There are so many interesting destinations in the world that it’s difficult to choose just a few to focus on. However, some places are a bit more in the public eye than others — and some of them are working hard to be so!

To listen, hit play below or find episode 261 in iTunes or Soundcloud:


The economic downturn has hit particularly hard in Spain, which means that prices are down — now’s a good time to visit. Head to the big cities if that’s your thing; we prefer smaller places like A Coruna, Toledo, Jerez.

Plaza San Diego in Alcalá de Henares
Alcala de Henares
Read more about Spain


The only country with “love” in its name is worth a visit for its spectacular scenery — when we showed people photos of Bohinj after our IndieRail trip, they were blown away.

Bohinj, Slovenia.
Bohinj, Slovenia. (cc)

European capitals of culture: Kosice, Slovakia and Marseille, France

Marseille has more press, but Kosice is also deserving of its title, with its storybook-like town centre.

Kosice, Slovakia.
Kosice, Slovakia. (cc)


We’ve been hearing more and more about this Eurasian nation. Not many travellers get to this part of the world, but that seems set to change.

Bagrati Cathedral in Kutaisi, Georgia
Bagrati Cathedral in Kutaisi, Georgia (cc by-sa)

China, Russia and India

Three of the BRIC nations (the other one’s Brazil) are located in Asia, and their growing economies will likely be paired with growing tourism numbers. They’re all enormous in terms of landmass, so there’s no shortage of destinations to choose from.

Laxman Jhula in the background india
Laxman Jhula, India

Sri Lanka

Plagued by war for decades, Sri Lanka hasn’t been on many travellers’ radars for some time. But now things are looking up, and more people are visiting — it’s conveniently located off the coast of India, so can be added on to a trip there.

Ambewela, Sri Lanka.
Ambewela, Sri Lanka. (cc by-sa)


Now that things have changed in Vang Vieng (the bars selling drug-laced cocktails have closed, for a start) hopefully Laos will be able to get more leverage on its natural charms.

Young monks cross the bridge at Nong Khiaw, Laos
Young monks cross the bridge at Nong Khiaw, Laos.
Read more about Laos

New Zealand and Australia

These two destinations are popular with backpackers and will probably remain so, even though they’re expensive at the moment because of strong economies. They’re both great places to get a Working Holiday Visa, or to make the most of a three-month visa waiver.

Kings Canyon in NT, Australia.
Kings Canyon in NT, Australia.

Read more about Australia and Read more about New Zealand

Fiji and Bali

Apart from visiting each other, New Zealanders tend to head to Fiji on their overseas holidays, and Aussies go to Bali. If you’re visiting, you might be able to pick up a cheapish flight.

Fiji beach.
Fiji beach. (cc)

Brazil and Argentina

With the World Cup and the Olympics coming up, Brazil’s in improvement mode. Now’s a good time to visit. And Argentina is always awesome.

A beach in Brazil.
A beach in Brazil.

Read more about Argentina and Read more about Brazil


Ecuador has been positioning itself as South America’s eco destination. It’s certainly cheaper than Brazil and Argentina, and seems to have a lot going for it.

Ecuador's a colourful place.
Ecuador’s a colourful place. (cc)
Read more about Ecuador

North America

Apart from the perennially popular Las Vegas and New York, this year it seems to be all about the road trip.

American road USA
Road trip! (cc)
Read more about North America

North Africa and the Middle East

Egypt and Jordan have the drawcards of the pyramids and Petra, and Morocco has a strange charm about it. We’re hoping to get to all three this year.

Siwa oasis Egypt
The Siwa Oasis, Egypt, viewed from a fortress. (cc)

Southern Africa

South Africa is popular again this year, and Madagascar is getting more attention too — and not just because of the movies.

Madagascan wildlife is awesome.
Madagascan wildlife is awesome. (cc by-sa)


Our surprise pick of the year is this small nation in west-central Africa, nestled in the corner of the continent. We learned a bit about it at World Travel Market, and it sounds awesome — there’s a wide range of terrains and it’s much more politically stable than some other African nations that have been in the news recently.

Cameroon. (cc by-sa)

That’s our picks… What’s yours?

Your thoughts on "Hot destinations for 2013"

  • All these ideas sound good. Still trying to determine where to go this year.

    on January 30, 2013 at 7:29 pm Reply
  • Would love to get away from this miserable UK weather - the picture of the Figi beach looks stunning

    on May 24, 2013 at 3:02 am Reply
    • And now summer is here and the European weather isn't much better! Has to look up soon, right?!

      on June 30, 2013 at 11:11 am Reply
  • First thought: so basically, the #1 hot travel destination is "everywhere." I think you could have had a shorter article listing places that *aren't* the hot travel destinations! I also liked reading that Sri Lanka is "conveniently located off the coast of India." It's like I could just pop round (from here in California). :-) But seriously, I love what you guys do and appreciate all the useful and entertaining info you provide. (And I hope to be doing some similar traveling in the next few months.) ...Chuck

    on July 8, 2013 at 1:42 pm Reply
    • Hi Chuck, great to see you! Yes, lots of options there... But with ~195 countries in the world, there's still some big choices in there. We wanted to try to pick a few places for each continent and made the decisions based on a few different things: - buzz we heard from travellers we speak to, - the tourism concepts the tourism boards are discussing, - places that we didn't hear much about last year that we heard a lot more about at the end of 2012, - and (of course) our own personal prejudices :) Hopefully there's something there for each kind of traveller going in any direction.

      on July 9, 2013 at 3:21 am Reply

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