25 Underrated Summer Travel Ideas for Every Budget
Summer is a time to take a break, feel the warmth of the sun, and embark on new adventures. While popular tourist destinations are always in the spotlight, there are many underrated gems that deserve a spot on your travel itinerary. Whether you’re traveling on a shoestring budget or looking to indulge, here’s a list of 25 underrated summer travel ideas to inspire your next trip.
Hidden Beaches: Skip the crowded shores and find your own private paradise. Look for lesser-known beaches like Salema in Portugal or Cala Mitjana in Menorca, Spain.
National Parks: The world is full of stunning national parks that aren’t Yosemite or Yellowstone. Try Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota or Aysén in Chile.
Local Food Tours: Embark on a culinary journey by sampling local delicacies. Head to Penang, Malaysia, or Bologna, Italy, known for their rich food scenes, without the hefty price tag.
Treehouse Stays: Experience a unique overnight stay in treehouses. Check out places like Treehotel in Sweden or Finca Bellavista in Costa Rica.
Desert Excursions: Bask in the solitude of vast deserts like the Namib in Namibia or Wadi Rum in Jordan, offering both budget and luxury camping options.
Street Art Tours: Discover vibrant street art scenes in underrated destinations like Valparaíso, Chile, or George Town, Malaysia.
Historical Train Rides: Travel back in time on scenic train routes. Opt for the Copper Canyon Railway in Mexico or the Douro Line in Portugal.
River Cruises: Instead of expensive ocean cruises, explore rivers like the Mekong in Southeast Asia or the Danube in Europe on smaller vessels.
Biking Trails: Pedal through lesser-known trails like the Route of the Parks in Chile or the Mawddach Trail in Wales.
Staycations: Don’t underestimate the joy of exploring your local surroundings. Visit nearby towns, parks, and attractions you’ve never been to before.
Road Trips: Drive through picturesque routes, like the Transfăgărășan in Romania or the Pacific Marine Circle Route in Canada.
Hidden Waterfalls: Search for secluded waterfalls such as Havasupai Falls in Arizona or Dynjandi in Iceland.
Archaeological Sites: Beyond the famous ruins, explore sites like Göbekli Tepe in Turkey or the Ancient City of Sigiriya in Sri Lanka.
Night Markets: Shop and eat at local night markets. Experience the markets of Luang Prabang, Laos, or Marrakech, Morocco.
Cottage Getaways: Rent a cozy cottage in off-the-beaten-path locations like the Cotswolds in England or Prince Edward County in Canada.
Wildlife Watching: Beyond African safaris, explore places like the Pantanal in Brazil for jaguar spotting or Kangaroo Island in Australia.
Farm Stays: Immerse yourself in local life by staying on farms in destinations like Tuscany, Italy, or the Loire Valley in France.
Volunteer Travel: Contribute to a cause while traveling. Opt for programs like sea turtle conservation in Costa Rica or teaching English in Nepal.
Local Festivals: Plan your trip around local festivals. Experience Naadam in Mongolia or the Inti Raymi Festival in Peru.
Mountain Retreats: Escape the summer heat by retreating to mountains. Explore destinations like the Carpathians in Romania or the Dinaric Alps in Slovenia.
Cave Exploring: Venture into the underground wonders of the world, like the Caves of Aggtelek Karst in Hungary or the Phong Nha Caves in Vietnam.
Island Hopping: Instead of mainstream islands, explore hidden gems like the Faroe Islands or the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in India.
Camping Under the Stars: Rediscover nature by camping in underrated sites like Wadi Nakhr in Oman or Aoraki Mackenzie in New Zealand.
Cultural Workshops: Dive deep into local culture with workshops like pottery in Fez, Morocco, or traditional dance in Bali, Indonesia.
DIY Retreats: Create your own retreat by booking a remote cabin or a beach hut, focusing on relaxation, meditation, or just reading a good book.
Traveling doesn’t always mean visiting the most popular or the most expensive places. Sometimes, the most memorable experiences are found in the most unexpected destinations. These underrated summer travel ideas are a testament to the vast array of experiences our world has to offer. No matter your budget, there’s always an adventure waiting for you. So pack your bags and set off on a journey to discover the hidden gems of the world. Safe travels!
While the 25 destinations and activities listed above are undeniably exciting, what makes these underrated gems so special is often the immersive experiences and genuine interactions they offer. Let’s delve deeper into a few aspects that make such destinations stand out.
- Authenticity: In lesser-known destinations, tourism hasn’t overshadowed local culture. This means you’ll often get to experience local life as it truly is. Whether it’s joining a local family for a meal in a homestay or attending a village celebration, these interactions can be far more rewarding than any guided tour.
- Sustainability: With fewer tourists, these destinations tend to have a lesser environmental impact, allowing for a more eco-friendly experience. Places like the Faroe Islands have even initiated programs where tourists can “volunteer” their time to help with environmental projects in lieu of traditional tourism activities.
- Affordability: While not always the case, many underrated destinations offer a better value for your money. Because they’re not commercialized to the extent of popular tourist spots, you often find that accommodations, food, and activities are more affordable.
- Serenity: Without the throngs of tourists, you can enjoy serene landscapes and sites without interruption. Imagine having a majestic waterfall all to yourself or walking through a historical site where you can take your time to truly soak in its significance.
- Discovery: There’s a unique thrill in exploring a place that hasn’t been widely covered in guidebooks or Instagram feeds. It allows for personal discovery, making your travel stories uniquely yours.
Tips for Exploring Underrated Destinations:
Research: While these places might not be in every guidebook, a bit of online research can lead you to personal travel blogs or niche websites with invaluable information.
Stay Flexible: Often, the charm of such places lies in the unexpected. A flexible itinerary allows you to explore recommendations from locals or fellow travelers.
Learn Basic Phrases: In lesser-known spots, English might not be widely spoken. Learning basic phrases in the local language can enhance your experience and make interactions smoother.
Respect Local Norms: Remember, these places might not be accustomed to large numbers of tourists. Always be respectful of local traditions and norms.
Travel Responsibly: As always, be an eco-friendly traveler. Ensure you leave no trace and try to support local businesses and communities as much as possible.
There’s a vast world out there waiting to be explored, and summer is the perfect time to do it. By opting for underrated travel destinations, you don’t just escape the usual tourist traps; you embrace unique experiences, support local communities, and often enjoy a richer, deeper connection to the places you visit. Your next summer adventure might just be a hidden gem waiting to be uncovered. Adventure awaits!