Listen, if there’s one thing that we all know, it’s that the travel bug is real, and it bites hard. Obvi, the dream is usually to travel far and wide. But sometimes, your wallet, busy schedule, and various international travel headaches (don’t get me started on passport expiration...) might block those blessings, and a domestic vacay is all that’s in the stars. That’s where the beauty of the travel dupe comes in.
What is a travel dupe, you ask? Well, it’s a way closer (and, ahem, cheaper) alternative to your dream city that gives similar energy. And I’ve found a bunch of ’em. Sure, no two places are totally identical, but these travel location twins won’t dip as deep into your precious PTO, promise. They’re all the vibes with none of the jet lag—and with prices that are a little easier on your bank account. Peep them below, and bon voyage!
Trade Denmark for...
If you’re looking for walkable streets and window boxes overflowing with flowers, head to this spot. The danishes are actually Danish (get your wienerbrød at Brød & Kage and your æbleskiver at Solvang Restaurant), and the Corque Hotel’s outdoor firepits will warm your hygge-loving heart. Don’t leave town without shopping the very cool Scandi brands at the Copenhagen House.
Trade the Swiss Alps for...
Some say the snow-capped San Juan Mountains scenery is reminiscent of the Swiss Alps (it’s us; we say it). The southwestern Colorado town’s crystal clear lakes and luxurious off-the-grid huts (they even cook for you at the Red Mountain Alpine Lodge!) are definitely worthy of a yodel or two, but it’s the truffles at Mouse’s Chocolates & Coffee that give us that sweet Swiss bliss.
Trade London for...
Wander around Old Port and you’ll notice the neighborhood’s ornate theaters resemble those in London’s West End. Think of the city’s Time and Temperature Building as the digital Big Ben, but know the fish-and-chips at the King’s Head Pub are the real British deal.
Trade Spain’s Rioja Region for...
Snake River Valley, Idaho
Soak up some good vibes and vino just outside of Boise, folks. You’ll peep rugged hills, Spanish-style vineyards, grazing sheep, etc. While you’re there, sip a glass of tempranillo at Indian Creek Winery and dine at Leku Ona from the Inn at 500 Capitol.
Trade Paris for...
The quaint streets and riverside promenades of Old Montreal feel très Parisian—Notre-Dame Basilica included—as do the chic rooms inside Le Petit Hotel, where you’ll sip unlimited cafés au lait. Paname and Buvette Pastek have mastered French bistronomy with their hip aesthetics and swank food, and the croissants from Au Kouign-Amann are always served fresh.
Trade Norway for...
Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
If you dream of Northern Lights and icy cliffs, check out this Alaskan treasure. You might see the auroras if you’re up before the predawn fishermen, but it’s way nicer to spot ’em during a late-night sauna at the Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge. From Seward, you can book wildlife cruises, dogsledding adventures, and fishing trips…just for the halibut (it’s an Alaskan joke, okay?).
Kristy Alpert is a lifestyle editor at Cosmopolitan, covering travel, health, food, home, and more. She has visited all seven continents—paid rent on three—and takes far too much pride in her spice cabinet, which includes juniper berries from Norway, cardamom from Nepal, and a prized ras el hanout from Morocco. Before joining Cosmo, she was a freelance travel writer for Men’s Health, Food & Wine, Esquire, Fodor’s Travel, Wine Enthusiast, and more. She is also a certified yoga instructor and rookie surfer. Follow her on Instagram.