6 Alternative Destinations for Your Next International Vacation
Sometimes, the hardest part of planning a vacation is deciding where to go. With so many great destinations across the globe, choosing just one is a daunting task. If you would like to do something different to the usual all-inclusive Florida, Mexico or Caribbean vacation we have put together some top tips and spots for you to consider.
To help narrow your search you will need to think about the types of activities you want to participate. Do you enjoy relaxing on the beach or zip lining through rainforests? Are you going to be traveling solo or with your family? Do you perhaps you prefer browsing through bazaars or exploring historic sites.
Whether you're looking for fun in the sun, endless adventure, arts and culture, or peace and quiet, check out these six contenders for your next international vacation.
1. Phuket, Thailand
For a vacation filled with sun and sand, Phuket (as pictured above) is the ideal destination. Surrounded by lush forests, turquoise waters, and soft white-sand beaches, Phuket feels a lot like paradise on Earth. In addition to soaking up the sun, you can go sailing on the calm waters of the Andaman Sea to explore the nearby islands or take a snorkeling or diving tour to view the diverse and colorful marine life. You can also enjoy a wide variety of water sports, such as surfing, parasailing, and canoeing.
2. La Fortuna, Costa Rica
If you're an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys adventure, La Fortuna is the perfect place to use as a base for a trip to Costa Rica. The once sleepy agricultural town is now one of the top tourist destinations in the country thanks to its beautiful views of Arenal Volcano and the availability of exciting activities. Thrill-seeking tourists can try canyoneering at La Catarata de la Fortuna waterfall or flying through the rainforest on a zip line. If you love hiking, check out the trails at Arenal Volcano National Park. Then enjoy a soak in the Tabacón or EcoTermales hot springs.
3. Marrakesh, Morocco
Marrakesh is a vibrant, bustling city with a unique culture and lively atmosphere. To truly experience the environment, head to one of the many souks where you can buy everything from souvenirs to spices. At night, venture to Djemma el Fna to come face to face with snake charmers, fortunetellers, and musicians as they perform for the crowds. Immerse yourself in the local customs with a steam bath or sauna at a hammam. Be sure to also check out the Koutoubia Mosque, Badia Palace, Saadian tombs, Jardin Majorelle, and the Medina.
4. Florence, Italy
When it comes to culture and heritage, Florence has it in spades. Packed with historic sites, stunning architecture, mouthwatering meals, and amazing art, Florence is a big city with a small-town vibe that keeps you coming back for more.
As the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is home to one of the world's most impressive art galleries. Visitors to Uffizi Gallery can view masterpieces by famous artists such as Raphael, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Botticelli, and more. Other local highlights include taking a walk across Ponte Vecchio bridge, going on a tour through the Chianti wine region, and climbing to the top of the dome at Santa Maria del Fiore.
5. The Cotswolds, United Kingdom
If rest and relaxation are what you're after, head to the Cotswolds. Spanning 800 square miles in five counties, the Cotswolds is home to some of the most famous, historic, and unspoiled villages in England. From castles to country houses and markets to nature reserves, the Cotswolds is like no other place on Earth.
Take a stroll through breathtaking landscapes, enjoy a pint of beer at a traditional English pub, or spend an afternoon at the spa. While the Cotswolds villages are known for their honey-colored stone buildings, each charming community has its own unique features. Whether you choose to stay in one of the more popular towns, such as Cheltenham, Broadway, Bourton on the Water, a larger town like Glouceste, or a hidden gem like Naunton, you'll find plenty of ways to relax and unwind in the Cotswolds.
6. Amsterdam, Netherlands
With its picturesque canals, rich culture, and vibrant nightlife, Amsterdam offers nonstop fun for travelers who love to keep busy. This is one of the best city vacation break destinations in Europe / the world. Thanks to an incredible network of cycle routes and flat landscapes, the best way to get around the city is by renting a bicycle.
Get lost riding through the labyrinth of narrow streets and quaint buildings that make up the charming Jordaan neighborhood, where you'll find an abundance of independent art galleries, antiques shops, gardens, bars, and restaurants. After, head to Museumplein, the cultural heart of Amsterdam. Stop in at the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art.
Of course, no trip to Amsterdam is complete without a visit to the infamous red light district. Famous for its brothels, sex shops, and bars, it's the perfect place for party seekers to cap off the evening with a pub crawl.
There are many great places to visit around the world. If you're having trouble deciding which one to choose, consider these six contenders for your next international vacation.