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The Hollywood Sign, California, USA

The Hollywood Sign, California, USA
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Why it’s overrated: Yep, everyone wants a photo with one of the most famous pieces of signage ever – but travel author and blogger Leigh Ann says that’s the issue. After battling two to four hours of traffic, you’ll have to hike from a park and due to restrictions, the closest you can get is a half-mile away. And sure, an afternoon trek might sound nice in the middle of your vacay, Leigh Ann begs to differ: “The hike itself is rather unspectacular with desert bushes on either side of you and the Los Angeles pollution rising over the clouds. By the time you find yourself in a position to take a decent photo with the sign, you’ll probably be dripping in sweat, red in the face, and on the verge of a heat stroke.”

What to do instead: Enjoy this landmark from afar by visiting The Griffith Observatory where you can witness an Instagram-worthy view. Leigh Ann says to get there an hour before sunset and enjoy the city lit up afterward.

Times Square, New York, USA

Times Square, New York, USA
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Why it’s overrated: Even though traveller Justin Hussong grew up in the area, he says Times Square isn’t exactly a fun experience. “There’s not much reason to go there unless you’re going to a play on Broadway. It’s full of tourists standing in the middle of the road and gridlock traffic,” he explains. Apart from early, early morning – when everything is closed – there isn’t a time you can visit this Big Apple hotspot without pushing your way through hordes of people.

What to do instead: If you absolutely have to see Times Square – go at night. It’s much more awe-inspiring when you see all of the signs lit up from the famous red steps on 49th street. (Most Broadway shows start at 8 p.m., so head out at 8:01 to avoid the crush.) Then? See more of the local experience by visiting Bushwick, Williamsburg, the East Village and Chelsea, for bars, art, and music.

Disneyland, California, USA

Disneyland, California, USA
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Why it’s overrated: Unless you grew up a die-hard Disney fan, Hussong says Disneyland isn’t a fun option for your wallet or vacation. Not only will you spend all day waiting in line, but in comparison to Disney World, it might feel lacklustre.

What to do instead: See more of this spot in the country! Hussong recommends Six Flags, Knott’s Berry Farm, and if you’re up for the drive, San Diego Sea World or the San Diego Zoo.

Hollywood Walk, California, USA

Hollywood Walk, California, USA
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Why it’s overrated: When you’re in Los Angeles, you probably want to try your hand – literally – at Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. With more than 2,500 handprints, you can spend quite the afternoon seeing which palms match your own, but Rajendran says it gets old, fast. Tons of foot – er, hand? – traffic makes for adult temper tantrums under the California heat.

What to do instead: Stop by, for sure, Rajendran says but just for a few blocks. Then get your Hollywood fix by taking a Universal Studios tour instead.

Melbourne Star, Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne Star, Melbourne, Australia
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Why it’s overrated: How much would you pay to see factory outlets? Around $36 if you’re riding the Ferris wheel in the centre of Melbourne, Australia. Even though travel blogger Carlita is from this country, she doesn’t recommend wasting your time – or money – taking a single rotation on this attraction.

What to do instead: For a better view of the city – and far more fun! – spend an afternoon or evening at Curtin House Rooftop Bar, where a cocktail equals entry.

Cu Chi Tunnels, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Cu Chi Tunnels, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
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Why it’s overrated: Travel blogger and author Kelly Hayes-Raitt says though this landmark is a fascinating maze that was used by the Viet Cong during Vietnam’s various wars for independence, the tourist experiences feels like a gimmicky Disneyland. “The tunnels themselves in this area have been widened to accommodate larger westerners. The guides have been given carefully worded scripts that praise the “cunning” of the Viet Cong and condemn the South Vietnamese. And a shooting range has been created to allow tourists to shoot rifles,” she shares. All of this makes the whole bit feel disingenuous.

What to do instead: Do your research and pick a guide who was a former soldier. If you keep the group small, Hayes-Raitt says you might actually hear the true stories from this era. And when you’re there, make sure to visit the War Remnants Museum for an authentic look.

Be sure to check out these four modern man-made marvels in Southeast Asia.

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Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin, Germany

Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin, Germany
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Why it’s overrated: Though this used to be an intense military checkpoint between east and west Berlin, Hayes-Raitt says now it’s not quite as exciting. It’s staffed by what she calls “a couple of bored-looking” actors who pose with tourists and don’t reveal much of a history behind this stretch of land.

What to do instead: For history buffs, Hayes-Raitt says a must-see is the Stasi Prison at Berlin-Hohenschoenhausen, which was established by the Soviets. Get this: some tours are even conducted by former prisoners.

Did you know you should never talk with your hands in your pockets in Germany? Find out the 7 things it’s rude to do in other countries.

South Beach, Florida, USA

South Beach, Florida, USA
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Why it’s overrated: For bachelorette parties and weekend getaways, the glitz of this strip of coast in Florida is enticing. But no matter when you tour, the year-round pretty weather makes for overpriced-everything and bum-to-bum beaches. It’s fun, sure, but travel blogger Lindsay Cale says there’s much more beautiful and unique experiences to be found in this state.

What to do instead: Cale recommends staying in the Wynwood neighbourhood in downtown Miami where streets are lined with vibrant street art, boutiques, and gelato stands. Its location is great too: “You can easily catch an Uber to soak up the sun on the beach, but spending time in Wynwood will quickly turn Miami into one of your favourite cities,” she says.

Chichen Itza, Mexico

Chichen Itza, Mexico
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Why it’s overrated: This Mayan ruins on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula features a large pyramid and graphic stone carvings, serving as one of the most sought-after spots in the country. But thanks to its popularity, you can expect long lines and crowds as you attempt to take a photo, according to Cale.

What to do instead: Just as impressive, Uxmal is well-maintained and beautiful, but with a fraction of the chaos, Cale says. “You can also climb some of the ruins for incredible panoramic views. For a truly unique experience head to Uxmal at night to take in the light show,” she says.

La Tomatina, Bunol, Spain

La Tomatina, Bunol, Spain
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Why it’s overrated: A massive food fight in the middle of the streets of Spain? Sounds fun, right? Traveller Kelly Kresin says while seemingly once-in-a-lifetime in theory, the experience isn’t as exciting. “You are squished so tightly into a narrow street that you can’t move, tomatoes are flying from all angles hitting you so hard you bruise, and 30 minutes in, you start feeling the burn of the tomato juice in every crevice, even ones you didn’t know you had,” she explains.

What to do instead: The port city of Valencia is a fraction of the cost of other Spanish towns, making munching tapas and sipping vino tinto much more enjoyable than a tomato fight.

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