Taking vacations to escape life's stresses, worries, and tribulations seems necessary sometimes. Travel companies bombard us with advertisements featuring marvelous destinations to inspire families and friends to pack up and go.
White sandy beaches and people skiing and snowboarding down picturesque mountains are captured by cameras to lure prospective travelers. What they do not show is the overcrowding, potential dangers, or other imperfections that also exist. Before clicking send on your next trip, look at these vacation spots that are less than meets the eye.
Upon Further Review
Social media wins when anyone sees the image of the man dangling dangerously from a cliff with an ocean view in the background and feels inspired. It deceptively shows him hanging on to the woman for support, but the photo on the right shows the reality of the spot.
Give them the credit they deserve. From the angle posted, he is rock climbing and being helped up. Without the trickery of the first one, a zoomed-out look shows there is no reason to hang upside down precariously or anything to climb.
Even The Water Looks Off
Prospective travelers to this famous destination in Vietnam attract thousands of tourists based on their social media image. It displays a small group gathered in a clean, scenic shot. It is understandable to be influenced into heading there for a relaxing family vacation.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, the actual view from that location needs only two for an honest description, "stay home." From a distance, many people were duped by social media. The water is murkier, and overcrowding will be an issue.
Race You To The Shore
Tourists arriving at this seemingly exotic beach with white sand and blue water will quickly learn two valuable lessons. The first will be to research before traveling anywhere, and fraudulent photos like this will have no effect. Secondly, humans tend to ruin everything they touch.
Overcrowding and lack of maintenance present a stark and different reality for those hoping to find paradise. What once was a solitary escape into the serene and inspirational has given way to crowds, noise, and pollution.
Way Too Many People
Images like the social media one on the left side and scenes in movies and television shows make the desert appealing. With no skyscrapers in the distance, this vacation appears as if it came straight out of an Indiana Jones film.
What will soon be reality is seeing others with your shared fantasy of solitude and beachcombing practically in your lap. It will feel more like waiting for the latest rollercoaster at an amusement park because of the hundreds of other tourists lined up waiting for their turn to slide down the dunes of Dubai.
Climb Of Your Life
The Algarve region of Portugal needs no introduction. The area boasts miles of beautiful beaches, calm, clear blue waters, and more sunshine than anyone could imagine. Peace and relaxation leap out at prospective vacationers when this destination is mentioned.
Unfortunately, thousands of other travelers have also seen the alluring shots and imagined themselves enjoying time there. Depending on the season, it could get overrun with people and families roaming around taking selfies, so research when to avoid it and a miserable trip.
Fog Can Tarnish This Golden Bridge
The Golden Bridge in Vietnam attracts thousands of tourists annually. On a clear day, one could walk freely among the clouds. Upon arrival, new visitors are mesmerized by the spectacular view of the mountainous Ba Na Hills and their boisterous green color.
Held up by what many imagine to be heavenly hands, this one-of-a-kind structure with its scenic vantage points will feel like a sardine can when other travelers have similar fantasies of walking with the gods. Foggy weather and overcrowding can be deterrents, causing people to miss out on the rare glimpse of the horned dragon.
Ruined In Egypt
Historians consider Egypt to be where the earliest civilizations existed. What visitors to the country find today are the marvelous ruins of once-great structures filled with hidden treasures. The pyramids and ancient artifacts native to Egypt are some of the most famous in history.
Undoubtedly, the rare opportunity to wander inside the larger-than-life leftovers of the buildings. The hieroglyphics and detailed carvings became a challenge to get closeups of and read the information provided while navigating through the herds of others with similar thoughts.
The Hills Are Alive
From a distance, visitors become tantalized instantly by what looks like a magical castle fit for a Harry Potter film. None of them can resist the urge to run across the lavish green hills and fields to it. Situated in Normandy, France, once the goal is reached, the castle reveals more than meets the eye.
After getting to it, tourists might be tempted to run back to their starting point. The castle is part of a lost kingdom, and the greens turn into sands. Within those walls are ruined and decaying structures that may not be worth the hike.
Batten Down The Hatches And Your Meals
Buyers should beware before booking this cruise. Tourists might feel exhilarated to dine aboard the Colorline Cruise and sail with powerful waves splashing against the ship. With the magically endless view into the ocean from the dining room, it is easy to see the attraction to booking this trip.
Fantasy can become a dinner nightmare when the droves of water lash the cruiseliner with such force that passengers must focus on keeping their expensive meals down, along with the plates and cutlery.
Swimming With Pigs Is Truly A Fantasy
The Bahamas is a famous destination offering fantastic sights and culture. Beautiful beaches, perfect weather, and blue water ideal for sailing, swimming, and snorkeling are not the typical features visitors hope to experience.
