Special Report

Vacation Destinations That Aren't Worth the Cost

Hristina Byrnes

Source: Mstyslav Chernov / Wikimedia Commons

6. Pisa, Italy

Most people who go to Pisa, a city in the beautiful region of Tuscany in Italy that is worth a trip, have one goal in mind — seeing the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa … and “attempting” to fix it. The thing is — the tower is much smaller than it looks in photos. Also, a day trip from nearby cities, like Florence, just to end up taking the same picture as everyone else, is going to cost around $90. Tuscany is known for its idyllic landscapes, art, food, wine, and hilltop towns — so go explore those instead.

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7. Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas is the most overrated city in the world, at least according to a 2015 Yahoo Travel survey. As the consummate adult playground, a trip to Vegas may be appropriate for a 21st birthday or a bachelor/ette party, but not much else. A city in which casinos (read spending money for nothing or with little chance of return) are the primary attraction can easily leave you close to bankrupt; hence, it can’t be that great. While flight tickets to Vegas aren’t too expensive (a round-trip ticket from New York City is about $200), expenses will add up. Aside from gambling and knocking down cocktails, you will likely go to see a lot of shows. Tickets to Van Morrison and Mariah Carey start at $120, and various Cirque du Soleil shows cost around $100.

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8. Hong Kong SAR, China

Hong Kong isn’t a huge territory (about a third of the size of Rhode Island). It has just over 7.3 million residents, but it sees 10 times as many visitors. More than 65 million tourists visited the region in 2018, a new record. There was an increase in arrivals of tourists from the mainland, day-trippers, and overnight visitors. There is much to see in Hong Kong, but walking there isn’t a pleasant experience. While public transport is cheap, the same can’t be said of hotels. A 5-star hotel starts at around $230 a night. The city was recently ranked the most expensive in the Cost of Living Survey by Mercer, a human resources consulting firm.

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9. Atlantis Paradise, Bahamas

This is a gigantic money-making resort so don’t expect an authentic Caribbean experience. Aside from that, many guests have found it disappointing and overpriced with rude staff and faulty spa charges. Rates start at $200 per night, in addition to the nightly fee, but that price only gives you access to the gym, waterpark, and movie theater. Any other activities, such as fishing charters, tours, special classes, and golf, are extra. That, in addition to a round-trip ticket costing over $400 per person from New York City, sounds like an overrated trip.

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10. Venice, Italy

Do you want to spend a lot of money only to be somewhere you’re not wanted? The “City of Water” has adapted aggressive strategies to limit the number of tourists because it’s overcrowded almost all of the time. Its 50,000 residents deal with about 30 million visitors a year. During peak times, tourists and locals can be separated, with visitors being redirected to popular places while some areas are only open to locals. Big cruise ships are no longer allowed to steam past the popular St Mark’s Square.