Travel Inspiration: 10 Off The Radar Travel Destinations

Looking for travel inspiration for the year? Look no further. These are all bucket list places of mine that I believe are going to become hot destinations in the next few years.   Here are 10 off the radar travel destinations described by other travel bloggers.

1. Colombia

Travel Inspiration
Photo by Karin at Girl Astray

Colombia is the most diverse place I have ever visited; deserts, waterfalls, mountains, rain forests, ancient ruins, living traditions, music, I have experienced and learned a thousand new things when I lived there. Many people told me it is the most beautiful country they have ever visited and while I am not so decisive myself, I would recommend it to every adventurer out there. If you love nature, want to improve your Spanish a bit and feel like enjoying the tropical regions while dancing a little salsa, don´t hesitate. Travel to Colombia before it gets crowded with tourists – the perfect moment is now!

Read more about Waterfalls in Colombia and other great destinations on

2.  Armenia

Travel Inspiration
Noravank Monastery. Photo by Katherine and Tom at the Travelators

Armenia is heaven for history nerds (like us). Armenia was the world’s first Christian nation, having made Christianity its state religion back in the 4th century. As a result, there are now thousands of ancient religious monuments scattered across Armenia, including some incredible remote monasteries. Our favourites would have to be the Noravank Monastery and Geghard Monastery, both doable on a day trip from Yerevan. But religion isn’t the only attraction in Armenia. At the crossroads between east and west, Armenia has been inhabited and fought over for thousands of years. We were also able to learn about the horrific Armenian genocide during our stay, which was something we knew little about before we arrived. In our view, this is an important yet rarely spoken about event that everyone should learn about.

You can read more here about Armenia at The Travelators.

3.  Iran

Travel Inspiration for 2017
Photo by Alex at Lost With Purpose
Iran has a lot of things going for it—spectacularly preserved (and unrivaled) Silk Road architecture, a wide variety of climates, delicate Persian cuisine. But Iran’s biggest draw is, without a doubt, its people.
Everywhere my partner and I went, people were coming up to say hello, make sure we were okay, and offer us a million and one cups of tea/ice cream/fruit/you name it. We were invited on outings, to lunches and dinners, to people’s homes. We once stepped off a bus into 48C heat, and a random boy on the bus brought us to his family’s home, fed us, and gave us a place to sleep, simply because he thought it was too hot for us to walk around outside.
Head to Iran with an open mind and a flexible schedule—you won’t regret it.
Read more about Iran and other fantastic destinations at

4.  Mongolia

Travel Inspiration
Photo by Naomi at Probe Around the Globe

I never knew much about Mongolia, but when I learned the Trans Mongolian Railway stopped in Ulaanbaatar, I knew I had to spend some time there. My journey around Mongolia has been amazing. The country is landlocked and gives for some dramatic scenery like sand dunes, desert, mountains and valleys. The country is so remote and desolate, we didn’t see anybody for a whole day. Vast emptiness is really something you should experience and Mongolia offers you plenty of that. To experience nomad life, shamanism and Mongolia’s rich history is truly an epic adventure. What better place to go horse riding than in Mongolia?

Read more about Mongolia and get more travel inspiration at Probe Around the Globe

5.  Oman

Travel Inspiration
Photo by Nicole at Traveling Dreads

The Sultanate of Oman is a land of breath-taking beauty and unparalleled hospitality, with something for everyone.  From diving to hiking, to snorkelling, to turtle-watching, there’s so much to see and do, you may have trouble choosing.  In the Musandam Peninsula watch dolphins play along the dhow in crystal clear waters of the fjords in the Strait of Hormuz. If diving is more your thing, treat yourself to a trip to the Daymaniyat Islands, off the coast of Muscat, the rapidly modernising capital.

In the central region, take a drive through Wadi An Nakhr, the Grand Canyon of the Middle East, and then hike along vertiginous mountain trails to ancient abandoned villages. Have tea and dates with the families of Ar Rus, the village at the end of the world. Wander through tiny villages in which life remains surprisingly unchanged.  Further south, camp in the beautiful dunes of Wahiba or watch Green turtles lay their eggs at Ras Al Hadd. And then there’s Salalah; another world entirely.

Oman is not a place to see. It’s a place to experience.

Read more about Oman on Nicole’s Blog, Traveling Dreads. Also, the cover pic and pinterest pic are of Oman, courtesy of Nicole.

