21 Best Travel Dupes in 2024: Experience More for Less

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Travel Dupes

Wanderlust on a budget? Fret not! Travel dupes are the latest TikTok trend that may be just the key to an Instagram-worthy getaway while keeping your budget in line. 

Seasoned travelers have often chosen to get off the beaten track to enjoy spectacular natural beauty, history, and more without the crowds or price tags of the most popular destinations. 

Travel dupes really took off en-mass in 2023 as a cheaper alternative as travel prices soared. The focus is on similar experiences to popular hotspots but at a fraction of the cost or the crowds. 

From swanky beach escapes to metropolitan adventures, we’ve uncovered some of the best under-the-radar destinations and travel that rival their pricier counterparts.

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What are travel dupes?

Travel dupes, or destination dupes, refer to lesser-known destinations that are not as famous or “mainstream” as their counterparts, but often just as culturally rich and beautiful – with a lot to offer in their own right.

Many famous tourist hotspots have become victims to their own popularity, swarmed with crowds and inflated prices. This has created a backlash against what’s seen as overtourism. Some countries have even taken measures to crack down on visitors.

But savvy travelers know there’s an abundance of cheaper, crowd-free gems waiting to be discovered. The secret? Seek out the road less traveled with “travel dupes”. Not only can you avoid tourist traps, but you’ll save big while earning bragging rights among friends for having visited a place they haven’t been to yet.

21 best travel dupes around the world

Embark on a journey of discovery as we unveil some of the best travel dupes that promise unforgettable adventures while helping you save big.

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1. The Baltics instead of Scandinavia 

travel dupes vilnius

The Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania boast breathtaking natural beauty, vibrant medieval towns, and mouthwatering culinary scenes (complete with Michelin stars) that rival their Scandinavian counterparts. 

The Baltics offer the best of both worlds – from sipping craft beer in well-preserved medieval Old Towns to exploring the lush forests, lakes, and sand dunes along the Baltic coast. The countries have consistently been named as some of the most affordable destinations in Europe. In fact, Vilnius was recently recognized as the best European value city of 2024 by Conde Nast

Tourists will have no problem getting around – as the capital cities of Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius are conveniently located close to one another and each part of the Eurozone. And although Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian are the dominant languages – travelers will find no shortage of keen English speakers happy to help out.

Recommended: How to Travel Europe on a Budget

2. Memphis instead of Nashville

travel dupes nashville

While Nashville basks in the spotlight as the heart of country music, Memphis offers a soulful alternative. From the iconic Beale Street to the National Civil Rights Museum, this city captures the essence of Tennessee’s rich musical heritage and cultural significance. With lower accommodation costs and a vibrant food scene, Memphis provides an authentic Southern experience without Nashville’s steep prices. 

In terms of cost of living, you would need about $6,660 in Nashville vs. $4,900 in Memphis to maintain a similar standard of living. However, vacation savings depend on the type of rooms booked and total costs, but could be significant.  

Recommended: How to Save for a Vacation

3. Paros instead of Santorini, Greece

Travel dupes paros

The island of Paros, nestled in the Aegean Sea, boasts the same stunning whitewashed villages, azure waters, and breathtaking sunsets as the famed Santorini – but with a more laid-back vibe and significantly lower prices. Explore charming towns like Naoussa and Parikia, indulge in delectable Greek cuisine, and enjoy the island’s pristine beaches without the crowds or exorbitant costs associated with Santorini. You’ll get all the beautiful sunsets, plus boat rentals, water sports, and more for less. 

Recommended: 21 Best Affordable Vacations for Couples

4. Curacao instead of St. Martin

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For those seeking a Caribbean paradise with a Dutch twist, Curacao is a worthy alternative to the ever-popular St. Martin. With its colorful colonial architecture, vibrant street art, and pristine beaches, Curacao offers a unique blend of cultures at a fraction of the cost. Explore the capital city of Willemstad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or simply bask in the sun on the island’s idyllic shores. For those who prefer an authentic local experience, head to the less-developed western part of the island.

