One of my favorite hobbies is stalking people’s vacations on Instagram and wondering how the hell they afford that. Like, okay Jenna, I know you have an entry-level job. How are you in Bali rn?? Begrudgingly, I’ll like her photo swimming with pigs or whatever—key word being begrudgingly. I can guarantee you that if you’re a Jenna, almost every single “like” on your vacation photos is a hate-like, a double-tap you just throw out there because technically the photo is aesthetically pleasing, but you kinda hate that they’re living their best life and you haven’t taken a vacation in a year. But whatever, I guess hate-likes are better than no likes, right? Right.
So how do you afford a hate-like-worthy vacation without a million sponsorship deals? The answer: Hotels.com. Whether you’re looking for value in Vegas, treehouses in Thailand, or villas with a view, it’s all just a click away. And with their rewards program, for every 10 nights you spend in the Instagram-worthy locale of your choosing, you get 1 free. If you want to maximize hate-likes, you want to pick a spot that everyone on your IG hasn’t been to already. Which is where we come in. We’ve rounded up some of the best and most underrated travel destinations—but they won’t be underrated for long, so make sure you plan your visit ASAP.
You may have seen friends post absurd photos from Hula Hula Beach Bar or more importantly, Dubrovnik, aka Kings Landing from Game of Thrones, but the real takeaway here is that the majority of people you know have not yet traveled to Croatia. But don’t be that asshole who only goes to one city and pretends like you’re a conoisseur of the entire country—your time should be spent between, Hvar, Split, and Dubrovnik exploring sites like Krka National Park, and partying at bars like Carpe Diem and Revelin. But when you are in Dubrovnik, you should definitely stay at the Valamar Collection Dubrovnik President Hotel. You could also just do what every finance bro does and go for Yacht Week.
Valamar Collection Dubrovnik President Hotel
Bali may take almost 24 hours to get to, which is a pain in the ass, but it will be worth it for the Instagrams. Your first task when choosing where to stay in Bali is finding the most gorgeous resort possible while not spending all your money on accommodations. Bali is known for its surfing, so hellooo, hot muscular guys who can teach you. Even if you don’t surf, there are plenty of natural sites to explore (take pictures at), such as caves and waterfalls, and you can swing through the jungle on the Bali swing. There are also plenty of other sites to pose in front of experience, like the Sacred Monkey Forest, Uluwatu temple, and Pura Tirta Empul water temple.
What can I say about Dublin, other than Guinness? Truthfully, I went there on a weekend trip while I was studying abroad, and my friends and I consumed more Guinness than we did food. But there are plenty of other, non-stout things to do, like drink Irish whiskey! Kidding. There are tons of beautiful sites in Dublin. We actually went on a free walking tour which gave us a feel for the city with a local tour guide, who took us to all the Instagrammable spots, like Ha’Penny bridge, THE place to take a sunset ‘Gram. You also have to check out the iconic Temple Bar, the Dublin Castle, Trinity College. St. Patrick’s Cathedral—and, yes, visit the Guinness storehouse. Luckily, The Alex is within close walking distance to all these sites.
I recently went to Lisbon, and while there were tons of tourists there, I did not pick up on many Americans. So if you’re reading this from the U.S., there’s a chance that no one you know has ridden the Elevador Santa Justa and snapped a pic from on high. Now that I’ve spent hours rambling about one Gothic elevator, let me fill you in on what else to do in Lisbon. Wander the hilly, winding streets of Alfama, the old Moorish quarter; check out the Praça do Comércio, which has gorgeous yellow buildings that will provide the perfect backdrop to your candids; drink Ginjinha (a customary cherry liqueur) at Pink Street, which is literally a street they painted pink. Also, be sure to drink plenty of Vinho Verde (you can have port wine, but you’re not in Porto so people will say sh*t to you). I stayed in a guest house, but I wish I had stayed at Olissippo Lapa Palace Hotel, which is f*cking gorgeous and even has a pool. Sigh.
