Travelers often find themselves on the path most traveled because – amid the brush and bramble of advertisements, trend pieces, and travel magazine features – it's the only passage they can imagine. And that's fine: Popular destinations tend to be popular for a reason. That said, there is a singular joy in trying something different.
To encourage travelers looking to take a chance, we've compiled a list of places they can skip in 2014 and found the places they ought to go instead. Going to Vail is not (and never will be) a mistake, but there are other adventures out there.
Don't go to Thailand.
The latest political tensions in Bangkok aside notwithstanding, Thailand is a less exciting destination than the Philippines. The dramatic karst formations of El Nido on the island of Palawan would have made a more striking backdrop for Leonardo DiCaprio's escapades in 'The Beach' than Thailand's Ko Phi Phi. Palawan, it seems, sits pretty much smack dab at the epicenter of marine biodiversity. The underwater life is downright flamboyant. Dive safaris of six days or longer on the S/Y Philippine Siren take you to explore sunken Japanese wrecks, deepwater pinnacles, the critter hot spot of Anilao, and Apo Reef – the second largest contiguous reef system in the world. The other option: Opt for a more sedentary vacation along the lines of sipping a San Miguel beer on a spectacular beach like Sipalay on the island of Negros, where bungalows rent for next to nothing.
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