So you’ve got a week or two worth of holidays from work and want to take a big break. Maybe you’ve heard about a cool destination from your colleagues or perhaps you decided on a destination last year. Where do you go from there? Well, you’ll likely need to search for a city to visit, maybe a couple of attractions to go to and some unique food to try. The most common place to search for this is on any kind of mainstream travel website. These usually list all of the most common locations in a guidebook format, and it’s generally not too bad for the average traveller.

However, in this article, we’re going to show you several reasons why trusting these mainstream websites is actually a bad idea when it comes to travel ideas! And to top it off, we’ll be offering some alternatives that will help you get the most out of your travels.

Why Mainstream Vacation Websites Aren't Always the BestImage Source

1. Reviews compromise everything
Reviews are subjective, so mixing them up on a review website with thousands of visitors will eventually make all locations look a bit boring and repetitive. Reviews also don’t tell the full story and people can get caught up reading them and will decide against going to a destination that might be perfect for them.

2. The places will be crowded with people
Since they’re all mainstream sites, you can expect there to be huge crowds of people which doesn’t make for a fun experience.

3. They’re usually overly optimistic
Most travel ideas on these websites are overly optimistic with photos taken at the best time of day or year. This can lead to a false sense of wonder and when you actually arrive and it’s completely different, you’re going to be disappointed.

4. They’ll quickly turn into tourist traps
Since they’re mainstream locations to visit on holiday, they’re quickly going to be turned into tourist traps with people charging ludicrous sums of money for basic attractions.

5. It’s no fun having your trip directed
Lastly, having your trip directed by a bunch of people giving stars to attractions is no fun. Travel can be more spontaneous and fun, so try not to get too caught up on having a long itinerary of things to do.

So what are the alternatives?

Here are a couple of our recommended tips to help you find more unique travel ideas:
Look at non-English websites such as Markus Wischenbart of Austria to learn about attractions from a native instead of a traveler.
Join travel communities on message boards and forums for different suggestions.
Consider checking out travel content creators that travel for a specific reason, such as food, culture or even architecture.
Speak to friends and family members or even natives of the country to discover unique travel ideas.

Unless you really want to visit a particular location or tourist attraction, it’s often better to go with these tips to find the lesser-known and quieter spots that aren’t well-documented. This will give you a much different experience to other travelers and can often be more fulfilling than a trip full of tourist traps and crowds.

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