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The UK is the most popular international destination for US travelers in 2023, with a 145% increase in flight bookings from the United States to the United Kingdom compared to last year.
Most American travelers go to London, which is the most popular international destination of the summer.
Although London takes the lead, other travelers will venture elsewhere in England or head north to spend time in Scotland.
But far fewer travelers will venture to Wales, another country that is part of the United Kingdom. There is much more to the UK than just London, and Wales is one of those hidden destinations.
Despite its proximity to London, Wales remains an underrated gem in the UK.
Here’s why this part of the UK should be on your travel bucket list this year:
1. It’s less crowded than England
England is the UK’s most visited destination, but Wales receives comparatively fewer tourists. The majority of tourists who visit Wales are day trippers from England, so if you spend a few days to a week exploring the country, you’re not likely to encounter large crowds of tourists.
This makes the experience much more enjoyable. Instead of waiting in long lines and elbowing your way through the crowds at the most popular tourist spots, you can enjoy the solitude and tranquility in Wales.
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Wales is full of underrated beaches, national parks, and cities that see far fewer crowds than neighboring England.
2. It’s more affordable than London
Wales is also more affordable than London (and the rest of England). Although London is the most popular international destination for American travelers, it is notoriously expensive.
According to the travel planning resource BudgetYourTripThe average cost of a hotel room in London, England is £247 (approximately $317 USD) per night.
However, in Cardiff, Wales, the average cost of a hotel room is just £186 ($238 USD) per night, which is around 25% cheaper.
In general, you can have a much more affordable holiday in Wales than in England. The cost of living is lower and everything from food to activities to transport is cheaper in Wales.
3. Wales is full of natural beauty
One of the main reasons to visit Wales this year is its unspoiled natural beauty.
For walkers and outdoor adventurers, Wales has a number of national parks to explore. The Snowdonia and Brecon Beacons National Parks are known for their mountains, while the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park has wild and rugged beaches.
Wales is full of strikingly beautiful beaches, dotted with colorful fishing villages and ancient castles.
Cities like Cardiff and Swansea are also worth a visit, but the highlights of Wales lie in the country’s wealth of natural beauty and scenic landscapes, as well as its quaint, quaint little towns.
4. It is easily accessible from London
Getting to Wales is not difficult. In fact, it’s a very quick journey from London, which is the UK’s main travel hub.
Although Wales has an international airport at Cardiff, there are very few direct flights from abroad and none from the United States.
Instead, you can get from London to Cardiff by train in just 1 hour and 50 minutes. While it’s possible to visit Cardiff on a day trip and possibly visit a couple of other sights, it’s really best to treat Wales as a destination in its own right.
With limited time, two or three days would allow you to see some of the highlights of this rather small country. If you have a full week, you can fully explore the mountains, the coast and the cities and towns of Wales.
traveler alert: Don’t forget travel insurance for your next trip!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com