5 unusual destinations that should be on your 2014 travel bucket list

I’m quite a keen traveller and when it comes to the main ‘must-visit’ holiday destinations, there aren’t many I haven’t covered.

I’ve taken pictures of Central Park from the Empire State Building, I’ve been to the top of the Eiffel Tower and I’ve thrown a coin into the Trevi Fountain in Rome (with my right hand, over my left shoulder, of course).

But now that I’ve ticked so many mainstream holiday spots off my list, I’m even more eager to explore places that are off the beaten tourist track. Places that most people would never think to go to on holiday.

So using British Airways’ list of top destinations for 2014, I’ve compiled my own travel bucket list of more unusual places to visit this year.

The only problem is I can’t decide which one to visit first.

South Korea

Often overshadowed by China and Japan, South Korea is not usually considered a holiday destination. But believe it or not, this Far East country has a lot to offer its visitors.

Experience a buzzing urban metropolis – Seoul

With all its neon lights, think of Seoul as the Far East’s answer to Times Square in New York or Leicester Square in London.

Seoul has come a long way since the end of the Korean War in 1953 and it’s now home to millions of high-tech devices and the world’s fastest and cheapest internet connections.

Visit the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea

Once you’ve spent time enjoying the bright lights of the city, my advice would be to visit the demilitarised zone (also known as the DMZ) between North and South Korea.

North and South Korea have been separated since the end of the Korean War in 1953 and the DMZ is fascinating to so many visitors because it’s not just part of Korea’s history, it’s part of its present too.

The DMZ is the 2km wide border zone between the two countries and the closest any foreigner can get to North Korea. Although it is heavily occupied by the military, safe guided tours take place there.

Nicaragua

Nicaragua is another country that’s often overshadowed by its neighbours – in this case, Costa Rica.

But the ‘land of lakes and volcanoes’ in Central America has plenty to offer tourists if they’re willing to explore a country that’s off the beaten tourist track.

One thing I’d love to do in Nicaragua? Go volcano boarding down the Cerro Negro. Think snowboarding or sledging, but down the side of a volcano.

Austin, Texas

If you’re planning a trip to Texas, the top places on your itinerary are likely to be Houston or Dallas.

But to me, it sounds like Austin is where it’s at.

Believe it or not, Austin is the capital city of Texas, although it’s not as much of an obvious tourist trap as some of its neighbouring cities.

I’m actually really keen to go there – flights from London take just over ten hours and British Airways promotional codes make it that bit cheaper to get there.

And at the heart of America’s largest state, Austin has it all – a vibrant music scene, top festivals and even relaxed bike trails around the town lake, Lady Bird Lake.

Sounds pretty perfect to me.

Central Australia

Since Australia is so vast and hot, it’s natural for most of its population to live along its gorgeous coastline. And completely understandable that visitors to the country flock to coastal tourist hotspots like Sydney or Melbourne.

But what I’m most interested in is the Outback. This beautiful and rugged landscape seems to stretch on forever and takes you back to the true history of Australia.

With a British Airways discount I’ll be able to afford the long-haul flight down under and maybe even spend the money I save on a hire car for travelling around.

I can’t wait to visit Lake Eyre – just north of Adelaide this breathtaking natural oasis is the lowest point in Australia and covers an astounding 1 million square kilometres.

Bansko, Bulgaria

While the Alps or the Pyrenees would be my normal ski destination of choice, next time I want to give the slopes in Bansko, Bulgaria a try.

Located in the Pirin mountain region in south eastern Bulgaria near the Macedonian and Greek borders, Bansko is now dubbed the best place to ski in Eastern Europe.

It’s got the longest ski season of all the Balkan ski resorts and you can even cram in some culture as the medieval town of Bansko is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There are the five unusual destinations I’ll be adding to my travel bucket list this year – which ones will you be adding to yours?

And remember, my top tip is to look for British Airways promotional codes online to help you get there for less!

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