When you’re planning a big trip to Europe or the United States, you’re bound to book a Contiki, tour in the Greek Islands or see places like Paris, London and New York. Why? Because we’re promised that these tourist destinations are the best on Earth, from movies based in ‘The Big Apple’ and glamorous brochures lying around at travel agencies. However, there’s an endless list of underrated and possibly unexpected cities for the curious millennial to visit on their next overseas trip. Why are non-cliche cities appealing? Well, so far I’ve gathered (from social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram) that the new trend is pretty much going against mainstream choices; this might be why sixteen-year-olds are singing with spiders coming out of their mouths in music videos. Go with the new trend of going against the trend, and start planning your next overseas trip with these five underrated cities:
Tucked away in the South of France, Cannes is home to one of the biggest international film festivals in the world, yet no Aussie in their twenties has stepped foot there (well, not many). This is France’s little Hollywood, where established actors and big-time directors roam around the coastal town for one month of the year. For a taste of the sweet life and to feel like you’re the youngest, prettiest thing in town (everyone there is either retired or perhaps just not ageing well), then Cannes is the cross between razzmatazz and serenity you’ve been dreaming of. Your day will look like this: cycling your way into town after a small French breakfast of coffee and a croissant (and a cigarette for the posers). You will then take a dip in the French Riviera before having a luxe lunch along the water. At night you will walk up the restaurant strip and boujee club scene. You will feel VIP AF during your stay in Cannes; pack your savings in your pocket for this adventure as it’s definitely a ‘treat yourself’ holiday destination.
Monterosso is without a doubt the most beautiful of the five villages in Cinque Terre. The town may be famous for the San Francesco d’Assisi monument, but for me, the highlight was the unforgettable cocktails (apologies for the uneducated preference). The white, hot sand and the beach that puts Bondi to shame are also top reasons for throwing Monterosso onto your bucket list. Back to the cocktails – Torre Aurora is home to classic cocktails with a quirky twist. You can choose from a Bloody Mary, a sour margarita, or a mix of sweet and salty drinks that will tingle your taste buds and promise you a whirlwind adventure.
Bucharest isn’t everyone’s first choice when they plan an adventure Eastern Europe; the seedy culture and red-hot events we see in the media may partially be the reason this place isn’t a hot tourist destination. However, there is an authentic beauty like no other found in this city; the grungy pubs, the quiet restaurant strip serving incredible food and the live folk bands are the touch of Europe that most young travellers will never see. If you were to go with a group you are probably going to be the only Australian tourists there, even in peak season.
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
This island in South Carolina is a place that is rich in both history and the Gullah culture of ‘Kumbaya.’ Gullah is a highly fascinating culture that is one of the most distinctive African American populations in the United States.
Just like the Gullah people, you will feel connected with land and sea with the soulful food, boat trips and storytelling. Looking at the commercial side, Hilton Head Island also has surprisingly raging nightlife and is home to a few comedy clubs. For those who love luxe sports that require almost zero movement, there’s also (a lot) of golf courses. Sailing is also a nice adventure that the island offers.
Bali holds a massive stigma of scam-artists, bogan tourists and slimy sports bars. Although the stigmas are pretty accurate, Bali is still a crowd-puller for Aussie tourists. To get away from the hustle and bustle, as well as the partial inevitability of bumping into someone you know (yes this happened to me), it’s worth checking out the quieter islands near Bali that are offshore from tourist spots, like Kuta and Denpasar. Lombok is an island in Indonesia that gives you authenticity, one of a kind scenery and a way of life that will surely give you some degree of culture shock. But, given the recent tragic earthquake that hit the island last year, I wouldn’t recommend a Lombok adventure until it is deemed safe.