5. Western Colorado instead of Iceland 

travel dupes Colorado

While Iceland’s dramatic landscapes and natural wonders are undeniably a special experience, it comes with a hefty price tag, especially to get there from the US. Western Colorado offers a budget-friendly alternative that’s only a road trip away for most of the continental US. 

From the striking red rock formations of the Colorado National Monument to the hot springs and hiking trails of Glenwood Springs, this region promises an awe-inspiring outdoor adventure. You can embrace the rugged beauty of the Rocky Mountains without the exorbitant costs associated with an Icelandic getaway. 

Primary savings are in airfare, although if your heart is set on Iceland, Icelandair does offer very low fares if you can be flexible with your dates. You could also save on park entrances and hot spring experiences. Entrance into national parks is usually $10 to $15 per vehicle, allowing you to take the whole family for less. Many Colorado hot springs in natural locations are free. In contrast, entrance into hot springs in Iceland can cost $43 to $150+. 

6. Letchworth State Park, New York instead of the Grand Canyon

Travel dupes NY

Often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” Letchworth State Park in New York boasts breathtaking waterfalls, towering cliffs, and scenic hiking trails – all without the crowds and expenses of a trip to the iconic Grand Canyon. This hidden gem offers a more affordable and accessible way to experience the grandeur of nature, complete with picturesque vistas and outdoor adventures, especially if you’re living on the East Coast and can save on airfare.

7. Palawan, Philippines instead of the Maldives 

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For a tropical paradise without the luxury resort prices of the Maldives, head to Palawan in the Philippines. With its crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, and stunning limestone cliffs, Palawan offers a slice of island paradise at a fraction of the cost. Explore the vibrant marine life through snorkeling or diving, or simply relax on the powder-soft sands and soak up the sun. 

On average, travelers spend around $107 per person during a three-day trip to Palawan, or only $36 a day for sightseeing, hotels, food, and local transportation. Contrast this to the Maldives, where high-end hotels can cost thousands of dollars a night. Even budget-conscious options in the Maldives can be $50 to $100 for hotel accommodation alone. 

8. Taipei, Taiwan instead of Seoul, South Korea

Travel dupes taiwan

Craving a taste of East Asian culture without the steep prices of Seoul? Look no further than Taipei, Taiwan. This vibrant city offers a blend of modern skyscrapers and ancient temples, as well as a thriving street food scene and bustling night markets. From the iconic Taipei 101 tower to the tranquil hot spring villages, Taipei provides an authentic and affordable glimpse into Taiwan’s rich heritage. Get some of the best in southeast Asia, without the crowds or steep price tag. 

9. Lake Atitlán, Guatemala instead of Lake Como

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You probably never thought of traveling to South America instead of Italy, but this often overlooked continent has incredible natural beauty, history, and culture that can compete with major European hotspots.

Seeking the beauty of an Italian lakeside retreat without the premium price tag? Head to Lake Atitlán in Guatemala, where stunning volcanic landscapes and charming Mayan villages offer a unique and budget-friendly alternative to Lake Como. Explore the colorful markets, hike scenic trails, and immerse yourself in the rich indigenous culture of this Central American gem. Costs depend on accommodation type, but you’ll typically spend significantly less in Guatemala than on an Italian vacation. 

10. Perth instead of Sydney, Australia

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While Sydney may be the crown jewel of Australia, Perth offers a more affordable and equally captivating experience. From the pristine beaches of Cottesloe and Scarborough to the vibrant street art scene and thriving craft beer culture, Perth provides a taste of the Australian lifestyle without the exorbitant costs of its east coast counterpart. Perth is a smaller city still known for its thriving cultural scene. You might pay more for a flight to Perth, but with some flexibility, you can get a reasonably priced flight and enjoy some of Australia’s most spectacular beaches. 

11. Hoi An, Vietnam instead of Kyoto, Japan

travel dupes hoi an

Craving the charm of ancient Japan without the steep prices of Kyoto? Hoi An, Vietnam, promises a similar experience with its well-preserved Ancient Town, lantern-lined streets, and rich cultural heritage. Wander through the charming neighborhoods, savor delectable Vietnamese cuisine, and immerse yourself in the city’s captivating blend of Chinese, Japanese, and European influences – all at a fraction of the cost of a trip to Kyoto.

