Have you started making your travel plans for 2014? You aren’t alone! We’ve been making our list for the upcoming year for the past few months. Between the attractions, cities and countries, I’m ready to throw my hands up in the air in complete exasperation. There’s just too much to see in such a short amount of time. Sure, I’m young and our kids are still quite small, but when you really research travel, countries, and geography in general, you realize just how vast our planet is … and the ‘to visit’ list gets longer and longer. This is just one of the reasons why I love lists so much; experts and professionals put together the best of the best in a curated form making your decision a little easier.
This month, Lonely Planet announced their list of the Best Countries To Visit In 2014. Lonely Planet is known to publish their own set of “Best in Travel” books year after year, and although this year is no different, they’ve given you a taste of what to expect in the books with their list of the top 10 countries they feel we should all be visiting in 2014. Click through for my 5 top picks from the list, plus the ultimate must-sees in each!
Brazil 1 of 10
Brazil will be hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, so it's definitely a hot spot on many lists! Not only does this country offer incredibly beaches, mountains and unbelievable rain forests, its culture is what gives it the heart and soul that we love.
Photo credit: Rhys A./Flickr
Brazil’s Must-See: Rio Carnaval 2 of 10
Antarctica 3 of 10
I've always thought of Antarctica as the ultimate adventure destination. Check out the native penguin species, leopard seals, and killer whales among glaciers and icebergs in what would be the ultimate trip of a lifetime!
Photo credit: John "Pathfinder" Lester/Flickr
Antarctica’s Must-See: Zodiac Cruise 4 of 10
Scotland 5 of 10
Scotland's been on the hot list for a couple of years now. Disney's Merida and Adventures by Disney have put the spotlight on this beautiful country since the 2012 release of Brave To top it off, Glasgow will be hosting the XX Commonwealth Games in the summer of 2013. Add that to a mix of Scottish castles, bagpipes, festivals, and beautiful scenery and you have a country worth visiting ASAP.
Photo credit: Jack Shainsky/Flickr
Scotland’s Must-See: Edinburgh Castle 6 of 10
Edinburgh Castle is Scotland's most popular visitor attraction. If walls could talk, this castle would tell you stories to last a lifetime. Royalty has lived and died here, battles and sieges were fought over the castle, and during World War II the Crown of Scotland was hidden inside the tower in a special medieval latrine closet!
Photo credit: Glen Bowman/Flickr
Sweden 7 of 10
I've never been to Sweden, but according to Lonely Planet, "Thanks to the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson, most people have a sense of what Sweden's like, even in the far north cold, beautiful and a bit scary."
Photo credit: Mr Phil Price/Flickr
Sweden’s Must-See: Skansen 8 of 10
Skansen, the world's first open-air museum, was founded in 1891. The great thing about this attraction is that you can take a tour through 5 centuries of Swedish history, all while being immersed in the past thanks to the characters in period costume. This is definitely a great way to experience Sweden!
Photo credit: charlotteshj/Flickr
Malawi 9 of 10
Did you know you can snorkel in Lake Malawi? Take a hike on Mt. Mulanje, or perhaps you'd rather pitch a tent at the Majete Wildlife Reserve. In the words of Lonely Planet, "You get up close to the aforementioned elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo without the pesky 4WD scrum so common in Africa's best-known parks."
Photo credit: kevinzim/Flickr
Malawi’s Must-See: Liwonde National Park 10 of 10
Find more of Nadia’s writing on her site Child Mode. You can also find her on Disney Baby and Hip Baby. Love social media? So does she! Follow her daily on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.