Many are shocked to learn the hard way information that is not included in a brochure in fine print online. Anyone with visions of swimming pigs and other cultural oddities should prepare for snarly strays and unsupervised beaches. Researching beyond the handpicked glorious online images could save dollars and much more.
Geysers Will Leave Tourists Gushing
Renowned for its geysers and springs, every breathtaking image of the Blue Lagoon of Iceland spurns dreams of what making it to paradise must be like. Visitors to this part of the world cannot help but gush from ear to ear from experiencing the steamy air while closing their eyes and taking in the sounds of the water.
Many unsuspecting tourists have booked their trip and arrived to eye-opening numbers of like-minded people invading what is supposed to be a secluded destination. Paying for this is not what travelers have in mind for hidden treasures.
Avoid Looking Down Or Ahead
Prospective thrill-seeking tourists cannot resist running through slopes of mossy green hills once they see images online of others doing it. Captivating bumps to skip across with views of a vast desert with unknown surprises on the other side.
Before clicking send and paying, be prepared and pack footwear more appropriate for crossing a swamp in Florida than an exotic locale. Unfortunately, the social media posts do not show the mud, dirt, and lack of impressive scenery if they make it through the pasture.
Just Another Day At The Beach
Beaches can be somewhere pleasant to visit while on vacation, no matter the season. At worst, dressing for the weather before venturing out for a day trip should be sufficient preparation. It is common knowledge to wear warmer clothing walking the shores of any water.
Not being ready for potentially high winds whipping around ruining hairstyles combined with the crashing waves that turn the picturesque shore into a path of mud, dirt, and other treasures from the sea that visitors wish would remain buried.
Looks The Same If You Squint
Imagine traveling halfway across the world because of online images leaping off the screen with seemingly mystical bottomless pits of water to swim in. Understandably, the prospect of looking down into a controlled abyss would tempt any tourist seeking an alternate vacation option.
Checking the weather before leaving the room is a must for this destination. Scenic, tropical visions transform into something that encourages eyes to be closed rather than open. Look before you leap at an image because if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
No Poolside Manners Here
Sipping on beverages and feasting on exotic cuisine with a cliffside view of the ocean should be the only mind-blowing experiences of this trip. A vacation like this tempts all souls in search of solitude and relaxation.
As people learn upon arriving, the internet is a worldwide tool for everyone to access the same glorious images. Once there is an excess of people, fighting for space becomes the priority. If useless banter of strangers envisioning paradise simultaneously is ideal, this is for you.
Pack Your Best Sunhat For This Trip
Words like ancient, mythological, and historic are a few features of the Jordan Heritage Site, attracting visitors from all over. There is an embarrassment of structures, carvings, and caverns enticing their exploration. A once prominent city in its prime days promises to reveal many hidden treasures.
Elbow room and securing belongings and valuables are details to know before booking this vacation, or your loss is someone else's jackpot. Depending on the day, the weather can be hot and the air dry, magnified by large tourist groups.
She Must Be Out Of Peanuts
Elephants are known for their intelligence and peaceful nature. Their impressive size, combined with humility and passiveness, are what visitors expect to experience on safari vacations. Safety and caution are thrown to the wind due to online images of people enjoying their walk among the magnificent creatures.
While tourists to these areas are assured of their safety and lack of threat from them, elephants are still wild animals. All, including the babies, are unphased by humans and will approach them perhaps to play or if they believe to be in danger.
When In Rome
Rome is a world of hidden gems waiting to be found. The Trevi Fountain is one of its crown jewels that bring historians, random travelers, and locals and unite them in the infamous Italian town. Trevi is not like average water fountains to pose for selfies, throw coins into, or make wishes.
No longer flipping through brochures and relying on travel agents, online images present the chance to book trips based solely on what is seen on a screen. Droves of tourists concentrated around can sometimes make the experience unbearable.
Take Selfies At Your Own Risk
Ancient ruins are natural encyclopedias offering the opportunity to experience history in person. Visiting this region of Egypt will reveal links to the earliest signs of civilization, technology, and ways of life that everyone will enjoy when traveling there.
Impressive sights like pyramids and other religious structures provide endless insight into an unknown past. Mythological tales of gods and goddesses and the time-tested ruins lose their luster during peak times to the famous destination. The unprepared get overwhelmed by the crowds and lack of space.
Watch Out For Falling Rocks And People
Canyons like Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah draw visits because of its famous trails of steps and red-stoned paths to walk, offered in captivating images seen online. Treading down through the narrow valleys and winding trails can tempt the mildest of explorers.
What most fail to see until they arrive in Utah is that the destination is more popular than it may seem. Depending on the time of year, a closer glimpse reveals nothing but dust and dirt, not to mention the pack of other like-minded explorers.
