Where should I travel in 2014? Your luxury travel recommendations…

The back-end of 2013 saw me experience a rather hectic – but very enjoyable – travel schedule. A week in Lithuania working for a luxury resort about an hour from Vilnius, an exciting trip from Kathmandu, Nepal, across to New Delhi, India, with Land Rover, a short stay in Helsinki, Finland, on behalf of American Express, a week in Ireland experiencing the many delights of a luxury hotel and its surroundings, and a wine-fuelled jaunt to Cape Town, South Africa, working with Virgin Atlantic and Cape Town Tourism.

Cape Town sunset

With 2014 now well and truly underway, and the blog taking off in a way that even I hadn’t anticipated (already 300,000 unique visitors so far this month!), my attention is turning to travel plans for the year ahead. There are a number of possibilities already in the pipeline, but I’m keen to hear your luxury travel suggestions as to where to go and what to see.  So, please… let me have your thoughts by adding your comments to the end of this post.  Thank you!

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Comments (34)

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  1. Did you see Turkey? Did you see Belarus, Did you see Georgia, travelling is not only luxury and enjoying view and sea. In Turkey you can see people’s hospitality, the culture will amaze you, a country is so close to west but so asian so sophisticated that will shock you, go to Belarus after Turkey, you will see the culture similarities between Turkey and Belarus altough a big sea and a big country (ukraine) seperates them. And then go to Georgia, see how poor people are there but still the best and funniest people they are. Go to very unusual places. People are going to vietnam china SE Asia like its the only place to go. Those places are outdated, too mainstream. Go to east europe, see the poverty, but be shocked about friendship and emotional boundries.

  2. Paul Johnson says:

    Thanks for dropping by, Vika… I have been to Turkey but would like to see more of the country. I have yet to visit Belarus and Georgia. What places would you recommend seeing there?

  3. Have you been kenya that is where travel and luxery start A-Z frm masai mara to north cost come and find hospitality the real kenya way we blend you the kenya tea and your longer stay is guaranteed

  4. Paul Johnson says:

    No, I’ve not been to Kenya but have been to neighbouring Tanzania. We had a great time there. I would love to take my family on safari but think I’ll wait until our children are just a little bit older. I think ideally you probably need to be at least 10-12 years old in order to appreciate and remember a trip like that. Ours are just a little bit younger at the moment…

  5. Anna Parker says:

    I’d really recommend jamaica as a surprisingly real and luxurious part of the Caribbean, the places I wrote about on this blog were epic!!

  6. Paul Johnson says:

    Thanks, Anna… I have of course read those posts and it sounds like you had an amazing time there. I’m not sure I’d have been as brave with the driving as you were, though!

    Is there a best time to go?

  7. Qnoy says:

    what about Indonesia? is someone ever been here??
    I strongly believe that there are so many beautiful place to come. you can choose your own vacation, such as trekking, enjoying the beach, and learning about culture and improving your skill.

  8. Paul Johnson says:

    Thanks, Qnoy… where would you recommend in Indonesia?

  9. Qnoy says:

    Yogyakarta (Borobudur and prambanan temples , silver and batik course,cave tubing, parangtritis and kukup beach etc) and bali (we know how beautiful of bali) will be great to come.
    and it will be wonderful experience if you guys come to this place, because the citizen are kind.

  10. Harriette Henderson says:

    I tell everyone to visit Cuba NOW. With the relaxation by the Cuban government of restrictions on buying property and new cars it will not be long before how Cuba now looks changes drastically. Also, when the embargo is finally lifted and hotels and a casinos rush in to claim a spot Cuba will begin to look like Miami or Las Vegas.

  11. Paul Johnson says:

    Good tip, Harriette… thanks. I would much rather see the old Cuba than one that is a gambling monstrosity!

  12. Robyn says:

    A trip to Lombok and the Gili Islands in Indonesia should definitely be on your bucket list – still relatively untouched and so much to see and do!

  13. Paul Johnson says:

    Thanks, Robyn… just looked up the Gili Islands on Google Images ( http://goo.gl/vO3qxF ). They look stunning! :-)

  14. You should go to Japan (Tokyo and Kyoto), France (Paris) and Iceland! Pleeeeease, Iceland!!! =) I would love to read what you see there and some tips!

  15. Paul Johnson says:

    Hi Adriana

    Japan would be interesting. Paris and France I’ve done rather a lot of times now, but still wouldn’t say ‘no’… :)

    As for Iceland, I would LOVE to go there. I’ve been to Greenland a couple of times but never Iceland… I have a PhD in glaciology so that is definitely somewhere I’d like to get to one day…

    Paul

  16. OMG Paul, please go to Iceland. It’s my “dream trip”! I really want to go there this year, but I don’t know yet if I’ll be able to.
    Anyways, Paris is always a good idea right? <3
    Japan is amazing! I loved it. Been there for my honeymoon and it was totally magical. You should explore it. I know it's on the other side of the world but it's worth it!

  17. This might sound a bit off the mark, what with everyone’s recommendations of exotic destinations, but keep a close eye on Yorkshire this year – Lonley Planet announced it as one of must-see places of the year, BBC Country File revealed that Whitby was voted number 1 market town in the UK and the Tour De France kicks off in Yorkshire later this year.

    And, of course, Cornwall is the number 1 holiday destination in the UK – so always worth a visit if you happen to be in the country!

  18. Paul Johnson says:

    Thanks, Rebecca… I’m actually in Cornwall in a couple of weeks (watch the blog for details) and Yorkshire just half an hour from me so somewhere I tend to frequent quite often.

