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Tech & Science : 15 of the most underrated travel destinations of the year, so far

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  Airlines have a vested interest in reducing emissions, but it's not an easy task. Here's what they're doing, and why. Commercial aviation generates only 2 to 3% of manmade carbon emissions, but that number is growing, with global passenger numbers expected to double before 2040. As pressures from fuel costs, climate-change-conscious customers, and possible government regulations mount, airlines are working to find ways to reduce emissions, while continuing to grow their businesses and meet economic demands. There are a number of initiatives the airlines are taking to reduce their emissions, but the technology to meaningfully reduce environmental effect is still years away.

a small boat in a harbor: Many lesser-known cities and regions are beautiful. Many lesser-known cities and regions are beautiful.
  • Some of the most incredible travel destinations are a bit under the radar.
  • Santorini and Mykonos are popular spots in Greece, but Crete is also full of beautiful beaches.
  • Mackinac Island, Michigan, is a quaint beach town that's perfect for those looking to get away from city life.
  • Paris might get all of the attention, but the French city of Lyon is also worth visiting.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Many crowds are drawn to popular travel destinations, but sometimes the best spots are the under-the-radar places you may not have heard of yet.

Here are some of the most underrated travel destinations of the year, so far.

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Head to Krakow in Poland if you're looking for a charming European city.

a close up of a flower garden in front of a building: The city is rich with history and culture and has great food, picturesque cobblestone streets, and beautiful architecture. The city is rich with history and culture and has great food, picturesque cobblestone streets, and beautiful architecture.

There are so many old and beautiful cities to visit in Europe that it's easy to just focus on the major ones, but there are tons of underrated spots worth visiting, including Krakow, Poland.

In the city's Old Town, visitors will find attractions like Market Square, which is filled with shops, museums, and historical statues.

Travellers can also check out Planty Park, one of the largest city parks in the area, or Florianska Street, a bustling spot that's perfect for shopping, grabbing a bite to eat, and drinking cheap beer.

Whitefish, Montana, is a perfect getaway for those who love nature.

Those looking to immerse themselves in nature will want to check out Whitefish, Montana.

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Depending on the season, this resort town in the Rocky Mountains offers great skiing or hiking - and it offers stunning views of the mountains year-round.

Visitors can also explore the nearby Glacier National Park, get cosy in an art gallery, or try rock climbing.

Many visit Mexico for its amazing beaches, but Mexico City is a great spot for adventure.

a group of people walking on a city street: The city is filled with museums, murals, and beautiful buildings. The city is filled with museums, murals, and beautiful buildings.

Mexico is known for hot spots like Tulum, Cabo, Cancún, and Puerto Vallarta, but Mexico City is a more underrated spot that's perfect for those who want to explore.

It may not be on the coast with the beaches Mexico is known for, but it is filled with plenty of culture-rich places such as archaeological sites and museums.

Art fans will definitely want to check out the Palacio Nacional, where tourists can view historic murals by the painter Diego Rivera.

Thailand is a popular travel destination in Southeast Asia, but Laos is also worth visiting.

Located in Southeast Asia, Laos has numerous popular cities to visit including Muang Xai, which has markets, waterfalls, and numerous museums.

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Travellers can also visit Vang Vieng, which was once known as a party city but is now known as an "eco-paradise."

While in the area, explore caves and blue lagoons, small towns, and the lovely Nam Song River. Those looking for outdoor adventure can also try zip-lining, rock climbing, and hiking.

Mackinac Island, Michigan, is a quaint beach town that's perfect for those looking to get away from city life.

a building that has a sign on the side of the street: The island boasts having no cars on it. The island boasts having no cars on it.

Those looking for an underrated and quaint spot may want to check out Mackinac Island.

The island sits on Lake Huron and has beautiful beaches, nature trails, kayaking opportunities, and carriage rides. Plus, the area has no cars or chain hotels, which can provide travellers with an even more relaxing atmosphere.

Check out Burano, Italy, a colourful town with delicious seafood.

a bicycle parked on the side of a building: The area is known for having colourful houses. The area is known for having colourful houses. Italy has a ton of popular spots from Rome to Florence, but those looking for a more low-key trip with just as many delicious dishes and gorgeous views may want to check out Burano.

The Venetian island is a small, colourful place that's known for its fresh fish, lace museum, and Via Galuppi, a main street of shops and restaurants.

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Instead of going to the Hamptons, New Yorkers may want to check out Greenport.

Instead of returning to popular New York vacation spots like Montauk and the Hamptons, consider visiting an underrated gem called Greenport.

