10 Beloved Travel Destinations That Influencers Are Ruining for Everyone Else

Chris Phelan

Most people love to travel, but not if it means constantly competing with social media influencers who are ruining everything about the place they're visiting! As more locations worldwide become more popular with Generation Z, it's difficult for everyday travelers to see certain sights. Recently, experienced travelers met in an online discussion to reveal their favorite travel spots they now must avoid.

1. Chiang Mai, Thailand

happy Asian man feeding Elephant with sugar cane in tropical green forest near river at sanctuary in Chiang Mai Thailand. mature adult in Thai Northern traditional cloths
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Thailand has always been popular with younger travelers, but the influx of influencers has gotten out of hand recently. “Chiang Mai was the worst place I've ever been for tourists and influencers,” reveals one man. “We went to this remote waterfall that looked like paradise on earth, and all people could do was take photos of themselves. Wild.” You should be ashamed if you can't appreciate a breathtaking waterfall.

2. Tulum, Mexico

Tulum, Mexico
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Although Mexico's tourism industry is still strong thanks to cities like Cancun, Cabo, and Mexico City, one locale is a social media influencer's paradise: Tulum. The gorgeous beachside town is tailor-made for influencers to snap endless photos for their social media accounts. As a result, it's nearly impossible for “ordinary” visitors to experience the natural wonders Tulum holds.

3. Rome, Italy

Colosseum in Rome, Italy. Ancient Roman Colosseum is one of main tourist attractions in Europe. People visit famous Colosseum in Roma city center. Scenic nice view, photo of Colosseum ruins in summer
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Even before the rise of social media, Italian landmarks like the Colosseum and the Pantheon were incredibly popular with tourists. Unfortunately, in 2023, it's a madhouse over in Rome! To make matters worse, these so-called “influencers” frequently vandalize historic monuments and buildings, ruining future visits for the rest of us.

4. Hollywood, California

HOLLYWOOD CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 24: The world famous landmark Hollywood Sign on September 24, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
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Hollywood will always attract many visitors thanks to its far-reaching influence on worldwide culture. However, since many influencers live in the greater Los Angeles area, Hollywood seems overrun with young people trying to become famous through social media. For example, what used to be a peaceful hike to the Hollywood sign is now plagued with an endless stream of Gen-Zers.

5. The Grand Canyon

Sunrise at Toroweap in Grand Canyon National Park.
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As one of the most naturally beautiful sights on the planet, many visitors call seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time a religious experience. However, not all visitors feel so cathartic. “I saw a woman at the Grand Canyon, I kid you not, taking a selfie with her sandwich,” reports one man. “That was after she stood on the protection wall. Everyone who saw her was commenting on what an obvious moron she was. It was equal parts horrifying and amusing.”

6. Iceland

Iceland
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Thanks to a renewed focus by Icelandic officials on tourism, flights to Iceland are often surprisingly affordable – meaning young and impressionable influencers jump at the chance to visit. Iceland is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights, but don't expect tranquility if you witness them — you will compete with plenty of Gen-Zers!

7. Lisbon, Portugal

Couple in love on a small bridge leading to tower of Belem in Lisbon
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Portugal is one of the most accessible European countries to visit from the United States, so it's cheaper than ever for social media influencers to exploit the nation's natural beauty. “Portugal has gone nuts, and Lisbon is so overcrowded now,” laments one woman. “I was at Belem Tower, and they made everyone wait in the hot sun while a foreign Instagram influencer took over the tower for a photo shoot. It was as obnoxious.”

8. Bali, Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia
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Bali's reputation as the most inexpensive country to visit in the world makes it a prime target for young influencers to visit. What used to be a tranquil beach province is now the cheapest place for Generation Z to set up a tripod and make Instagram history. It's sad but true.

9. Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece
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Make no mistake: Santorini is gorgeous, and the islands are one of the main draws of Greece as a whole. Unfortunately, it's consistently overrun with influencers trying to score the perfect photo. “Yes, it's beautiful, but it's obnoxiously crowded in high season,” explains one seasoned female traveler. “There are so many beautiful islands in Greece, but people want to get their Instagram photos here. The demographic of people here is a turn-off for me.”

10. London, England

London, England
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Like many cities on this list, London gets severely overcrowded during tourist season, a phenomenon made much worse due to London's burgeoning social media influencer culture. Millions of people travel to London annually, which includes plenty of influencers attempting to take over landmarks with impromptu photo shoots.

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