Kiwis hoping for a holiday that doesn’t break the budget are jumping onboard the “destination dupes” or “travel dupes” trend — trading popular tourist hotspots for less-well known alternatives offering a similar experience.

A survey of 4050 adults from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Canada and the UK found 85% of Generation Z and Millennials still planned to holiday in 2024 despite the high cost of living, according to travel agent Flight Centre.

Flight Centre’s general manager Heidi Walker said Kiwi travellers were adapting their plans to be more cost effective by seeking out exclusive deals and exploring local destinations instead of those further abroad.

“Dupe destinations are similar alternatives to popular tourist spots that offer comparable experiences, but at a fraction of the cost,” said Walker.

The idea has taken off on social media platforms such as Tik Tok, with influencers sharing their favourite destinations that offer similar experiences without large crowds — or high prices.

Examples included going to Slovenia instead of Italy, Quebec City instead of Geneva or Liverpool instead of London.

Walker said dupe destinations offered great value for money and could be more accessible for Kiwis hoping to enjoy unforgettable experiences and relax without causing financial stress.

She told 1News it may be a bit harder to find tourist attractions when opting for a “less known destination”.

“Of course, travellers need to be realistic about what to expect when visiting dupe destinations. While these places may offer similarities to more iconic locations, they also have their own distinct character and attractions to discover,” she said.

These are Walker’s top picks for “destination dupes”.

Instead of Hawaii – Gold Coast

Walker said the Gold Coast provided an excellent dupe destination for travellers wanting the golden sand beaches, surf spots and lively entertainment precincts reminiscent of Honolulu.

“Accommodation and hospitality will be less pricey than Honolulu, with a more favourable exchange rate and no tipping requirement like in the US,” she said.

Instead of Bora Bora – Fiji

Nacula Bay in Nacula Island, Yasawa Island group in Fiji

Travellers seeking overwater bungalows and tropical scenery similar to Bora Bora should look to Fiji for a more affordable price closer to home, said Walker.

“Indulge in world-class snorkeling, cultural experiences, and romantic sunsets, all while enjoying the warm hospitality and vibrant culture of the Fijian islands,” she said.

Instead of Santorini – the Whitsundays

The Whitsundays offers sailing adventures, secluded coves and breathtaking sunsets over the picturesque islands.

Walker said people wanting sailing adventures and secluded coves could do that from the Whitsundays, rather than the Greek Isles of Santorini.

Instead of Switzerland – New Zealand’s Southern Lakes

The Southern Lakes district offers a world-class blend of natural beauty.

With Queenstown and Wanaka’s snow-capped mountains and pristine Southern Lakes district, Walker said you’d be forgiven for thinking the picturesque scenery was the Swiss Alps.

She said Kiwis’ own backyard can offer a world-class blend of natural beauty and adrenaline-pumping activities at a more wallet-friendly price.