Life is too short to travel to the same place as every other tourist.  travel destinations

While I love Paris, Rome and New York as much as anyone else, there is no greater pleasure than discovering the more unique travel destinations that are hiding, (mostly undiscovered) around the world.

Those destinations that are perfect for people like you and me, who take extended vacations; those who travel on a budget but still want the full bifters when it comes to experience.

This post may contain affiliate links. They cost you nothing but we make a small commission. If you would like me to explain it further, please visit our disclaimer page.

The following places are, in our opinion, some of the most beautiful places on earth.

They are gorgeous but underrated destinations that we have travelled to both a family and as a couple (in the days before my life was invaded by my kids).

I have included tips on how to save money, making these hidden vacation spots perfect for those looking for cheaper, budget places to visit around the world.

Hopefully, this guide will give you some fresh ideas for the next time you come to plan your next trip!

And remember! Before you leave for an international trip, make sure you create space in your brain by following our must-do travel checklist.

Unique Travel Destinations That Will Leave You Reaching For Your Passport

1: Taranaki – New Zealand

I’m going to kick off with this beautiful region in New Zealand.

I am lucky enough to call Taranaki home but that in no way makes me biased!

Taranaki is a region on the West coast of the North Island of New Zealand. It is famous for the active but quiescent stratovolcano, Mt Taranaki, that towers proudly over the entire province.

Taranaki is dressed with beautiful black sand beaches that host fabulous surf breaks, meaning that in the winter, you can ski and surf on the same day!

They say that the best time to visit New Zealand is in the summer, but I don’t agree. New Zealand is fabulous in all seasons.

Just remember though, if you are visiting Taranaki in the spring or autumn, don’t forget a light jacket or a good quality rain poncho. New Zealand has many secrets that only the locals know about and one of those is the fact that New Zealand regularly experiences four seasons in one day.


Taranaki has got stacks of free things to do including hiking, mountain biking, volcano climbing!

Take a walk along the coastal walkway and watch the sunset before enjoying a glass of wine in one of the many unpretentious bars. Cheaper than Auckland or Wellington!

2: Mirrisa – Sri Lanka

Although Sri Lanka is becoming more popular, it is still a relatively underrated destination. We spent three weeks in Sri Lanka as a family and this beautiful island captured our hearts.

Surrounded by the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka offers golden sands beaches, fabulous food, stunning wildlife, breathtaking scenery and friendly people.

If that isn’t enough to convince you to make Sri Lanka your next destination, know that it was recently announced that Sri Lanka is offering Free Visas to over 30 countries, including the US. What are you waiting for?

Don’t miss the town of Mirissa which will provide you with a stunning beach, wonderful restaurants and a slow pace of Sri Lankan life.


Take the bus from Mirissa to the beautiful town of Galle. The ride will cost you no more than a dollar and the experience – to sit next to an open window amongst the colourful locals – is priceless.

The pizza restaurant next to the bus stop in Mirissa is also the best in Sri Lanka (and is very reasonably priced!)

3: Udaipur – India

I am including two cities from India because, after spending six weeks in India last year,  I am such a huge fan of the country.

Poor India gets a lot of bad press when it comes to being a vacation destination, but give India a chance and I think you will love it as much as I do.

Udaipur, also known as the city of lakes, is an incredibly romantic and unique destination for any traveller willing to look outside of the box.

Nestled beside the serene Lake Pichola, Udaipur offers up a winding maze of streets lined with intriguing shops and cafes.

The people of Udaipur are friendly and hospitable and are proud of their beautiful city with its bustling art scene. Take a romantic boat ride on the lake at sunset and admire the city from the water.

I defy Udaipur not to charm you!


Take a tuk-tuk up into the hills and find the reservoir. It is beautiful, quiet and shady. Best of all? It’s free!

4: Alleppey – India

Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha is a city in the southern Indian state of Kerala which is famed for its backwaters; an intricate network of canals and lagoons that weave inside and around the beautiful surroundings of the region.

Allepey is quite possibly the greenest, cleanest and friendliest city that we visited in India; offering the visitor fabulous beaches and superb restaurants, I promise; if you are looking for a unique destination in India, you will love Allepey.

Why don’t you listen to our podcast where my teenage son and I talk about the realities of backpacking through India for a month – India – is it as scary as everyone says it is?

BUDGET TIP travel destinations

Eat at Hassan’s family restaurant. This is not an affiliate link, just me telling you that you won’t find more delicious and cheap Indian food than at this place.


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