We all have a bucket list comprised of the places we must visit and the attractions we must see. Of course, this list is most likely compiled based on the top tourist destinations in the world. Why not? When your best friend visits Italy and poses in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, appearing to hold it up with both hands, who wouldn’t want to replicate this moment? What we fail to realize is that these popular destinations come at a cost. When there is a surplus of tourists, prices of accommodation, food and activities are abnormally high. Tourism is a business opportunity after all. Instead of visiting places just to say, “been there, done that” and sacrificing your budget at the same time, consider going to places that haven’t received as much attention. These places are cheaper and provide you with a similar experience to your dream destinations.
Paris to Quebec City
Your main purpose of visiting Paris is to see the iconic Eiffel Tower. Of course, this is a must see, but the true charm of Paris lies in the side streets etched with romantic cafes. Taking in the view of the Eiffel Tower will take you less than a day and the rest of your vacation will be spent sipping on all of the lattes and eating all of the pain au chocolats. For this same experience, you can visit Quebec City and pay significantly less. Since the Canadian dollar is at an all time low, you can treat yourself to a luxurious stay in the well-known Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac and pay only $237 CAD per night. During the day, you can meander through Old Quebec and take in the endearing culture you would also find in the City of Lights.
Bora Bora to Palawan
Nothing is more attractive for a relaxing getaway from the office than pristine white beaches, hypnotizing blue water and vibrant coral and sea life. Bora Bora is a beautiful island offering all of these things, but unless you are a celebrity, it really isn’t an affordable destination for a tropical holiday. An average night on the island may cost you a minimum of $800, which doesn’t leave you much wiggle room to do anything else spectacular on your vacation. If you require a little tropical therapy, fly to Palawan in the Philippines instead. You can stay in beachfront cottages for as little as $18 per night and enjoy the contrast of the blue water surrounding the emerald green mountains. You will never want to leave.
Iceland to New Zealand
Everyone you know has probably been to Iceland already, your friend, your boss, their mother, your mother, your teacher from middle school; they have all relaxed in the Blue Lagoon Geothermal spa and mounted an Icelandic horse to ride along two glacial rivers. Who wouldn’t be tempted by the cheap roundtrip flights? Iceland is stunning with multicolored mountains, moss covered volcanoes and breathtaking waterfalls. Unfortunately, Iceland is quickly becoming too expensive to visit and Reykjavik is the most expensive capital in Europe. If you are looking for a little adventure with awe inspiring views, then consider the south island of New Zealand as an alternative. You can still find jagged peaks, enormous glaciers and volcanic steam on the opposite side of the world and pay a little less for daily expenditures.
Where have you been that is similar to a top destination?