Another year has gone by and so have our resolutions of travelling to exotic places. Travelling to new places is never easy, especially with the exorbitant prices that accompany them. Well, you need not worry about that any more since there still remain a few beautiful places that are sure not to dent your bank account. Here is a list of pocket-friendly destinations that you should definitely visit this year, if you haven’t already.
Lahaul & Spiti (Valley)
A daunting road journey through the Himalayas will take you to this breathtaking rocky terrain in Himachal. Although, Ladakh occupies the top spot for all adventure-seeking bikers, but Lahaul & Spiti are increasingly rising towards that spot. There are two routes to get to Spiti Valley in the Lahaul district, one is the Shimla-Kinnaur highway and the other one is from Manali. Featured in Lonely Planet’s Top Regions to visit, this particular area is definitely a place all nature lovers must visit. If you’re a fan of high mountains, trekking and exploring, then this untouched, primitive destination is meant for you to visit.
Although Petra and the Dead Sea are a favorite amongst all and are probably Jordan’s precious gems. But the delights of Jordan don’t just end there, in fact, they only begin. Jordan is an extremely rich country in culture and heritage and has various desert castles and ruins that are worth visiting. There are at least 12 more UNESCO Heritage Sites in Jordan apart from Petra, and they are as spectacular as any other site in the country. Some of the sites include, Dana Biosphere reserve, Azraq Wetlands, Umm ar-Rasas and more.
Another country to be featured in Lonely Planet’s best travels in 2018, Malta is a Mediterranean paradise. This small island nestled between Sicily and North Africa, is a sight for sore eyes. Rich in history and natural sights, Malta should definitely be on your list of places to visit especially since its cheaper than your average European holiday. Relax by the beach or go hiking to witness the beautiful flora and fauna and to top it all, the country has some great delicacies to offer that will leave you licking your fingers.
Often neglected as compared to Dubai, Abu Dhabi may not be a hot holiday spot but the place is full of surprises. UAE’s capital has many island gems that are worth visiting and account for a great beach holiday. What is even more interesting is that, since most of the tourists’ rush to Dubai, Abu Dhabi enjoys some space free of crowd. Some of the major places to visit in Abu Dhabi are the mangroves, Lulu island, Yas Marina circuit and many smaller islands surrounding the capital.
Vietnam remains one of South East Asia’s gems. Although tourism has seen a boost in the past couple of years, yet not enough to compete with the likes of Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. If you’re looking for a place that is not too crowded yet not too isolated, then Vietnam is it for you. With beautiful Buddhist pagodas and serene beaches, Vietnam is sure to be a relaxing vacation full of cultural heritage and beautiful natural sights. Watch out for the bio-luminescent beach in Ha Long Bay, it will surely light up your trip. (pun intended)
The country that measures their Gross National Happiness instead of the conventional, GDP, Bhutan should definitely be on your bucket list. If peace and spirituality is what is on your vacation agenda, then there is no place like this country. The snow-capped Himalayan ranges mixed with beautiful ancient monasteries add a different charm to the atmosphere. If you don’t mind experimenting and trying out new things, then try staying in one of the many monasteries and get a close look at the well-educated (modern) monks life. The natural landscape provides for more than just spirituality, hiking trails, treks are pretty common. Do check out the crafts and products in the Bhutanese market, they make for great traditional souvenirs.
Eastern Europe is slowly becoming a popular amongst tourists and rightfully so. If Hungary was the latest addition to the must-see places in Europe, then Romania will surely leave you asking for more. The Transylvania towns definitely look like they’ve been torn out of a Disney book, and the lively city life is great for you to enjoy with family and friends alike. Enjoy basking in nature’s glory with the wide landscapes to explore, or simply visit one of the many medieval towns that are picture perfect. Plan your next fairytale holiday to this European country, that too on a budget!
Again, another destination to be featured in Lonely planet’s best travel in 2018, Mauritius is surely a beachy heaven affordable to all. With its crystal clear water, giant waterfalls and tropical green trees, the island seems to be straight out of a movie. The best part about the country is that it has something to offer for everyone, be it an adventure sport enthusiast or little kids. Delve the luxurious side of the country or get active by enjoying the wildlife trails, this island is sure to surprise you with its range of activities. One can also enjoy the choice of various dishes inspired by the French cuisine.
If you 2018 happens to be a busy year for you, then a royal domestic trip is what you should look for. Although, many of us have seen Rajasthan, but I’m sorry folks, limiting your trip to Jaipur surely doesn’t count! The beauty of Rajasthan extends beyond its capital city and this majestic state often has an influx of tourists during winters, because of it. Explore the deserts of Jaisalmer and the blue city of Jodhpur. Be treated like a royal by booking a stay at one of the royal heritage hotels in Udaipur or go visit the Pushkar fair in December for a colorful affair. Rajasthan is sure to leave you thrilled and wanting more!
One of our closest neighbor, Sri Lanka has often been marked off the list of travelers in the past due to its political instability. However, now that the country seems to be moving on from its tumultuous past, an influx of various tourists seem to be on the rise. Sri Lanka, with its beautiful beaches, natural wildlife and religious surrounding surely seems like a place where you can just sit back and revel in a natural paradise. With as many as 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Sri Lanka is surely gaining a favorite spot among the list of international tourists. The best part about the country is that it fits perfectly into the budget of all, and is one of the cheapest international destinations to go travelling, this definitely leaves a lot of room for you to explore our beloved neighbor in 2018.