Need inspiration for your next holiday or adventure? Sometimes it's hard to know where your next travel destination should be, so we thought we'd give you a little bit of help in choosing your next destination by talking to some of the Worlds best travel bloggers and asking them what their Top 3 destinations for 2014 are and why. A few places came up several times and other locations were a bit of a surprise (Iran and Kyrgyzstan may not have been on your list before now but they might be after reading this).
So did one place come out on top? Well yes! In the Number 1 spot: South Africa (5 of our contributing bloggers all chose South Africa as one of their Top Destinations to travel to this year). Number 2: Jordan (following closely behind South Africa is Jordan with 4 mentions). Number 3: Scotland or Peru (Scotland and Peru took joint number 3 spot with 3 mentions each in total).
So what makes South Africa the number one place to visit in 2014 according to our 22 bloggers?
For Christy and Scott from 'Ordinary Traveler' and Cailin from 'Travel Yourself' it's that a safari is just an unmissable thing to do and where better to go on safari than in South Africa? (And photographing animals doesn't get much better than on a safari!) For Robert from 'Leave Your Daily Hell' "South Africa is a paradise for travelers everywhere along the spectrum." Matt from 'Landlopers' fell in love with South Africa on his first visit 2 years ago, as he says "There’s just something special about South Africa and traveling there becomes infectious, as anyone who has been can tell you". Gary from 'Everything Everywhere' is using South Africa as his base for exploring the region this year.
If South Africa doesn't excite you (seriously?) then don't worry because the worlds best bloggers have plenty more places to recommend to you... read on and get inspired for 2014!
What are your Top 3 Destinations to Visit in 2014?
Turkey - Turkey is a country that I had long dreamed of visiting and despite all the anticipation, it did not disappoint. I spent most of my time in Istanbul where wandering the city was a truly sensory experience. From hearing the call to prayer, to smoking hookah, and petting the friendly stray cats that inhabit the city, it was a great trip from start to finish. Also, if you have a sweet tooth, I can't think of a better location than Turkey. With all the Turkish delight and baklava shops luring you in, it's difficult to resist temptation.
Jordan - Jordan was all about adventure and experiencing a culture that was completely foreign to me. My personal highlight was getting to camp out in Wadi Rum, where we were hosted by a group of Bedouins. Our night in the desert was spent listening to traditional songs, feasting on a barbecue that had been cooked underground in the sand, dancing around the campfire, and enjoying the sense of peace and isolation that you only feel in the desert.
Scotland - Scotland was a really fun destination and I would recommend it to anyone. My visit started out in Edinburgh, where I spent my time sampling the cuisine. Scotland has some interesting concoctions, so if you're an adventurous eater, you'll want to try the haggis with neeps and tatties (a dish consisting of liver, lungs and heart served with a side of potatoes and turnips), and for dessert, the deep-fried chocolate bars. Of course if that doesn't sound too appealing, you can always enjoy the pub culture. After that it was up to the Highlands for me, where I toured the Isle of Skye, sampled whisky, went in search of Nessie at Loch Ness, and simply enjoyed the majestic landscapes.
Author Bio: In my opinion, travel is filled with moments of splendor and moments of woe and I hope to capture both sides of the coin – at times not afraid to touch upon subjects that are off limits to others. I'm a bit of a jack of all trades and a man who wears many hats – the kind of individual that doesn't like to stay in any one place for any serious length of time. Samuel.
'Valentin Aqueduc Stambul' - Turkey
Scotland - In 2014 Scotland is welcoming the world through its special Homecoming year. Whether or not you have Scottish heritage, Scotland is planning events throughout the year to welcome people to the land of tartans and pipers. Starting off with the massive New Year’s Eve event Hogmanay, the year includes mega-events like the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games, but also many other smaller events and festivities around the country, throughout the year. If you have been thinking about planning a trip to Scotland, 2014 is the year you should visit.
