Loveholidays reveals its top choice of 2024 destination dupes, including idyllic Budva in Montenegro and Ksamil in Albania. Holidaymakers are increasingly seeking alternative destinations, with the online travel agent reporting significant increases in bookings to Malta, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Albania in 2023 versus 2022.
Loveholidays’ choice of destination dupes is based on overall affordability, shorter flight times and comparison of culture and aesthetic.
Whilst bucket-list destinations can sometimes feel a dream away, the popular TikTok trend #destinationdupes allows travellers to experience similar, more attainable alternatives, often leaving them with more money and time to enjoy on their holiday.
And the trend is taking off, with loveholidays witnessing significant year-on-year increases in bookings made to alternative destinations including Malta (+29%), Bulgaria (+33%), Montenegro (+67%) and Albania (+95%) in 2023.
To help holidaymakers seeking destination dupes in 2024, the online travel agent has revealed its top picks. From the turquoise shores of Budva in Montenegro to the Azores’ jaw-dropping peaks, the list provides alternatives to some of the world’s most popular holiday destinations.
Commenting on the destination dupe trend, Al Murray, Chief Marketing Officer at loveholidays says: “We know Brits are becoming increasingly cost-conscious but across the travel sector, we are also seeing that they are prioritising getting away on holiday. The concept of swapping luxury destinations for locations that provide a similar experience for a smaller price tag is taking off and is exactly why we offer the option to search our holidays based on budget and star rating as opposed to destination.
“We believe travel is both aspirational and something you can do on a budget, so while some destinations further afield will take a little longer to prepare and plan for, untapped destinations such as the Azores in Portugal and Ksamil in Albania serve as great alternatives for booking shorter-term.”
If you like Greek Islands, then you’ll LOVE Montenegro
Host to an incredible landscape with dramatic mountains and lakes along the Adriatic coastline, Montenegro is a great place to experience rich cultural heritage and authentic, unspoilt locations; whilst being more affordable than neighbouring Croatia and the ever-popular Greek islands. Perfect for explorers: those visiting Budva can hike or ride through the mountains, island-hop on a boat or ride the water slides at Aqua Park Budva for just €29, whilst taking in coastal views from the top of Mount Toplis.
If you like Cyprus, you’ll LOVE Albania
A growing tourist destination, many of Albania’s beaches are more tranquil than others across Europe. For those wishing to jet off to party on the Mediterranean, Ksamil is ideal: hotel, food and nightlife hotspots costs are much lower, even in the peak summer months. Rivalling Ayia Napa, Dhërmi in Albania is a hotspot for fans of electronic and dance festivals, such as ION Festival. For a more laid back set list, Kala Festival is an ideal choice.
TOP LOVEHOLIDAYS TIP: Some Albanian beach resorts come as a potential 2-for-1 deal, as the easiest way to reach Albania’s beaches is to fly to the Greek island of Corfu, followed by the 30-minute ferry across the water to Sarandë. Top tip: split your time between them or choose one as a base and take a day trip to the other.
If you like Magaluf, you’ll LOVE Sunny Beach
One of Europe’s cheapest seaside holiday destinations, Sunny Beach in Bulgaria has a reputation for its great nightlife, being a good value alternative to Magaluf and Ibiza. Sunny Beach has transformed over the last decade, encouraging visits to nearby wineries, hiking trails and waterparks, such as Aqua Paradise Waterpark, the largest in the country. Bulgaria also offers holidaymakers the opportunity to explore for less: in the ancient town and UNESCO site Old Nessebar, there are historic churches, cobblestone streets and gorgeous sea views to take in.
If you like Hawaii, you’ll LOVE the Azores
Portugal’s Azores islands provide breathtaking natural landscapes, similar to those on offer in Hawaii, for short haul prices. Proud of its local culture and communities, rumour has it that if visitors make friends with local fishermen, they may share delicacies for visitors to cook themselves, as the islands offer several approved locations for home-made barbecues. Promising value for money no matter the reason for travel: the Azores offer beaches for relaxing, towering peaks to climb such as the Lagoa do Fogo trail, historic landmarks and access to some incredible diving hotspots like the DORI Liberty ship wreck.
If you like Amalfi Coast, you’ll LOVE Malta
Dotted with UNESCO sites, Malta is surrounded by turquoise waters and home to unique rock formations. Influenced by Italian culture, it resembles the Amalfi Coast but at a more affordable price, allowing guests to stroll down the capital’s enchanting mediaeval alleys, bask beneath the warm rays on the coast or savour the local cuisine in the many eateries whilst soaking in the country’s historic culture.
If you like Dubrovnik, you’ll LOVE Zadar, Poreč or Rabac
Croatia’s Dalmatian coast is perfect for a holiday, but popular resorts like historic Dubrovnik and Split are no strangers to tourism. With the island-hopping trend still a popular choice, smaller resorts like Zadar, Poreč and Rabac are just as picture-perfect and exciting as Dubrovnik and Split, but for a fraction of the cost. Visitors can enjoy local gems such as Zadar’s sea organ that plays music generated by the waves, and Porec’s UNESCO-listed Euphrasian Basilica at no to little charge.
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