The big list: Places to go galivanting in 2014

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Travel trends come and go. A location that’s the place to be one year can be downlisted fast by currency exchange shifts, the local political scene, and traditional and social media. According to Google’s 2013 Traveler study, more than 60% of people turn to the internet for ideas and reviews before booking. Travelers in 2014 are hungry for new journeys and well informed in their decision-making.

Major travel trends this year are wellness tourism, space tourism (looks like Virgin Galactic is finally ready for takeoff) while adventure travel continues to get wilder. More changes to airports and accommodations promise to make journeys even better. Gear up, and let’s go…

Lonely Planet is list-crazy and provides the tops in travel for every liking and every budget. Here are a few of them.

Best-value:  10 locations that promise the best value for your buck.

  1. Greek Islands
  2. Italy’s heel
  3. Nicaragua
  4. Bulgaria
  5. Portugal
  6. Fiji
  7. Mexico
  8. Karnataka, India
  9. Palawan, the Philippines
  10. Ethiopia

Top 10 Cities: Reinvented classics and up-and-comers – one of these cities is sure to inspire.

  1. Paris, France
  2. Trinidad, Cuba
  3. Cape Town, South Africa
  4. Rīga, Latvia
  5. Zürich, Switzerland
  6. Shanghai, China
  7. Vancouver, Canada
  8. Chicago, Illinois, USA
  9. Adelaide, Australia
  10. Auckland, New Zealand

Top 10 Adventure Trips: Thrill seekers are guaranteed to be pumped by these destinations.

  1. Mountain biking, Avoriaz, France
  2. Sailing, Cape Horn, Chile
  3. Ice Marathon, Antarctica
  4. Swimming, Sporades Isles, Greece
  5. Climbing Mount Baker on snowboard or skis, Washington, USA
  6. Kayaking, Kamchatka, Russia
  7. Rock climbing, Yangshuo, China
  8. Stand-up paddleboarding, Dominican Republic
  9. Whitewater rafting, Mosquito Coast, Honduras
  10. Travel by horse and cart, Myanmar/Burma

For Shakespeare lovers: A new entry to my list of travel lists (and a personal favorite), but for Bard devotees – these are must-make journeys.

  1. Stratford-upon-Avon, England
  2. Verona, Italy
  3. Helsingør, Denmark
  4. Scotland
  5. Maruyama, Japan
  6. Alexandria, Egypt
  7. Mount Párnitha, Greece
  8. Vancouver, Canada
  9. Messina, Sicily, Italy
  10. Shakespeare’s Globe, London, England

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Fodor’s Go List, alphabetized with top the 25 emerging locations, made for a long list. Here’s the short list of five places that appear to be trending this year.

  1. Scotland
  2. Chengdu, China
  3. South Africa
  4. Riga, Latvia
  5. Ethiopia

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With the focus on great trips at a great price, Budget Travel’s vacation spots are hard to ignore.

  1. South Africa
  2. Venice Italy
  3. Dominican Republic
  4. Buenos Aires, Argentina
  5. Orlando, FL USA
  6. Atlantic Canada
  7. Philadelphia, PA USA
  8. Warsaw, Poland
  9. Seoul, South Korea
  10. Riga, Latvia

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For travelers who have a lot of time and money to invest in their odysseys, the Conde Nast Traveler top 10 list went big this year choosing countries and regions over specific destinations.

  1. Indonesia
  2. Texas, USA
  3. Nicaragua
  4. Bhutan
  5. Tanzania
  6. Chengdu, China
  7. Mallorca
  8. Uruguay
  9. United Kingdom
  10. Rwanda + Uganda

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Those lucky travel bloggers whose lives are about traveling – and writing about it – have their say with ideas for unmissable journeys.

  1. Scotland
  2. Brazil
  3. Havana, Cuba
  4. Belgrade, Serbia
  5. Greece
  6. Mongolia
  7. Russia
  8. Falkland Islands
  9. Bhutan
  10. Experiential Travel

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Wondering where the best places to wander are? National Geographic Traveler chooses the best of the best in the world for “culturally-rich, sustainably-minded” travel.

  1. Nyungwe Forest National Park, Rwanda
  2. Northern Territory, Australia
  3. New Orleans, Louisiana
  4. Puglia, Italy
  5. Córdoba, Argentina
  6. Cabo Verde
  7. Ranthambore National Park, India
  8. Arbil, Iraq
  9. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  10. Cathar Country, France
  11. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
  12. Sochi, Russia
  13. John Muir Way, Scotland
  14. Nahanni National Park, Canada
  15. Cacao Trail, Ecuador
  16. Riga, Latvia
  17. Liechtenstein
  18. Guyana
  19. Alentejo, Portugal
  20. Bolaven Plateau, Laos
  21. Readers’ Choice Winner: Derawan Islands, Indonesia

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With 52 places along with the option to add a 53rd – a reader’s choice, The New York Times went for a variety of places where there is a defining reason to be there at this time. Here are ten at the top.

  1. Cape Town, South Africa
  2. Christchurch, New Zealand
  3. North Coast, CA, USA
  4. Albanian Coast, Albania
  5. Downtown LA, CA, USA
  6. Namibia, Africa
  7. Equador, South America
  8. Quang Binh, Vietnam
  9. Perth, Australia
  10. Rotterdam, Netherlands

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The Telegraph UK took an interesting approach to their top 20 places. They made it a guessing game. For seasoned travelers, it’s a snap. I listed the top two places from each category. SPOILER ALERT: Stop reading now if you want to guess for yourself.

  1. Glasgow, Scotland
  2. Matera, Italy
  3. Chengdu, China
  4. Liuwa Plain National Park, Zambia
  5. Alaçatı, Turkey
  6. Egadi, Italy
  7. Papua New Guinea
  8. Kashmir, India
  9. The Ganges, India
  10. Iran
  11. Stewart Island, New Zealand
  12. Darwin, Australia

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According to The Huffington Post, the curious and adventurous traveler can make it to these six forbidden destinations, considered off-limits – if you’re in the know.

  1. Iran
  2. Chernobyl
  3. North Korea
  4. Area 51
  5. Cuba
  6. West Bank

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The bizarre and the puzzling – those locations that are off-limits to women. All of the time or some of the time, Fox News Travel explains why these six locations shun xx-chromosomers.

  1. Mount Athos, Greece
  2. Saudi Arabia
  3. Haji Ali Dargah Shrine, Mumbai, India
  4. Hindu temples in India and Bali, Indonesia during certain times of the month
  5. Mount Omine, Japan
  6. Galaxy Water Park, Bavaria, Germany

What’s on your travel list for 2014?

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Illustration: © 2014 Janet Giampietro
Photos: Antarctica’s Lemaire channel, Ralf Hettler / E+ / Getty Images; Rex; Johnathan A. Esper, Wildernesscapes Photography/Getty Images, AP

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