Croatia - Many have heard how much fun Croatia is to visit, but few know why. The scene of a bloody conflict in the 1990s, the country has recovered and prospered in the 20 years since the war ended. To really see all of Croatia would take weeks, but first-time visitors should include on their schedule the beautiful lakes of Plitvice Lakes National Park, the gorgeous coastal city of Dubrovnik and a few of the many islands off the coast of the mainland. If you have time, be sure to explore the Istria Region, especially if you’re a foodie. The culinary heart of Croatia is in Istria and there you can find everything from great Croatian wines, earthy truffles and delicate olive oil.
South Africa - I first visited South Africa two years ago and almost immediately it became one of my favorite countries anywhere in the world. Whether it’s your first time or you’re a South Africa pro, 2014 is a great year to visit. Cape Town has been named the World Design Capital for 2014 and is planning events throughout the year to highlight this special honor. Once you’re there, it’s easy to travel to Johannesburg, the Stellenbosch Wine route or Kruger National Park to round out the trip. There’s just something special about South Africa and traveling there becomes infectious, as anyone who has been can tell you. Maybe that’s why so many other experts have named it to their Must See in 2014 lists, including the New York Times which recently listed Cape Town as the #1 place to visit this year.
Author Bio: Who am I? I am a typical Gen-Xer and former cubicle-dweller who has a passion for all things travel. My site brings a unique perspective that is hard to find online. I am not a backpacker, nor am I living off of a trust fund. I am just a normal person who has learned how to get the most out of the travel experience. A Landloper is a wanderer, an adventurer. At heart, that is who I am and I hope you enjoy reading about the art and science of traveling the world. Matt.
Sri Lanka - As the new year begins, I've got discovery on my mind – and destinations that invite it. With this in mind, my first pick for 2014 is Sri Lanka. Ravaged by civil war for 30 years, the country has recently become a hot spot for tourists seeking culture, cuisine and natural beauty, but without the crowds and craziness of India or Southeast Asia. Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka's ancient capital in the northwestern part of the island, is a particular treat – it's practically deserted!
South Africa - Another pick for 2014 travel discovery is South Africa. Whether you explore vibrant cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg, sun yourself on beaches along the Garden Route or Wild Coast, hike in Hogsback and the Drakensberg or take a safari in Kruger National Park, South Africa is a paradise for travelers everywhere along the spectrum.
Israel - Finally, I would recommend Israel and the Palestinian Territories. The Middle East has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons, and by traveling to Israel (particularly, if you can make it into The West Bank), you allows yourself to see both sides of the story for yourself. A company called Abraham Tours has recently started a hop-on, hop-off bus for backpackers, which makes exploring Israel easier than ever.
Author Bio: Robert Schrader is a writer, photographer and creator of Leave Your Daily Hell, one of the Web's top travel blogs. Follow his journey on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or Google+ and look out for his work in major media publications such as The Huffington Post, Details and CNN Travel.
'Sri Lanka' - http://leaveyourdailyhell.com
Iran - With a new president and multinational agreements, the winds of change are shining a light on the old Persian empire. Iran has dazzling Islamic architecture and ancient sites like Persepolis, but perhaps the biggest draw to Iran is its people. So hospitable. The government has also announced plans to ease visa regulations, allowing visa upon arrival for many nationalities (including the US citizens). This would get rid of much of the visa bureaucracy that discourages some travelers.
Kyrgyzstan - Combine a country that is over 90% mountains, nomadic culture, yurts, Soviet funkiness, proximity to the Silk Road, and a strong community based tourism network and you have a winning combination for outdoor and adventure travelers.
The Balkans (Montenegro/Bosnia/Serbia/Macedonia/Croatia) - A “recovery destination” story in the making. Many still associate this region with war and genocide, but this region has been peaceful-- and relatively undiscovered -- for over a decade. With vast tracks of natural beauty and a fascinating crossroads culture, the Balkans are ripe for travel exploration.
