8 Vacations You Haven't Taken Yet—but Should
What type of traveler are you? Do you love to roam through a new place with little more than a compass and a backpack, or do you prefer the five-star treatment with all the hotel luxuries? As self-professed wanderlust junkies, we feel the urge to do them all. Our inner gypsy wants to walk a spiritual path in India, while our noble selves crave the royal treatment at an exclusive spa in the mountains. The point is, whatever vacation style you prefer, from the sightseer to the seafarer, there's a trip to suit your tourist needs. With the launch of a new year, we urge you to get creative with your vacation plans and think outside the typical travel checkbox for something different. Ahead, we reveal the eight types of trips we're booking this year. Adventure is out there.
Take a Mini Road Trip
There's nothing quite as liberating as hitting up the trusty tarmac on the outskirts of your hometown to take a Thelma & Louise–style adventure into the unknown. While the classic American road trip is something we've all got on our travel bucket lists, those excursions often require more time and a bigger budget, both of which we often have a finite resource. The beauty of a mini escape is the minimal planning required (since it's typically just a day trip or a one-night stay), and you can do it on the cheap too. All you need is a delicious picnic (including a car full of snacks for the drive), Google Maps, and a great playlist, of course. Where you go is up to you, but there really is no limit to the options, and you don't even need a passport. Just an open mind and a tank full of gas.
While it seems incredibly daunting at first, traveling solo is definitely something everyone should do at least once in their lifetime. There's a real sense of freedom when you only have yourself to rely on and your internal compass isn't guided by anyone else along the way. Enjoy your time stress-free, without the headache of squabbles over where to eat or what to do and see. The only person you need to ask is you. Your itinerary is in your hands entirely, and it's bliss. Not only that, but you're also open to meeting more people, mingling with the locals, and maybe even finding The One. If you have any apprehensions about seeing the world alone, here are a few friendly places to consider first.
Book a Wellness Retreat
If you're feeling overwhelmed at work and need a relaxing vacay, hit up a wellness retreat and reset your inner peace meter—these health havens are worth all your miles and PTO. This type of trip can be taken for a night, a weekend, or over the course of a week, depending on your budget and paid leave. If you live near Arizona, we highly recommend Mii Amo, nestled in the spiritual foothills of Sedona, Arizona. Regain focus and calm with spa treatments, energy work, crystal therapies, and yoga workshops. This is the kind of trip we want to take weekly.
Be a Tourist in Your Hometown
Who said you even needed to leave your city to enjoy a fun-filled vacation? Plan a weekend for yourself in the same way you would if a guest were in town. Look up all the fun tourist hot spots, hikes, celebrity attractions, iconic architecture, museums, and natural wonders, and then plan your weekend. Don't let visitors see and know more about your city than you do. Take advantage of the beauty around you and revel in the local attractions. Bonus: You don't even have to book a room for the night.
Write it Down
Journey Via Hot-Air Balloon
If there's one experience that belongs on every romantic's bucket list, it's seeing a beautiful location via hot-air balloon. Waking up before dawn isn't a simple task, even for a morning person, but MyDomaine lifestyle editor Sophie Miura fought the urge to return to her warm bed and now counts her hot-air ballooning experience over Rose Valley in Cappadocia, Turkey, as one of the most breathtaking experiences she's ever had.
"Each morning, up to 300 multicolored balloons lift into the silent sky to see the first rays of light illuminate the valley," she wrote. Even if you choose not to be in the balloon itself, the visual from the ground is just as extraordinary. And Turkey isn't the only place you can experience this epic visual; they take place all over the world, and there's likely an experience to be had in your own backyard. Float above the earth and see your city in a whole new way.
Plan a Hiking Trip
If your idea of adventure is getting physical, make like Olivia Newton John and don your best athleisure for a hiking trip into the great unknown. If you're just starting out, hit up the Redwood Forest or Joshua Tree, but if you're a serious hiker, plan your trek in advance and explore some of the finest mountain scenery in the United States on the John Muir Trail. Spanning 211 miles, it isn't for the faint of heart, but the visual rewards every step of the way will imprint memories sure to last a lifetime.
Go on a Culinary Adventure
Are you a foodie at heart? Then a culinary vacation will be right up your alley. Channel world-renowned chef Anthony Bourdain and plan your itinerary around the local cheese-makers, wineries, and farm-to-table restaurants that pride themselves on cooking cuisine reflective of the region. You could even go off the grid like Andrew Zimmern and taste some of the bizarre offerings; just be sure to do your research first. If you're in California, we recommend kick-starting your foodie adventure with the Napa Valley, renowned for its locally grown food, award-winning wines, and farm-to-fork restaurants, with a scenic road trip thrown in.
Make a Spiritual Pilgrimage
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit the sacred River Ganges in India, the holy peak of Mount Kailash in Tibet, or the worshiped sites of Jerusalem? If you seek a deeper meaning on your travels, then it's time to take a pilgrimage to some of the world's most iconic spiritual locations. Embark on a journey to the myriad of historic religious sites, from mosques to temples, and discover the ancient stories behind the culture and architecture of these beautiful, symbolic relics. There's enlightenment at the end of this adventure and a renewed perspective that will carry you through on your journey called life.
What kind of adventure are you planning this year? Would you take any of these trips?