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The Not Hot List: 10 Best Under-the-Radar Trips for 2020

A nomad rounding up horses on the Mongolian Steppe. Photo GAVIN GOUGH

By Ann Abel

There have always been reasons to travel off the beaten path, from the noble (self-discovery and transformation) to the mundane (bragging rights and…let’s not even use the I-word). Mostly, it’s a proper escape from the everyday in an increasingly homogenized world. These days, just finding a place without a Starbucks or a KFC feels like a grand exploration.

But in 2020, there are more reasons. Closed countries are opening up. Savvy luxury agencies are making remote destinations accessible to travelers who don’t want to rough it or risk much. And it’s also just feeling like the right thing to do.


Ruins of the Zvartnos temple in Yerevan, ArmeniaBLACK TOMATO

“Where can we go to avoid other tourists?” That’s one of the most common questions Philippe Brown says his agency, Brown + Hudson, received in 2019. “We’re finding innovative ways to counter overtourism and responding to our clients’ increasing demands for travel ideas that are sustainable and off the beaten path.” Their local guides have learned to bring less obvious, undertouristed places to life in a way that yields the kind of insights you might expect from their overtouristed equivalents—taking people to the small village of Asolo rather than Venice, for example.”

Many operators are thinking this way in Europe and many world capitals. But to pinpoint places far off the tourist map, I asked a few of my favorite experts. Here (alphabetically) is what’s not hot for 2020 … Read More



Ann Abel is a travel writer and editor and was a senior editor at ForbesLife. She writes for Forbes, Departures, Conde Nast Traveller, Robb Report, Afar, National Geographic Traveler, Islands, Hemispheres, Brides, Modern Bride, Well + Good NYC, and other print and online publications.”In the name of lifestyle journalism, ” she says, ” I’ve gotten a tattoo in Bora Bora, been bitten by a massage therapist, and flown small aircraft above three continents.” She lives in Lisbon.

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