6.  Latvia

Travel Inspiration
Photo by Katherine and Tom at The Travelators

Latvia was one of the first countries we ever visited in the Baltics, and we fell in love with it straight away. It has an Old Town that rivals any major city in western Europe, but comes with a budget price tag. The mix of Soviet and Art Nouveau architecture across the city is really unique, and offers a glimpse into Latvia’s tumultuous past. Latvia has a pretty tragic history of occupation and oppression by foreign powers, which is something we knew very little about before we visited. Learning more about the history of this part of the world was one of the highlights of our trip.

For more on Soviet countries and other travel inspiration, visit The Travelators

7.  Rwanda

Travel Inspiration
Photo by Nana at Patagonia Dreaming

A Google search on Rwanda tells you about the horrible genocide in 1994 but did you know Rwanda was elected 3rd greenest country in the world and one of the safest places to walk at night in Africa and 5th globally? That’s exactly why I loved Rwanda! You find green mountain hills everywhere and you can walk around in the most suburban places feeling safe. Rwanda is not a well-developed tourist destination but that’s part of its the charm!

So rent a Jeep, visit the Akagera national park to observe elephants, or go to Nyungwe Forest – the only place in the world where you can see wild chimpanzees. The Rwandan development the last 20 years should be an inspiration for the whole world and I was amazed to see how the people have let go of their past and live in harmony. It’s a country that gives you hope that anything is possible.

Rwanda is also one of the best and safest places to view mountain gorillas in the wild. With only hundreds left it is better to do this sooner than later!

Find more travel inspiration from Nana at

8.  Sri Lanka

Travel Inspiration
Photo by Flo at YogaWineTravel

Asia’s Next Big Destination

Sri Lanka is fast becoming the next big destination in Asia. Since the end of the civil war in 2009, tourist arrival numbers have nearly tripled and for good reason too. Sri Lanka has something to offer for every type of traveler: incredible national parks and wildlife, pristine beaches, lush tea country, world-class luxury hotels and a vibrant and unique cultural heritage (it has no less than 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites)! If Sri Lanka is not on your radar yet, it should be.  Unlike other popular tropical destinations in Asia, Sri Lanka remains relatively pure, untouched and unspoiled, which is exactly why you need to head to “the Pearl of the Indian Ocean” in 2017!

Read more about Sri Lanka and other amazing destinations at

9.  Namibia

Travel Inspiration
Photo by Cliodhna at Your Next Big Trip

Namibia is a country of color and contrasts, making it my top destination for 2017. From the orange dunes of Sossusvlei to the white sand of the Skeleton Coast with some wildlife thrown in for good measure, Namibia has something for everyone. Dusty dirt roads give way to tarmac roads, which later turn to red hot sand in the Namib Desert.

Visiting the Sossusvlei Dunes was a perfect adventure. We left at 5 am to climb Big Daddy (the highest dune) before it got too hot. Following the climb, the descent into Dead Vlei or Death Valley, felt like entering another planet. After a day exploring desert valleys and gorges, we ended our time in the desert with dinner under the stars admiring the Milky Way above. With a population of just over 2 million, it is easy to travel for hours in Namibia without seeing another person. Other-worldly nature, all to myself? Perfection.

Read more about Namibia  at Your Next Big Trip

10.  Bhutan

Tiger's Nest Monastery

Ok, this is my personal contribution, not that I have been here, nor do I think it’s going to become the hot tourist destination of 2018, but I have been lusting to go here for ages. Bhutan, a Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas’ eastern edge, is known for its monasteries, fortresses and dramatic landscapes that range from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys.  Apparentl, their food is delightfully spicy. Sign me up!

Bhutan has been isolated until the past few decades, which has helped to preserve its cultural identity. They prefer quality over quantity when it comes to tourism.  It costs US$250 per day per person to have the pleasure of visiting this isolated Himalayan kingdom. This includes land transport, accommodations, food and guide service. This may be restrictive for some but appealing to some discerning tourists. Personally, I would like to visit before Starbucks and McDonald’s make an unfortunate appearance!

All of the countries on this list are ripe for visiting sooner rather than later. Once the secret is out, inevitably things will change. You’re welcome:)

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Off the Radar Travel Destinations

About The Author

Cherene Saradar

Cherene is a travel expert with 30 years of experience in over 100 countries and 7 continents. She has traveled solo to over 50 countries. She is also a nurse anesthesiologist with over 20 years of healthcare experience. Her passions include wildlife travel and visiting wine regions of the world.


