Sometimes, the best vacations are when you travel off the beaten path. So many major tourist destinations are often crowded with swarms of tourists. If you want to avoid these crowds, you can always travel during the off-season (like Venice during the winter, or Egypt in the summer). Or, you could choose one of these alternative travel destinations.

Instead of Croatia, go to Malta

Marsaxlokk Fishing Village, MaltaWith its stunning coastlines and historic cities, Croatia has become something of a tourism phenomenon in recent years. But a tourism boom brings with it crowds of eager visitors. This has forced the immensely popular walled medieval city of Dubrovnik to pass a legislation that only allows 4,000 visitors per day. Instead, you can visit the nearby island of Malta which offers a similarly beautiful experience.

Also an option: Montenegro

Instead of Switzerland, go to Estonia

Switzerland is a popular destination, with the added problem of being one of the most expensive European countries to visit. Instead, you can go to Estonia. This Baltic gem combines magnificent medieval towns, beautiful waterfalls, and glorious seaside towns. Like much of the Baltic region, summers are short and winters are very cold, but Estonia has recently sweetened the deal with its year-long work visas.

Also an option: Austria

Instead of Dubai, go to Oman

Year-round sunshine, glitzy buildings, amazing shopping, and historic souks have made Dubai a top destination. But to explore the Middle East without the crowds, head to Oman. Renowned for its fascinating landmarks such as the Grand Mosque and the Al Jalali Fort, and its idyllic beaches, Oman is a must visit.

Also an option: Marrakesh

Instead of Thailand, go to Vietnam

Alternative Travel DestinationsSome of the most popular, and most crowded, holiday spots are in Thailand. To get away from the crowds, but still enjoy the great Southeast Asian food and weather, head to Vietnam. A budget traveller’s dream, the country is filled with ancient sites, beautiful landscapes, rich culture, and fresh, flavoursome food.

Also an option: Cambodia, Philippines

Instead of Ibiza, go to Hvar

Hvar, CroatiaWith traditional party hubs like Majorca, Mykonos and Ibiza setting restrictions on tourism and partying, you can head to the Croatian island of Hvar for that beach club glamour. Often called a classier destination, Hvar also imposes fines on public debauchery, but is still an excellent party destination. It’s also less expensive than other similar locales like Monte Carlo.

Also an option: Laguna Beach in California, Lisbon

Instead of India, go to Sri Lanka

lake in kandy Sri LankaIndia is undeniably crowded. While it is home to some spectacular sights, if you don’t want to brave the swarms of people, you can always head to Sri Lanka. Sharing many cultural similarities with its norherther neighbour (especially South India), Sri Lanka is a unique mix of British colonial heritage, ancient Buddhist ruins, and beautiful landscapes.

Also an option: Bhutan

Overtourism at popular destinations has not only resulted in tourism being seen as a burden on locals rather than an economic opportunity but it also sometimes contributes to the deterioration of heritage and environmental sites. Governments have attempted to curb numbers of tourists by employing permit system or limiting numbers of visitors. So, in a way, by choosing these alternative travel destinations, you’d be doing the world a favour.

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