Travelers highlight surprising destinations as the ‘most overrated tourist attractions in the world’; despite rising gas prices, Americans will continue taking road trips
As summer travel plans will again look different due to the pandemic, Fodor’s Travel shared the results of its special What’s Freaking Out American Travelers This Summer? survey to better understand travelers’ current hesitations when considering their summer destinations.
With Pandemic Summer #3 travel plans ranging widely from staycations to overseas expeditions, Fodor’s Travel surveyed more than 1,500 visitors to Fodors.com to better understand their greatest travel concerns, as well as tourist destinations they’re steering clear of this year.
The most overrated tourist destinations
This summer, 87% of Fodor’s readers are planning to travel, and while their plans vary, the results are in for destinations readers will definitely not be visiting.
The summer survey asked visitors to Fodors.com what they felt is the most overrated attraction in the world, and answers varied wildly. Some listed whole cities (“terrible,” one reader wrote about Los Angeles), while others highlighted experiences, with many specifically calling out the FRIENDS Experience New York.
However, there was consensus for the Top 5 Overrated Travel Destinations in the World. Coming in at No. 1? Disney Theme Parks.
Although there are many new Disney attractions opening in 2022, Disney has dominated headlines this year for other reasons, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to strip Disney of its special status after the park’s public criticism of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
On the West Coast, Disney has faced criticisms for problematic attractions, including from Fodor’s, which highlighted the controversy surrounding its new Tenaya Stone Spa.
View the entire list of the Most Overrated Travel Destinations in the world here.
Top Travel Concerns
Although a majority of those surveyed indicated that they will travel this summer, 70% said they have their sights set on domestic destinations.
COVID-19 has ruled travel talks for the past two years, and this year, it remains a top concern for travelers. In fact, 51% of readers indicated that they’re concerned about contracting or spreading COVID-19 while on vacation, and 53% said they would cancel their trip if their destination experienced a COVID-19 surge.
Another major concern for travelers is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As airplanes are being diverted around Russia and Ukrainian refugees are entering neighboring European countries, 36% of readers said they were hesitant to cross the pond.
Given those concerns, many Americans are turning to domestic travel. Though 31% said inflation throughout the country has affected their plans, they will still continue to travel. As gas prices continue to rise, 73% said they would still take a road trip.
“Our readers have been extraordinarily outspoken this year. They’re concerned and annoyed by many things, whether it be related to COVID-19 or the cost of Disneyland,” Fodors.com Editorial Director Jeremy Tarr said.
“However, that hasn’t affected the desire for a summer vacation,” Tarr continued. “Most of our readers will be traveling, and they’ll be headed to all corners of the world. They refuse to allow current challenges to delay their vacations any longer.”
View a full list of travel concerns here.
The worst (and best) airports and airlines
As Americans continue to make summer plans, 27% listed flight cancellations as a top concern, while 60% are scared to encounter disruptive passengers on airplanes.
Despite these concerns, many readers still plan to travel by air throughout the year, and 73% said they would continue to wear a mask while flying even though most major airlines have made masks optional.
Given the lack of mask mandates, staffing shortages and unexplained flight delays, some feel airports are worse than ever. Topping the list of worst airports in the world is Los Angeles International Airport, while American Airlines was crowned the worst airline.
At the other end of the spectrum, readers found Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Delta Airlines to be the best airport and airline in the country.
View the full list of worst (and best) airports in the country here.