  1. 16 of the World's Most Colorful Places - WanderingRedHead | 26th Dec 17

    […] Travel Inspiration: Places to Visit in 2017 […]

  2. Monica @ Not a nomad blog | 25th Dec 16

    I really love how diverse this list is! I honestly hadn’t considered almost any of these countries (my travels are pretty Europe-focused, but soon I’m gonna run out of the “big ones” there ;)). Bhutan is also very interesting for me, and honestly the price of 250 per night is not so bad when you consider how expensive it is to get a hotel + car rental + food in so many other countries. A premium but not totally out of the ballpark, especially if you’re used to traveling solo and don’t have someone to split costs with. Sign me up!! (Pinned for later ;))

    • csaradar | 25th Dec 16

      I agree about Bhutan. It’s not exorbitant. I haven’t been to any of these places but I hope to in the next couple years! Glad you liked the list!

  3. GirlAstray | 25th Dec 16

    Armenia, Mongolia, Bhutan… i love this list! thank you for featuring me 🙂

    • csaradar | 25th Dec 16

      thanks so much for your contribution! This is my dream list!

  4. Wendy | 25th Dec 16

    Thanks for making it even more difficult to decide where to go

    • csaradar | 25th Dec 16

      Haha I know! I came up with this list after planning most of next year. I ‘m like….damn!

  5. Jewels | 25th Dec 16

    This is an awesome list! A lot of places I would have never considered! Namibia is definitely high on my list

    • csaradar | 25th Dec 16

      Mine too! All of them are actually. LOL Glad you liked it!

  6. madelinestraveling | 24th Dec 16

    Love your 2017 bucket list. I just got the Best in Travel 2017 by LonelyPlanet and they feature a lot of the same places. I guess I’ll have to visit some of them 🙂

    • csaradar | 24th Dec 16

      I haven’t seen LPs but now I have to check it out! I guess we think the same! lol

  7. Sher | 24th Dec 16

    sri lanka, namibia, iran and bhutan are at the top of my list! loved reading about all these girls who have written about these off the beaten path destinations. great round up!


    • csaradar | 24th Dec 16

      Right! I also am dying to go to those places. I was thrilled to find girls who had been there! So inspired! Thanks for the feedback:)

  8. Ella | 24th Dec 16

    Many great ideas for travel destinations! I think personally that I’d love to go to Sri Lanka, Namibia & Bhutan in particular. They definitely hold a certain appeal for me 🙂

    • csaradar | 24th Dec 16

      Me too! Those places are calling me! I love that you all share my love of exotic destinations.

  9. tatumskipper | 24th Dec 16

    Definitely a great mix of places to go! Better than the usual places, love it!! If I visit a couple of these next year I will be in great shape…specifically Sri Lanka! <3

    • csaradar | 24th Dec 16

      I was trying to think outside the box:)

  10. Maps and Merlot | 24th Dec 16

    Wow, super unique destinations! I had never thought about Sri Lanka before, but adding it to the list 🙂

    • csaradar | 24th Dec 16

      I found three different bloggers who had been to contribute. I feel like it’s going to be trendy very soon!

  11. Anisa | 24th Dec 16

    Very interesting and exotic list. I hadn’t even thought of most of these places but they all look and sound fabulous. I might have to add Latvia and Sri Lanka to my list.

    • csaradar | 24th Dec 16

      Thank you. I wanted to pick places maybe people hadn’t thought of and that I hadn’t been to!

  12. rhiydwi | 24th Dec 16

    So many places, so little time! Great collaboration! 😀 I’m lucky to have already visited a good handful of these fantastic countries so far, and there are a few on the list I’m hoping to get to soon (Armenia & Oman, I’m looking at you!).

    • csaradar | 24th Dec 16

      Good for you! I’m jealous. I still have yet to visit these places!

  13. Flo | 24th Dec 16

    Thanks for including my contribution on Sri Lanka! This is such a great list – Bhutan is high high high up on my bucket list!

    • csaradar | 24th Dec 16

      Me too! I need to work all of these in the next few years! Thanks for helping out!

  14. Cory Varga | 24th Dec 16

    Mongolia is so high up my list. I don’t quite know why I’ve got such fascination with this place, but I really want to visit and check it out for myself. <3 Thank you for sharing this with us, great ideas!

    • csaradar | 24th Dec 16

      It is fascinating to me too…maybe because it’s so remote and we don’t hear much about it. Glad you liked!

  15. Your Next Big Trip | 24th Dec 16

    Wow I have a lot of trips to plan for 2017! This post has inspired me. If I could even do one of these I’d be happy! Thanks for including my contribution. I hope you get to Namibia soon 🙂

    • csaradar | 24th Dec 16

      I don’t how I’m going to fit these in but I will eventually! I will make it Namibia one day and will let you know. Thanks for working with me!

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