
The unhurried pace and authenticity of Milos will redefine your Grecian getaway away from the conventional postcard scenes of Santorini.
Choose Kyoto Over Tokyo for Authentic Japanese Culture
While Tokyo pulsates with modern energy and neon-lit streets, Kyoto stands as a living testament to the nation’s cultural richness, offering a tranquil journey into traditional Japan.
Wander through historic temples, participate in tea ceremonies, and experience the tranquility of Kyoto as an alternative to the fast-paced energy of Tokyo.
Opt For Dubrovnik’s Charm Instead of Barcelona’s Bustle
Barcelona is a tourist hotspot, but Dubrovnik in Croatia offers a similar coastal allure with ancient city walls and charming streets. Allow the city’s coastal elegance to paint a different picture, where every sunset over the Adriatic becomes a masterpiece, and the city’s walls echo tales of a maritime legacy.
Select Haida Gwaii Instead of the Galápagos Islands
Discover the unique wildlife of Haida Gwaii in Canada, an alternative to the Galápagos Islands. With lush landscapes and diverse ecosystems, it provides an off-the-beaten-path experience for nature enthusiasts.
Experience the Amalfi Coast’s Beauty, Not the Cinque Terre Crowds
Instead of navigating the crowded trails of Cinque Terre, explore the stunning Amalfi Coast. Both destinations boast picturesque coastal views, but Amalfi offers a more relaxed atmosphere and equally breathtaking scenery.
Consider Hiking the Scottish Highlands Instead of the Swiss Alps
The Swiss Alps are a classic choice, but the Scottish Highlands offer rugged beauty and uncrowded trails. Choose the untamed allure of the Scottish Highlands over the well-charted paths of the Alps and let nature’s raw poetry be your guide through a land where every crag and heather-covered hill tells a story of the untamed north.
Explore Luang Prabang in Laos, Not Siem Reap
While Siem Reap is famous for Angkor Wat, Luang Prabang in Laos offers a serene alternative. Embrace the tranquility of this UNESCO World Heritage site with its colonial architecture, Buddhist temples, and vibrant markets.
Visit Newfoundland Instead of Iceland for Northern Lights
Skip the crowded Northern Lights tours in Iceland and head to Newfoundland, Canada. With its remote locations and clear skies, it offers a captivating display of the aurora borealis without the tourist influx.
Discover the Oregon Coast Instead of California’s Highway 1
California’s Highway 1 is renowned, but the Oregon Coast provides a less crowded and equally scenic drive. Enjoy rugged cliffs, quaint seaside towns, and breathtaking ocean views on this alternative coastal road trip.
No Passport, No Problem: You Don’t Need One to Vacation in These Countries
If you’re an American citizen traveling out of the country, you have to have a passport to be allowed into somewhere else, right? While that’s mostly true, there are some exceptions. Some are independent countries, while others are U.S. territories that largely operate independently.
Note: Before you visit any of these places, make sure you look into what the entry requirements are. For example, you may need an enhanced ID or proof of certain vaccinations.
10 Least Tourist Trap Places for Couples to Visit
Spending time with your partner is crucial to keeping the flame in your relationship. One tried-and-true way to do this is to break away from the day-to-day tasks and dive into new adventures together, creating shared experiences and unforgettable memories. That can be hard to do in crowded places that are more tourist-trap than genuine adventures.
12 Tourist Traps Actually Worth Visiting
We’re all familiar with tourist traps, those places that draw big crowds and overcharge for food, activities, and souvenirs. Much of the time, we leave thinking we never should have bothered going in the first place. However, there are some tourist destinations that, despite the throngs of people and the high prices, are actually worth visiting at least once. Let’s check out 12 of them.
Travel Enthusiasts Reveal Their Best Kept Travel Tips and You Need to Know These
What is your best travel tip that most people don’t know? It could be anything that saves you money, improves your experience, or helps you stay safe while traveling. A post on a popular travel forum asked the members for their best yet not widely known travel tips, and we picked some of the top responses for you.
This article was produced by Our Woven Journey. Featured Image Credit: DavideAngelini/Shutterstock
Karee Blunt is a nationally syndicated travel journalist, focused on discovering destinations and experiences that captivate and inspire others through her writing. She is also the founder of Our Woven Journey, a travel site focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.