Lonely Planet's Best Travel Destinations for 2014 Finally Revealed

  • Lonely Planet

Each year Lonely Planet publishes a selection of the up and coming dream destinations its readers should definitely try and visit. Released on the 29/10/13, its latest top 10s of the best cities, best countries, best family destinations, best beaches and small island and, least but not last, best value for money travel destinations have already gathered consensus and created a bit of a shock wave. There are surely surprising twists, all along side by side with the canonical best loved destinations, and surely something to please all tastes and to spark local businesses' optimism the world over. Because, all in all, not much of our beautiful, lonely planet has been left out.

Take the Top 10 Best Countries to visit in 2014:
  • 1. Brazil
  • 2. Antarctica
  • 3. Scotland
  • 4. Sweden
  • 5. Malawi
  • 6. Mexico
  • 7. Seychelles
  • 8. Belgium
  • 9. Macedonia
  • 10. Malaysia
If Brazil has always been a hotspot in every traveller's dream map, and even more popular now with World Cup and the Olympics games coming up next, the very edgy Antarctica at number 2 is definitely a sign of our times, part taste for adventure to the limit that becomes mainstream, part will to explore the unexplored following the tracks of the real travel heroes. And, yes, Scotlandfollows at number 3, not at all unsurprisingly but, one may say, quite rightly, due not only to its buzzing cities but, also, to the dense schedule of international events lined up for next year, from the Commonwealth Games to the Ryder Cup

PHOTO GALLERY: Lonely Planet 2014 Best Travel Destinations

What about the Top 10 Cities, then? Here's the list:
  • 1. Paris
  • 2. Trinidad
  • 3. Cape Town
  • 4. Riga
  • 5. Zurich
  • 6. Shanghai
  • 7. Vancouver
  • 8. Chicago
  • 9. Adelaide
  • 10. Auckland
Again, if Paris at number 1 is definitely 'a reinvented classic' – there are always tons of good new reasons to visit Paris- the cosmopolitan city of Riga on the Baltic sea, with its decades of freedom and a renewed status as Latvia's capital, comes under the spotlight as European cultural capital of the year.

But if it's a bargain what you are after, take a pick at the 10 Best Value for Money Destinations in 2014:
  • 1. Greek Islands
  • 2. Italy's foot
  • 3. Nicaragua
  • 4. Bulgaria
  • 5. Portugal
  • 6. Fiji
  • 7. Mexico
  • 8. Karnataka, India
  • 9. Palawan, The Philippines
  • 10. Ethiopia
I see a lot of Europe in pole position here, and it makes perfectly sense – not everywhere in Italy, for instance, will cost you a fortune, with many awesome destinations out of the most beaten tracks offering excellent value for your travel resources. Puglia, Basilicata and Calabria, making up Italy's foot, offer breathtaking scenarios, amazing food and top hospitality at a fraction of the price of places like Rome or Costa Smeralda.

PHOTO GALLERY: Lonely Planet 2014 Best Travel Destinations

But it's certainly this last top 10's number 1 that, I believe, really encapsulate the whole of Lonely Planet's mission and ethos: Greek islands are, and always will be, some of the best places in the world to go to. And there is no way we could forget that in a time when Greece is going through so much hardship. If the national economic crises means cheaper deals for the tourist and travellers, the profits that they will bring to the regions they visit will surely, in turn, come as a relief to many a family and local business.

Enjoy your dream holiday, and spend your money wisely may be the perfect travel motto of 2014. And for those really wise and eco – conscious, best would be to stay local as well. So find out more about travelling in Scotland here and here.

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