Work, eat, sleep, repeat. Sound familiar? It's easy to feel like you're stuck in a cycle when you're part of the 9-5 commuter train. Maybe you've found yourself daydreaming lately about warm beaches, mountain summits, or just some really awesome food that you didn't have to cook yourself. For most people, travelling on a regular just isn't realistic and the pattern of planning, working, saving and THEN travelling is required to journey to these sought after locations.
Work hard, play hard is the epitome of a travel addict's life. All the hours in the cycle pay off when you reach the destination you've been dreaming of.
If you were looking for a sign that it was time to book your next vacation, you've just found it. These 30 photos will transport you around the world from the vibrant blue waters of Thailand to the snowy summit of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Whether it's beaches, culture or adrenaline pulsing adventures that pique your interest you're sure to find a photo on this list that inspires you to open your laptop and begin your flight search. With budget airlines on the rise, it's easier now than ever before to find an affordable ticket to your holiday happy place.
30 Maldives Nights
As if you needed encouragement to pack your bags for a trip to this gorgeous paradise in the midst of the Indian Ocean. Unparalleled blue waters and huts perched miles out from shore make this a one of a kind destination.
You can go diving in the reefs or visit markets and restaurants along the main path. A popular method of transportation is cycling along the narrow wooden paths in the middle of the ocean...hopefully you’ve got good balance!
29 Painted Skies In Milford Sound
New Zealand is a bit unreal in terms of how breathtaking its natural landscapes are. Home to Middle Earth and Hobbiton, it’s no wonder people feel like they’re escaping reality here.
Milford Sound is frequently referred to as the eighth wonder of the world and kayaking through its fjords while the sky is painted in pastels, it’s not hard to see why.
A prime way to travel the North and South islands of the country is in a camper van, allowing you to hit the highlights at your own pace.
28 Mornings At Moraine Lake
Lake Moraine is often overshadowed by Lake Louise, arguably the best known lake in Alberta. But Moraine has waters just as blue, with looming mountains and half the tourists.
The beauty of Western Canada is possibly not as renowned worldwide as it should be, yet Banff, Alberta is definitely a place that will make you fall in love.
This glacial fed lake is perfect for canoeing in summer, or cross country skiing on the nearby trails in winter. The rockpile trail near the lake is the route to a view you absolutely cannot miss.
27 Hot Air Balloons In Cappadocia
Catching the sunrise on a hot air balloon in Turkey is a once in a lifetime experience. Located in Central Turkey, Cappadocia is referred to as a magical land that looks like nowhere else on Earth. You can sleep in a cave (don’t worry, it’s proper accommodations) and see the fairy chimneys rising out of the rocks across the horizon.
There’s lots to explore in the valleys here along with museums and monasteries. Cappadocia is beautiful in summer and winter.
26 Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto
A few photos here and your instagram will really take off. Kyoto in springtime is simply otherworldly, with people from all over coming to enjoy the exquisite cherry blossoms. While you’d pay top prices for coming in Kyoto’s peak season, it’s certainly worth it for the chance to see these famous flowers up close.
Once Japan’s capital, Kyoto offers many other attractions including temples, gardens and the chance to don a traditional kimono.
You can also enjoy a traditional Kaiseki here, which is a multi course, Japanese meal.
25 Smooth Sailing In Krabi
The southwestern coast of Thailand is instantly recognizable by the limestone cliffs protruding from vibrant turquoise waters. If you were searching for an affordable vacation destination, you just found it.
Home to Railay Beach and the Phi Phi Islands, Krabi is a water lover's dream come true.
You can go kayaking, take an island tour or enjoy the Krabi Hot Springs. Visit Krabi Town to escape the “tourist” atmosphere of the beaches, or try a Thai cooking class! Khao Soi and Tom Yum Soup are just a couple of the many dishes you’ll want to make sure you sample.
24 On Greek Time In Mykonos
Under the Greek sun, the cares of the real world tend to just fade away. Time is fluid here, no one is in a rush. The stone walkways and unique white and blue buildings offer a tranquil backdrop for your island escape.
Hop on a boat tour to watch a sunset, visit the historical site of Delos or head to paradise beach if you’re looking for music and a party. Mykonos attracts lots of single backpackers with its vivid nightlife, so if you’re a solo traveller looking to make connections, it might be worth a visit.
23 Treat Yourself In Bali, Indonesia
Bali, Indonesia has become exceptionally popular in the last few years as an exotic getaway at an affordable price. If you’re traveling in a group it’s quite inexpensive to rent an entire villa complete with a private pool and sometimes, meal service.
Social media stars are constantly sharing images of floating breakfast trays in pools at Balinese Villas and it seems like they’re living the high life, so if you find yourself here, why not do the same?
The Ubud Monkey Forest is another popular venture in Bali as well as the plethora of epic waterfalls and rice fields.
22 Desert Treks In The Sahara, Morocco
Morocco is really working its way onto the tourism radar with affordable prices, exciting culture and bucket list adventures. Experience local culture by staying in a riad, a traditional Moroccan style home distinguished by a courtyard/garden inside. Yes, inside.