Author Bio: We (Dan & Audrey) have been described as adventurers, professionals, and – most recently – as full-time travelers and storytellers. Our passions: creativity, personal development, technology, public diplomacy, travel and street food. And yes, we do believe there is a common thread woven between them all.
Toronto, Canada - There are many good reasons to visit Toronto, not the least of which is the tremendous diversity – of cultures (over 140 languages are spoken in the city), food (from Greek to Vietnamese, Punjabi to Caribbean and Korean to Eritrean – along with its burgeoning street food scene), and neighbourhoods (take the Carlton streetcar and pass through Little India, Chinatown, Little Italy, Kensington, Cabbagetown, Regent Park, Rainbow Village). Toronto will host World Pride this year, which, combined with the multitude of festivals that take place in the city, will make summer 2014 one long party in Toronto.
Lima, Peru - Of course, Peru has Machu Picchu, which is reason enough for many people to visit the country, especially with the concerns about the damage caused by tourism and age. But the capital city has much to recommend it – ornate churches, a flourishing culinary scene, gorgeous architecture, museums, parks, the boardwalk, and the historic center, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Bologna, Italy - I’m tempted to say “Go for the food.” Full stop. Except that then you would miss out on the outdoor markets, the museums, the people, the art, the shopping, the architecture... It’s also a great base for exploring the Emilia-Romagna region and discovering the mosaics of Ravenna, the balsamic vinegar of Modena, and the castle of Ferrara.
Author Bio: I’m a writer, editor, food and wine fanatic, and traveler. On my very first trip abroad I learned that solo travel was for me. Whether I fall in love with a wine and then set out to explore the region that gave birth to it, or encounter an ingredient or dish that I incorporate into my life back home, my travels always revolve around discovering a culture through food and wine. Tracy.
'Skyline of Toronto viewed from Harbour', Canada
Brazil - It's World Cup fever in one of the most fanatical soccer countries in the world. Brazil will be a fun and feisty destination for 2014
Australia - Australia is our destination of choice this year. We are road tripping around the country. Road trips are back and a lower Aussie dollar makes domestic travel a little more enticing.
Myanmar - Myanmar is hot right now. I think 2014 is the time to go before the exoticness of it gets watered down by an influx of tourists.
Author Bio: Our motto is: Travel More. Create better memories. We believe in accumulating memories, not just possessions. We believe that life is about making it a story to tell, and we do that through travel. We’re originally from the Central Coast region of Australia, and we’ve been traveling around the world since 1997, first solo, then as a couple, and now with our two young girls. Caz and Craig.
'Brazilian Football Fans'
Berlin - Berlin is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall this year. Berlin is a great destination in any year because of the historic sites and the vibrant culture but this would be a particularly good year to go to Berlin.
Flanders (Belgium) - 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1. This anniversary will be commemorated in many places but Flanders is doing some interesting events like one that will mark the line of trenches on the western front with a line of torches from the sea to the French border. Add in historic cities like Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent and Brussels and world class beer and this may be the year to get to Belgium.
Jordan - On my list of places I want to get to this year is Jordan. Many people just get to Petra as a day trip but I want to explore the markets of Amman, the red sea coast and the dessert at Wadi Rum. Tourism is down in the Middle East because of instability in Egypt and war in Syria so you will probably find good rates to Jordan.
Author Bio: The Amateur Traveler podcast and blog are the creation of Chris Christensen. The first Amateur Traveler podcast episode went out July 2th of 2005. The Amateur Traveler audio podcast is about travel destinations. It helps you decide where to go next. The show usually features an interview with a destination expert or with a traveler who has been to the destination recently.
'Brandenburg gate Berlin', Germany
Prague - Eastern Europe's darling city, Prague usually gets plenty of tourists but I think this is going to be an especially stellar year. With more live music venues than before and plenty of international festivals, Prague is set to be one of this year's ultra-hip (and super fun!) European cities. The city has more than enough cool things to do, whether it's unique tours, interactive museums or fun events, Prague is certain to be a highlight of my year.
