"Surprisingly, It's Still Fairly Undiscovered By Americans": Frequent Fliers Are Sharing Underrated Destinations To Consider In Place Of Popular Vacation Spots

If you're anything like me, deciding where to spend your next international getaway is one of the toughest decisions you'll have to make. There are so many incredible places to see. And while the big tourist cities - like Greece, Tokyo or Paris - are popular for good reason, you might be looking for something off the beaten track.
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So I trawled the r/travel subreddit and gathered responses from the BuzzFeed community to round up a bunch of lesser-known (but incredible) travel destinations to consider in place of trendier vacation spots.
1. Go to ALBANIA instead of Greece: “It's Greece's less famous neighbor. It has beautiful beaches, delicious and fairly cheap food, and many treasures to discover. The only downside is that many people don't speak English.”
—u/loonelylioness
Xhulio Balliu/Getty Images/EyeEm
2. Going to POLAND instead of Germany: “Poland, especially Poland beyond Kraków, was never on my radar before I moved to Germany and started traveling there all the time as it's right next door. And WOW, Poland has it all. Cool cities, great food, beautiful castles, stunning landscapes and a fascinating history. It really doesn't get the tourism it deserves, although I like that the main attractions aren't overcrowded with other tourists."
—u/gypsyblue
Cuba Szymik/Getty Images/500px
3. Instead of Tulum to BELIZE: “Apart from Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, the rest of Belize is not very touristy. You'll find everything from the second largest barrier reef in the world to lush rainforests. It's cheap, the people are very friendly and it's relatively safe."
—u/salty_shark
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4. Go to BUSAN instead of Seoul: “Busan, South Korea, is this bizarre juxtaposition of the ancient and the supermodern, and everything is both chaotic and incredibly organized. I'm not sure how it works, but it works... and apparently a lot better than other big cities. The scenery, the food and the people were amazing.”
—u/FallofftheMap
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5. “Instead of Andalucia, visit NORTHERN SPAIN: “Northern Spain is where you will find incredible beauty that rivals any other place in Europe, but for a fraction of the cost. You could spend months just exploring the Basque Country, Asturias, Cantabria and Galicia on your own. Driving around the Picos de Europa mountain range is a great experience. You can travel between rural hill towns and quaint beach towns within an hour. Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Andalucia and other resorts in Spain get so much attention but the north is really underrated."
u/digitall565
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6. Instead of Sicily, go to MALTA: “Unsurprisingly, it's a little more popular with Europeans, but with Americans, Malta is virtually unknown. It's a fantastic place to visit: cheap, stunningly beautiful and fairly good weather all year round. I was there last month and there was quite a bit of tourists around the main sights in Valletta but almost nobody was there if you were even a bit off the beaten path.
—u/elijah
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7. Go to SRI LANKA instead of Thailand: “Sri Lanka is the pearl of the Indian Ocean, rich in natural beauty and history. It's home to friendly people and delicious (often spicy!) food, sandy beaches, palm trees and lots of wild life."
—u/chanthruad
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8. Instead of Croatia, go to MONTENEGRO: “Montenegro really is a hidden gem in the Balkans. Podgorica is a beautiful city and visiting the coast in and around Budva feels like stepping back in time.”
—u/Thrill_Monster
Andrei Troitsky/Getty Images
9. Go to BORNEO instead of Bali: “Borneo and especially Kalimantan (the Indonesian part of the island) is worth a visit. Many people visit Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Java and Bali, but not that many people go to Borneo. Even those who visit Borneo mostly stay in Malaysia and very few venture to Kalimantan. There's rainforest, orangutans, leopards and beaches, and it's a lot less crowded than Bali.”
—u/Thrill_Monster
Punnawit Suwuttananun / Getty Images
10. Go to LAKE GARDA instead of Lake Como: "I never hear Americans talk about this lesser-known Italian lake town, but it's honestly one of the most beautiful places I've ever been."
—u/ Blatant Conservative
Westend61/Getty Images/Westend61
11. Visit NAMIBIA instead of Cape Town: “Namibia is just above South Africa, but after Mongolia it is the most isolated country in the world in terms of population. Have you ever seen pictures of amazing huge sand dunes in desert? This is Namibia. The country boasts the same great safari parks and five star resorts that you would find in other popular African destinations. I have visited Etosha National Park which has been one of my favorite travel experiences. And you will never see the stars so bright see how they shine in the Namib desert."
—u/Andromeda321
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12. Instead of Sydney, go to TASMANIA: “When people think of Australia, they think of beaches and reefs. Tasmania has vast rainforests, beautiful scenic islands and is home to the bustling city of Hobart, one of Antarctica's busiest ports. "
—u/CharlieXLS
“Tasmania is great. It has some of the best food in the world. You can pick fresh oysters on the beach five minutes from town, grab a snorkel and get fresh abalone, have lunch on snow-capped Mount Wellington for lunch, and fish and chips on the beach for dinner. There's the Cadbury factory and Cascade brewery just outside of town, ridiculous rainforests, some of the best trout fishing in the world. And there's Bruny Island, which has penguins and all sorts of amazing wildlife.
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13. Go to PUERTO RICO instead of the Caribbean: “My wife and I went to Puerto Rico last year for our honeymoon. It was so easy to get there - it felt like cheating. Old San Juan was beautiful and we also spent time on the islands to the east, Culebra and Vieques. I would love to go back and spend more time on Culebra. It was very relaxed and there was great snorkeling right off the beach.”
