Being a tourist can be fun. You get to step out of your usual life and see things that are completely new. But you have to also be aware that hundreds of other tourists are probably all going to be ending up at the same places as you.
It can be difficult to avoid tourist traps, especially if they are in places that you’ve longed to check off your bucket list. And many tourist traps can be a lot of fun, educational, awe-inspiring, and well worth the experience. For example, places like The Grand Canyon, The Golden Gate Bridge, The Freedom Trail, or the National Mall in Washington D.C. are all wildly popular tourist attractions, but they are worth keeping on your must see list anyway.
But while there are plenty of tourist attractions that are worth taking the time to travel to and see, there are some that, honestly, you wouldn’t be missing out on if you chose to avoid them. Some are just plain tourist traps that you’ll walk away from wondering why you had just spent money and time at them, and why no one had the courtesy to warn you.
Some tourist traps are pretty obvious, and you know from the get go that it’s a place you’d rather avoid, like The World’s Largest Ball of Twine found in Kansas, or the Ark Encounter in Kentucky. But some are places that seem to sound like they’d be worth a visit. They’ll be listed in your guidebooks, show up on tripadvisor, and generally believed to be must see locations.
Not all tourist sites are created equal. While it’s a given that it might be crowded at typical tourist locations, some places have crowds that can be down right claustrophobic. Some places that have been built up by others might be a bit underwhelming in person. Or possibly even cheesy.
But don’t let the potential for tourist traps dissuade you from taking that vacation and seeing the sites. Just make sure you go into with the places in mind well researched and your eyes wide open.