Sevilla - The capital of Andalusia, Sevilla gets the attention as if it's a big city, without losing its small-city charm. As the European economy wobbles back and forth, Sevilla should continue to be a great value destination for European tourists.
Berlin - Listen, people have been saying Berlin is "over" for the past several years. They're wrong. Berlin is still cool and will continue to stay cool. There's no arguing with a Berliner over this! With hundreds of museums, 24-hour nightlife and some of the most unusual things to do & see in any European capital, there's just no way Berlin will *ever* be over.
Author Bio: In a few words, I’m a hipster travel blogger & graphic designer. In 2010 I quit my job as a book designer in Boston, MA and set off on a round-the-world trip. Over the course of 15 months I visited more than a handful of countries from Morocco to Israel, India to Vietnam. Read more about Adam's travel picks around the world, and his favorite things to do in various European cities, on his blog.
'Staromestske namesti vanoce', Prague
Ecuador - for its diversity with the Andes, rainforest and coastal region. In 2013 I visited the Galapagos and while it is just as wonderful as everyone says it is, Ecuador has so much more to offer. I've spent quite a bit of time in Ecuador in the past but last year I rented an apartment on the coast of Ecuador in Canoa to shoot video of the food and people in the small village. The culture was completely different from the highlands of Cuenca or the city of Quito but amazing all the same.
Finland - for its unique activities. People probably thought I was crazy to visit a country in the winter but it's the perfect time to get away from the crowds and tourist attractions. Last February I visited Helsinki, Porvoo and Tampere in Finland where I participated the quirky Finnish activities such as jumping into a frozen lake.
Maui - for its cultural opportunities. For me Maui is one of the most misrepresented destinations, people see it as an expensive resort destination. Maui has so much more to offer with its history of immigration. It's not just about luaus and leis, there is a strong sense of Ohana and power of community. Polynesians landed on Maui very early but many immigrant workers arrived later to work on sugar cane plantations and make for an interesting population rich with traditions from Portugal, Japan, China, Philippines, amongst others.
Author Bio: Ayngelina writes the culinary travel blog Bacon is Magic. Four years ago she left a career in advertising, long-term boyfriend, apartment and friends to find inspiration in Latin America. Now she shares the people and places behind the meals she enjoys around the world.
'Galapagos', Ecuador - http://gypsynester.com
Vietnam - Vietnam is my top pick for South East Asia because of the diversity of the landscapes. You have the wetlands of the Mekong Delta in the south, beautiful beaches in Nha Trang, the jagged karst formations of Halong Bay, and the scenic hills of Sapa. When you travel the length of Vietnam, the scenery is constantly changing, as is the cuisine and the culture. This is one country where you'll find yourself discovering new things around every corner.
Jordan - When travellers think of Jordan, the first thing that comes to mind is Petra. However, there are many places worth visiting across the country aside from the Lost City. Jordan is a destination that has something for every traveller; you can camp out with Bedouins in Wadi Rum, explore the wildlife in the Dana Nature Reserve, wander around the ancient Graeco-Roman ruins of Jerash, take a dip in the Dead Sea, and then go snorkelling in the Red Sea. The country is home to a wealth of options and it's also a really safe destination to visit.
Estonia - If you're looking to get off the beaten track in Europe, I would suggest heading over to Estonia. Set on the shores of the Baltic Sea, the charming capital of Tallinn is a great place to start your travels. This architecture in the Old Town is decidedly medieval and going for a stroll makes you feel like you've travelled back in time. Add to this a wonderful culinary scene, colourful street art, and impromptu musical performances, and you'll find yourself wanting to extend your stay.
Author Bio: Hi, I'm Audrey! I grew up travelling but started doing so seriously when I turned eighteen. That's me, the girl who wants more stamps on her passport. I'm slowly but surely working my way around the world, usually in search of markets, street food, jungles and beaches. (My blog) is where I keep track of it all.
