“Doing it for the ‘gram” dominates huge swaths of the travel landscape these days. People are voyaging to far-flung (yet wildly popular) destinations more than ever — funneled to a prescribed set of spots by Instagram influencers. We’re throwing down the cash to get that sunrise shot at Petra or the Pyramids of Giza or above Machu Picchu, and that’s great. We’re traveling! But we’re also over-taxing some very delicate ecosystems, local populations, and old infrastructure.
The Uproxx crew is always on board for you to travel more. But in an age when huge populations are becoming wealthier (Russia, China, India) and traveling is cheaper and easier than ever, we have to travel more wisely and respectfully. Iconic beaches on well-worn Instagram trails are being shuttered due to over-tourism. The effect of this is threefold. Locals lose out on employment and the money that tourism reaps. The environment is f*cked by too many people trampling through for that “perfect” Instagram post. And, when places are ruined, we all lose out on experiencing something magical.
It’s time to start thinking about expanding your tourism (and Instagram) horizons and being a little more intrepid. The thing is, the earth is freakin’ massive. There are so, so many amazing places to see. With that in mind, we thought we’d list some of our favorite destinations on the planet — each one every bit as awesome as more touristed locales. We’d also like to point out the added benefit of blazing your own path and being a true original instead of following what literally everyone else is doing.
One quick caveat here. When we offer an alternative destination, we are not saying that the original destination is somehow lacking or not worth seeing. Over-touristed destinations are packed for a reason — they’re spectacular. We’re making this list to give those places a chance to breathe and recover from the millions who tax it daily. Please don’t stop going somewhere just because so many people already do. Just think about whether it’s right to go “right now.” Then maybe consider one of these spots instead.
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#MAYABAY IS CLOSED THIS SUMMER! •• •• 🏝🏝🏝🏝🏝🏝🏝🏝🏝🏝🏝 The popular Thai travel destination— which saw a huge book after the release of ‘The Beach’ — is closing for four months to give the reefs time to rest. Visit UPROXX.com for a story on how to travel sustainably in the era of #overtourism. •• •• •• Photo by @filmtourismus who writes: "Let’s face it: Tourism appears not always without problems and some places, including filming locations, are in danger of overtourism. In 2015 I visited Maya Bay in Thailand, which was used for the film “The Beach”. With its cristalline waters and white sand it’s a beautiful dream location but sadly totally overcrowded. Too many tourists, too many boats… you just couldn’t feel the magic of this place anymore and I was really concerned about the state of the environment there. That’s why I was happy to hear that the bay will be closed from June til September this year to reverse damage to the surrounding coral reef. I do hope the island is also able to recover in the long term… Where did you have experiences with overtourism?” •• •• •• #thebeach #overtourism #mayabay #kophiphi #filminglocation #leonardodicaprio @leonardodicaprio #filmtourism #sunshine #sunshinetherapy #beachbody #beach #beachlife #beachbum #beachvibes #unlimitedparadise #endlesssummer #findyourbeach #travel #oceanvibes #ocean #paradise #beachy #oceanbreeze #aquaholic #whitesand #beachlover #bestbeaches #ipreview @preview.app
MADA’IN SALEH, SAUDI ARABIA (3,900 Instagram posts)
Alternative to Petra, Jordan, 722,813 Instagram posts.
Mada’in Saleh is a mythical place in the middle of the Arabian Desert. Around 2,200 years ago the Nabatean Kingdom carved 131 tombs into the rocks around Al Madinah Region of Saudi Arabia. This is basically exactly what you get at Petra in Jordan with about a millionth the tourism.
Of course, there’s a big reason that Petra is over-touristed and Mada’in Saleh is not. Saudi Arabia has a notoriously draconian visa policy for most people from the West. That being said, scoring a visa is not impossible for the country. And, if we’ve learned anything in all our travels, the places that are a little harder to get to are the places worth the effort.