Destination Dupes: Four Unexpected Travel Adventures in Your Backyard

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(BPT) - A rising travel trend for 2024 is quickly becoming trips to destination “dupes.” These sometimes-unexpected locales are often cost-effective, yet experience-rich alternatives to their tourist-packed counterparts; and many of them happen to be right in our backyards! Ahead of spring and summer travel, there’s never been a better time to stay ahead of the trend and lock in your next vacation. Not only will this give you something to look forward to, but you can also tap into travel offers to help you (and maybe even a plus-one) make more out of upcoming trips.

For example, from now until March 11, 2024, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus, Premier, and Priority Credit Cards from Chase are offering new Cardmembers the opportunity to earn the coveted Companion Pass®, plus earn 30,000 Rapid Rewards® points, after spending $4,000 within the first 3 months from account opening. With the Companion Pass, new Cardmembers can bring a travel partner along for free on as many flights as they’d like through February 28, 2025 (not including taxes and fees from $5.60 one-way) — so you can take your best friend, partner, child, or whomever you choose to explore more dupes along with you.

Seeking a bustling and historic cityscape?

While your first thought might be London, Athens, or New York City, you might also consider a weekend trip to Chicago. With its robust history, sweeping skylines, lively theater scene, and one of the oldest and largest museums in the world, Chicago has plenty to offer any traveler open to exploring its rich history.

Be sure to also visit the iconic Bean art installation in Millennium Park or enjoy a relaxing architectural river cruise. You can also experience the city atop one of the many fantastic observation decks and upgrade your camera roll with unparalleled panoramic views. What’s more, Chicago is one of the most walkable cities in the country (take a day to stroll through Grant Park!) but it also hosts a bustling infrastructure of transportation options to help you cover more ground. If you use the right travel card when making your way through the city, you can even earn points to use toward your next vacation. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus, Premier, and Priority Credit Cards, for example, offer Cardmembers the ability to earn 2X points per $1 spent on local transit and commuting purchases, including rideshare.

Looking to live out your outdoor adventure?

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the outdoors, Australia or Iceland might be on your travel bucket list. But did you know Denver also offers a host of memorable experiences in the great outdoors, all year round? Colorado’s unique climate means you can hit the slopes any season, so you’ll want to get your gear ready for skiing, hiking, and biking in the Rocky Mountains. You can also enjoy soaking in Eldorado hot springs, strolling through Denver’s lush 23-acre botanic gardens, rollerblading around Washington Park, or climbing the impressive 2,000 ft. Manitou Incline. Rent a car to take a scenic drive around Lookout Mountain for the best views of the city (Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Cardmembers earn 2X the points per $1 spent on Rapid Rewards car rental partner purchases for use toward their next adventure!).

Searching for the site of your next “friendcation?”

The number one concern when traveling with friends is making sure there’s something for everyone. Though trips to Porto, Dublin, or Mykonos might be top of mind, Orlando, Florida, is jam-packed with activities to keep your full friend group happy the entire trip. Not only that, but you can also count on reliably warm weather year-round — and even if it rains, there’s still plenty to do both indoors and outdoors. If you’re looking for a daytime activity for your sportier friends, Orlando boasts some of the country’s best golf courses, with several expert-level play courses across the city. Alternatively, if you’re interested in a more adrenaline-filled experience, check out any number of the city’s adventure parks, like Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park, for some friendly competition along their ropes course or racing down their zip lines. You’ll also have access to spend the day exploring local attractions, from the Kennedy Space Center to the wildlife-teeming Everglades, giving you more opportunities to make memories you’ll be talking about for years to come.

Lights, camera, action! Explore the true heart of cinema

Thinking of traveling to LA to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Instead, witness the magic of television come to life in Burbank, CA. Known as the 'Media Capital of the World,' Burbank is home to some of the most famous media companies and major movie studios. While in Burbank, experience exciting backlot tours of the places where your favorite movies and TV shows are filmed. It’s also just a short ride away from Los Angeles and Hollywood, so you can use the city as your tourist-light home base while exploring the sights in these California hot spots.

With spring approaching and some great travel offers already available, it’s the perfect time to consider a travel dupe for an upcoming vacation. Plus, when selecting a travel credit card, like the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus, Premier, and Priority Credit Cards, you can earn points toward future travel and access travel benefits like the Companion Pass; or access to 2 EarlyBird Check-In® per year on the Premier, and Plus Cards and 4 Upgraded Boardings per year on the Priority Card, when available. Your next adventure is just a short flight away.

*Accounts subject to credit approval. Restrictions and limitations apply. Cards are issued by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. All Rapid Rewards rules and regulations apply and can be found at Southwest.com/rrterms.

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