Visiting a “Similar” Destination for a Lower Price (Travel Dupes)

Travel is back in full swing in most areas of the world. In fact, more people are taking trips in 2024 than ever before. This is great for the travel industry, but it may not be ideal for tourists. In popular destinations, you’ll likely have to contend with bigger crowds. Plus, prices for lodging and other necessary travel expenses are very much on the rise. One of the ways to still get out of the house without breaking the bank is to look for travel dupes or alternative destinations. A place that’s similar to a popular travel hotspot but could be closer to home and not as crowded. Here are a few decent options.

Bacalar Instead of Maldives

Aerial view of a Couple in Bacalar pier, Riviera Maya, Mexico
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Rubi Rodriguez Martinez

Bacalar is a small beach town near Cancun, Mexico. The first thing that’s easier and cheaper, particularly for US tourists, is air travel. One of the things that Bacalar can have over the Maldives is that you have access to Cancun, a bit of a larger city with familiar amenities relatively nearby. Mexican food can also be an upgrade over what you can expect to have in the Maldives. There are a few hotels in this region that mimic the Maldives’ premium beach hut experience within a lagoon. Even though Mexico has become a bit more expensive, it’s still cheaper than the Maldives.

Pick Utah’s Salt Flats Over Bolivia’s

Sunset on Bonneville salt flats - USA
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Berzina

This is one of the smartest decisions that you can make. It’s not because Bolivia does not have other places to see. It does, but do you really want to craft a full trip to South America around seeing salt flats? That could be a tough thing to do unless you’re going around other countries in the region. If the salt flatss are what you really want to see, taking a trip to Utah may be a more cost-effective and safe way to go.

Mexico Over Southeast Asia Waterfalls and Turquoise Rivers

Amazing crystalline blue water of Tamul waterfall at Huasteca Potosina in San Luis Potosi, Mexico
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Rubi Rodriguez Martinez

The Huasteca region near San Luis Potosi in Mexico features some amazing turquoise rivers and waterfalls. You can travel to this place for a fraction of the price that it costs to catch a flight to Southeast Asia to experience similar surroundings. A tip here, though, is to make this trip in the winter. The area is too hot in the spring and summer. Plus, the winter is the best time of year to grab a small kayak and travel upstream. This is something you usually cannot do in spring or summer because the current is too strong.

Azores Islands Instead of Hawaii

View of Lagoa das Sete Cidades from Viewpoint Vista do Rei, Sao Miguel, Azores, Portugal
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Loredana Habermann

These islands are located in the middle of the Atlantic. Right then and there, you can figure out what the first benefit is. You won’t have to travel as far to get here. Also, the islands are much less crowded, and the cost of lodging and food here is much cheaper than in Hawaii. On top of all that, this trip can be the first stop on a longer Euro adventure. That’s just not something that Hawaii can offer.

Choose New Mexico Instead of Cappadocia

Morning view of the famous Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta event at New Mexico
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Kit Leong

One of the popular activities in the Turkish region of Cappadocia is a hot-air balloon fest. You can also experience that in New Mexico. The desert region is very similar. Sure, there are certain things in Turkey that you’re not going to find in New Mexico. As with some of the other entries on the list, though, traveling here is much easier. Also, this part of Turkey may not be as safe or as easy to travel within as other countries.

Take Bermuda Over Crete in Greece

Shoreline of the Bermuda Coast
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dana Bibeault

Many of the Greek Isles are overflowing with tourists, which makes them expensive, and quite frankly, sometimes it’s hard to find a quiet place to really enjoy the view. Bermuda is a lot more tropical than Greece, for starters. It’s a place that has all the relevant infrastructure but, for one reason or another, isn’t necessarily as popular anymore. It could be a perfect replacement destination. As with most of the other options on the list, it’s also closer to home!

Mario Perez

Author: Mario Perez


Mario is a seasoned journalist who’s worked with multiple publications over the years. He has a passion for looking for that story within the story itself. When he’s not actively looking for breaking news, he enjoys playing and watching sports.

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