I get it. Winter was a time for rest, but now it’s time to explore all those underrated summer travel ideas you’ve seen on TikTok. Let 2024 be the year you start checking things off your bucket list. Here are my top 10 underrated summer travel destinations.
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Underrated Summer Travel Ideas and Destinations in Europe
1. Puglia, Italy
Italy is one of those places that deserve multiple visits. Everyone gushes over Rome, Venice, and the Amalfi Coast but there’s so much more to Italy. Puglia is known for its picturesque coastline and gorgeous beaches. A few of the best beaches in Puglia are Baa Vignanotica, Baia delle Zagare, and Polignano a Mare. Don’t leave Puglia without eating Tarantello di Tonno, a Puglia staple.
Quick tips for travelers on the go (or like me, with ADHD)
My Top Puglia Recommendations
🏨 Where to Stay in Puglia: B&b Lungomare Otranto is an oceanfront bed and breakfast with beautiful views and decor. Le Torri Apartment has an epic view of local historical buildings.
2. Sarandë , Albania
Albania is one of the most googled countries in 2024. It’s known for breathtaking views, affordable hotels, and beautiful clear water.
Rooms in Albania are about $55 a night. An average meal in Albania will cost about $9.
If you’re looking for a place with beautiful views that isn’t packed with tourists, you’ll love Albania.
Underrated Summer Travel Ideas in Asia
If you’re looking for a unique experience, Uzbekistan is a great place to visit this summer. Uzbekistan is known for being at the crossroads of the ancient Silk Road. You can still experience what the ancient trade route may have felt like by shopping at Chorsu Bazaar, the world’s largest open-air bazaar.
Here are a few interesting things to do in Uzbekistan:
Top things to do in Uzbekistan
🏨 Where to Stay in Uzbekistan: Stay at Marhaba Boutique, a magical and history-ridden hotel that will make you feel like you stepped back to the 1500s. Or a modern hotel such as the locally owned Usman Heritage Hotel or Wyndham Tashkent. Uzbekistan has lots of unique stays such as
Komodo Island , Indonesia
Bali is great, but if you’re looking for underrated places in Indonesia, you should check out Komodo Island. Komodo Island is known for being home to the most giant lizards in the world, the Komodo Dragons. But it’s an excellent place for scuba diving and sailing.
Indonesia has such a rich culture. If you’re an adventurer, Komodo Island is the place to be.
If you love scuba diving, freediving, or mermaiding, Sipandan may feel like paradise. The famous scuba diving pioneer Jacques Cousteau once described Sipandan as an “untouched piece of art”.
You can find enormous schools of tuna and barracudas and shivers of hammerhead and leopard sharks. My favorite, of course, is the green sea turtles.
The local government is working hard to preserve this national park so you must get a permit to dive here. They only issue about 160 permits a day so plan accordingly.
Top things to do in Sipandan
🤿 Scuba diving of course!
🏨 Where to Stay in Sipandan: Aloha Mabul Scuba Lodge offers free breakfast and clean rooms. Sipandan is a very rustic destination so you will not find any 4-star hotels.
Underrated Summer Travel Ideas in Africa
Diani Beach, Kenya
After the safari, you’ll need a place to relax. Diani Beach should be that place for you. Visitors usually visit Diani Beach for scuba diving, paddleboarding, and kayaking. But it’s also the premier kite surfing spot in Africa.
Lamu is another less-visited beach town in Kenya and an underrated summer destination.
Top things to do in Diani Beach
Sal, Cape Verde
Did you know you can explore volcanoes, uninhabited islands, and humpback whales in West Africa? Cape Verde has all three. Santiago is the biggest island in Cape Verde, but visitors love to island hop to Sal, Soa Vista, and Fogo.
It’s also a short flight to Dakar, making it the perfect time for a 2 in 1 vacation.
Top things to do in Sal, Cape verde
👙 Doing a whale tour is a must, but who can say no to a 4×4 tour to experience hidden gems on the island, like caves and sand dunes?
Dahab is slowly rising in popularity but it still has a small city charm. The water is beautiful and there are lots of do in the area. You can hike Mt. Sinai or dive the Blue Hole.
Top things to do in dahab, egypt
👙 If you’re feeling adventurous you can Hike Mt. Sinai, one of the holiest mountains in Africa. Or you can learn how to freedive at a local shop, scuba dive at the Blue Hole, or visit Ras Abu Galam. Beach lovers will enjoy snorkeling at Three Pools.
🏨 Where to Stay in Dahab: Penguin Village Dahab, a beachfront property in a very walkable neighborhood of Dahab.
Underrated Summer Travel Ideas in the United States, South America, and the Caribbean
Florida’s Fresh Springs
Don’t sleep on summer vacations in the USA. If you’re looking for a local escape that won’t break the bank, a domestic trip to the Florida Springs might be for you. There are a lot of springs to choose from. Some of the most popular Florida Springs are Three Sister Springs, Ginnie Springs, and De Leon Springs. Most are located within 1.5 hours of Orlando. The best time to swim with the manatees is November to April. The best time of day to swim with the manatees is in the early morning. Make sure always to give them ample space.
Top things to do in Florida Springs
Beuqia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Beuqia is a hidden gem in the Caribbean. It’s known for its pink beaches and lively coral reefs. It’s such an underrated destination. When you hop off the plane, you’ll fall in love with its gorgeous landscape and waters. Don’t leave the island without trying callalou soup.
Top things to do in bequia
🏴☠️🦜 Do a Pirates of the Caribbean Tour in Kingstowne or relax at Princess Margaret Beach.
🏨 Where to Stay in Bequia: Spring Hotel Bequia is a beachfront hotel that offers free breakfast and is only a few steps away from the beach. Bequia Beach Hotel is a luxury resort that offers its guests usage of bikes during their stay.
Playa Roja, Peru
When people think of Peru, they usually imagine Machu Picchu and Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunc), but there’s a lot more to do in Peru.
Playa Roja is located in the Paracas National Reserve. It received its name due to the reddish color of nearby rocks. It’s a great place to take drone footage because it resembles Mars.