Are you having difficulty with choosing a destination for your New Year’s getaway? Or are you looking for some inspiration for planning an affordable and exciting holiday?
Lonely Planet enjoys a well-deserved reputation worldwide as the experts on all things travel – and the guru of global touring has just released its Best in Travel lists for 2016. These are its top 10 affordable destinations to visit in the coming year.
10. Western Australia
With the Aussie dollar’s well-documented peaks and troughs, Australia is more likely to be the best place for Australians to tour this coming year and, according to Lonely Planet, Western Australia tops the list for Aussie destinations. It’s not just WA’s capital capturing tourists’ attention: think beyond to its varied landscapes, including beautiful beaches, captivating outback Kimberley, rocky coastlines and famous wine regions of the south coast.
Formerly known as East Timor, Timor-Leste offers an ideal budget destination. Once again, it’s not just the capital Dili that does it for holidaymakers, it’s the beach shacks of Jaco and the Atauro Islands, along with affordable guest houses in the hill country, and farmers’ markets featuring local produce and ‘local chicken’, Timor-Leste provides explorers with their very own exciting Eastern adventure.
8. Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast
Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast is one destination that is likely to grow in popularity over the next few years. From its breathtaking birdlife to the turtles at Tortuguero, from snorkelling the reefs of Manzanillo to surfing the south coast, Costa Rica’s brilliant black-sand beaches provide the perfect spot to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the big smoke.
7. Québec City
Québec City enjoys the reputation of being the only North American city with its 17th century architecture still intact, and one cannot help being reminded of the good old days of yore when touring the cobblestoned streets of this charming town. From its old-fashioned pubs and bistros, to its more modern, but just as fancy, city restaurants and fine dining, Québec City is a marvel of both past and present.
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Galicia’s unspoiled villages and divine country vineyards are more than matched by its open-air hot springs and the allure of beaches soaked in Spanish sun. This Spanish sanctuary is also well known for its superb seafood.
5. Bosnia and Herzegovina
Forget the unrest of days past, because Bosnia and Herzegovina has shed its challenged history to become somewhat of a tourist mecca. Time your trip to visit its fabulous festivals, wander through historic Franciscan monasteries, don some skis and shred the Olympic-standard snow fields, or, for the more adventurous, kayak some of Europe’s most challenging river systems. Bosnia and Herzegovina is a top spot for budget touring.
4. New Mexico
New Mexico is blessed with some of the world’s most stunning landscapes, including rolling hills and valleys, immense canyons, vast desert plains, and unique historic towns. It’s little wonder then that New Mexico enjoys the title of ‘Land of Enchantment’.
3. East Africa
Are you looking for up-close-and-personal wildlife encounters? Then East Africa is your bag. The Masai Mara in Kenya features an unparalleled wildlife experience, whilst Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park can put you in touch with baby mountain gorillas, but East Africa is not only all about animals: tourists are also advised to take a trip to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, or zoom off to the squeaky sand beaches of spicy Zanzibar.
2. Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi
For affordable adventure and an amazing array of food and sightseeing, it’s difficult for Aussies to go past Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. With accommodation and touring for as little as $20 a day, Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s largest city, and it’s simply brimming with energy from its multitude of markets to its scintillating street food stalls. Or you can escape to Hanoi – famous for its boundless boulevards, luminous lakes, ancient pagodas and historic Old Quarter.
Estonia takes the top spot for affordable destinations, with its sparsely populated countryside, peaceful forests and quite towns offering the perfect place for those looking for a serene escape away from the city swarms. The country is home to hidden beaches, island hideaways, the glorious Lahemaa National Park and the historic capital Tallin – founded in the 13th century.
Have you been to any of these places? Why not tell us what you thought? Which of these destinations will you add to your bucket list?
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