There are obviously popular places to travel but we wanted to think beyond Bali and Paris to provide you with a list of those lesser-known hidden gems around the world. In our opinion, if you’re traveling at all, you should be traveling to travel, meaning, you should really set your sights on places that immerse you in truly diverse cultural experiences. Otherwise, you’re just spending money for spa treatments or to see things you can find in your own backyard. Here are four must-see travel destinations outside of the US as well as a few extra places to consider for national traveling.
1. The Maldives
If you’ve never seen crystal blue water and white sand, you have got to visit this coral island paradise. You can dine at one of the many luxurious restaurants located underwater and watch as tropical fish swim by. There are over a thousand islands to explore and some of the most elaborate hotel resorts in the world can be found here. The natives are known to be extremely hospitable and friendly, and what’s more, the economy thrives almost exclusively on tourism, vacation, and travel, so you know you’re in for a treat. Don’t think a trip to paradise is in your reach? Think again. There are constant cheap flights from Miami that are heading out to travel destinations all around the world.
Located in New Zealand’s North Island, Waikato offers visitors an interesting blend of rainforest, busy Hamilton city life, and gigantic underground caves. The coolest part? Lord of the Rings was shot here, and you can still visit the actual Hobbit holes that have remained from the film set. Get your nerd boots on and head out, my precious.
3. Phuket, Thailand
From spa treatments to authentic street food, Phuket offers a fun-packed adventure for the whole family. It’s also an awesome place for a romantic elopement or wedding. The region’s native-style marriage packages include ceremonies that feature a walk along the beach by elephant back and a beautiful sunset ritual meant to send off the happy couple after they’ve tied the knot. All of this magic plus some of the most delicious cuisine in the world make Phuket the perfect vacation destination.
Yeah, I can’t pronounce it either, but the beauty of this place leaves me tongue-tied as it is. Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and is made up of forests, mountains, gorgeous lakes, and the same sophisticated, café feel as a large European city, only without so many people. Beat the crowds and keep the vibes with a trip to one of the smallest and most chic European capitals. Got a wild side? Ljubljana has a high degree of wildlife. With a fairly large bear population, you might want to consider bringing some honey with you.
If you’re new to traveling and want to start with places in the US, consider these three underrated East coast destinations. The Fall foliage and cozy family cabins are hard to beat. Then again, some like it hot. If you’re feeling beachy, visit California’s central coast. The area’s small California beach towns have somehow escaped from the commercialism of Los Angeles and have maintained their small-town charm. Also, there are lots of seals and otters if you like adorable sea animals. Love the nightlife? Explore the always happening Vegas scene. Just remember that wherever you end up visiting, it’s important to stay healthy while traveling.
Traveling should be about more than just taking a breather. By all means, rejoice in your self-care, lounge on those beaches, and get that massage, but don’t let these ideas of what it means to travel limit your horizons. There’s so much more out there than cruise ships and unrealistic expectations of the city of love. Be thoughtful in your travel pursuits and don’t be afraid to discover something totally brand new. You never know what’s out there waiting for you.
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