I recently read an article titled “Disappointing Vacation Spots” which classified most of the world’s most famous attractions as disappointing. For example: The Mona Lisa, the Colosseum, Venice Italy, Machu Picchu, and Santorini Greece, to name a few. At first I was a little bugged. I personally had been to a lot of locations on the list and many of them were on my bucket-list.
Is this article really trying to say that Egyptian Pyramids were disappointing?!
I began thinking back to my experiences with some of the more ‘famous’ tourist attractions that I had visited in the past and realized that this article was, in fact, pretty accurate.
Travel continues to increase as more and more people get bit by the travel bug. Destinations that were once barely on the radar are now being over run with tourists.
I believe that everyone should see the world; it’s a beautiful, mysterious, and magical place, but a small part of me wishes that everyone would stay home so I could enjoy it’s beauty alone!
I can’t begin to tell you how disappointing it is to get to a place that you’ve been dreaming about for months only to find it over run with tourists (you can read about my experience with the Eiffel Tower here). The beauty and mystery is instantly gone and you are left feeling irritated and upset.
The bottom line is that travel will continue to grow and the world will only become more overrun and hectic.
You’ll find many articles on the internet telling you to avoid popular tourist destinations, and to go off the beaten path to really enjoy yourself. As much as I want to agree with this I do think that it is important to see these wonderful landmarks, towns, and cities that have captured the heart of so many people around the world.
I could not imagine going to the Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower (ok, so that one is kind of hard to miss, but you get the point), or not walking through the Colosseum and learning about its fascinating history. I believe you need to see these places at least once in your life.
The question is, is there a proper way to do it? My answer is: Yes.
Here are five travel tips to follow visiting popular attractions around the world.
♥ Travel Tip #1: Wake up Early
This is hands down the most important piece of advice that I can give you. Set your alarm, wake up at the crack of dawn, and head out. This is VERY important if you are any kind of blogger that needs to take photos while you travel. Taking photos in the middle of the day is practically pointless and very stressful. Getting a shot of you alone in front of, lets say, the Eiffel Tower is NOT going to happen.
Get up early, grab a shot of espresso, and head off to popular sites before the crowds arrive.
You can virtually have the Spanish Steps all to yourself; stroll down what would normally be a crowded beach; enjoy the sunrise and stillness of a city that most do not get to experience. Yes, it may interfere with your evening plans, but it will be SO worth it in the end. Pick a few days out of your trip to wake up before the sunrises to see the more popular tourist destinations. There is something magical about exploring before the rest of the city wakes up.
♥ Travel Tip #2: Find companies that specialize in evening or unconventional tours
When we were in Rome we chose the evening walking tour of the Colosseum. It was incredible. The temperature was nice and cool compared to the day when temperatures hit 90, majority of the tourists were gone, and we were able to walk through the colosseum as the sun was setting.
It was the highlight of our trip.
I recommend looking for tours that start early in the morning, late in the evening, or offer tours when the museums or landmarks may be closed to the public. They are usually pricer but well worth it!
Also, if you do plan on taking a tour during the day when it’s busy, choose a private or semi private tour. The attraction may still be hectic, but with a smaller tour group you’ll feel less like cattle.
♥ Travel Tip #3: Go during the ‘Off-Season’
I know everyone wants to travel during the summer when it’s nice and warm, but with the sunshine comes hoards of tourists. Do some research and find out when it is less crowded. You may have to pack an extra umbrella, or plan on wearing two coats, but you’ll ‘almost’ get the place to yourself.
♥ Travel Tip #4: Do your research
It’s true, some places are simply not worth visiting. For example, we went to Thailand and like everyone else, decided to visit Maya Beach where the filmed ‘The Beach’.
It was miserable.
There were HUNDREDS of boats cramming together trying to drop off massive groups onto a teeny-tiny beach. After bumping elbows and dodging photoshoots for Instagram, we left realizing that it was a total waste of time. We went back to our boat and our captain took us to a more secluded beach that was just as beautiful as Maya Bay. And guess what? We were virtually the only ones there.
If the popular location is a beach, or natural landmark, I guarantee you can find something just as beautiful but much more secluded. You just need to do a little bit of research before hand. Read blogs, ask Google, or talk to friends and find out if there are any alternative options.
♥ Travel Tip #5: Think outside of the box
On our second trip to Cabo we decided to charter a boat to see Lovers Beach from the water. It was so much more enjoyable! In France, we grabbed a coffee and a croissant and went to the back of the Notre Dam Cathedral where there was a beautiful garden and hardly any tourists. Get creative when planning your visits to places that you know will be over run with tourists.