Planning a vacation and budgeting for that trip is not an easy task and we often research popular locations and get so many mixed reviews. It’s incredibly difficult to know if you should follow the good reviews or the bad ones and decide which of these places are truly worth it.

Many destinations in the world cater to tourists and try to attract them and extract as much money as possible from them. It’s inevitable that when you travel, you will most likely spend lots of money. Some places, despite the price, offer you an unparalleled experience that will mark you forever and some are extremely underwhelming. Some places are overly hyped, and when we arrive it’s not at all what we expected it to be. This is the worst feeling ever, especially after you’ve spent lots of money getting to the site and at the site. It’s important to tell which are the bad tourist traps and which are the ones that are totally worth it!

It’s time to distinguish the differences between these two kinds of destinations! Let's see which destinations are worth the cash and which you’re better off skipping. Planning a trip for this summer and you’re unsure where to go? Maybe this list might give you some guidance…

25 We Wouldn’t Pay A Dime - Plymouth Rock, United States

Maybe a geologist would like this one? Even at that, I’m not quite sure. The history of the United States is very interesting and I don’t mean to undermine it, but some things are better to read about rather than seeing them in real life. Plymouth Rock is one of those things. In the 17th century, Pilgrims supposedly disembarked on this rock when founding the first colony (Wikipedia). This entire story is mainly just a myth that came into existence much later, in the 19th century. Even if this story fascinates you, it’s literally just a rock. Hard pass!

24 We Wouldn’t Pay A Dime - Hollywood Walk of Fame, Los Angeles

There’s such a fascination with celebrities, especially in the States, that sometimes goes a little too far. The Hollywood Walk of Fame is literally just names printed on stars on the floor. Even if you completely idolize a celebrity, what’s the appeal of lying down on the floor to take a photo next to their name? There are so many beautiful things to do and see in the world, I just can’t find a way to reason that this one is worth the trip and many who have visited this spot agree.

23 Worth Every Cent - Walt Disney World, Orlando

There’s a reason this is called the happiest place on earth. It’s the place to go where literally all the magic from your childhood dreams comes to life. Adult or infant, Disney world is an experience all can enjoy. Expect to spend some serious money on souvenirs, food and rides, but also expect days full of fun. Travelling always comes at a cost, but in the case of Disney World, this price is worth it. It’s undeniable that Disney is a tourist trap, and that the Mickey ears you just bought were not worth $60, but the joy that comes with this family vacation is totally worth it.

22 We Wouldn’t Pay A Dime - The North Pole, Alaska

Ok, who doesn’t love Christmas right? Well, I’m no Grinch, but this one just isn’t worth it. This experience is often described as underwhelming, even by those who totally love the holidays. Yes, you can take a photo with Santa all year round and it can give you a taste of Christmas in July, but aside from that, there’s not much else to it. You can buy $15 ornaments in the gift shop and walk around a little town, but that's pretty much it (tripadvisor). Don’t bother making the trip to this one, you'll be very, very disappointed.

21 We Wouldn’t Pay A Dime - Blarney Stone, Ireland

This one just doesn’t make the cut. If you’re travelling to Ireland, I would definitely skip this tourist trap and spend my time elsewhere. The Blarney Stone lies atop a climb of 120 steps. After having hiked up these steps, you pay lots of money to get photographed kissing this stone while hanging upside down from a tower. Many tourists just don’t get the appeal of this one. This kiss will apparently give you the gift of gab, meaning you’ll be quite the chatterbox afterwards, is that a good thing? (theguardian) The worst part of this site is the thought of how germy this rock must be after having being kissed by probably hundreds of thousands of people….. pass!

20 Worth Every Cent - Taj Mahal, India

The Taj Mahal is located in one of the busiest countries in the world and it’s expected that this site will be quite hectic. This site is one of The Seven Wonders of The World and it is without a doubt worth seeing (travelchannel). It’s an architectural marvel that has a beautiful story behind it. Its walls inside are painted with vibrant colours and patterns that are sure to stir some emotions and feeling of awe as you explore it. While this site will obviously be full of other tourists, it is essential in order to connect with India’s history. It’s also an essential place to check off your bucket list, let's be real!

19 We Wouldn’t Pay A Dime - Madame Tussaud's

Madame Tussaud's is a museum of wax figures that are meant to look like famous celebrities. While lots of work goes into making these wax figures as precise as possible, there’s just not that much fun in spending lots of money to stand next to a fake figure of your favourite actor. There are many of these museums worldwide, and they are often amongst the most pricey attractions. There’s just not much to this one. If you want to pay up to take a photo with a fake Wolverine, go ahead, but it’s a total tourist trap.

18 We Wouldn’t Pay A Dime - Times Square, New York

If you love crowds and are not the slightest bit claustrophobic, and you also have close to $1000 to spend on a hotel room every night, maybe this one is for you. There’s so much hype about Times Square, but it’s literally just the epitome of commercialization with the billboards and shops everywhere. There are some cool things to do here, Times Square is known for its theatre, concerts and large events, yet these all come at a crazy price. All these things can be enjoyed elsewhere, at a more humble price and it’s simply not worth travelling to Times Square for things you can do elsewhere without breaking the bank.

17 Worth Every Cent - The Grand Canyon, United States

The most frustrating thing one can hear about the grand canyon, is when people describe it as a giant hole in the ground. The Grand Canyon is one of The Seven Natural Wonders of The World and with good reason (Wikipedia). While this site does not have all the lights and pizazz that Las Vegas might have, this is more of a quiet, meditational experience. You don’t go to the Grand Canyon for entertainment, you go for the sublime experience and to put things in perspective. This site will leave you in complete awe, because of its grandeur and it will mark you forever. It’s definitely worth spending the time to go and visit.