Blue Water Is Overrated
Walking or riding along this wooded boardwalk to and from the villas flanking the path is an experience that does not seem achievable. Each structure hovering above the crystal clear ocean, supported only by a few wooden beams, offers a trip to paradise.
Similarly to the urban cities they are escaping from, people use the waterfront to dump their garbage or abandon their bicycles. Stumbling upon this kind of mess after forking over valuable funds will not only be a waste, but it will also be a reminder to research vacation destinations.
Missing This Train Might Your Only Option
Traveling to an area known for its markets with a train running through the middle of it is understandably something worth experiencing at least once. The Maeklong Railway Market provides a grocery shopping trip like no other place on Earth.
The market is rich with vendors enticing tourists to support the local economy by buying their produce. What is not revealed until arrival is that the locomotive is deceptively fast-moving and can present a danger to those foreign to the infamous location.
Let's Play The Lava Game
Visions of walking on lava for real instead of playing the classic children's game is a delightful temptation on its own. The thrill of exploring erupting molten geysers with the heat of the volcanic activity beneath their feet displayed in posts like this enchant thrill-seeking tourists from all four corners.
The uninitiated to volcanoes are more likely to arrive at ash, a sulphuric atmosphere, and rocks leftover from a missed eruption. While these conditions are safer, they include details that paint a much less spectacular picture that online images will never reveal.
Emergency Exits Are In The Front And Rear
How cool would it be to visit the destination famous for, among many things, an old airplane that has been converted into a store? That is the vision a couple pictured when they chose to renovate an abandoned plane spotted in a scrap yard.
Unfortunately for them, this restoration project became nothing more than an expensive eyesore. The cockpit serves as the checkout area, and the new flooring was not meant for public consumption initially. As a side note, the long reach of the internet is generating interest and attention for the independent business.
Fountain Of Mediocrity
Expos like the 2020 Dubai Expo display the limitless possibilities the imagination can create and marvel over. It contains a playground of eye-pleasing features like this unbelievable water exhibit. Lit up by spirited colors, the water is a life-sized place of zen and tranquility, or so it can appear.
Not putting all the eggs into one basket is a saying to remember before booking this destination vacation. Visitors are met with an unimpressive art display that should encourage tourists to stay in the beautiful city and enjoy the sights from within it.
Mother Earth Is The Culprit
An aerial view of this island in the middle of the Indian Ocean shows a kind of paradise that is rare to experience. The relatively minuscule nation of Mauritius is famous for its clear blue water and tropical illusion of underground waterfalls.
Not even social media can be blamed for anyone being fooled into traveling there based on the images of the sand appearing to cascade into the depths of the sea. Over time, currents beneath the ocean combine, pulling and pushing to create a natural optical illusion.
Rent Must Be Dirt Cheap
The man in the photo appears to have created his tropical haven from the ship-wrecked parts of an old boat. Shielded from the crashing yet serene waves of the ocean, he lies enjoying the sunshine and occasional sound of the gulls flocking around.
Mother Nature wins again because shortly after the photo is taken, a massive wall of water makes short work of his beachfront oasis and sends him running for cover. The odds are high that he did not return to reinforce his temporary structure of paradise.
Atlantis Is More Realistic
Unless a tourist has been diagnosed with Aquaphobia, the concept of an underwater hotel will spark the interest of most adventure-seeking travelers. Imagining tropical fish or dolphins swimming above and around sounds more like something an Atlantis fairy tale that is impossible to disappoint.
Hang on to your wallets and pursestrings before you book this surreal trip. The first detail conveniently not displayed in images is the luxurious vacation resort is barely six feet under the ocean floor. The hotel is more of a sunken ship than an underwater playground.
Word Travels Fast
Surrounded by scenes that seem CGI generated rather than reality, the freshwater lakes flowing in Coron in the Philippines. Underwater rocks and islets formed over time are part of the scenic details tourists will happily enjoy once they arrive on the islands.
Knowing when not to visit, like the busiest time of their tourism season, will avoid stumbling upon overpopulated areas. Peace and feelings of zen are substituted by feelings of anxiousness and misery from rubbing elbows with all the other souls who did not get the memo.
Swamp Thing Movie Fans Rejoice
Leaving home to travel to a destination famous for its swamps is a bold statement. Paddling through the still waters, taking in the unique perspective offered has tempted many romantic getaway seekers searching for the perfect location to blossom their love.
It may not seem noteworthy to check the weather before traveling down a swam. Not addressing that minor detail can be fatal. Heavy rainfall can turn conditions into something dangerous and a creepy experience mirrored in Wes Craven's 1982 Horror classic film Swamp Thing.