For those craving the spiritual experience of Kyoto, Hoi An also offers an incredible array of spiritual and religious sites, such as the Qong Kong Temple and Chua Phap Bao Pagoda. In general, the cost of living in Vietnam is significantly less than in Japan, leading to lower overall trip costs. 

12. Sapporo, Japan instead of Zermatt, Switzerland

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While Japan is costly compared to Vietnam, for an authentic ski vacation, it’s surprisingly affordable. For a winter wonderland experience without the steep prices of Zermatt, Switzerland, consider Sapporo in Japan. This northern city offers stunning snow-capped landscapes, world-class skiing and snowboarding, and a lively annual snow festival—all at a more affordable rate. 

From the iconic Sapporo Beer Museum to the charming historic village of Sapporo, this destination promises an unforgettable winter escape on a budget. As a bonus, you’ll get a taste of Japan’s beautiful culture and can take a dip in some of its famous hot springs after a day on the slopes. 

13. Liverpool instead of London, England

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While London’s allure is undeniable, Liverpool offers a more budget-friendly alternative for those seeking a taste of English culture and history. From the iconic Beatles Story Museum to the stunning Albert Dock and Liverpool Cathedral, this vibrant city boasts a rich cultural heritage and a lively nightlife scene—all without the exorbitant costs of its more famous counterpart. While Liverpool is not going to cost much less for food or transportation, you could save significantly on accommodation and activities. 

14. Western Cape, South Africa instead of Napa Valley 

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Oenophiles seeking a wine-tasting experience akin to California’s Napa Valley can find a more affordable alternative in South Africa’s Western Cape region. From the picturesque vineyards of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek to the breathtaking coastal scenery of Hermanus, this region offers a delightful blend of world-class wines, stunning landscapes, and outdoor adventures at a fraction of the cost. While in South Africa, you can also experience Cape Town, swim with sharks, or even see penguins in the wild. 

15. Puglia, Italy instead of Santorini, Greece 

travel dupes puglia

Southern Italy is known for both its rich traditions and lower costs, meaning you can get the best of both worlds. For a taste of the Mediterranean’s picturesque whitewashed villages and azure waters without the steep prices of Santorini, head to Puglia, Italy. This sun-drenched region boasts charming towns like Alberobello and Ostuni, as well as pristine beaches and delectable regional cuisine—all at a more affordable rate than its Greek counterpart. 

16. Borobudur, Indonesia instead of Angkor Wat, Cambodia 

travel dupes cambodia

While Angkor Wat in Cambodia is a breathtaking sight, the ancient Buddhist temple complex of Borobudur in Indonesia offers a similar awe-inspiring experience at a lower cost. Marvel at the intricate carvings and stunning architecture of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, and immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Java without the steep prices associated with a trip to Angkor Wat.

You’ll also get to experience incredible Indonesian hospitality, delicious cuisine, and trendy cafes and restaurants, all for less than the prices at home. 

17. Palermo, Italy instead of Lisbon, Portugal

travel dupes lisboa

Seeking the charm of a European coastal city without the high prices of Lisbon? Consider Palermo, the vibrant capital of Sicily. From the historic old town and stunning cathedrals to the lively street markets and mouth-watering regional cuisine, Palermo offers an authentic Italian experience at a more affordable rate. 

Sicily also offers several interesting natural experiences, including Mount Etna, Palermo Cathedral, the Ancient theater of Taormina, Valle dei Templi, Scala dei Turchi, the Island of Ortigia and more. 

18. Pattaya instead of Bangkok, Thailand

travel dupes thailand

While Bangkok is a popular destination for its vibrant street life and cultural attractions, Pattaya offers an affordable beach getaway just a few hours away. This is a two-for-one option, as you’ll usually need to fly into Bangkok to then hop south to Pattaya. This coastal city boasts stunning beaches, lively nightlife, and a range of water sports and activities—all at a lower cost than its bustling capital counterpart.

