Hawaii

Our Top 5 Destinations of 2013

Posted on Posted in Belize, Blog, Hawaii, Las Vegas, North America, Perth, Sri Lanka

Need some inspiration for your next trip? In the last 13 months we’ve travelled to 8 different countries over 26 weeks. Yep, that equates to half the year. So if you’re looking for a few ideas on where to head next, check out our top 5 destinations of 2013.

IMG_3066Las Vegas, USA

Three words: Disneyland for adults!
Forget what you know, Vegas has way more to offer than just boozy nights and gambling. Fantastic eats, amazing shows, budget to couture shopping, concerts and much, much more!

Entertainment galore

From comedy to world class gigs, circus shows and old time classics, you’ll never get bored in Vegas. One of my fave shows to check out is Cirque du Soleil. Each hotel on the strip has their own show giving you a plethora of choices and all at great prices. We checked out The Beatles Love show and Michael Jackson’s ONE. These shows will blow your mind and there’s something to suit everyone’s tastes. Whether you’re into music like us or you prefer the more traditional Cirque productions, Vegas is where it’s at!

Culinary extravaganza

If you like to eat well when you travel, you have to get to Vegas. Top chefs from around the world have restaurants here, so you’re guaranteed a good feed. Plus in a city that never sleeps, you’ll never go hungry. We had the best (ever!) Japanese here, mouthwatering pizzas, awesome burgers, it’s a real foodies paradise!

Shop ’til you drop

Well I’m not a shopper, but there’s something enticing about drinking giant margaritas conveniently packed in travel cups while you shop. Sure you may make a few drunken purchases, but it definitely makes the whole experience more fun! Vic even managed to drag me around the shops for several hours. From outlets to couture there’s a shopping experience for everyone’s budget. And, of course, all the shops are open late!

IMG_2569Hawaii, USA

You’ve either been here, or everyone you know has. Hawaii is a super popular destination, but that said, it’s easy to avoid the crowds of tourists. Even when you’re in the tourist hot spot of Waikiki, it’s still easy to have an amazing time.

Big Island

Hang on, is that really the name? Yes, it’s really called the Big Island (bit confusing during my initial research). It’s exactly as the name suggests – the biggest of the Hawaiian Islands. It’s definitely worth hiring a car and making your own way round this island. With a landscape like nowhere else in the world, you’ll want to stop frequently for photo ops. Trust me, you can never have enough pictures of volcanic lava flowing across the roads.

Must do’s

Hiking Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, snorkelling with giant Manta Rays in Kona and watching the stars blaze on top of Mauna Kea.

Top tip: If you’re hiking the National Park stay in the nearby village of Volcano. Even though dinner choices are limited you can get an early start and walk the crater before it gets too hot. Plus, you’ll avoid the tourist buses!

Oahu

Most people don’t leave Waikiki when they hit Oahu Island. But you should! The island is so small that, again, it’s worth hiring a car and is very easy to navigate. As soon as you get out of Waikiki you’ll notice that the island has a very rural feel. The locals have done a great job of limiting the major hotels to Waikiki.

Whether you’re a keen surfer or not I highly recommend checking out the North Shore. If you’re looking to get some RnR it’s a great chilled area. Most accommodation options are in local houses, so you immediately feel like you’re at home. There’s some learn to surf breaks and of course some seriously heavy breaks. Slap on some sunscreen and you can sit in awe for hours at breaks like pipeline. Along this stretch of coastline (if you keep your eyes open) you’ll also catch seals and turtles chilling on the beach.

Top top: Take a bevvie (that’s a cold drink if you’re not an Aussie) and head to Sunset Beach…yep, you’ve guessed it, to watch the stunning sun set over the Pacific. Amazing way to finish off the day in this part of the world.

photo.PNGPerth, Australia

Perth we love you, but yes, the rumours are true. Perth is the most expensive city in the world. Once you get over the price shock, Perth is a really cool place to check out. We managed to get over there several times in 2013 and here are my must do’s when you’re there.

Fremantle

Catch the train or drive down to Fremantle (or Freo as the locals call it) and go directly to the Little Creatures Brewery. Yes, just like the rest of Perth it’s expensive, but forget about the cost and get lost in the pints of icy cold beer and cider, the Italian style pizza, and awesome mezze plates. The brewery is pitched up right on the harbour so it’s a sweet place to spend an arvo soaking up some rays with a few mates.

Cottesloe Beach

This has to be one of the best places in Australia to watch the sunset with a cold beer in hand. With a lot of our business partners based in Perth we get to frequent this place often and trust us when we say no where does sunsets better than Cottesloe Beach. It’s also home to one of our favourite haunts, the OBH…Ocean Beach Hotel. Get to the place on a Sunday night when the tunes are cranking and the beers are flowing. If that’s not your scene why not hire a paddle board and hit the water for a chilled evening paddle across the big blue!

IMG_3674Sri Lanka

Well, as you all know, Sri Lanka was one of our most loved destinations of 2013. With culture, amazing food, pristine surf and the friendliest people around why wouldn’t it be!?

When we decided to take a month out somewhere we toyed with many different places before making a decision. A chance conversation with my amazing osteopath put Sri Lanka at the top of the list. It ticked all the boxes and so, the decision was made.

From the amazing brekkie hoppers to the stunning tea plantations in the mountains, this place has is all. After spending a month here over Christmas and New Year we fell in love with ‘the teardrop of the ocean’.

If you’re looking for an untouched destination with heaps to offer then get here…fast!

Read more about why we love Sr Lanka here.

IMG_1936Thatch Caye, Belize

Okay this may just be here for pure bragging rights. But seriously how many people do you know who have their own private island nestled in the Caribbean?! Exactly!

My mate invited me and 28 others to spend 10 days on his newly purchased paradise. With an island that only spans 1km long you’re guaranteed a certain level of tranquility and privacy.

Mix this with a combination of world class personal development training and you have a sure recipe of best friends for life in an unbeatable location. For more information about our awesome buddy Dave and his training programs check out his website.

So there you have it. They were our top picks of last year. We’re super excited about where 2014 is going to take us and are always open to new opportunities.

We’d love to hear from you so let us know you your hot picks below. If you could travel anywhere this year where would you go?

P.S. Thanks for reading! We’d love to meet you on Facebook and Instagram!

If you want to live a life of freedom, whatever that may mean to you, then email us now at info@thefreedomtravellers.com or click the Join Team Freedom tab.

 

Elaina
With a serious passion for travel, Elaina escaped from the senior management corporate world so she could spend more time doing what she loves…hanging out with friends, meeting awesome new people, travelling the globe, surfing and snowboarding.

Her greatest travel adventure to date was cycling her bicycle from China to Vietnam and into Cambodia…all with no clue on how to change a tyre! This cheeky Aussie loves to push boundaries and is a sucker for adrenalin sports.

She’s also pretty happy behind a camera and has snapped some pretty epic shots all over the world. Elaina grew up in Australia and has also lived in England and the USA where she was a snowboarding instructor.

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