10 must-visit travel destinations in 2014
I have yet to quench my thirst for travelling, mostly because of my endless procrastination. If you’re facing a similar situation right now, then join me in vowing to stop putting off travelling and start making plans. Do whatever you need to do — even if means blindfolding yourself and then pinning a location on a map using a thumbtack! It’s time to pack up your bags and go someplace else!
To help you (and me!) get a headstart, let me show you 10 places to visit this 2014:
1. Disneyland around the world
Despite all the hassle involved with traveling to Disneyland with children, it’s still most likely that one day we will pack tons of diapers, snacks and extra underwear just so our kids can experience it. Who are we to deprive them, right?
Luckily for us in Singapore, there are many Disneyland spots around the world including those in Asia, namely Tokyo and Hong Kong. This makes for easier budgeting so you’ll have more cash to spare for souvenirs or savings for your next trip.
To help you choose the right Disney destination for your family, check out the various options here
2. Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Mums will also enjoy stocking up on cosmetics at Granville Road. Meanwhile, dads (and the whole family, too, most likely!) will enjoy a cultural experience at the Hong Kong Space Museum and Cultural Center.
Don’t forget to visit the Avenue of Stars (a Hong Kong version of Hollywood Boulevard if you will), showcasing the local movie industry. Get your camera ready and take photos with some of the 73 celebrities’ "stars" on the ground or the 3-metre bronze statue of Bruce Lee.
3. Goa, India
Don’t worry about accommodations either — there are so many comfortable hotels and big family resorts where you and your kids can stay. A simple search will help you come up with a list of places (Taj Goa, Park Hyatt Goa, Goa Marriott Resort, Vivanta by Taj, to name a few) where your family can have a pleasurable experience, complete with relaxing spas, traditional dance performances and boat rides where you can dolphin habitats. Your only worry will be how to fit everything in those few precious days you’re there!
4. Seoul, South Korea
If you were to go there in Spring, (between April to May) you must visit the Secret Garden at Changdeokgung Palace, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. Flowers will be blooming, naturally brightening up the scenery with their colours. You’ll also enjoy meeting people at the Korean Folk Village. While you’re there, test your family’s trekking skills up the mountains at Namhansanseong Park .
If you opt for a winter vacation, (between December to mid-March), make it a fun skiing trip for the whole family. There are so many ski resorts to choose from based on the skiers’ skill level. You can also opt for a large bustling resort with many facilities or a quiet, more personal space.
5. The Vatican and Rome, Italy
However, even if you don’t fit in the abovementioned category, I’m sure you’ll still enjoy going there. I have been fascinated with Rome since every picture, movie and book that features it (can anyone say Dan Brown?) has left me mesmerised by its amazing culture. After all, isn’t that one of the reasons why we choose to travel — to enrich ourselves by immersing in the culture of others?
6. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Of course, we mustn’t forget the unbelievable experience of an authentic Desert Safari and Dubai’s majestic land reclamation project — Palm Jumeirah — man-made to look like a giant palm tree from an aerial view.
If your kids are bent on just having fun, they’ll surely enjoy Dubai’s wide range of amusement and theme parks. And if your vacation won’t be complete without heading to the beach, don’t worry, sand does not only exist in the deserts of Dubai — it also has perfect white beaches!
The kids will enjoy and learn a whole lot, too. Personally, I would take advantage of the opportunities to increase ecological awareness. This can be done by visiting Riviera Maya, spending the day with butterflies at The Monarch Biosphere Reserve and camping at Baja Peninsula.
So you see, there’s something for everyone! Don’t forget, too, that Mexico is famous for its fiestas. So bring along your sombreros and you might find yourself partying with the locals every day and night of your trip!
8. Cape Town, South Africa
While in Cape Town, you’ll marvel at everything around you so soak it in! Take a bus, take a drive, have a picnic, go on the many, MANY natural trails available (mountains, hills, beaches, biodiversity gardens, to name a few) in this downright gorgeous city. Try their delicious food, let your kids take as many pictures as they want and look out for unique souvenirs.
It would also be good to set aside a day to visit their museums and watch an African dance performance. Set another day to check out the wildlife exhibitions such as the Two Oceans Aquarium and the Shark Zone.
9. Maldive Islands, Republic of the Maldives
The Maldives would be your top choice if you want your family to have a totally relaxing experience (and you definitely deserve that). Granted it would be better if this trip is one only you and your hubby would take (think second honeymoon!), it’s still a spectacular spot for the whole family to go to.
If you’re fussy about your meals, your eating experience at the Maldives will be a breeze. From casual dining to gourmet meals, you can choose from a whole range of international cuisine. Of course, since you’re on vacation, you should try the local cuisine as well. Don’t be afraid to try traditional eateries which serve a lot of seafood that are usually spicy and laced with coconut.