10 Off The Beaten Track Destinations For 2018
How do you like that clickbait title? Ha! Jokes on you, they aren’t even all full-blown countries in the UN’s eyes. But seriously though- Here are 10 awesome places for your to-do list in 2018. And Merry Christmas to everyone out there!
It’s not a country, it’s a whole freakin’ continent! Looking to get far away from the tourist crowds? Very few people visit Antarctica- but I’d guess it has mostly to do with the costs… it isn’t a cheap vacation, nor one with easy access. But, none the less- penguins, icebergs, and the midnight sun are calling. Wanna learn how to save on a trip to Antarctica? Check out the Antarctica Travel Guide, what it was like to visit the McMurdo Dry Valleys, 10 Reasons to Visit the Ross Sea, and a visit to the Subantarctic Campbell Island of New Zealand.
When people ask me where a first-timer to the Middle East should go my answer is always instantly Oman. You can’t go wrong with a visit to Oman. Camping in sand dunes under the stars, meeting some of the most friendly and welcoming people on Earth, desolate yet stunningly beautiful beaches, rocky mountains, and deep canyons, well preserved and crumbling apart fortresses, and crystal clear turquoise water-filled wadis are all found in this very one country. To make things even easier most signs are not only written in Arabic but English as well- making road tripping in Oman so easy it’s ridiculous. Plus if you’re trying to keep to a tighter budget: You can freely camp in much of the country.
Wanna watch the Aurora dance while peeking out of an ice cave and have a moose walk across the horizon? Well, theoretically this is a possibility. Alaska the last frontier, the United State’s forgotten redheaded stepchild (no really, they do forget we are in fact a state sometimes). Come for the dramatic sceneries, stay for the wildlife, and good luck trying to break out of its cold embrace. Alaska has a reputation for being an expensive destination, but it doesn’t have to be: Learn how to Travel Alaska on a Budget. Wanna hit the highlights in a week? Check out the One Week in Alaska Road Trips Series, including itineraries covering Anchorage to Fairbanks highlights, the Denali Highway, a Kenai Peninsula Loop, an Interior Alaska Loop, and the Dalton Highway. Looking for an experience to get your heart rate up and give you one of the most epic experiences around? Head over to How to Get to the Mendenhall Ice Cave.
Wanna join a tour and hopefully see the Northern Lights (only in the winter of course!)? Check out Northern Lights tours here. Looking for anything from wildlife tours, cruises, cultural tours, helicopter tours, and everything in between? Check out these Alaska tours on offer!
Does this surprise you? Well, it shouldn’t. This is got to be the most beautiful country on earth. Skyscraping mountains meets world-class hospitality in this crossroads of the ancient Silk trade route. With countless trekking opportunities, cultural experiences galore, a handful of fun cities, and the road trip of all road trips you’ll adventure to your heart’s content in Tajikistan. Need help planning your travels to Tajikistan? Check out these posts:
Wanna join me on a tour of the Pamirs in June?
I will be leading an expedition into the wilds of Tajikistan’s remote Pamir, China’s Silk Road cities of Kashgar and Tashkurgan as well as Pakistan’s stunning Hunza Valley June 23 to July 8 with Inertia Network. Click here to read up on the itinerary and to sign up!
Formerly known as Nagorno-Karabakh. This territory technically is Azerbaijan in the UN’s eyes, but the majority ethnically Armenian population will beg to differ. The territory has operated as its own country since the 1994 ceasefire. Mountainous and rugged this landlocked region will amaze you with every twist and turn. From incredibly warm and welcoming locals to hiking opportunities galore this is a destination for an adventurer at heart. Another upside? The Republic of Artsakh is pretty easy on your pocketbook. Wanna visit the Nagorno-Karabakh yourself? Check out the 3 Day Nagorno-Karabakh road trip.
Not into self-driving? It is possible to visit the Nagorno-Karabakh by public transport, Don’t Stop Living has traveled the region pretty extensively and the Unusual Traveler offers some info on getting to Nagorno-Karabakh by public transport. Want to join an organized tour including both Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh? Check out these tours.
San Blas Islands, Panama
Looking for the perfect Caribbean destinations without the crowds? With over 300 tiny islands glimmering off the coast of Panama with bright white sands and nothing more than a few palm trees and a couple of huts the San Blas is a perfect beach getaway. The friendly Guna-Yala people inhabit 49 of those islands and will welcome you in. With no ATMs, electricity few and far between, colorful reefs, an interesting culture, and pristine beaches the San Blas is the perfect spot. Check out tours to the San Blas Islands here. You can also go the longer route and visit the San Blas from Colombia as well.
Thinking about paradise? Well, I finally wrote about my trip to the San Blas, so start planning a trip with my San Blas Islands Travel Guide.
Sure, much of the country has been ravaged by war for the latter 1/3 of the past century- but some parts of the country have remained nearly untouched. Make it to the remote Wakhan Corridor and eventually, you’ll be met by people that haven’t a clue what the Taliban even is. Of course, this isn’t a trip for inexperienced travelers. Read up on safety before planning your trip. Wanna find out how to easily get a visa to enter Afghanistan? Read this post. Not sure if you should travel the Wakhan Corridor as a solo female? Well, I did it, read about it here.
Looking to visit beyond the Wakhan Corridor? Check out my Afghanistan Travel Guide.
One of the least visited countries in Europe… why? Well probably because not many know where it even is and it doesn’t have beaches. It may not be the most instagrammable country in Europe- but man is it a fun ride. Is this really what travel has become? If a destination is Instagrammable or not?
Anyways Moldova is awesome! With the compact capital of Chisinau with its fun cafes, beautiful parks, and Central Bazaar. Some of the most interesting sights in the country? Get underground for that- the cave monastery at Ohieul Vechi and the underground wine cellars of Cricova and Milesti Mici are a few of the best attractions in the country. Did I say wine? Yes! Moldova is known for its wine.
Ok, this one isn’t really off the beaten path for many British holiday-goers. With that said, Cyprus is a gigantic island, and discovering beautiful spots with next to no tourists is very possible. With the last divided capital in the world and the little-visited Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (this is not a political statement, it’s just how the island currently is governed) there are amazing spots to check out where you might have a lovely beach all to yourself. A few great places to start are the Karpas Peninsula, Akamas Peninsula, and coast just south of Paphos.
Want to visit an African country with varied terrain and lots to offer? Head to Namibia! Giant red sand dunes? Check. Coast and beaches? Check. Rocky canyons? Check. Wetlands? Check. Grass plains? Check. Abundant wildlife? Check! Namibia is a great place to start for first-timers to the African continent and with so much wildlife and vastly different sceneries all jammed into its borders you’ll surely not be disappointed.
I know I still haven’t gotten around to writing about my time in Namibia, but when I do, you can find the articles here.