Is the work week getting you down? Nothing puts you in vacation mood more than a hump day that’s extra tough. To help you along, we’ve rounded some of the world’s most relaxing destinations that make for the best vacations. Bookmark this for your next long weekend or vacation trip!
With powdery beaches and crystal-blue waters like nowhere else in the world, and ultra-exclusive resorts, Maldives is top off the head when it comes to dream vacations. Resorts are constantly competing to give travelers the most relaxing experience possible, with services and amenities such as personal butlers and underwater spas. But over the years, the Maldives has become more accessible to the independent traveler and you can choose from the many luxury resorts, or go backpacker style and stay with a friendly local family. Whether you stay in a small guesthouse or a luxury villa, you’re sure to enjoy the pristine sands and seas.
Koh Lanta, Thailand
Step away from the crowds and reconnect with nature at Koh Lanta. Go island hopping and trek through the jungle, where you’ll stumble upon waterfalls that will take your breath away. Explore Maya Bay, a hidden beach tucked behind 100-meter high cliffs and was the setting for Leonardi DiCaprio’s movie ‘The Beach.’ And after you’ve recharged enough? Head over to the famous Why Not bar where you can meet friendly strangers, listen to live music, and just enjoy the sound of the waves.
While a number of beaches have become too touristy and commercialized, Bali is still full of the same powdery beaches, perfect waves, and incredible sunsets (READ: Bali’s Most Beautiful Beaches). Pockets are so untapped and secluded, a vacation getaway can quickly turn into a spiritual retreat. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, go on an off-road island adventure and a safari tour.
We’ve got to thank Wes Anderson for reminding us what a wonderful place Budapest can be. And while you (hopefully) won’t be solving any murder mysteries during your stay, Budapest is full of all sorts of astounding sights to see. Explore the stunning architecture in cool weather with a guided walking tour (or bike tour), or make the most of your time and take an exclusive air cruiser. Don’t end your trip without a nightcap of some of their finest wine.
Fancy yourself a Spanish siesta? The southern coast of Spain boasts of gorgeous sandy beaches, lush greenery, and peaceful harbours. If you find yourself feeling a little restless, wait until the sun goes down to enjoy the bustling nightlife, or sip a cocktail on one of the many tapa bars overlooking the sea.
The atmosphere in Bondi Australia is so relaxed many of the locals don’t even bother to put on shoes. Spend a beach weekend here, where you’ve got access to numerous fantastic beaches via the Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Trail. After a day of surfing or sunbathing, have a hearty fill at any of the quaint cafes and restaurants nearby
El Nido, Palawan
Conde Naste has declared Palawan as the most beautiful island in the world, two years straight. And it’s easy to see why. With miles of pristine beaches, tropical forests, and its famous underground river system, El Nido is the perfect place to go for a taste of both adventure and relaxation.
Let your eyes rest easy on Morocco’s Blue Pearl City, famous for its powder-blue painted doors and walls. Stroll through the small but vibrant town with an empty shopping bag, and fill it with all sorts of colorful finds from the city’s craft market: handwoven blankets, pots made from brass and clay, and intricate jewelry. After a day of haggling and bargain hunting with the local merchants, sit back and unwind with a cup of spiced coffee, and enjoy the incredible view of the Rif Mountains. If you’re up for something more, take a Balloon Flight, or go Quad Biking in the desert.
If you’re itching to get off the grid and go backpacking, definitely consider Bagan, Myanmar (READ: 6 PLaces to Check Out on Your Next Trip to Myanmar). This growing backpacker haunt is little more than an overgrown village with some of the simplest traveler comforts. But don’t mistake its simplicity for boring; with over two thousand temples and pagodas and wide, winding dirt roads, Bagan is easily one of Myanmar’s greatest tourist attractions and is best explored by bicycle.
Uncrowded and slow-paced, Vientiane has been nicknamed the ‘Capital of Calm.’ But this Mekong River-side spot is full of age-old Buddhist temples, impressive colonial French architecture, and great finds at the street markets. Spend your days pouring over a good book at any of the tiny cafes, and your nights at an old French villa turned boutique hotel.