'Big Buddha', Vietnam
Namibia - Rising quickly in the tourism ranks for Africa, this country caught my eye and is one of the first I'll personally visit in 2014. I love their mix of conservation efforts and natural beauty.
Myanmar - Though I won't likely return to Myanmar this year, the tourism scene is growing throughout the country and it was a highlight of my Southeast Asian travels. The culture is warm, friendly, and unique -- it should definitely be on your list if you haven't visited yet!
India - I first visited India in 2009 and returning to the subcontinent is on my list in 2014 -- and should be on yours too! From North to South the country is filled with cultural diversity, history, color, and a buzzing hum of life I dream about revisiting.
Author Bio: I’m Shannon O’Donnell, and (my website) has been my home since I left to travel around the world in 2008. I launched A Little Adrift as a way to share my journey, as well as share the hows and whys for others feeling adrift and looking for a change in their lives.
'Namib Desert', Namibia
Personally, I'm doing a lot of domestic travel this year, primarily for weddings and related events--Savannah, Austin, New York City, Napa, Denver and LA; all locations I would recommend to any visitor to the United States--but here are three destinations in particular I think should be on every traveler's radar:
Nashville, Tennessee - This is my hometown so perhaps I'm biased, but Nashville has never been hotter than right now. With a wealth of music options--from country to rock, bluegrass to jazz--and an amazing dining scene, Nashville is one of those cities I challenge people to visit and not fall in love with. Thankfully, the hit show Nashville has shed some light on what a wonderful town it is, and a dozen or so inventive restaurants like Pinewood Social and Rolf and Daughters that have opened in the last year are giving us even more national attention.
Edinburgh, Scotland - There's no reason 2014 is a better year to visit Edinburgh than any other, but as my favorite city in the world, I feel I must include it. It's got everything: natural beauty, Gothic architecture, culture in spades (be sure and check out a ceilidh while there), awesome pub life, and the best, kindest people. And for those who love a raucous, good time, I suggest going during the month of August for the Fringe Festival or for New Year's Eve. But don't stop with an urban visit; extend your time in Scotland at least a week to include visits to St. Andrews, the Highlands, Glencoe, and the Isle of Skye for a better overview of the country at large.
Sicily - So many people visit the mainland of Italy and don't consider a jaunt out to its islands. Devoid of swarms of tourists, Sicily is what many seek when they aim to channel an authentic Italian lifestyle, not to mention it promises rich food and diverse terrain--from an active volcano (Etna) to glorious beaches to a renowned wine region to Greek ruins. Steer clear of Taormina where the cruise ships dock to avoid the crowds and make the most out of your Sicilian adventures
Author Bio: I’m Kristin Luna, travel writer by profession and Southerner by choice. I’ve been working as a journalist for more than a decade, covering an array of travel and feature topics for a smattering of national, international, and regional newspapers and magazines. On the side—and to satiate my pop culture craving—I’ve also served as a red carpet (minion) correspondent for a handful of entertainment magazines since the early days of my career.
'Country music hall of fame', Nashville, Tennessee
Aruba - has become one of my favorite tropical islands for a few reasons -- the island doesn't experience hurricanes, it's weather is perfect year round and there are very few mosquitoes. You can read about Christy's recent trip here.
South Africa - We hope to make the trek to South Africa in 2014. Photographing wildlife is one of the biggest reasons we travel, so we both can't wait to go on a few safaris and see the big five!
Iceland - has been on our list for years, but flights from California are always pricey. In 2014, we hope to finally make it to this island of stunning landscapes with gigantic waterfalls.
Author Bio: Hi! We are Christy and Scott and we've been traveling the world together since 2006 -- surfing and taking photos along the way. Fueled by an extreme wanderlust, we decided life is too short to do something you don't love. So, in 2010 we created Ordinary Traveler to chronicle our travels and share our love of photography.