Located on the north fork of Long Island, Greenport features rocky beaches, plenty of shopping areas, vineyards, and great local restaurants.

Those looking for an even quainter experience can also take the town's ferry over to Shelter Island, a small area known for serving up delicious seafood.

If you're looking to visit an island in the Caribbean, consider checking out Grenada.

a small boat in a harbor next to a body of water: It has plenty of white-sand beaches to explore. It has plenty of white-sand beaches to explore.

The island of St. Lucia was one of the hottest destinations in the Caribbean this year - but those looking for a more low-key trip should consider checking out Grenada.

In addition to enjoying the area's many white-sand beaches, be sure to spend time in St. George's, the country's capital, which has shopping, beautiful views, and even a natural reef.

Santorini and Mykonos are popular spots in Greece, but Crete is also full of beautiful beaches.

Crete is the largest island in Greece, with stunning beaches like Falarsana and Elafonissi, which is known for having pink sand.

The island is great for history buffs since it has plenty of archaeological sites, castles, and beautiful monasteries to explore.

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It also has a range of beaches and towns such as Chania, a popular spot with plenty of hotels, bars, and restaurants.

Greenville, South Carolina, is an adorable artsy town.

a tree in the middle of a forest: The city has art, trails, and more. The city has art, trails, and more.

In the US, the South is known for popular cities like Charleston and Savannah - but visitors looking for a more under-the-radar spot may want to head to Greenville, South Carolina.

The up-and-coming town offers a lot: authentic Southern barbecue, art galleries, and plenty of shopping.

Visitors can check out Falls Park if they want to attend festivals and concerts or Swamp Rabbit Trail if they want to bike through nature. Art Crossing is also a must-visit gallery for any art lover in the area.

Portugal is often known for Lisbon, but its Azores region is beautiful, too.

a flower is standing on a lush green field: Azores' Faial Island is covered in flowers and plants. Azores' Faial Island is covered in flowers and plants.

Those wanting to experience Portugal's natural beauty beyond popular cities like Lisbon and Porto can check out the Azores, which are often called Portugal's "best-kept secret."

There, travellers can check out Azores' Faial Island for beautiful flora and greenery,Santa Maria for impressive beaches, or Flores for volcanoes and natural waterfalls.

Bogotá, Colombia, is known for its vibrant culture.

a sign on the side of a building: The city is known for its colourful colonial buildings. The city is known for its colourful colonial buildings.

While exploring South America, consider heading to Bogotá, Colombia. The vibrant capital city is known for its colourful colonial buildings and plentiful museums.

Don't miss out on La Candelaria, the colourful historic centre that's filled with specialty shops, museums, art studios, and food.

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An island off the coast of Spain, Mallorca is a slightly more underrated alternative to spots like Ibiza.

an island in the middle of a body of water: Mallorca, Spain, has beaches, coves, and more. Mallorca, Spain, has beaches, coves, and more.

Mallorca, Spain, an island in the Mediterranean is filled with coves, stone-built villages, mountains, beaches, and more.

It's a favourite vacation destination for Spain's royal family and it has beaches like Playa de Muro, architecturally impressive buildings, and a number of historic churches.

Chattanooga, Tennessee, offers a great mix of art and good food.

a bridge over a body of water: The area is filled with historic spots and nature-filled trails. The area is filled with historic spots and nature-filled trails. Nashville gets a lot of the hype when it comes to Tennessee, but nearby Chattanooga is not to be missed either.

The city has landmarks like the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, which will make visitors feel like they're stepping back in time, and impressive nature-filled trails like the Tennessee Riverpark.

Plus, the Bluff View Art District is a must for art lovers - it's filled with galleries, eateries, and more.

Paris might get all of the attention, but Lyon, France, is definitely worth visiting.

a large body of water with a city in the background: Lyon is also located near rivers. Lyon is also located near rivers.

Sure, Paris is a top destination city for many, but France is full of gorgeous spots like Lyon that are also worth visiting.

Lyon is one of France's largest cities and it's filled with museums, churches, parks, and vineyards. While there, tourists can embark on a number of food-focused walking tours or even visit the area's botanical garden and zoo.

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Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof takes over parts of Thomas Cook .
© dpa The department store group Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof takes over 106 of the 126 travel agencies of Thomas Cook's Germany subsidiary. • The department store group Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof takes over 106 of the 126 travel agencies. • This would secure more than 500 jobs in the area, the companies said. The department store group Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof takes over parts of Thomas Cook's Germany business. The company is thereby strengthening its tourism division.

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