—u/doktorinjh
Cavan Images/Getty Images/iStockphoto
14. Go to ALASKA instead of Iceland: “I visited Alaska and lived in a small town three hours from Anchorage and I had the time of my life. It's a totally pristine wilderness and there was stunning riverfront while we fished and orcas swam alongside our boat when we visited Kenai Fjords National Park."
—u/Crobs02
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15. Instead of Dubai, go to OMAN: “Oman is not a party destination, but if you like the outdoors, it has everything you could want. There's hiking, camping, dune bashing, miles of pristine coastline, and even rainforest. This country is a hidden oasis. It's still an under-the-radar destination, the people are some of the nicest I've ever met and it's perfectly safe.”
—u/Kolipe
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16. Instead of Costa Rica, head to ECUADOR: “If you're an outdoor person, you'll find heaven in Baños, Ecuador. There is easy access to biking, white water rafting, bridge jumping, canyoning, ziplining, amazing waterfalls and viewpoints. And there is even a pretty good nightlife. I would also recommend Mindo which is located in the cloud forest of Ecuador. Ecuador relies on the US dollar and everything is extremely cheap."
– and/the dirty water
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17. Instead of the Bahamas, visit the US VIRGIN ISLANDS: “St. John USVI is the best place I have ever visited. It's not cheap and I wouldn't call it "overlooked" but most of the island is national forest with only a quarter of the land being developed. There were several days when my wife and I looked around and it was just us or a few other couples on a long beautiful beach.”
—u/massmanx
Seanpavonephoto/Getty Images/iStockphoto
18. Instead of Japan, go to TAIWAN: “Taiwan is a really nice place to travel. The people are nice and hospitable. It is cheap to travel within the country and it is very modern and safe. You get the best of all worlds: city life and nightclubs, but also beautiful mountains and countryside. And the food is a delicious blend of the best of Chinese, Japanese and Korean cuisines.”
—u/127water
Sean Pavone/Getty Images/iStockphoto
19. Go to LEBANON instead of Israel: “Go to Lebanon for the amazing food, nice people, nightlife and beautiful scenery across the country. Also because of the food! I was in Israel, which was amazing in itself, but I enjoyed Lebanon even more."
—u/nikmaack
Imad Sh/Getty Images/500px
20. Instead of Tuscany, go to BOLOGNA: “Bologna, Italy. In my opinion it is arguably the best food city in the country with the best food in the world. I will never forget the tortellini al brodo, the tagliatelle al ragù and the panna cotta I ate. I also loved going up the Madonna di San Luca and seeing the breathtaking view from the top.”
—u/hlila
Ozgurdonmaz / Getty Images
21. Instead of Lisbon, go to ALENTEJO: “If you are looking for a quiet Portuguese getaway, Alentejo is for you. You can visit Roman ruins, ancient churches and Moorish architecture in southern Portugal. There is also plenty of natural beauty from lakes to rolling hills and large open farms. The region produces great local wine and the food is delicious too. You can easily combine a trip to Alentejo with a visit to Spain or the Algarve."
– Sarapm
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22. Instead of Amsterdam, go to UTRECHT: “Utrecht has a very Dutch flair with canals and typical narrow houses. It doesn't suffer from all the tourists that Amsterdam has, but it offers the same comforts (English-speaking places, open late). In addition, you can basically travel all over Europe by train from Utrecht.”
- Cookie cutter
Nigel Wiggins/Getty Images/EyeEm
23. Instead of Vietnam to LAOS: “Laos is one of my favorite countries. I loved traveling on cargo ships along the Mekong. The ancient capital of Luang Prabang and the city of Vientiane are great places to visit. The food is phenomenal and the whole country is relatively untouched by tourism."
—u/WrldTravelr07
Mlenny/Getty Images
24. Instead of Paris, go to BORDEAUX: “Bordeaux, France, is really amazing. The food, weather and wine are fantastic; plus it's a much cheaper and friendlier alternative to Paris France pleasantly surprised me."
—u/DaddyWarbucks666
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25. Go to HOKKAIDO instead of Tokyo: “My husband and I went to the city of Sapporo, which is on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido. It was spectacular. When most people think of a trip to Japan, Tokyo is the number one destination. However, Sapporo is much less touristy. The mountains surrounding the city are incredibly beautiful and the food is to die for. A scenic hour-long bus ride takes you to Old Town Otaru, best known for its glassblowing and beautiful canals. The subway system is fantastic and the people are friendly and helpful. I've visited quite a few places on my travels, but Sapporo stands out as the best so far."
—Luckie11eleven
Dream Light Factory/Getty Images
26. Visit HILO instead of Honolulu: “Many travelers overlook this entire island, but the lush and green Hilo side of the Big Island of Hawaii is particularly incredible. The highway from the Waipi'o Valley down to Hilo stretches across valleys and bluffs. There are waterfalls and dramatic ocean views, and we kept stopping to take photos."
—kpena134
Jason Keinigs/Getty Images/EyeEm
27. Heading to ISTRIA instead of Dubrovnik: “Istria, the Croatian peninsula in the northern Adriatic closest to Italy, never seems to get as much love as parts of southern Croatia (Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Split, etc.), but it seriously deserves it ."
—u/deleted
Domin_domin/Getty Images/iStockphoto
What is a lesser-known travel destination that others should know about? Tell us in the comments!

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