Do you want a unique and mind blowing vacation? Of course, who doesn’t but the world is getting smaller and finding those out of the way special places is getting harder. If a destination is good then it is probably already over run. London, Paris, the Amalfi Coast, even Iceland is getting crowded! So here are my hidden gems for 6 different types of trips instead of their popular counterparts.
Most Popular – Caribbean Cruise
For families with infants or just getting your feet wet in the world of travel with children, this is worth considering. For the rest of us hoping to find something more unique, it might fall a little short.
Try Instead – Montenegro
This little country on the Adriatic Sea has just about everything. Beaches, mountains, rivers, lakes, medieval cities, museums, churches and even the worlds only mosaic devoted to the god of sleep. I know my kids need to learn to respect sleep more! You can visit the oldest tree in Europe, the southern most fjord or just soak in the beauty of almost every location. The small size of this country means that you can base yourself somewhere like Lake Skadar and do short day trips to just about anywhere you want to see. Always a plus when traveling with the family.
Most Popular – Swiss Alps
There is a reason people go there. It is amazing. If you haven’t seen the Alps then you should definitely go. If you have been, then maybe you want to go somewhere to make your jaw drop with wonder.
Try Instead – San Martin de los Andes, Argentina
This small picturesque town has everything you could hope for in a mountain town. Hiking, biking, kayaking, a lake and plenty of wonderful food. Try the venison pate, I swear you will love it. If you want a slightly larger town you can go to nearby Bariloche. This town is well known for CHOCOLATE! It really is some of the best I have ever had. It has even more to see and do but best of all it is the start of the Andean Lake Crossing route. You can actually sail from lake to lake over the Andes and end up in Chile.
The Most Popular – Cancun, Mexico
Cancun has beautiful beaches. It is a short plane ride from most of the US and very affordable. Mexico has done a great job of advertising as testified by the huge number of visitors they have per year. It is also a Zika zone.
Try Instead – The Azores
I have a whole blog post about this destination. If you were able to combine the best of Hawaii and Iceland you would have this unique destination. It is a Portugese owned archipelago 900 miles west of Europe. There are 9 major islands spread over 400 miles each with unique characteristics. You can find wineries or just drink the home vintage that every citizen seems to make in their own back yard. There are beef, seafood and chicken dishes unique to the islands, some of which they cook using the heat of the volcano! Black sand beaches, lava tubes, mountains and tropical waterfalls are some of what you will find. Hurry though, a new Delta Airlines flight out of NYC is opening this gem up to the American public fast.
Most Popular – Paris
I have almost nothing bad to say about Paris. It was my first European city and it has a special place in my heart. Versailles is crazy better then I thought, the Louvre is over whelming in the best way, the food ridiculously good, and my favorite was Notre Dame. I just kept going back to that church. But it is crowded. So if you have been or are just looking for a little less crowded an urban spot…
Try Instead – Perth, Australia
Big cities are by very nature popular destinations but Perth is the only large city on the west coast of Australia. I highly considered it for both my family and beach recommendation but its unique urban and even hipster scene landed it here. You can explore the Aussie outback while staying in a chic downtown hotel. Perth is also known for edgy restaurants and fun loving pubs. The white sand beaches are stunning and it is super easy for families too.
Most Popular – Bora Bora
If your objective is to rub elbows with celebrities, following the leadings of George Clooney, the Kardashians or Eva Longoria, then this is your destination. The resorts are amazing and will not disappoint. Gourmet food, world class drink and natural beauty are without question.
Try Instead – Madagascar
If you want something special, then get to Madagascar’s Time + Tide Resort. As the area’s first 5 star luxury eco resort is has things to offer that most luxury travelers have never seen. Providing a blue safari of pristine white beaches, turquoise bays, lagoons and channels. You can watch sea turtles lay eggs or hatchlings make their way to the ocean. Conserve your energy at the resort with sublime views and a well appointed spa or take a lemur trek to check out the local flora and fauna. They also offer impeccably curated tours of local life in Madagascar. This new luxury location provides a perfect balance of pampering and responsible tourism.
Most Popular – South Africa
Kruger National Park sees around a million visitors a year. Maybe not the exclusive tour you were hoping for. While it is the biggest game reserve in Africa and does have many of the animals people want to see in Africa, it is also the most well known.
Try Instead – Zambia
Zambia is one of the best under the radar safari destinations. For something truly special try a canoeing safari along the lower Zambezi river. See all the legendary and amazing animals in the vast Kafue National Park. Over 30% of the country is a wildlife preserve so there will be no shortage places in the bush for an authentic African safari. If fishing is your thing then check out the tigerfishing in Bortseland. That fish freaks me out! They average around 20 lbs and I think it is all in the teeth.
The world is wonderful and there are still amazing places to visit before they are over run with everyone else. If you have any questions about these or other destinations feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.