Travel Smart and Steer Clear of These 13 Cities That Are Tourist Hellscapes
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Are you dreaming of changing up your vacation this year and visiting somewhere a little off the beaten path?
It’s easy to imagine how much fun it could be to explore the hidden gems and unique cultural charms of an unfamiliar city, but before you pack your bags for an adventurous getaway, check out this list of cities best avoided!
From overwhelming crowds clogging streets rife with petty crime to high prices that make it hard even to find a decent meal or hotel room, these are some places that should just stay on your bucket list if travel smart is what you’re aiming for.
Find out why these 13 cities are more tourist hellscapes than havens and how you can steer clear without missing out on all the attractions.
Table of Contents
#1. Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore’s crime rate is among the highest in the United States, with a violent crime index higher even than cities like Chicago and Philadelphia.
The city also has a high cost of living, and the public transportation system is unreliable.
But there are still plenty of cultural attractions, including great seafood restaurants and two professional sports teams, the Orioles and Ravens.
#2. Los Angeles
LA is another Californian city that people no longer enjoy visiting.
They have some of the same issues as San Francisco, but this isn’t why so many people dislike the area.
One person summed up the feelings of many by saying, “I don’t understand how everything you want to do is always a 30-45 minute drive away, no matter where you are in the city. My entire vacation there felt like I was either driving, sitting in traffic, or finding parking. Despite being such a major city, somehow, nothing is ever just a walk away. The size and sprawl are just insane.”
Another city you might not think to make this list is Miami.
Many people said aside from South Beach, the city is nothing but trouble.
One person said, “I only go to Miami to visit friends and family. Otherwise it is a hard pass. Stayed the night with a friend the night before we were leaving for a cruise. Silly us left the majority of our luggage in the trunk. We went out the next morning to find our car broken into and all our luggage gone. Had to make an express trip to the mall to but clothes for both of us for 7 days. Plus, Miami traffic is ridiculous.”
#4. San Francisco
A once must-see city, San Francisco has gone downhill to the point where many people refuse to visit.
Those who must visit do everything possible to make the trip as short as possible.
This is primarily due to a laid-back policy on crime and homelessness, which has left many people, including residents, feeling unsafe.
As a result, it is the top city people refuse to visit.
#5. Cabo San Lucas
If you hear people travel to Mexico, the most popular places are Cancun and Cabo.
But surprisingly, many people who went to Cabo returned with negative reviews.
One person said, “The beaches were nice, and the food was good. Everything else was unbearable.”
Another person added, “ I found Cabo really overrated. It’s like Mexico Lite. As someone who no longer drinks, it doesn’t have much to offer. Beaches look nice but you can’t go swimming. I had more average meals than good meals. American prices and little Mexican culture.”
If you are planning a trip to Nashville, think again.
Many people mention how the city has become the go-to destination for bachelorette parties, meaning downtown is overrun by drunk girls doing stupid things.
The good news is if the nightlife isn’t your thing, there are still plenty of things to do.
If you look at pictures of Dubai, it seems incredible.
It is like a real oasis in the desert.
But apparently, the city is all about the almighty dollar, not culture.
One person said, “Absolutely no soul. Everything is just a display of wealth.”
Many people are moving to Texas for various reasons, including nice weather and no state taxes.
But not every city in Texas is a place you want to go.
This includes Houston.
One person said about Houston, “pollution, traffic, rain and humidity, dangerous industry, hurricanes, and no zoning.”
Another person said, “stormy mosquitoes, the size of B-52s.”
#9. Port Sudan
Sudan won’t show up on many top ten lists and for a good reason.
It simply is not a nice place to visit.
One recent traveler shared their experience, and it doesn’t make anyone want to go.
“It was 120° F in the shade. I couldn’t find a beer to save my soul. And the only water I could find was from a literal mud hole with camels laying in it, and they charged by the glass! Plus customs wouldn’t let me into the city unless I paid him a $50 entrance fee.”
You might think a trip to Egypt to see the pyramids and experience a different culture would be high on people’s trip lists.
But more and more people are refusing to go, especially women.
One woman shared, “As a female who solo traveled all over the place, nothing was worse than Cairo. No pyramid seeing is worth the things I put up with.”
#11. Salt Lake City
If you ask people to list places not to visit, Salt Lake City would be one that you wouldn’t think would show up.
Yet here it is.
Here is why, according to one traveler. “Been back a few times and the people there are more contemptuous than a wolverine with a burning thorn in it. Not just in driving, but in everything the general public does there is done with true disdain for every other living creature on earth.”
#12. Las Vegas
Las Vegas is known for its vibrant nightlife and high-stakes gambling.
But the neon lights can quickly dim when you factor in the oppressive heat, lack of green spaces, and constant noise levels that come with being in Sin City.
Then there’s the crime rate: Las Vegas has one of the highest robbery rates in the U.S., with nearly 1,500 robberies reported in 2019 alone.
If you’re looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Las Vegas may not be your ideal destination.
Instead, consider nearby quieter cities such as Reno or Lake Tahoe for a more tranquil vacation.
#13. Mexico City
Mexico City is a bustling metropolitan hub with plenty of cultural attractions to explore.
However, the city’s pollution levels are among the highest in the world.
The air quality index often exceeds 200, which is considered hazardous for human health.
In addition, Mexico City has one of the highest crime rates in Central and South America.
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I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
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