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Best in travel 2014

What are the top travel tips for 2014? Where should you be looking to travel to? We ask our trusted writers for their hot tips for 2014, where they plan to visit and what they think might have the biggest impact on travel

Best in travel 2014
Greece. Image: Getty

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Hot travel tips for 2014

01 Real travel
Travel with a purpose and a personalised approach. Whether it’s an activity or a hobby, a person or a place, it’s rooted in the idea that people are looking to travel for a specific reason. It could be about partaking in an event, perhaps a marathon or a music festival, or it could be about learning to forage, cook or find out more about a historical site. The key to the experience is it will offer you something uniquely tailored to your personal interests. Maria Pieri

02 Zening
This new hotel in western Cyprus claims to be Europe’s first resort focused on yoga, meditation and wellness. I booked in for 10 days initially and ended up staying nearly three weeks. My time was filled with free yoga, pilates, aqua aerobics and meditation sessions and the views over the Akamas peninsula — the hotel perches on a bluff above Latchi beach — were unreal. I left feeling like a completely different person. zening.eu Julia Buckley

03 Sporting Brazil
Brazil will be catapulted onto the world stage by a few men running around with a ball. Tour operators are pulling out the stops to offer inventive itineraries venturing beyond the big World Cup cities, and while I don’t think footy fans will necessarily explore off-the-beaten-track wonders like Fernando de Noronha (‘Brazil’s Galapagos’), it will expand our understanding of this vast country. Sarah Barrell

 

Travel plans for 2014 

19 Return to Greece
Aeons ago, I spent a long, hot summer on Paros, living in a tent yards from the beach and I think it’s time for a nostalgic trip back, although I’m ready to upgrade to a villa with a view. A journey through the Baltic States is also on the to-do list, mainly because I’m fascinated by the Curonian Spit. Suzanne King

20 Beyond South America
I’m going to Argentina to work on a cookbook about Gaucho food. I’m also planning a road trip to North America — western Mexico followed by the US, coast to coast. I then plan to get myself to southern China and Southeast Asia, Ethiopia — I dream of visiting Kaffa — and then southern Africa. After that lot, I’ll need a place to write it all up. Chris Moss

21 Wild Africa
I’m plotting and planning a few major TV journeys of my own in 2014, but we haven’t confirmed anything yet. There are still large areas of the world that I’d love to visit and film in. As a family holiday my wife Anya and I are really keen to go wild in Africa with our little lad Jake. I’ve got my eye on the Kidepo Valley National Park in Uganda, which friends say is one of the best on the continent. Simon Reeve

 

Biggest impact on travel

37 Dreaming of Dreamliner
It’s been a long time coming but Boeing’s new Dreamliner aircraft finally looks like it might change things the way it promised it would a decade ago. Thomson has already launched direct flights to destinations such as Phuket and Cancun, altering the dowdy perception of a charter airline. But the news that Norwegian is to begin three low-cost routes from Gatwick to the US in July — return flights to New York for £300 anyone? — suggests there could be more important changes on the horizon. boeing.com   Pat Riddell

38 Budget
This will still play big, as it has done for the past five years or so. While the travel industry is reporting early recovery, travellers expect real value for money, and this doesn’t mean consumables as much as experience. Community tourism initiatives, voluntourism, and ‘local’ businesses along the lines of EatWith and ‘slow travel’ tour operators will continue to thrive, encouraging travel that offers the chance to be immersed in local culture and save pennies too. Sarah Barrell

39 Rail
The next three years could potentially alter the way UK travellers approach holidays to Europe, with rail becoming a much more viable way to explore the Continent. In 2016, Eurostar will offer a direct service to Amsterdam, by which time Deutsche Bahn will have entered the market and will be offering their own direct trains from London to Amsterdam and Cologne. The high-speed line from Figueres on the Spanish border to Barcelona has already shaved an hour off the journey time from Paris to Barcelona, and from April, it’ll be possible to catch a direct service between the two cities, meaning passengers will be able to leave London in the morning and be in the Catalan capital by early evening. Glen Mutel

 

Trends we’ve noticed…

45 Ultra-luxury
For those with money to burn it’s no longer enough to fly first class and stay five-star. Round-the-world trips by private jet are proving increasingly popular with a number of luxury tour operators — for £60,000 you can take a whirlwind tour of the world’s greatest sights.

46 Going native
The rising popularity of a local and immersive approach to travel. Meet a local, dine with a local, live like a local, sleep at a local’s home. And now you can even book with a local via the likes of travellocal.com

47 Child-friendly safaris
With a focus on shorter game drives and malaria-free destinations, safaris are seeing more families heading to South and East Africa to see the Big Five.

 

Read more in the Jan/Feb 2014 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)