    It’s good to see our home patch doing well and I enjoy travels around Britain just as much as I do overseas. :)

  19. What are the chances of that? We’re actually based in Wadebridge ourselves, so feel free to get in touch if you’d like a tour of any of our houses – or even some tips on where to eat and things to do!

    It’s great to see people embracing staycations, and actually seeing a lot more overseas visitors to more rural locations as well. :)

  20. Paul Johnson says:

    I’m between the Lakes and the Dales so well aware of the beauty and appeal of our own shores.:) We also have a holiday apartment up here and have a healthy percentage of overseas visitors – as you say, it’s nice to see them exploring locations beyond London.

    I’ll be doing a special feature review for a hotel on the Lizard when I’m down your way and should have that published before the end of the month, so you can read all about it then. :)

  21. carolina says:

    Tuscany – not the one that everybody knows Florence, Siena, Lucca and the chianti medieval castles but the off the beaten tracks that for some reason still haven’t been totally discovered in this beauty and opportunities of great outdoor, still few luxury locations and great food. The Maremma area, southern of Siena, still not even connect to Siena with a proper road and the Valdambra region, only 30 minutes east of Siena. If you are interested in investigating more I am available to share more info!

  22. Fadi says:

    If you haven’t already, Jordan is a must. I would recommend Petra, Wadi Rum, Dead Sea, Amman, Ajloun, and Madaba. I wouldn’t do Aqaba, on the Red Sea, unless you are into exploring coral reefs.

  23. Paul Johnson says:

    Thanks for all the continued suggestions, everyone. So far it looks like there will be trips to Cornwall (UK), Italy and China in the next few months, but still fine tuning some of the details at the moment.

    Paul

  24. Markus says:

    Explore Scandinavia&Finland further:
    – Travel to Lapland e.g. Inari&Saariselkä in the summer, experience nightless night, no sunset. Continue from Inari to Kirknäs and take Hurtigruten Ferry to see beautiful norwegian fjords. Visit Nordkapp/North Cape? end of the E65 road. Hurtigruten ferry travels down to Bergen which is superbly beautiful. Climb up the mountains.
    – Sail onboard Tallship race 2014 from Bergen to Esbjerg Denmark. Or
    – Go sailing at Baltic Sea in Stockholm Archipelago or bigger Turku Archipelago.
    – Travel via Baltica and visit 3 Baltic States of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.
    – Visit Kakslauttanen iglu in winter 2014-15 to experience Nordic lights, now too late
    – Overnight in Snow Castle (eg.Kemi, FI or Sweden) still doable now winter 2014.
    – Sail on icebreaker (Kemi)(still now)
    – 2014 is 100 years from start of WW I, visit Sarajevo, where all started, to commemorate all those who lost their lives and did not have luxury of living. Also 70 years from Normandy D-Day.

  25. Paul Johnson says:

    Thanks, Markus… I would love to explore move of Scandinavia! I was in Helsinki a couple of months ago doing some work for American Express and had a great time there.

    I’ve been to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and even Greenland (not yet Iceland), but would love to discover more, particularly in the more rural/scenic areas. I’m keen to take my family to Norwegian fjords as they’ve yet to visit that area. I’m not a huge fan of the thought of cruising, but that’s one cruise I would definitely do if the opportunity arose!

    Thanks for all your suggestions,

    Paul

  26. John says:

    Thanks for sharing your view. Nepal can be one of the great place to visit as Nepalese people are very good in hospitality and have very diverse culture that will amaze you for sure.

  27. Paul Johnson says:

    I had a great time in Nepal. As you say, the people were very friendly. The smiles on the children’s faces were a delight – proof in itself of the old adage ‘money doesn’t buy happiness’.

  28. Connemara, Ireland – luxury horseback riding vacations with plenty of local history and culture thrown in. Fantastic native horses and ponies, friendly knowledgeable guides, breath-taking scenery, gourmet meals, luxury accommodation and lots of local color!

  29. Paul Johnson says:

    I was in Ireland in October, Eileen.

    We were much further south (just south of Killarney) but did go horse riding and, even though it was a bit wet and I’m not at all experienced on that front, I did enjoy it.

  30. Layla says:

    Would love Iceland or somewhere with the northern lights. Also the Alps. Maybe Belgium. St. John, USVI is a favorite of mine. More untouched than so much of the Caribbean.

  31. Paul Johnson says:

    Iceland is very much somewhere on my wishlist. Would love to go and experience the landscape, the geysers, etc.

  32. Ben Alcock says:

    Oman.

    I know it’s been on everyone’s hot-lists for a few years now, but for good reason.

    Stunning, friendly and delicious.

    Try Desert Nights Camp, Sahab Hotel, The Chedi Muscat (swoon), and Al Bustan Palace also in Muscat.

    And that’s just – as they say – the tip of the Omani iceberg.

    Happy travels

  33. Erkut OZEN says:

    I think, adventure routes will be important for this year. Alaska, Madagascar and iceland with mountain’s..
    Maybe cold is most beautifull :)

  34. Monnette says:

    How about savoring luxurious accommodations in El Nido, Palawan, Laoag, Ilocos Norte, Boracay, Bohol and Cebu, all in the Philippines where you can see old structures and the tarsier? Most areas in the Philippines don’t have luxurious accommodations but you can definitely see some evidences of the past, like in Baguio City or Silay City in Negros.

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