19. Quebec City, Canada instead of Geneva, Switzerland

travel dupes canada

For those seeking the charm of a European-inspired city without the steep prices of Geneva, Switzerland, Quebec City, Canada, offers a delightful alternative. This historic city boasts stunning architecture, cobblestone streets, and a unique blend of French and North American cultures.

From the picturesque Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to the iconic Château Frontenac, a grand hotel that resembles a fairytale castle, or explore the vibrant Petit Champlain district. You can also visit the breathtaking Montmorency Falls, a towering cascade that stands nearly 100 feet taller than Niagara Falls, or explore the historic Plains of Abraham, a vast urban park where pivotal battles were fought.

Quebec City provides a more budget-friendly accommodation option compared to Geneva’s luxury hotels. You can find charming boutique hotels or cozy bed and breakfasts in the heart of the Old Town, offering a unique and authentic experience without breaking the bank.

20. Ljubljana, Slovenia instead of Venice, Italy

travel dupes slovenia

Slovenia is often touted in travel circles as an undiscovered beauty, for good reason. For those enchanted by the canals, bridges, and architectural marvels of Venice, Italy, Ljubljana, Slovenia, offers a strikingly similar experience at a much more affordable price point. This charming city, often referred to as the “Venice of the Alps,” boasts a picturesque old town adorned with winding canals, colorful buildings, and captivating bridges.

You can explore the iconic Triple Bridge and wander open-air markets and lively cafés along the riverbanks. You can also visit the impressive Ljubljana Castle or the Ljubljana Cathedral.

While Venice’s iconic attractions, such as the Grand Canal and St. Mark’s Square, come with a hefty price tag and are often overcrowded, Ljubljana offers comparable experiences at a fraction of the cost. The total cost of living, including accommodations in Ljubljana is significantly more affordable than those in Venice, helping you to stretch your travel budget further.

21. Lombok instead of Bali, Indonesia 

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While Bali, Indonesia, has long been a popular destination for its stunning beaches, lush landscapes, and rich cultural heritage, the neighboring island of Lombok offers a more affordable and equally captivating experience. Lombok boasts pristine beaches, such as the renowned Kuta Beach, which rivals the beauty of Bali’s famous shores but with fewer crowds and lower prices. 

You can explore the breathtaking waterfalls, an active volcano and more opportunities to get out in nature. You can visit traditional villages like Sade and Bayan, where you can witness age-old traditions and craftsmanship. 

Lombok offers a more budget-friendly alternative without compromising on quality. You can find charming beachfront bungalows, cozy guesthouses, and affordable restaurants serving delicious local cuisine as well as international specialties. 

Discover the hidden gems: Unforgettable experiences without breaking the bank

Embark on a journey of discovery and embrace the allure of travel destination dupes. These hidden gems offer unforgettable experiences that rival their more famous counterparts, allowing you to indulge in the wonders of the world without breaking the bank. From charming European cities to idyllic tropical paradises, the possibilities are endless when you venture beyond the beaten path. Need other ideas to save up more before you travel? Find 33 weekend side hustles and side hustles for women, or learn how to make an extra $500 a week


Are travel destination dupes less crowded than the original destinations?

Yes, travel destination dupes are generally less crowded than their more famous counterparts. With travel dupes, you can get a more authentic and less touristy experience while saving costs.

Are travel destination dupes usually cheaper to visit?

Absolutely! One of the main advantages of travel destination dupes is their affordability–from accommodation to dining and activities, they offer a more budget-friendly alternative.

Do travel dupes have the same cultural experiences?

While travel dupes may share similarities with their more famous counterparts, they often offer unique cultural experiences. You can find beautiful destinations that showcase the local traditions, customs, and way of life.

Are travel destination dupes as Instagrammable as the original destinations?

Absolutely! Many travel dupes boast stunning natural landscapes, picturesque architecture, and captivating cultural attractions that are just as Instagrammable (or more so) than their more famous counterparts.

Do travel dupes have the same level of infrastructure and amenities?

While travel dupes may not have the same level of infrastructure and amenities as some more developed destinations, they often provide a comfortable and authentic travel experience. You can find a range of accommodation and dining options, including hidden gems in travel dupes.

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