'Manchebo Beach', Aruba
I've visited nearly 50 countries over the past seven years but a few really stand out.
Bulgaria - Recently, I spent three weeks in Bulgaria and came away wondering why this small Eastern European country is not on everyone's travel radar. Bulgaria offers something for everyone: the cosmopolitan capital of Sofia; historic Plovdiv; ancient seafaring villages along the shores of the Black Sea, the exquisite Rila Monastery, and stunning mountains that beg to be hiked. Even better, Bulgarians are some of the friendliest people I've ever met, the cuisine is a delicious and healthy fusion of Slavic and Mediterranean cooking, and the price of everything is extremely affordable.
Nepal - Second on my list is Nepal. As home to the Himalayas and the world's highest peak, Mount Everest, this tiny country tucked between India and China offers beautiful scenery and trekking, as well as seven UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley alone. Nepal is also a very affordable destination with wonderfully friendly people.
Peru - Finally, I highly recommend Peru. This South American gem has always drawn visitors to Machu Picchu, but it also contains scores of ancient ruins from civilizations that existed centuries before the Incas. Visitors will marvel at the Condors of Colca Canyon, stay with indigenous Uru, who live on homemade reed rafts on Lake Titicaca, and sleep in an open cabin in the Amazon Rainforest.
Author Bio: After years of working 70 hours a week at jobs that paid the bills but brought no joy, I felt like the proverbial "hole in the donut" - solid on the outside, but empty on the inside. In 2007, I decided to pursue my true passions of travel, writing, and photography. My stories feature the destinations I visit and the people I meet, with an emphasis on traveling in a manner that benefits and deeply interacts with locals. Barbara.
'Rila Monastery interior view', Bulgaria
4 countries that start with the letter M!
Montenegro - Kotor Bay is still largely unseen by Westerners, who flock to nearby Dubrovnik, but don't take the 1-2 hour bus ride to Kotor. They're missing out on Eastern Europe's finest gem.
Mauritania/Mali - Fear of terrorists have kept the tourists away from these desert destinations. I was just in both of them last year and security is excellent. Like Egypt, the fears are overblown and adventurous tourists will have the place to themselves.
Morocco - Only African country that doesn't require a visa. It's has everything: delicious food, snow capped mountains, warm beaches, quaint villages, ancient cities, massive sand dunes, and friendly people.
Author Bio: Francis Tapon's mom is from Chile and his dad is from France. He was born and raised in San Francisco,Francis Tapon is always ready to go backpacking California. He's been to over 80 countries, but he keeps coming back to this magical city because he loves earthquakes.
'Kotor Montenegro Boka Kotorska', Montenegro
Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam - Disclosure: I'm living here at the moment so I might be slightly biased, but I wouldn't be living here if I didn't like it. And I happen to love it. There is a great street food and cafe scene here that rivals anything in Asia and it is a city that is changing rapidly, so get to it while it is transforming.
Istanbul - Turkey - I have been here twice on stop-overs to other destinations and given the chance I would get off the plane and stop here again. A life time of visits would never uncover what this city has to offer.
Antigua - Guatemala - This small city has an incredible collection of colonial era buildings (the city core is a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and when it emerges from the clouds the nearby Volcán de Agua (Volcano of Water) makes for a stunning backdrop to the city.
Author Bio: Hi, I'm James. I'm a location independent entrepreneur from Melbourne. I am long term wanderer, having been a full time digital nomad since 2003 and perpetual traveller with no fixed address since 2010. My life as a long term traveller began in 1999 when I moved to the UK on a two year working holiday visa.
'Street side restaurant', Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
South Africa - I'll be here for a few months and using it as a base for exploring the rest of southern Africa.
Alberta - I'll be taking a road trip this summer and most of my time will be spent here visiting the various national parks of the province.
Iceland - The SATW annual convention is in Iceland this year and I plan on attending. I haven't been to Iceland since 2000 and I'm looking forward to it.
