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7 Unique Vacation Ideas that Will Transform How You Travel

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Constantly on the lookout for new and unique vacation ideas?

Well lucky for you there are some interesting trends out there that are revolutionizing how we travel.

If all our trips consisted of lame guided tours and suffocating road trips with the family, we wouldn’t be too fond of traveling either.

But those types of trips can be a thing of the past. Gone is the traditional boring vacation. Say hello to our list of 7 trendy vacation ideas guaranteed to take your trip to the next level?

Seem far fetched? Not at all!

Let us show you how these vacation trends can renew your thirst for travel and help you create some one-of-a-kind memories along the way.

Let’s dive right in…

1. The Wellness Vacation – for the Health-Minded Traveler

For those of you new to wellness travel, it’s all about improving your health and well-being.

There are a couple ways you can approach wellness travel:

  • Exercise and Fitness – these types of trips center on practicing healthy habits and getting in a good workout on the road.
  • Meditation and Relaxation  – these trips don’t focus solely on the physical health of the body. They nurture your mental and spiritual health through relaxation techniques.

More and more, we’re seeing vacations that are catering to specific workout niches. All you have to do is find the one that’s right for you.

There are types of travel that center around running, hiking, skiing, white-water rafting, mountain climbing, and much more.

Let’s say you’re an avid runner. Wondering how to get your mileage in on vacation? Then check out travel packages that let you run with the locals.

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Many offer programs with running destinations ranging from Spain, Italy, Guatemala, Tanzania, Iceland and Costa Rica – just to name a few.

You’ll get the chance to run with the locals and see your destination through their eyes. No a bad way to take in all the beautiful scenery either.

Looking for something a little more relaxing? We’ve got you covered.

There are some great resorts out there focused on mental and spiritual health.

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Health spas, hot springs, yoga classes, and meditation sessions are just a few ways to get some quality relaxation.

Participate in yoga and wellness workshops along with spiritual temple tours all over the world.

You’re sure to feel completely rejuvenated after a trip like this.

2. Culinary Travel – for the Fearless Foodie

Culinary travel is another unique vacation idea to kick-start your trip. But this type of vacation is more than just trying some local grub.

You pick out your destination and plan your trip solely around food.

Seem a little one dimensional?  Not a chance.

There’s a host of culinary travel opportunities for you to discover. Here are just a few of our favorites:

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Learn to Cook on your Trip to Thailand

Instead of ordering Thai food on a nightly basis, go to Thailand and master the cuisine for yourself.

Learn authentic cooking techniques and recipes from renowned cooking schools.

As if that’s not enough, take the opportunity to step out of the kitchen. Tour local markets where you’ll get to buy local ingredients.

It’s a great way to cook and taste some amazing food. You’ll also get a front row seat to the culture and traditions of the area through food.

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Visit an Italian Vineyard and Sample the Wine

And these tours aren’t just about what to eat – they’re also about what to drink.

Many vineyards and breweries offer tours. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how they create their beverages. And let’s not forget you’ll also get to sample the drinks for yourself.

Travel to a beautiful Italian vineyard and learn about the wine making process. Tours let you sample some great wine, taste delicious food pairings, and much more.

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Explore the Traditional Dishes of Peru

If you’re looking for a truly cultural and culinary experience, consider visiting Peru.

Explore the traditional city of Lima and the historic Inca capital, Cusco. Both cities will offer different but equally enlightening cultural and culinary experiences.

Navigate the local markets of Lima or trek through the world famous Machu Picchu. Learn to prepare national dishes like causa limeña, lomo saltado, and suspiro a la limeña.

The fact is, there’s an endless amount of culinary destinations out there. Some are serving up your favorite type of cuisine. Others are home to dishes you haven’t been lucky enough to discover…yet.

Go out and experience your own culinary adventure, one plate at a time.

3. Voluntourism – for Travelers that Want to Give Back

Voluntourism, or volunteer tourism, is the idea of volunteering and making a difference while you travel.

There is a host of volunteer opportunities abroad.

Help build schools in a local community, teach English during your gap year, treat illness, or sign up for conservation projects.

You’ll be able to help out a cause you’re passionate about and gain valuable experiences about an area’s people and culture.

According to BusinessWire,  84 percent of millennials volunteer when they travel abroad.

But with this type of travel comes risks.

Depending on which volunteer program you choose, there is a chance that the organization is not completely altruistic. Scams are out there that take advantage of the exact areas that you’re trying to help.

Be sure to do thorough research before you commit to volunteering to make sure your volunteer work is aiding the right people

4. Unique Airbnb Vacation Rentals – for the Love of Locals

Your trip shouldn’t just be about what to do when you travel but you should also closely consider where you’ll stay.

And the wrong place to stay is inside the tourist bubble. Sure, we get it, you want to be where the action is right?

