Monday, April 22, 2024
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Ideas to Beat the Crowds

by Staff

According to the online travel agency Expedia, travelers in 2024 will check into rentals with pickleball courts, voyage to places where their favorite TV series are set, and visit “destination dupes” — vacation spots that duplicate the features of well-traveled attractions but draw fewer crowds and offer more savings.

Although the notion of alternatives isn’t new, dupe mania is rooted in recent overtourism. “People have been flocking to popular destinations in record numbers, which is driving an uptick in travelers who are seeking less crowded and less obvious alternatives to these popular vacation spots that still offer all the charm,” says Melanie Fish, head of Expedia Group Brands public relations. 

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Nearly 60 percent of travelers surveyed by the market research firm Future Partners agreed with the finding that dupes will grow.

“Even more than the lower price, a dupe holds out the promise of a great experience,” says Arnie Weissmann, the editor in chief of Travel Weekly, a travel business publication. “Chief among the risks that can ruin a trip are your fellow travelers — other travelers are competitors for the same resources you’re looking for, from an upgraded room to a good table at a fine restaurant.”

Consider the following five destination dupes to help you make the most of spring break.

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sunset on a beach in San Pacho, Mexico

Surfing at sunset is one way to spend spring break in the town of San Pancho.

Greg Vaughn / Alamy Stock Photo

Popular pick: Florida

Dupe destination: Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

From Pensacola to the Keys, Florida is a perennial spring break beach destination. Sun and sand lovers will find an alternative in Riviera Nayarit, the Pacific coast stretch of Mexico’s state of Nayarit just north of well-known Puerto Vallarta. The beach town of Sayulita offers the bohemian appeal of Key West — easy to navigate on foot and full of fishing charters and small hotels — with the beachcombing access of the Florida Panhandle and surfing akin to New Smyrna Beach. It’s more expensive to stay at a beachfront resort such as Amor Boutique Hotel compared with a town option such as El Pueblito Sayulita, but both are walking distance to the water where waves are gentle enough for beginners to take a swimming lesson. Travelers renting a car can explore even quieter beaches in the nearby towns of San Francisco (a.k.a. San Pancho) and Lo de Marcos.

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