Great Travel Destinations Often Underrated
Updated: Jun 17, 2019
Living in the United States, I've noticed a pattern when it comes to choosing vacation destinations. I find that many Americans plan vacations to places that are relatively not far. Living in Michigan, I see friends on vacations which usually follow this pattern. It's either a destination within the United States, (New York, Miami, Los Angles, etc.), or someplace not quite far from the U.S., (Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Caribbean, Bahamas, etc.). While many of these places are indeed very cool places to visit, (I love New York, Miami is a very fun city and Mexico has some great resorts), they're all relatively close to home.
It seems to me that a large majority of the time some of the best vacation destinations aren't considered because they're far. It's kind of an out of sight, out of mind type of complex, but many people think because something is farther, it will be more expensive. In this post, I'm going to share a couple of great travel destinations that can represent great value in terms of money and accommodations, compared to many common vacation hubs often chosen.
For The Resort Junkies
Winter can get COLD, especially when you're living in Detroit. Many people combat this weather by taking yearly trips to warmer southern destinations. The Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and the Bahamas are three of the top ten most visited destinations in the world by U.S. citizens as of 2018. (To check out these statistics and see other destinations visited frequently by Americans, click here). While these countries have a lot of great resorts to offer, let's see what a typical family vacation could cost.
We'll use a family of four for this example, and we're going to say they Live in New York City, (I simple chose this since it's the most populated U.S. city). This family wants to go to a resort in the Dominican Republic to get away for a week. First, let's look at flights. Roundtrip flights start at slightly under $600 in March for basic economy (no baggage) and go up from there.
Most families will want to bring luggage and sit next to each other, so they chose the JetBlue flight for $685. The total for 4 flights = $2,740. Next, let's look at resorts. I went to TripAdvisor to check out some of the popular resorts.
A quick search for 2 adults and 2 children led me to many resorts with a $600+ per night price tag. Ouch. I chose to go with a cheaper option for this example.
To stay in a 300 square foot room with two queen beds, it totals out to be about $3,500 for 7 nights, after taxes.
For this trip the flights ended up totaling $2,740, + $3,526 for the resort = a total of $6,266 for the week-long trip. Now, there's always deals on flights and hotels and realistically if you planned far in advance you could find better rates. Yet often a vacation to many places in that region come out to be $5,000 plus for a week-long trip.
Now let's look at some of the underrated destinations such as Thailand and Indonesia (stay with me). Southeast Asia has some of the most beautiful beaches and resorts in the world. For this example, we're going to use the same family. Say they decide to head to Bali for a week instead of the Dominican Republic. Flights to Bali from NYC end up being around $890 with luggage and seat selection.
$888 times 4 = $3,552 for flights. Now let's look at resorts in Bali. I did a quick search on TripAdvisor to find some of the most popular resorts.
I selected The highly rated Grand Mirage Resort & Thalasso Spa. Rates for a 484 square foot room with 2 queen beds are around $145 a night. After taxes, that totals to just over $1,200 a night for the week!
Now let's compare these two options. The benefits of heading to the Dominican Republic are that it's closer to home and has less of a time difference for a price tag of $6,266. Heading to Bali, you'll have a larger room and a lower total cost of $4,770. However, there is a larger time difference and the time it takes to get there is much greater. Where the big perk comes in here is what you can do with the difference in price. If you wanted to spend the same amount on hotels, in Bali you could get a two-bedroom ocean view apartment that's almost 2,000 square feet!
This is a very small example of the difference in vacations. Many resorts in Thailand and Indonesia have multiple-bedroom villas that are thousands of square feet on some of the world's most beautiful beaches for similar prices to what you'd pay for a basic room at other resorts.
There can also be great value for city lovers. While many travelers chose to stick to U.S cities, traveling abroad often isn't much of a price difference. Most cities in the U.S. cost a couple hundred dollars to fly to. However, you often see fare deals to European Cities in the $300-$400 price range. If you tend to vacation close to home, next time try to see what a new destination might be like!