Can you believe it’s 2014 already? I surely can’t. The end of the year just sort of snuck up on me, and now it’s already January.
Not that I’m complaining that it’s here, because for me, 2014 means even more travel. And while I’m pretty excited about some of our future travel destinations, I’m not quite ready to disclose my travel plans just yet!
So instead, I, along with a few other top travel bloggers, will tell you our picks for the top 2014 travel destinations.
Vietnam is enjoying a huge economic boom and is steadily rising on the tourism charts. While other SE Asian countries like Cambodia and especially Thailand have long been the exotic dream destination of young backpackers the world over, they have somewhat lost their charm in recent years. Thailand no longer seems to be the far off and exciting destination it seemed for many only a couple years ago with its new popularity, especially from movies like The Hangover. Going backpacking in Thailand is simply not unique anymore, but renting a motorbike and driving from Saigon to Hanoi? Now that sounds off the beaten path.
–Jeff Johns and Marina Dominguez, Latitude 34
For years Myanmar was closed off to all but the most intrepid travellers but now, as it’s opened up in recent years, it’s becoming more and more popular. Visit as soon as possible if you’re looking for a hint at what places like Thailand were like 20 years ago before the hordes of package tourists. If you like crumbling colonial architecture, glittering golden pagodas and warm friendly people, it’s the place to go.
Although the Philippines is often overlooked by travelers who visit Asia, the country has a lot to offer. Its 7000+ islands feature an incredible amount of natural beauty, ranging from pristine beaches to tropical forests and mountains. The Philippine people are known as some of the friendliest and most hospitable in the world. Unlike most countries in Asia, the majority of the population speaks English, making for a great opportunity to connect with the locals. Adding the low cost of living and great connectivity by air makes The Philippines a must visit destination in Asia.
–Jasper Ribbers, The Traveling Dutchman
Ireland is welcoming of visitors and has been running a campaign this year to get more visitors. People should take advantage of this campaign to get some great deals and see a beautiful, interesting, fun country. Wait until late spring for better weather, but it might be interesting to visit in the off-season, too, when you’ll have the opportunity to see how those Dubliners cope with all that rain that keeps the country so green.
–Carole Terwilliger Meyers
Portugal seems to often be overlooked in favor of Spain, but it’s a very diverse country with a unique culture and history and very different from Spain! It’s got an extensive tourist infrastructure, English is very widely spoken and there is excellent dining and nightlife for a great value compared to other Western European countries. The people are very kind and friendly and the unique architecture and beautiful Portuguese tiles are enjoyable. In 2014 Portugal will continue to gain notoriety internationally as a surfing destination but due to the Southern European economy it will remain a value destination.
—Laura Genutis, Eclectic Travel Girl
Most people only go to a few of the cities in Morocco, but its charm resides outside of the big cities. Places like Essaouira, Guelmim, and Tighmert really embody the Moroccan spirit and culture so much better. Just make sure to get outside of the big-draw cities like Marrakech!
—Talon Windwalker, 1 Dad, 1 Kid, 1 Crazy Adventure
Albania has long been considered off the beaten path but it’s an incredible destination with fantastic beaches, mountains, gorges and historic sites worth visiting. It’s finally on the tourist radar and 2014 is a great time to visit before mass tourism arrives.
–Andrea Anastasakis, Rear View Mirror
Azerbaijan is an amazing destination that should be on everyones radar in 2014. This country has it all. Breath-taking, Great Caucasus Mountains perfect for trekking and hiking. Rural villages where people speak their own language, which nobody else in the country understands like Xinaliq. Amazing Lezgini culture. A buzzing capital city Baku and a desert in the central part of the country.
–Marysia Maciocha, My Travel Affairs
Australia is full of stuff you can’t find anywhere else, like these Tasmanian Devils down in Tassie. It might be far away, but that’s why there’s oodles of unique animals, plants, landscapes–you name it, to discover.
–Amanda Kendle, Not a Ballerina
The Maldives is an island country in the Indian Ocean, and even though it seems like many Americans have never even heard of this country, they’ll definitely want to visit– and fast. The Maldives is a natural paradise with crystal clear waters perfect for diving, snorkeling, or just relaxing. Due to global warming, the Maldives is slowly sinking into the ocean, so go there while you still have the chance!
–Our pick for 2014!