words Alexa Wang
There is almost nothing as better than a good vacation. A time to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday living. However, not all holidays are like this, with many holidays leaving you exhausted – feeling like you didn’t have a holiday at all.
We try to get the most out of our 15 days a year but sometime in the excitement of having so many days of freedom we overdo it – jam packing those 15 days with different activities and adventures. The truth is though the best vacations are the ones that are truly vacations, days under the sun, sipping cocktails and maybe even some light reading featuring some periodic napping.
Holidays that are not overcrowded with throngs of tourists, holidays that are away from city centers looking rather for destinations that are off the beaten track. Destinations that are authentic, rich and relaxing – believe it or not the world is filled with so many hidden hot spots, many ‘secret’ destination gems just waiting for you to visit. A holiday that feels like a holiday is possible and here is how. For the sake of all future travelling plans we have put together a list of some of the worlds not so hidden (anymore) vacation hot spots. Take a gander and pick a vacation destination that will ensure all your holiday dreams come true.
Botswana may be one of the least populated countries on the planet, which leaves all the more space for its abundance of wildlife. If you’re looking for a chance to really immerse yourself in the primordial world of Africa and all who inhabit it, then you really can’t do much better than the Okavango Delta safari. Take a game drive with a difference via a dugout canoe, get up close with animals such as elephant, buffalo, wildebeest, rhino, zebra, cheetah, hyena, and more birdlife than you’ve ever dreamt possible. Africa is the perfect holiday to reconnect and reflect, to relax and unwind as well as be mesmerized by the true beauty and simplicity of an African life.
If you’re looking to enjoy a classic European holiday without having to mortgage your house or deal with tourists, then this enchanting city is the place to be. It’s Estonia’s capital, and cultural hub and with its stunning gothic architecture and cobblestone streets, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped into a fairy tale. Stroll the quaint streets and visit the interesting curated shops that speckle the corners of these historic streets. Spend your days in quite admiration or strolling hand in hand with your significant other as you visit their infamous museums and parks.
If wolves, caribou, grizzly bears, lynx and bald eagles are more your cup of tea, then a road trip across the Yukon might be just the ticket to your vacation blues you’ve been looking for. This area of pristine wilderness is twice the size of the entire UK, yip that’s right – twice. Hello world’s longest road trip. However, for those more seasoned travelers who are looking for a little bit more of an adventure, the Yukon River is truly the perfect spot to explore via canoe or kayak. You’ll really feel like you’ve stepped back in time when you visit this enormous and remarkable place.
Kiso Valley, Japan
Step back in time 200 years and experience the tiny hamlets, old post stations and small farms nestled between stands of bamboo and forests of cedar, pine and cypress that we all associate with the great traveling samurais of old. If you enjoy a challenge and are ready to push yourself to the limits up for the challenge, the five-mile hike along the Nakasendo is a wonderful way to experience the forest with its hidden waterfalls. There is no rush to you can take it at your own pace. It’s the ultimate way to get in touch with mother nature and get some fresh air into your city lungs. If you’d rather take a more relaxed approach, then make sure to take in Tsumago, the perfect little town to immerse yourself in the traditions and culture of Japan. Browse the car-free streets searching for traditional or quaint souvenirs maybe even sit down at a traditional restaurant and experience the delicacies of ancient times.
This is the perfect beach location if you’re looking for a holiday that is just as tranquil as it is exotic. This is one of those rare Central American beaches that no-one’s ever heard of, this idyllic spot is an absolute dream for water babies, surfers, snorkelers and divers alike. Home to the Caribbean’s largest barrier reef, makes this location excellent for sailing, kayaking and pretty much any and every watersport adventure opportunity out there. More picture-perfect beaches than you can shake a selfie stick at, this is the tropical destination to choose if you want to escape overcrowded commercial seaside adventures. If you can manage to pull yourself away from the warm sparkling waters, you should definitely give one of the jungle zip line rides a go too.
A fantastic alternative to the bustling streets of Oslo, is Bergen, one of those wonderfully walkable cities where you can really take your time to just wander about and admire one of the world’s prettiest places. This is perfect for the Instagram traveler or photographer, as almost every and any corner is aesthetically pleasing and ideal to help rack up all those much-desired likes. Make sure to pay a visit to the Bergen Aquarium, take a ride in the Floibanen Funicular and visit Troll Forest, home to the magical beings of Scandinavian folklore!
We hope you’ve been inspired to escape the tourist traps on your next vacation with some of these delightfully undisclosed destinations. Don’t be afraid to step out of the ‘must-do’ travel destination list – pick places, spaces and faces that make your heart race, and set your soul at ease, no matter what that destination may be.