Last year I asked several travel bloggers to submit their ideas for not-to-miss travel destinations in 2013 and it was so much fun, I thought I’d do it again this year. Below are some very interesting selections by some of the top travel bloggers in the world, what do you think of their picks?
1. Scotland – Matt Long from here
This is always a hard question to answer, but in 2014 I absolutely suggest going to Scotland. It’s a great place to visit during any year, but in 2014 there are many special events that make it a particularly interesting time to travel there. 2014 is the Homecoming year in Scotland, a year of festivals and events all showcasing various elements of life in Scotland. The festivities are tied to two major sporting events going on in Scotland, the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games. Even if sports aren’t your thing, it’s a great excuse to book that trip to Bonny Scotland and to see for yourself what makes Scotland such a fun place to visit.
2. Brazil – Caroline Makepeace from YTravelBlog.com
With the World Cup Soccer on next year, my pick for 2014 would have to be Brazil. Who doesn’t want to visit a country that has the world’s biggest sporting festival hosted by a nation of devout soccer fans? Plus it has gorgeous beaches, jungles to explore and a vibrant culture to immerse yourself in.
3. Havana, Cuba – Melvin Boecher from Traveldudes.org
My pick for 2012 and 2013 was Havana and I will stick to that for 2014! Why? Easy! If you haven’t been to Cuba yet, it’s time to head there, before the Castro generation is not in charge anymore. At that moment the country might change dramatically and my guess is that it will loose its flair and atmosphere. Traveling to Cuba is like traveling in time, as you see old-timers everywhere. But it’s more than just that. Strolling through the streets of Centro Havana is special. This part of Havana is not the renovated part (old town), but lies right next to it. The old town is wonderfully colored and is what you see on post cards. Centro Havana can look like ruins and run down, but if you look closer, it’s the real Havana. Folks play dominoes, ladies are holding their gossip talk and the kids play baseball in the streets. Getting lost in Havana was my favorite thing to do! I only wanted to stay 2 or 3 nights and ended up staying a whole week, as I just couldn’t get enough of this city.
4. Belgrade, Serbia – Tom Stockwell from Waegook-Tom.com
The capital of a country trying to cast off its reputation as Europe’s bad boy of the 1990s, Belgrade is a true gem that has yet to be overtaken by tourist masses. Belgrade is a cosmopolitan city with cocktail bars, cafes and a banging nightclub scene, and the old town’s architecture could trick you into thinking you were in Vienna. Prices in Belgrade are a bargain, and you can eat, drink and be merry for a fraction of the cost compared to more well known European destinations. What is there to do in the city? Head to the fortress for views of the sunset over the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers, take in tradition at the colossal Saint Sava Cathedral, try a shot or two of rakija, the local tipple (I like the apricot flavour best), and look around you and witness Belgrade coming out of the shadows and blossoming as a true alternative European city break.
5. Greece – Stephen Schreck from A Backpacker’s Tale.com
Over the last year, a lot of people have told me they have avoided Greece due to the economic uncertainty and high employment rate. However, I think this makes Greece one of the top destinations you can visit in 2014. The prices are lower; the cities are less crowded, and the islands are just as beautiful as ever. Another benefit is that you will be helping a country that exists on tourism.
The Greek islands will satisfy your various desires. If you are looking for a place filled with pearly white houses and memorable sunsets, then head to Santorini. Ios is also a great holiday destination for backpackers looking to spend their nights partying and their days relaxing on the beach. If you are a history buff like myself, then you will want to head to Rhodes to check out the castles of the Knights Templar.
Greece is a country that has something for everyone, and if you give it a chance in 2014 you won’t be disappointed.
6. Mongolia – Debra Corbeil from The Planet D.com
Our top pick for 2014 is Mongolia. Central Asia is growing in popularity as a travel destination with Mongolia leading the way. This landlocked country sandwiched between Russia and China is as beautiful as it is vast. When traveling over the famous Mongolian Steppe you’ll witness yaks running through grasslands, nomads herding their horses outside Ger camps (aka Yurt) and eagles soaring overhead. Time seems to have stood still in Mongolia as many people still live a nomadic life herding their sheep on horseback. It is in Mongolia that you will see the rare two humped Bactrian camel in the Gobi Desert and men hunting foxes with trained bald eagles in the Altai Mountains. It’s a place where you will truly feel that you have left the beaten path, but the hospitality of the Mongolian people will make you feel right at home.
7. Russia – Cameron Wears from Traveling Canucks.com
2014 is going to be a big year for Russia, specifically the seaside city of Sochi. First off, the 2014 Winter Olympics land in Sochi in early February, creating a media frenzy and international street party that will last for weeks. Having personally experienced the 2010 Winter Olympics in my hometown of Vancouver, I can say with conviction that Sochi is going to buzzing by the time of the Opening Ceremonies. And if the 2014 Winter Olympics aren’t enough, on the 100th anniversary of the last Russian Grand Prix, the Formula One World Championship begins a new era by hosting its first Grand Prix in Sochi. Times have certainly changed in the former Soviet Union!
8. Falkland Islands – Lee Abbamonte from Lee Abbamonte.com
I hate saying what destinations are hot for 2014 because a hot destination is not the same for everyone. That said, I like remote islands, and after spending a week in the Falkland Islands, I think that would be a great place for people to make the effort to visit in 2014. The Falklands are such a great place with so much and varied wildlife, history, photography and landscapes. The Falklands are relatively easy to get to with weekly air service and they speak English on the islands.
9. Bhutan – Nellie Huang from Wild Junket.com
I would love to add Bhutan to the list. I recently visited and was blown away by just how pristine and well-preserved the culture and natural environment are in Bhutan. The reason why the royal government imposed the minimum tariff for tourists is to control tourism and to ensure that they protect their traditions and culture from being affected by tourism. Bhutan is a small country and its limited infrastructure can only support a small amount of tourists so the government wants to keep the number low to make sure they provide quality service to responsible and mindful travelers. There are talks of the government increasing the tariffs so I think 2014 is a good time for travelers to visit before prices go up further.
10. Experiential Travel – Rachelle Lucas from The Travel Bite.com
Rather than destinations, I think the “style” of travel for 2014 will be a focus on experiences. Trips such as going out to a dude ranch to learn to ride horses, a food-cation to take cooking classes and visit farms, and even more challenging push-yourself-to-the-limit physical activities that require some training like running marathons, hiking extended trails, or obstacle course races. It’s more about exploring interests and hobbies. With this type of trip, travelers bring home so much more than photos, memories, and souvenirs. They come back home personally changed and inspired.
What countries are on YOUR list for 2014?