Colombia probably wasn’t on your list of places to travel, right? Well, you’re behind, because it’s been growing in popularity since 2008. Cartagena, a port city on the Caribbean coast, remains a go-to destination. First off, you literally can’t go to Cartagena without visiting the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas and walk around it. Another must? The Mercado de Bazurto, a food market where you’ll find fresh produce and cheap food. (You had me at cheap.) And there are plenty of fun nightlife options that aren’t the regular old dive bar sh*t you’re used to doing at home. There’s La Vitrola, a lively restaurant with Cuban music and plenty of dancing; Café Havana, a salsa dancing spot located in Getsemani; and Alquimic, a bar located in the historical walled city, with a 360-degree art deco cocktail bar and a roof terrace. Hotel LM A Luxury Boutique Hotel is also in the walled city, and has a spa and a rooftop terrace, making it a legit luxury boutique hotel.
Hotel LM A Luxury Boutique Hotel, Cartagena
Whichever destination you choose, once you post yourself living your best life, those hate-likes are going to start rolling in. Start planning your trip with Hotels.com, so you don’t just hate-like but are hate-liked.
Congratulations Betches, we made it to another St. Patrick’s Day. Nestled between Valentine’s Day and Easter (two much shittier holidays), St. Paddy’s Day is the one day of the year when people are actually nice to gingers. St. Patrick’s Day is the best kind of holiday, because no one really knows/cares where it comes from, but it’s an extremely solid reason to get wasted. It might have something to do with like the Irish potato famine? I think I remember hearing something about like, snakes or some shit? Is Taylor Swift somehow involved? Idk, we’re not historians. Either way, St. Patrick’s dayis where it’s acceptable—nay, required—to get so drunk you pee somewhere you’re not supposed to. And like, sure, you could be boring AF and drink a larger-than-normal glass of wine at your friend’s apartment, or you could have the time of your life at one of these iconic St. Paddy’s destinations. You decide. But just know we will be judging your decision.
We’ve all seen the photos of the river in downtown Chi, which they literally dye green every year. We have a lot of questions about the environmental impact of this, but we also just like to drink. Come to think of it, maybe they should fill the river with beer? Can fish drink beer? Idk. Anyway, if you’re lucky enough to be in Chicago come St. Pat’s, there’s a huge parade through the city, and there are also like a million Irish bars if you get cold outside (likely). TBH if you live anywhere in the Midwest, hop in a car because Chicago is where you need to be.
This might seem random, but Savannah, Georgia has one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country. If you’re in the mood to get out of the city for a few days, head south to Savannah for a more culturally accurate version. If you’re feeling really Irish, you can even go to the official Catholic Mass before the parade, because God knows we all have some sins to atone for. Just remember, the communal wine is the blood of Christ, and not to be used for body shots.
3. New Orleans
You’d think New Orleans might still be collectively hungover from Mardi Gras, but they always turn back up in time for St. Paddy’s. The Irish Channel Parade is conveniently located by some outstanding bars, and they’re known for throwing literal whole cabbages, so your Instagram caption can be a joke about boobs if you catch two. If you’re still in the mood to party once the official shit is over, don’t worry: the bars here literally don’t close. And, it bears repeating, you can walk around with open containers of alcohol in the streets—legally.
Boston has like 3 billion Irish people, so you know shit’s gonna get crazy. Too bad the weather is literally the worst. This year the blizzard is forcing them to cut the parade in half, which just means you’ll have to get drunk that much quicker. We don’t know a lot about Boston, but the parade goes through Southie, which means you’ll probably see the Afflecks and the Wahlbergs!!
5. New York
NYC has a huge St. Patrick’s Day parade on Fifth Avenue every year, so it’s basically like every other holiday in New York. There are also numerous official bar crawls happening, so if you’re in the mood to walk a few miles while you drink that’s a solid option. Either way, there’s always a way to have a good time in a city of 10 million people.
If you’re trying to be as ~authentic~ as possible, save up and head to the motherland next year. They don’t fuck around, turning St. Paddy’s into a 4 day festival instead of one shitty parade. They light all the buildings with green lights and make it into a huge cultural event with tons of food, alcohol, and hopefully a few leprechauns. There’s Guinness literally everywhere you turn, so you have no excuse not to forget what country you’re in.