Author Bio: My name is Gary Arndt. In March 2007 I sold my house and have been traveling around the world ever since. Since I started traveling, I have probably done and seen more than I have in the rest of my life combined. So far I have visited all 7 continents, over 140 countries and territories around the world...
'South Africa' - http://leaveyourdailyhell.com
Newfoundland - Incredible scenery and the quirkiest, friendliest people you'll ever meet. Visit Iceberg Alley, kayak with humpbacks, zipline over a waterfall, cavort with Vikings or stand on the Earth's mantle - just the tip of the iceberg (ba-da-CHING!). Speaking of icebergs, we sampled beer, wine and vodka made out of the giant ancient floating chunks! see our adventures in Newfoundland.
Osaka - Kuidaore, a Japanese word meaning "to ruin yourself with extravagant food," has become synonymous with the city of Osaka. How could we possibly not love this place? Don't miss the small downtown district known as Dōtonbori - famous for the whimsical, mechanical signs above the eateries! check us ruining ourselves in Osaka.
The Galapagos Islands - If we had to choose the ultimate bucket list destination, this would be it! The Galapagos is equally fascinating above and below the waterline - and a MUST for weird animal lovers! see our live-blog through the Galapagos Islands.
Author Bio: David & Veronica are experiencing the collision of Baby Boomer and Empty Nester. We have decided to grab life by the horns, sell the nest and become GypsyNesters! Full time travelers since 2008! See all of our adventures at GypsyNester.com.
'Newfoundland iceberg kayak' - http://gypsynester.com
My Top 3 destinations that I think people should visit in 2014 are Israel, South Africa and Sydney, Australia. These are all destinations that I have visited in 2013 and were some of my favourites.
Israel - You should visit Israel for all of the delicious food and markets, explore the ancient sites in Jerusalem, float in the Dead Sea and wander the modern and artsy streets of Tel Aviv.
South Africa - I am a big fan of safaris and I think everyone should go on at least one in their life time and South Africa is one of the best places to do it. I also highly recommend spending a few days in and around Cape Town and its wine regions.
Sydney - Thirdly I choose Sydney, Australia because it is one of my favourite cities in the world. It can definitely be a bit expensive but I love everything about this city from the harbour and beautiful skyline to the markets, pubs and even the locals accents!
If you even visit just one of these places this year your 2014 will be awesome.
Author Bio: Travel Yourself, the webseries exposes the good and bad of travel and shares real life experiences, while focusing more on the experience than the destination itself. The first episode was filmed in Spain, featuring the famous La Tomatina Festival in Bunol, Spain, said to be the world’s largest (tomato) food fight. Follow Cailin (O’Neil) as she travels the world giving tips and tricks on how to get around and make the most of your own adventure.
'Israel' - http://leaveyourdailyhell.com
Detroit - This city is fascinating…the past, present and future. There's an energy here and I'm excited to see Detroit grow!
Antarctica - More and more people are getting here. It's gorgeous. It's different. It's 'the ice.' I'll be soon posting an interview I did with my friend who is a FIREMAN IN ANTARCTICA! I hope I'll be going soon!
Slovenia - The perfect combo of mountains, lakes and mediterranean charm. At the top of my list!
Author Bio: Let’s get the important stats out of the way: I’m a Virgo. I love cheese. I live to travel. I chucked it all – the TV job, the boyfriend, the “conventional” life – to travel around the world. Now, I’m creating a new life based less on money and more on travel, laughs, & tasty food. Lisa.
One of the most popular New Year's Resolutions that is made by people around the globe is the resolution to travel to new and exciting places, and this is one resolution that certainly shouldn't be broken. There are some great destinations around the world, and here are our top three destinations for those looking for a little inspiration.
