The last couple years the internet and social media has really changed how we travel. We find destinations on Instagram or Pinterest and can so easily share images and ideas with people all over the world. Places that were once hidden gems are now tourist hotspots. It can be daunting to find a holiday destination as there are so many options! Some places or attractions look great online, but are not so impressive when you actually get there. We’ve asked our favourite bloggers to name their favourite and underwhelming destinations as well as some hidden gems.
What’s your favourite trip to date?
Abigail Kathleen: In October 2017 I went on my first all inclusive holiday to Oludeniz, Turkey. I was staying in the 5 star Garcia spa hotel, which was so high up we had incredible views of the ocean and islands.
During my trip, I experienced my first boat tour of Dalaman and a sunset cruise. Tourism is such a life support for that part of Turkey so the service everywhere you go is outstanding. This is so tourists will be inclined to gift good tips, the workers save their tips throughout the peak season and live off the savings during the winter. For flights, transfers, luggage and the all-inclusive stay I paid £330. The two excursions only cost me £20, both including meals.
Flights and Feelings: Every single trip to New York City (three times now!) is our favourite. However, our impromptu trip to Athens in December 2017 is definitely following close to being an additional fave. We only booked that trip because it was the cheapest flight out of Gatwick at the time!
Victoria from TravelVixta: Earlier this year we went to Snowdonia for three days and I really loved it. This was the first time we’ve been away with the kids where they’ve both been old enough to walk a considerable distance and managed to walk up a mountain for three hours! It has now opened up a world of opportunity, as they are mobile and we no longer have babies, toddlers or pushchairs to contend with.
It also amazed me how beautiful Wales is. The mountains are quite breathtaking and I had no idea we had such beautiful landscape only a few hours away from our home. We often think we need to get on a plane to find some incredible landscapes, but it was a lovely surprise to find something so scenic in our own country. It was only a short break, but we saw mountains, lakes, beaches and castles – everything I love! It’s a very beautiful part of the UK.
Tip: enjoy the fresh air but have got young kids like Victoria? Check our guide to child-friendly walks in the UK!
Absolutely Lucy: That’s a hard one! I think my favourite country that I’ve travelled has to be Sri Lanka – it’s one of the purest and most authentic places I have been. The people are incredible and so genuinely warm – it’s refreshing after seeing how commercialised other parts of Asia have become. Plus the country is astoundingly beautiful and untouched.
What is the most overrated destination or attraction that you’ve been to?
Victoria from TravelVixta: Dare I say it, but Legoland. I was really very underwhelmed. I was expecting it to be so incredible. After all, it’s LEGO land – the most popular toy of all time. I thought the park would be next level and up there with the theme parks in the USA. I found the UK Legoland very tired in places and just the same as a standard theme park.
Absolutely Lucy: The most overrated place has to be Sydney in Australia. While I can totally see why people love it for how pretty it is – I really felt it was the part of Australia that had the least personality. It also offered the least authentic experience of Australia while being the most expensive part.
I don’t feel that Australia is really about the city or about Bondi Beach – for me, Australia was about living in the outback, about driving across Western Australia, sleeping on the beach, those incredible sunsets in the Northern Territory and amazing national parks across Queensland. It makes me so sad when I meet people who travelled to Australia but only ever saw Sydney – that’s like saying the whole of the UK is exactly like London.
Abigail Kathleen: Hyde Parks Winter Wonderland, over priced and so over crowded you just become a herd on a conveyor belt!
Is there a hidden gem you can share with people looking for travel inspiration?
Absolutely Lucy: One of my favourite hidden gems would have be Liechtenstein. I never knew anyone who had been there before I visited other than a guy who was from there. I ended up spending a day road-tripping across the whole of the country on my way from Germany/Austria to Switzerland. It was breathtakingly beautiful with epic mountains, stunning alpine lakes and beautiful vineyards. Plus even better, it’s not touristy at all and it’s super small so you can easily add it on to a bigger trip!
Abigail Kathleen: In Petworth, West Sussex there is a B&B called The Old Railway Station. They have converted a disused railway station into a B&B. Here you can stay in the pullman carriages overnight and have afternoon tea in the old waiting room.
Victoria from TravelVixta: It’s not totally hidden, but The Gower in Wales continues to impress me every time we go and explore a different beach. Oxwich Bay and Rhossili Bay in particular have stood out as truly beautiful beaches. Oxwich is classed as an area of outstanding natural beauty and it really is! Definitely take the time to walk along the whole beaches and surrounding cliffs and landscape when visiting these areas to really see the scenery and take it all in, away from any crowded spots.
Flights and Feelings: If you’re unsure about a destination, search the hashtag on Instagram. We have a Tokyo trip booked for next year and not much clue of what to expect or do yet, so we are currently following the hashtags #visittokyo and #traveltokyo to inspire us!
These suggestions are great for holidays both in and outside of the UK. Following ‘real’ travel blogs is a great way to stay in touch with which destinations are actually worth a visit. We’ve asked the bloggers some more travel-related questions, so stay tuned for more tips and advice! Now online: Part 2 of the bloggers Q & A!
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