You may have noticed that the beach you’ve been visiting since a child is now becoming a bit more crowded.
And by a bit more, we mean way more.
It’s not your imagination.
We are creatures of habit and love to go where we have gone before—or where others have gone before us.
For this reason, the places that receive high tourism traffic continue to be Americans’ top destinations of choice, while the roads less traveled lay bare.
According to CNN, almost 87 million international tourists visited France in 2017, while the South Pacific country of Tuvalu received only 2,000!
This is not because Tuvalu doesn’t have much to offer (it does, in fact, it’s on our list)—but because it isn’t a well-known destination.
But isn’t that what traveling is supposed to be all about?
To experience something you’ve never experienced before? To see new sights and forget about all the stresses of everyday life?
And while a vacation may mean different things to different people, no one in the world can say they actually enjoy standing in long lines or getting pushed around by hordes of other travelers. (Although there is a way to navigate the crowds as Proud American Traveler has previously shared with our readers.)
But in the meantime, how about skipping the chaos altogether and opening yourself up to new worlds of possibility, because there are some beautiful places out there just waiting to be discovered!1.Tuvalu
Want to feel like you’re on your very own private island and lounge beside crystal blue waters and white sandy beaches?
Tuvalu offers all of that and more with over 100 little “islets” scattered across the South Pacific.
Fly into the airport on the main island of Funafuti, then take a ferry to your dream mini-island.
Here you won’t have to worry about squeezing your beach chair in between dozens of families just to see the ocean.
With a quaint population of under 12,000 people, Tuvalu saw only 2,000 international tourists in 2017.2.The Republic of Kiribati
In a region where the water-to-land ratio is the highest in the world, you will definitely feel far away from all your worries.
The Republic of Kiribati is about a thousand miles away from Fiji and consists of three sub-groups of islands— the Gilbert Group, Phoenix Group, and Line Group. Kiribati is also the world’s largest protected marine area, according to its national tourism office.
Here you can enjoy saltwater fly fishing for bonefish, surf the breaks, snorkel among brightly colored coral reefs, or partake in a traditional feast—known as botaki.
Only 6,000 tourists made their way here in 2016, giving you all the more reason to take a tropical getaway to Kiribati.
This rolling green landscape welcomes you to the highlight of Montserrat, the Soufrière Hills volcano.
Belonging to the British Overseas Territory, Montserrat is part of a chain of islands located in the West Indies.
Massive volcanic eruptions in the 1990s enveloped the capital of Plymouth, creating a modern-day Pompeii.
The south of the island is off limits due to the destruction of the volcano, but the north offers beaches full of black sand, breathtaking hikes, and great camping spots to bask in all that nature has to offer.
Only 8,000 international tourists visited Montserrat in 2017, leaving this spot an open path to explore.4. Niue
This predominantly Polynesian island located in the South Pacific Ocean offers a unique oceanside experience with its rocky coast and hidden pockets of caves.
Coral reefs also surround this adventurous landscape, so be prepared to see tons of wildlife and fish of all shapes and sizes swimming around.
And if you travel between July and October, you’ll have the privilege of witnessing the humpback whales that use the Niue as a “warm water nursery.”
Listen to the exciting sounds of their cries and the slaps of their monstrous tails as they swim so close to shore, you can actually see them!
For being one of the world’s smallest countries, Niue received an impressive 10,000 international tourists in 2017.5. Liechtenstein
Taking you away from the traditional beach vacation, you’ll find Liechtenstein—a little country nestled between Austria and Switzerland.
In fact, Liechtenstein is one of the only two double-landlocked countries on earth.
But you won’t miss the sand and surf with its rolling hillsides, vineyards, and stone peaks.
And just like that of a fairytale, Liechtenstein boasts its own enchanting castles, such as the historic Gutenberg Castle in the village of Balzers.
This mountainous region is like setting foot in your very own Narnia and attracts about 79,000 international tourists a year.
You may not have heard of any of these places until now, but that’s the point!
Venture to these far-off regions for a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is sure to be just yours.
Please tell us in the comments section if you’ve ever wanted to visit one of these far-off lands, or if you’ve already experienced their unique offerings.