5 Hidden Gems near Popular Destinations

The world is full of fascinating places, some well-known, some overrun with tourists and others rarely explored. Like you, I am always up for a challenge and thrive in getting out of my comfort zone. So here follows a handpicked selection of towns, cities and regions from around the globe that are ideal for day trips or as alternatives to their more famous neighbors.

Love a Little Paradise: The Cook Islands

Many destinations in the world offer white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and an island lifestyle, but there is nothing quite like the Cook Islands.

Located in the heart of Pacific Ocean, the Cook Islands is made up of or archipelago of 15 inhabited islands, spread over 849,424 square miles, located between French Polynesia (Tahiti) and Tonga. Settled by Polynesians, the islands have a population of less than 15,000, and are rich in culture, history, scenery and experiences.

Experiencing Queensland Australia

The State of Queensland is pretty large, 2.5 times the size of Texas, so there is plenty of land to cover, and plenty of sights to see along the way. Narrowing this down, more than 70% of the population of Queensland reside within 50 miles of the coast, which reduces the amount of land you need to cover without missing out on too many of the highlights.

Discovering Wildlife in South Australia

One reason visitors flock to Australia is to see the unique range of native wildlife that roams this beautiful country. From koalas sleeping in gum trees, kangaroos hopping across open plains, sea lions basking in the sunshine, and a sea filled with whales, penguins, marine life and more, there really are wildlife experiences available throughout the land.

Costa Rica’s Pura Vida

Costa Rica is such a place where the art of “being” rather than “being busy” takes on a whole new meaning. You might even discover another side of who you are. So hang your hammock, grab a pina colada, kick back and discover Costa Rica’s Pura Vida.

Five Affordable Caribbean Destinations

The summer has ended and there’s a bite in the air. In a few months we’ll all be itching for warm weather again. But how affordable is the Caribbean? Is it possible to escape the winter chill and still not break the bank? Below we’ve listed five affordable Caribbean options for even the most economically challenged traveler.