Carry On: 5 destination dupes to visit this summer

The buzziest travel term of 2024 might just be “destination dupes” as wanderers search for summer vacations away from the hordes (and, often, away from inflated prices as well)

Fast fashion may have perfected the art of the inexpensive dupe, but the travel industry has quickly caught on: so-called destination dupes are the hottest trend for summer travel, and every travel agent, expert and brand seems to be touting them.

Catalonia, Spain: Crowds in European capitals can make summer touring a drag. In Spain’s Catalonia region, consider architecture- and history-rich Girona: one European food site pegged meals there at an average of 25 percent less than in Barcelona, and it’s just an hour away.

Liverpool, U.K.: Instead of London, consider Liverpool. There’s a Tate museum there, too, plus Anfield—home of Liverpool FC—and, for Boomers: all that Beatles history!

Treviso, Italy: Similarly, Treviso is Venice minus the canals, but it has riverside architecture and, mercifully, trees for shade, an airport nearby and adjacency to the Prosecco wine region.

Santorini, Greece: News flash: Santorini is no longer a secluded Greek island retreat. Try Paros, which has the whitewashed buildings and winding streets but without the huge crowds.

The Albanian Riviera, Albania: The Albanian Riviera is also trending as an alternative to the south of France, with Saranda, near the border to Greece, as one place to start.

Jet Setter

Scott Bond is a newcomer to the Vancouver business scene, but not to business travel: the vice president of U.S. consumer services for Rennie previously worked for Property Finder in Dubai. As Bond works to expand the brokerage in the States, he frequently motors between Vancouver and Seattle, and tries to time the border early in the morning.  “I love the drive as the sun is coming up,” he says. Like all savvy border crossers, Bond uses the Nexus/Global Entry program, and “knows where all the Starbucks are located.”

Scott Bond

The residential real-estate expert still prefers hotels over home-stay accommodations, and when in Vancouver he stays “at one hotel and one hotel only: the Loden.” The hotel’s Tableau Bar Bistro “has one of the best burgers that I’ve ever had,” he adds.

Bond’s business packing starts with the dress shoes (brown or black), which “decide the rest of the outfits from there.” Nikes and gym clothes go in the bag, as does his fave device: a charging hub. “It allows me to plug in my phone, Apple watch, laptop and even headphones,” he explains. “There is nothing worse than stressing out about charging your devices the night before a big day.”