The problem is that you’re not setting yourself up for a very authentic or exciting experience by staying in some generic hotel.

Is there a way to avoid the tourist traps and hotels and still have a worthwhile vacation?

Absolutely.

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Thanks to Airbnb you are no longer tied to hotels, motels, inns, or any other touristy locale.

Plus, with over 191 countries offering unique housing, you have plenty of options to choose from.

And a lot of these places have loads more character than your cookie-cutter hotel room.

Check out places like the Owl House in the UK and Cocon Douillet Dans Les Arbres in France for a truly unique travel experience.

Best of all, you can take advantage of your knowledgeable hosts. They’ll have insider information on the best places to see and things to do at your destination.

They might even share some tips and tricks that the typical guidebooks leave out.

5. Cultural Festivals – for an Enlightening Vacation Experience

There is more to travel than the typical museums and famous landmarks.

Attending cultural festivals is a great way to learn more about the local community and culture of your destination. There are festivals across the globe that celebrate a wide array of beliefs, events, and traditions.

If you’re looking for an Instagram-worthy festival, then check out the Holi Festival. Celebrated in India and Nepal in the spring, it is a Hindu religious celebration.

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Attendees cover each other with colorful dry powders as they roam the streets, listening to live music along the way.

Any that attends this festival is fair game, so prepare to get dirty.

Another great festival is the Pingxi Lantern Festival in Taiwan. Each year people gather to release lanterns into the sky.

The lanterns are meant to send the hopes and dreams of the person releasing it, reaching heaven and their ancestors.

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It’s a beautiful sentiment and is absolutely stunning to experience in person.

Participating in any cultural exchange, whether it’s a unique festival or local ritual will give you a better appreciation of that country’s history and traditions.

6. Off-the-Grid Travel – for Workaholics that Need a Digital Detox

Are you one of those people that are constantly writing work emails or taking calls at all hours of the day?

While technology makes it easy to contact you, it also makes it hard to define clear work hours – which also makes it hard to know how much is too much.

Being constantly plugged in and accessible can feel restrictive and frankly a bit exhausting.

According to Pew Research Center, 67% of cell phone owners check their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.

It might be time to take a vacation from all your gadgets. Put down your phone and laptop or leave them in your work bag and go explore the remote locations of the world.

There are many remarkable off-the-grid locales that offer vacation experiences that are so extraordinary,  you won’t even miss your gadgets

Our Pick – Top 5 Off-the-Grid Vacation Ideas

These unique destinations will give you a chance to relax and escape from the stress of your daily life.

And because you aren’t glued to your electronics, you won’t be constantly snapping shots, tweeting, or writing status updates. You’ll get to take in the sights and enjoy your time away from work without any digital distractions.

Use this as an opportunity to take some personal time for yourself or reconnect with loved ones.  For once, work can wait.

7. Unusual Guided Tours – for the Adventurous Tourist

It’s understandable to be a little apprehensive traveling somewhere for the first time. People will often rely on guided tours to help them navigate their destination and see the sights.

The only problem is guided tours are very generic. It’s just you surrounded by a bunch of other tourists being carted around on a bus moving from one attraction to the next.

Well nowadays, there’s a lot more variety and excitement when it comes to guided tours. Many can offer you access to the inner working of a location, it’s people, and it’s culture.

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How do you discover a place’s inner secrets without a little insider information?

Avoid the major tourist attractions and souvenir shops and book a tour that will give you a unique perspective on your destination.

You can find the road less traveled and wander off the beaten path. Your reward is a life-changing experience that shows you (rather than tells you) why a place is special.

Wondering how? There are tours out there led by locals that are guaranteed to give you a unique and authentic experience.

With over 1,600 tour guides available there is a lot of the world left for you to discover.

Why not embark on the Games of Thrones Tour in Dubrovnik or beat a path through rural Honduras?

Whatever your interests, there is sure to be a unique guided tour perfect for you.

Final Thoughts on Our List of Unique Vacation Ideas

For many, travel is meant to be an adventure, not a hassle. But all too often, travelers find themselves surrounded by a sea of tourists wondering why they left home in the first place.

Well for anyone that is sick and tired of the same old boring trip, now’s the time to test out all the trendy ways people are deciding to travel.

This is your opportunity to find a type of travel that fits with your goals and desires. Choose your own adventure and be sure to leave the standard vacation behind.

Plan any of your future vacations around one or more of these unique vacation ideas:

  • Wellness Travel
  • Culinary Travel
  • Voluntourism
  • Cultural Festivals
  • Unique Airbnb Vacation Rentals
  • Off-the-Grid Travel
  • Reinvented Guided Tours

Any one of these new types of travel is guaranteed to take your trip to the next level. Prepare for an experience you will never forget.

What are some of your unique vacation ideas? The more obscure the better, so share with us in the comments below.

Meghan Ward

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