With 2014 just beginning, it’s a great time to review your list of places to go on your travels. A savvy traveler should always consider the more unusual destinations, along with some famous favourites, and the good news is that being more open to new options can often get you better deals as well. So blow away the January blues and take a look at these ideas for the new year, which marry together interesting places with multiple savings on your pocket.
Portugal might not be for everyone, but this country is so much more than all-inclusive packages – although these make it much more accessible! In addition to cheap late holidays and long lies on the beach, a break in Portugal offers visitors so much choice, from wine holidays around the Douro Valley to quiet stays on the beautiful Silver Coast. Pay particular attention to Portugal’s delicious coffee, and take a few trips on Lisbon’s notoriously rickety trams for a great day out.
Hidden Greek Isles
While some people prefer to go to the Greek Islands to party, the growth of the party holiday in the region has also led to the growth of a number of smaller, quieter and much less touristic islands. Avoid Rhodes and Kos, and head to other islands like Hydra and Paxos for a more authentic Greek island getaway, complete with old-world harbours, rambling scenery and some highly-sought peace and quiet.
Perhaps most famous for its capital city, Sofia, Bulgaria has become a major destination for travelers in recent years. Avoid heading to the capital at first and instead opt for Plovdiv or Varna, part of the Black Sea Riviera and an incredibly photogenic place to visit. Travel and accommodation are very affordable in Bulgaria, as are some of the cultural sites, such as local museums and churches.
Italy’s best kept secrets
Italy is known for being quite expensive, and the average traveller’s budget doesn’t seem to last very long in the country. However, heading to the so-called ‘Heel’ of Italy, to destinations such as Puglia, Basilicata and Calabria, offers much better value for money compared to the more expensive north of the peninsula. The cuisine is not only delicious but also very affordable, life in the south is endearingly laidback and there is always affordable accommodation available, even in the high tourist season in the summer.
With so many bargain options available these days, the world really is your oyster when it comes to travel. If you’re planning on trying to book a holiday this summer, you might be surprised about how much value you can get for your money by looking beyond the big-name attractions…
Images by Flickr users: mat’s eye, karol m, Klearchos Kapoutsis, Francesca Special K – used under creative commons license.