16 We Wouldn’t Pay A Dime - Cancun, Mexico

Don’t get me wrong, Cancun is a beautiful destination with luxurious resorts and amazing weather, however, there are simply so many better sites to see in the world that is not as commercialized. This city attracts tens of millions of tourists every year and it’s inevitably always packed by partiers on spring break and big groups of tourists (travelagentcentral). It’s obviously an expensive location and it’s super packed with people. There are simply so many nicer and quieter beaches to see in the world, that this one can easily be skipped.

15 We Wouldn’t Pay A Dime – Cruises

Cruises are the absolute biggest tourist trap ever. They’re easy and convenient and allow you to “go” to several places effortlessly on one trip. However, what cruises don’t allow you to do is actually see anything, explore the cities you're in or go on an adventure. You spend most of your time swimming in a crowded pool, eating buffet meals and occasionally landing on a beach and swimming in it. Cruises are popular because of their luxury and convenience, however, they’re so boring, too full of people and totally limit your ability to visit the cities you go to.

14 Worth Every Cent - Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria

Imagine every princess movie you’ve ever seen come true? Think Frozen, but in real life. Right in between the alps, this castle emerges from between the mountains and looks like something straight out of a fairy tale. Not only do you get a beautiful view of the European Alps, you also get to see a real-life castle. If you love history and Romanesque architecture, this site is essential (Wikipedia). The drive up to the castle is extremely scenic and will make for photos you simply need to frame. Tourist trap? Maybe. Worth it? Totally.

13 We Wouldn’t Pay A Dime - Gift Shops

Gift shops are never worth it. Never. However, as you visit a new place and walk passed one it always feels like an essential. There’s something programmed in our brains that tell us that we will only remember our family vacation if we all leave the airport with matching t-shirts or cups. For some reason, we all feel the need to bring a magnet home to our grandma or a shot glass to our friends. These knick-knacks are literally always incredibly overpriced and always end up stashed away in a junk drawer! Don’t. Do. It.

12 We Wouldn’t Pay A Dime - Niagara Falls, Canada

Niagara Falls is a beautiful waterfall that can be seen from Canada and from the US. Unfortunately, this natural beauty is so overtly commercialized that it’s almost impossible to find something to eat or do around there that isn’t ridiculously priced. There are so many beautiful waterfalls in the world, and even in Canada, like the Montmorency falls in Quebec. It’s simply not worth going here and being bombarded by ads while trying to enjoy nature. All the nearby attractions are underwhelming and it’s simply not worth the trip.

11 Worth Every Cent - Gellert Thermal Baths, Hungary

Gellert baths are thermal baths in Budapest that were founded in 1918, making them a century old! These baths are a historical site but also an amazing experience. While some people often argue that these baths are far too expensive, making them a tourist trap, those who have gone and visited this place will tell you that it's definitely worth the cash. While the prices are a little high, this keeps the baths from being too overcrowded like many other tourist traps. A bonus? These baths were believed to have natural healing powers when discovered in the 15th century. This experience will leave you rested, healthy and with a taste of Hungarian history.

10 Worth Every Cent - Gondola Ride - Venice, Italy

A gondola ride is one of the most romantic things you can do while travelling abroad. This romantic experience comes at a steep price however and can cost you hundreds of dollars for one hour of fun (tripsavvy). Many people argue that the sheer price of this ride does not make it worth it, however, despite this inconvenience, it’s still an experience you’ll never forget in your lifetime. While it’s true, riding gondolas is something only tourists do, not locals, if you’ve travelled all the way to Venice, why not do this too? Not only is it romantic, but it also gives you beautiful views of churches and bridges that would take you longer to see while walking.

9 Worth Every Cent - The Louvre Museum, Paris

Any art lover would be ashamed to hear some people describe the Louvre as a tourist trap. While it’s expected that you will have to pay up to get the chance to see some of the most beautiful paintings ever made, and also likely that you will have to put up with crowds of people trying to get a sight of these as well, it’s completely worth it. Not only is the architecture of this museum so beautiful that it has become a landmark in Paris, but the artwork inside is also obviously incredible (Wikipedia). It’s a chance to deepen your knowledge of art history and learn about the history and cultures of different countries. What’s not to love?

8 Worth Every Cent - La Rambla, Barcelona

La Rambla is a street in the centre of Barcelona that is booming with activities and sights to see. Tourists and locals flock to this spot, despite it often being called out for being designed to attract only tourists (theculturetrip). There are endless museums on this street, amazing artwork like the Miró Mural and even street entertainment. There are quaint markets and restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat. This street is lots of fun and will get you a close-up view of Spanish culture. Definitely a must-see.

7 Worth Every Cent - Westminster Abbey, United Kingdom

Westminster Abbey is a church in Westminster, London that was built in the 10th century and rebuilt in the 16th century (Wikipedia). Some tourists have complained that this location has been overhyped and unfortunately, are disappointed with what they see when they visit (thesun). However, many tourists also often talk about how they prefer Westminster Abbey to more popular locations like Buckingham Palace or St Paul's Cathedral, because of the beauty of this church (tripadvisor). While sometimes when travelling in Europe, it feels as though all you see are extravagant cathedrals, visit this one, as its architecture is unlike anything you’ll ever see.

6 Worth Every Cent - Versailles, Paris

There is obviously a lot of hype about this extravagant palace that is an important part of France’s history. This royal residency has been added to the UNESCO world heritage site and is renowned worldwide for its beauty (Wikipedia). The questions that tourists have often revolve around if it’s worth spending a day of their trip visiting this place and you often hear complaints about the crowds of people here. Despite all this, visiting this gorgeous palace is absolutely worth it. The history of the Palace of Versaille is incredible and so is it’s construction. Have fun!