As the year comes to an end, we start to look ahead to the next. 2020 is just a few weeks away, what will it hold?
Environmental issues and over tourism have become real and major problems, in today’s travel industry. In 2020, we are asking you to think outside the box, when it comes to choosing your travel destinations. After all, Venice is not the only spectacular city in Italy and there are plenty of beautiful places in Indonesia, not just Bali.
To help you keep up to date with where NOT to travel to in 2020 we have compiled a list and provided you with an alternative destination.
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5 Travel Destinations to AVOID, in 2020, due to Over Tourism
Cities and countries need time to put new policies in place and learn new methods to deal with the large number of tourists they are experiencing. While they do this we suggest avoiding them and discovering somewhere off the beaten track.
1) Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona experiences a protest every now and then, as a minority of its people want to become independent. But, the major reason not to visit Barcelona is because of over tourism. Attractions such as Park Guell and La Sagrada are currently being damaged due to rubbish left behind by tourists. Also, they are often so busy that the experience is ruined, due to the inability to embrace your surroundings as you constantly feel like you’re in a slow-moving queue.
Alternative: Spain´s best kept secret Galicia, home to the famous Santiago de Compostela and beautiful A Coruna. Find out more about Galicia in our post Top 5 Spanish Cities to Visit (according to a resident).
2) The Galapagos Islands
The home of the giant tortoise often appears on a traveller’s bucket list and with cheap flights it is an affordable destination. Due to this it has become swamped with visitors. A tourism tax of $100 is already in place but its hasn’t been increased for 2 decades. This price is sure to rise to help deter the number of tourists going there.
Alternative: Isla De La Plata, Ecuador aka the island of ducks. On the island try to spot the very special blue footed booby, red footed booby and the Nazca booby. Also, spend time relaxing on the golden beaches, hiking and be sure to visit the Inca shrine.
Read ‘How to Survive a Long-Haul Flight’ if you’ll be travelling across multiple time zones.
3) Venice, Italy
Venice has become so over run by tourists that they introduced a daily tourism tax! Tourism is also affecting the locals. As Air BnB has taken over, it is virtually impossible to privately rent a home, forcing the locals out to find alternative affordable accommodation. You don’t need to add to this as Italy has many fantastic destinations to visit instead.
Alternative: Consider visiting Venice’s neighbour city, Verona. It has incredible food, wine and breath-taking art for you to admire or Rome, which has great history and architecture. You may find ‘10 Free Things to Do in Rome, Italy ‘ useful.
4) Bali, Indonesia
Bali is having difficulty keeping up with the year-on-year increase in tourism and the amount of plastic pollution they leave behind. In fact in 2017 they declared a “garbage emergency.” Help this beautiful country to keep its pristine beaches and UNESCO World Heritage Sites clean by avoiding it, until they can manage the demand.
Alternative: The Gili Islands, are the perfect place to relax and escape the soul sucking responsibilities of modern society. Here you can scuba dive and snorkel or simply relax on the white sandy beaches.
5) Angkor Wat, Cambodia
The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Angkor Wat, is the most popular attraction in Cambodia, so it’s not surprising it’s a popular place to visit. But this 900-year-old temple was not built for the huge crowds that it now attracts. Another serious problem here is a shortage of water. Due to the surrounding hotels and villas the moat of the Angkor Wat has lots millions of litres of water.
Alternative: If you have your heart set on visiting a temple, visit Japan. Japan is one of the safest countries in the World. Please remember to be respectful in terms of your attire, attitude and trash.
3 Travel Destinations to Avoid because of Danger
Visiting unsafe destinations is an obvious and big NO NO! Places are deemed unsafe, when they are part of war zones, have a high violent crime rate or have a high chance of being targeted by terrorists.
1) Caracus, Venezuela
For years Venezuela has been a dangerous country as crime rates (incl. pick pocketing, theft held as gun point and drug crime) steadily increase. Many nationals have left the country to take their families to safer places, such as Spain and Ecuador. We suggest not endangering yourself by visiting Caracus or other parts of the country.
Alternative: Head south to Chile. Explore Torres del Paine National Park and Rano Raraku on Easter Island.
2) Cape Town, South Africa
While the city centre is deemed a safe destination for tourists, the outer parts of the city and surrounding areas are incredibly dangerous due to gang activity. January to June, 2019 recorded almost 1,000 murders.
Alternative: Explore the diverse landscape of New Zealand. Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland are the major cities, but it’s the nature and towns in between that makes the country super special. Take the ‘Epic New Zealand Bucket List Challenge’.
3) Donetsk oblast, Luhansk oblast and Crimea, Ukraine
These three areas of the Ukraine are currently volatile and you should avoid them at all costs. Conflict here is unstable as there are clashes between the Ukraine armed forces and the Russian backed armed separatists.
Alternative: Stick to Eastern Ukraine and Kiev. Places bordering Belarus, Poland, Moldova and Romania remain peaceful. Or find a travel destination you love from ‘European Travel Bucket List Fall 2019‘.
Wherever you choose to travel, remember to only take memories and leave footprints. Be respectful of different cultures and traditions and ALWAYS buy travel insurance. For more travel advise these two websites are very useful:
- US Government Travel Advise – great for visa and emergency info
- UK Government Travel Advise – perfect for knowing about the safety and risks of specific countries
According, to Skyscanner, the top 3 safest places to visit are Zambia, Slovenia and Japan. For more safe countries check out their article ‘Safest Countries to Visit in 2019.’ Life in these countries hasn’t changed a lot over the year, so they’ll remain safe into 2020.
Other countries worth mentioning, to add to the AVOID travel list are South Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia. Some of them seem obvious but we wanted to mention them nevertheless.
Let us know where you travel to in the new year, by tagging us in your pics on Instagram with #preparturepics.