Checkout Is At Eleven
Although most people are familiar with the mystique and lure of New York City, there are still many hidden jewels within the metropolis waiting to be discovered by tourists. Online images boast of sensational skyline views from hotels that can be seen from the comforts of a luxurious downtown hotel.
Residents of the "Big Apple" would be happy to point out that not everything advertised is reality. Dreams of arriving at spacious and palatial rooms in a motel with breathtaking views turn into small, cramped spaces with no floor-to-ceiling windows flanking the room.
Singing And Slipping In The Rain
The views of Seljalandsfoss, located in Iceland, blow away all eyes that see them online and attract tourists like bees to honey. The waterfall boasts natural pathways begging to be explored by thrill-seekers and those looking to go on a trip where legends will be born.
During the rainiest time of the year in this neck of the woods, blinding mists and blistering winds can reduce visibility and make trekking through the mountainside more of a challenge than revealed in the online images promoting the destination.
Diamonds Are Forever And Rare
Before running off to fly to Diamond Beach in southern Iceland to find your retirement plan lying on the sand, there are no diamonds. You will see the remnants of icebergs in shimmery pieces of ice, inspiring the famous name of the beach.
These are, however, chunks of frozen water and at the sun's mercy during the warmer months. Tourists unfamiliar with this information are disappointed to be greeted by far fewer icebergs floating by and more chance of finding diamonds than ice on the shores.
Walk With The Gods Or Pray To Them
It would likely take only one glance at a photo of someone appearing to walk among the clouds before a vacation to this destination spot is booked and boarded. The soreness that may be felt while on the perfectly laid out stone pathway is gone with the scenic view.
Instead of coming down from the exhilarating high of the journey through the heavens, unsuspecting visitors will experience fear, moments of fatigue, and cramping muscles. The dreamy clouds are known to douse anyone walking by with random and intense water.
Shipwrecked Pirates Of Greece
Some might say anyone who would not be tempted to book their next vacation to Greece based on social media images of Navagio Beach is not human. It is a coin toss to distinguish if tourists will be amazed more by the crystal clear waters or the breathtaking view from the cliffs.
Travelers arrive to large crowds, jet skis whizzing by, tour boats and fancy yachts cluttering the ocean view, and noise on the level of a public beach. Unfortunately, past guests share the posts to the area, and word travels fast.
Swimsuits Are Optional
Majestic cliffs lining the shores of the golden Skogafoss Beach, serene views, and sounds of the sea splashing are descriptions from past visitors who posted their glorious trip online. Thousands of people scramble to this famous destination in Iceland, influenced by what they watch and see.
Frigid temperatures, cold sand that feels like walking on sandpaper, and a blustery wind that gusts around with a disturbing force are some surprises not seen in videos or images. Any thoughts of taking a swim disappear as quickly as the rare views of the sun.
Roaring Waves That Leave Their Mark
Lying on the shore as the tide gently rolls in and out around them is a sensation that elicits a closer investigation in the form of a vacation. It is almost unimaginable to believe it is possible to find somewhere in the world with this peace and tranquility.
Sadly, if more images of what happens when a wave void of mercy crashes down on those in dreamland surfaced, visitors might rethink where they lay. Occasionally, waves so powerful force its victims to clutch their swimsuits instead of sunscreen.
Get Out If The Water Bubbles
Denial of the allure of Bali, Indonesia, is a challenge for the most skeptical of those you know. An area steeped in tradition and culture, the mouth-watering food native to Bali, pools for lounging or lazily coasting the river-like waters on rafts and tubes draw worldwide visitors.
Admiration for its beauty and intoxicating views are less enjoyable from the herds of people with similar aspirations of taking their vacations to this famous destination. Unless you go in a large group like the ones that will be there, kissing privacy goodbye will be your next move.
Crossing This Bridge May Cross The Line
China is a place rich in fantastic sights to see and explore. Both those made by humans and natural structures defy logic as they lay seamlessly blended. The Ruyi Bridge is an attraction worth visiting alone. Tourists from all over the globe are drawn to the three footbridges the area is infamous for.
Amazement over the dazzling features of the bridges, like the glass-bottomed walkways and impressive architecture, can get lost in the clouds. Masses of fog, mist, and anything else inclement by Mother Nature can rain out all plans of the allure.
Eye To Eye With Godzilla
One undeniable fact about Tokyo is the mastery of architecture blended with the perfection of traditional and modern buildings, structures, and sites. In Roppongi Hills, tourists are drawn annually to one such marvel, the Mori Tower.
On the best of days, clear ones, visitors to the magnificent tower are fortunate to catch a bird's-eye view worth the price of admission alone. Thick, dense fog, however, can leave tourists on the lookout for Godzilla rather than enjoying the mesmerizing vantage point from the heavens of the Japanese skyline.