Kelsey is a freelance writer based in Southern Virginia. She enjoys traveling with her family to destinations from national parks to amusement parks and loves sharing tips and stories from along the way.
We’ve got a bone to pick with influencers! You know the type. You’re trying to enjoy the view at a bucket-list destination, and they hog the view trying to take, edit, and post the perfect selfie.
Someone recently asked, “Which destinations are influencers ruining now?” Here are the top answers. Save yourself the frustration and avoid these destinations.
“Chiang Mai is literally the worst place I’ve ever been for tourists,” one person says. “We went to this remote waterfall that literally looked like paradise on earth and all people could do was take photos of themselves. Wild.”
Another person had the same experience in this notoriously gorgeous Thai city, saying, “We were posted up in this awesome bar, chillin on mats and enjoying the peace. These… tourists with a full-on tripod and mics and everything kept asking us to straight up leave so they could have a photo shoot!” Talk about frustrating.
Some travelers recommended choosing less-busy seasons to visit popular destinations and avoid the rush of influencers. March was a commonly recommended travel month, but that won’t work for every destination.
“I was in the background of around 100 live streams simultaneously while walking around in Kyoto in March,” said one disillusioned traveler.
One person sounds like they’ve been waiting to share their strong opinion on this topic!
“Tulum is a garbage can of influencer BS,” they said. “Used to be a gorgeous outside-the-box location with excellent food and music. Now, they still have 0 infrastructure, run everything off of diesel generators, and have lines to take pictures in front of EVERYTHING. A juice bar with a big rabbit out front? 50 people waiting.”
Ok, you convinced me. I won’t go.
I know, I know. Disney World has always been a tourist trap, but you still expect a certain amount of magic when you visit the mouse’s house.
One visitor shared that while waiting for the parade with her children, “some 40ish-year-old woman with a selfie stick bumped my daughter and cut right in front of us as it was starting… to go “live” on whatever social media.”
This visitor didn’t take that lying down, though. She goes on to say, “I made sure to loudly say ‘excuse you! Did that rude lady really just push a five-year-old out of the way?'”
One influencer laments that location security is often complicit in the influencer takeover. “Portugal has gone nuts,” they complained. “I was at Belem Tower and they made everyone wait in the hot sun while an Instagram influencer took over the tower for a photo shoot.
It was security at the monument not letting anyone up into the tower until the photo shoot was done.”
This traveler begins with the caveat that, while they didn’t consider their trip ruined by influencers, they did encounter some at the iconic Schloss Neuschwanstein.
“We were on the bridge across from the castle admiring the view and getting some pics of our own. 2 girls showed me a picture of 2 women gently clasping hands looking all perfect and dewy and asked if I could take a picture of them just like that. They did their poses, I took a bunch of shots, and they didn’t like how they looked. They asked me to take more, but I refused. I’m not spending a visit to one of my bucket list locations to take Insta-worthy pictures of you.”
Italy is a bucket-list destination for many travelers, and the influencers of the world have definitely gotten the memo.
“Went last year,” one person says, “Varenna was overrun by people trying to pose for the perfect Insta post rather than just taking in the beauty of the place.”
Why even travel if you’re planning to spend the whole trip looking through your phone? Beats us!
Utah is absolutely packed with incredible views, but what’s the point if you’re not going to spend time taking it in? One person says, “We were in Utah once at an overlook at sunset. … this couple shows up with a suitcase, not kidding. It was full of alternative outfits.
The woman proceeded to dress up in flowy dresses and big hats and stand at the edge of a 1000-foot precipice while her man took pictures of her smiling and holding her hat from getting blown off. They never sat down to look at the sunset or enjoy the desert vibe.”
To see Stonehenge, travelers have to commit to a lengthy trip from London or other more populous areas. Once you’re there, of course, you’d like to be able to see the sights!
One person said, “We went to Bath/Windsor/Stonehenge on a day tour, and it was absolutely teeming with other tourists. I literally did not get to physically see Stonehenge because the shuttles were overwhelmed and I was afraid of not making it back to the tour bus.”
Several people recommended staying away from Bali. “Japan and Bali. Leave those places alone,” one said.
Another included it in their long list of locations to avoid. “Santorini, Lake Cuomo, Costa Rica, Guatemala – Atitlan, Yucatán, Yellowstone, Bali, Morocco, parts of Colombia, San Blas, Himalayas, Yosemite… all loaded with cringfluencers.”
“Bali,” a third person agreed. “I’ve traveled a lot and never ever have seen people acting crazier than there.”
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