When overtourism spoils your travel plans: Go somewhere else!
Have you heard that told joke? Patient says, “Doctor, it hurts when I do this with my arm.” Doctor’s response is, “Then don’t do this.” This is logic 101 that can be applied to any number of situations, including overtourism.
The world is growing smaller and smaller, and overcrowding is happening all over the globe. What was once something that would revitalize us in the form of travel and taking a holiday, is often just another frustrating experience of bumping into too many people and waiting in lines. The recent deaths on Mount Everest bring overcrowding to light in the most profound of ways.
Major cities are trying to find solutions to crowded travel situations and seeking damage control on everything from beaches to city infrastructure. For the would-be traveler who cannot wait for these destinations to clear the way for their vacations, a simple solution is to simply book travel to places that are more off the beaten traveler’s path. And this doesn’t mean having to give up adventure for the sake of exciting selfies and Instagram-worthy posts.
So, if it hurts to travel to an overcrowded destination, then don’t do it. Try an alternative. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Instead of Bali in Indonesia, go to Sulawesi
Indonesia is a country made up of over 20,000 islands, but most people choose to travel to the island of Bali. Why not try Sulawesi instead? Sulawesi lies east of Borneo and is made up of a number of long peninsulas jutting out from the mountains. Tourists enjoy snorkeling and diving as well visiting Bunaken National Park, the Togian Islands, and Wakatobi National Park. Two museums are ready to be explored in what was once a former Dutch fort in the city of Makassar, and prehistoric cave paintings can be seen in Leang-Leang Historic Park. Are you convinced this may be the island for your next holiday?
Instead of Petra in Jordan, go to Mada’in Saleh
Like Petra in Jordan, known for its rock-cut architecture into the red rock mountain, Mada’in Saleh is an archaeological site located in the sector of Al-`Ula within the Al Madinah region in the Hejaz, Saudi Arabia. It is also known as the Al-Ḥijr or “Hegra.” This area is the kingdom’s largest settlement after Petra, and a good number of the remains date from the Nabatean kingdom. You’ll still get great photo opportunities and be able to explore this historic destination. Is that a peacefully great idea or what?
Instead of Santorini in Greece, go to Kefalonia
The volcanic island of Santorini in the Greek islands is famous for dramatic views, stunning sunsets from Oia town, the town of Thira, and its very own active volcano. But, visitors to Kefalonia will find unique biodiversity, exquisite beaches, and a laid-back nightlife. Kefalonia, the largest island in the Ionian Sea, is famously known as the location of the movie “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.” Tourists are bound to be seduced by this island on many levels, from its crystal-clear waters, stunning stretches of sand, picturesque villages, and its medieval castles and monasteries. The majority of the island’s bars and restaurants are clustered in the main town of Argostoli. Do I see you packing already?
Instead of Tokyo in Japan, go to Kusatsu Onsen
Japan’s capital – Tokyo – is the world’s most populous metropolis, and it offers an abundance of shopping, entertainment, culture, and dining. But if that intense hustle, bustle, and elbow-to-elbow people is maybe not so much your thing, have a go in Kusatsu Onsen. Here, you will find one of Japan’s most famous hot spring resorts said to cure every illness except being lovesick. Located 1,200 meters above sea level in the mountains of Gunma Prefecture, Kusatsu Onsen offers skiing in winter and hiking during the rest of the year to be enjoyed in combination with the hot spring bathing, and it is home to an active volcano. Kusatsu is located along Japan’s Romantic Road. Now, doesn’t that sound more pleasant than jockeying crowds to get around the globe’s most populated city?
Instead of Las Vegas in Nevada, go to Reno
No need to explain what Las Vegas is famous for, right? Gambling, shows, food, and yes, crowds. Consider Reno, known as “the biggest little city in the world” located in the city of Sparks. Like Vegas, it is famous for its casinos. Did you know that Harrah’s Entertainment actually started here? And just 38 miles away is Tahoe, known as “America’s Adventure Place.” Lake Tahoe is a major tourist attraction in its own right, and is home to summer outdoor recreation, winter sports, and scenery to be enjoyed throughout the year. Gambling and nature – how can you go wrong?
Instead of Sydney in Australia, go to Adelaide
Tourists flock to Sydney to visit the Sydney Opera House, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge and attractions like the Sydney Mardi Gras, Royal Botanical Gardens, Luna Park, the long beachfronts, and Sydney Tower. But what if instead you went to the beautiful city of Adelaide? Voted one of the world’s most livable cities, Adelaide is a vibrant cultural hub with a Mediterranean climate. It boasts many festivals and sporting events and is known for its food and wine as well. The city has a superior infrastructure, and there are a host of free things to do: the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide is just one of the free gardens, South Australian Museum (again, among other free museums), Central Market Tour, Park Adelaide Walking Tour, Linear Park Cycle Track, numerous trails, the National Wine Centre of Australia, and The Jam Factory – now how sweet is that?
Okay, so The Jam Factory is actually a center of studios, galleries, and shops showcasing crafts, art, and the like. But the name is still sweet, and what better way to end our suggestions than on a sweet note?