Jordan - Nestled among some troubled nations including Iraq, Israel and Syria, at first glance Jordan may be an unlikely candidate to be included in our list of top destinations. However, you only need to scratch the surface to see why this peaceful and prosperous nation in the Middle East is growing to be one of the most popular new destinations in the world. The capital Amman is a cosmopolitan and exciting place to visit, where Christian and Muslim live peacefully together in a relatively liberal atmosphere, with a series of historical sites including the Roman Theater and the Umayyad Palace, while the viewpoint near the Citadel offers spectacular views over the city.
While there is a wealth of historical sites located across Jordan, there is no doubt that the highlight of the country's attractions is the magnificent Petra, which was the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom which rose to prominence in the sixth century BC. The valley is entered by a narrow canyon known as the Siq, and once inside the city the historic buildings carved from the rock are spectacular, with the Treasury and the Monastery among the most impressive sights of all.
Peru - There are few countries that have captured the international imagination as much as Peru, and it is certainly one of the most popular countries in South America for tourists. Having once been at the heart of the Inca Empire, Peru's most famous attraction is the hilltop city of Machu Picchu, where the spectacular ruins have views over the steep surrounding mountain valleys. Those looking for a more physical challenge can hike the four day Inca Trail from Chillca up to Machu Picchu itself.
However, there is a lot more to Peru than just Machu Picchu, and a visit to the country is sure to convince anyone that it is worth spending time exploring. From the superb natural habitat of the Amazon rainforest to the beautiful floating villages on Lake Titicaca, the natural scenes in Peru are truly impressive. There are also several other historic sites, such as the Inca city of Sacsayhuaman and the ancient mud city of Chan Chan.
New Zealand - Another country that is well worth including on any travel itinerary is New Zealand, and is a country that balances superb natural scenery and wild landscapes with lovely welcoming towns and cities. Located in the south of the country is the remarkable Milford Sound, which is a beautiful fjord that can be explored by boat and kayak, and has stunning steep cliffs that rise several hundred feet into the air. Another natural highlight is the Tongariro National Park, which includes the volcano that was used as inspiration for Mount Doom in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films.
The largest city in the country is Auckland, and is a cultural and commercial hub lying at the northern end of the country, while the Bay of Islands peninsula and the superb Coromandel coast are just a short distance away. New Zealand is a country that has become known for adrenaline sports, and the main hub for these activities is the picturesque town of Queenstown, where bungee jumping, mountain biking, winter sports and great hiking are all within easy reach.
Author Bio: I’m an attorney that took off on my birthday in December of 2008 to circumnavigate the globe without ever getting on an airplane. After 16 months, 6 continents and 44 countries, I made it all the way back home. Right now, I am back on the road writing about it all.
'Baptism Site', Jordan
Brazil - When it comes to numbers, few destinations will compete with the volume of travellers that will visit Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. And it's not just Rio de Janiero, matches will be played in over a dozen different cities throughout the nation.
Russia - Another top destination for 2014 is Russia, specifically 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. Secondly, on the 100th anniversary of the last Russian Grand Prix, the Formula One World Championship will host its first Grand Prix in Sochi in 2014.
Nicaragua - Rounding out our top 3 destinations, we recommend Nicaragua. Being one of the poorest countries in Central America, a traveller's dollar will be stretched to the maximum. Nicaragua is a travellers dream, offering world class surfing on the Pacific, picturesque colonial towns, over a dozen active volcanoes, endless tropical jungle and pristine Caribbean beaches.
Author Bio: Cam and Nicole Wears are the duo behind TravelingCanucks.com, an award winning Canadian travel blog. Having travelled to over 65 countries & territories together in the past 7 years, their life journey has changed since welcoming their baby boy in late 2011. They now write about family travel and share baby travel tips they learn along the way.
'Carnival in Rio de Janeiro', Brazil
A big thank you to all the travel bloggers who contributed to this article. We highly recommend checking out their websites for even more travel inspiration and following them on twitter for some entertaining conversation and inspirational photographs and articles!
Images - all images are from Wikimedia Commons unless otherwise stated.