Take advantage of the proximity to the desert by going a Sahara tour, if that’s your cup of tea. You can choose to stay overnight in accommodations or simply do a day trek. Either way, riding a camel through the dunes is not something you’re likely to forget.
21 Tourist Life In Lisbon
Lisbon has long been an underrated European capital city but now it’s having its time to shine. Tourists are flocking to this Portuguese gem for its reasonable prices, historical monuments and delicious cuisine.
Visit the 16th century structure Torre De Belém or tour the Oceanarium. But you can’t leave without making sure you ride the tram.
Help yourself to some piri piri chicken or Pasteis de Nata (Portuguese custard tart); you won’t be stuck for choices here.
20 Living On The Edge In Galway
Luck of the Irish, they got the most stunning cliffside landscapes. Book a cheap flight to Dublin and then head out on your road trip adventure to discover it all. The Wild Atlantic Way snakes through the country, bringing you to County Cork, Kerry and of course, Galway.
The cliff coast of Galway features churches and castles for you to explore as well as Connemara National Park. While you’re here, why not venture out to the Aran Islands as well?
Frozen in time, the Aran Islands offer a break from modern life and a chance to regroup.
19 Zaanse Schans, The Trademark Of The Netherlands
You can’t get more Dutch than a windmill. Zaanse Schans has been pleasing tourists for years, and while it’s certainly not the only reason to book your ticket to the Netherlands ASAP, it deserves a top spot on your itinerary.
Keukenhof is another stop you’ll want to make, with your camera ready to enjoy the fields of tulips in this seemingly never-ending, flat landscape.
Perhaps you already know that cheese is kind of a big deal in the Netherlands so find yourself some gouda, and wash it down with a stroopwafel for good measure.
18 Peaceful Reykjavik Winters
Time to pull out your winter woolies and book that budget airline ticket to Reykjavik!
Low cost carriers like WOW and Icelandair are making the world’s northernmost capital a new travel hotspot.
The city of Reykjavik is small and you can easily explore the whole city in a weekend. Gaukurinn comedy bar is a necessary stop on a Monday night for a free stand-up comedy show and of course, your trip to Iceland isn’t complete without sampling a hot dog from Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur. Incidentally, this is the cheapest meal you’ll come across here so if you’re on a budget be prepared to do some grocery shopping and cook your meals in your airbnb or hostel.
17 Cinque Terre In Summertime
There’s nothing as romantic as an Italian summer. Sunshine, salty sea breezes and brightly coloured buildings stacked along the cliff sides are a vacationer’s dream. The five seaside villages are connected via Sentiero Azzuro (The Blue Path) hiking trail, giving you both your exercise and a view.
Enjoy fresh seafood from the boats fishing off shore here or grab a gelato and enjoy a striking sunset. Lovers of Pesto are in luck, as this sauce is famous in the region and is prepared with great care.
16 Enchanted By Old Montreal
A little bit of European charm in Canada, Old Montreal is something out of a fairytale. It’s peaceful atmosphere, excellent cuisine and historic buildings will capture your heart and ensure you never want to leave.
Horse-drawn carriages journey through cobbled streets and the renowned Notre Dame Basilica is a sight to behold.
Its stained glass windows, candles and impressive architecture are absolutely worth the entrance fee.
Crêpes of both the sweet and savoury variety are plentiful here and if you really want a taste of Canada, try a Montreal poutine.
15 Zion National Park
High on the list of US road trips is a visit to Zion National Park, where steep red cliffs and bountiful trails will test your endurance; but you’ll be rewarded with awe inspiring views.
Zion National Park resides in Utah and is home to 79 species of mammals, according to their website, and 289 species of birds. Mule Deer, coyotes, ringtail cats and the endangered species, the California Condor, are just a few that make up these numbers.
14 Hallstatt, Austrian Waters
The serene waters of Austria beckon travellers away from the main cities in this photo. Rather than spending your holiday in Salzburg or Vienna, why not venture out to the village of Hallstatt?
Famous for salt, Hallstatt is the site of the oldest salt mine in the world, according to Hallstatt World Heritage. You can recreate this photo by taking a boat ride out on Lake Hallstatt or go skiing (in winter) in Dachstein Salzkammergut or Obertraun. Hallstatt is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
13 A Splash Of Alicante
It’s Pinterest ready. Alicante, a small city in a southern port of Spain, is a travellers dream. The photo ops are endless and with so many accessible flights, it’s only a click away.
If this photo didn’t give it away, Alicante is a city that will make you feel like you’ve found home away from home. It’s colourful charm and quaint architecture make walking the streets (which are said to be exceptionally clean) a joy in and of itself.
Postiguet beach is a tourist hot spot, but you’ll still be able to find some space to settle in and relax.
12 How Long Can We Stay? Halong Bay, Vietnam
Ha Long Bay is a Unesco World Heritage site in the north of Vietnam and for most avid travellers it’s a major bucket list item. Flights from North America to Vietnam may not be doable on a dime, but once you arrive the cruise on the bay itself is more than affordable.
Most cruises span one to two nights and provide you with a comfortable cabin, social hours and fresh cooked meals. You’ll often have the opportunity to take kayaks off the boat and explore nearby caves as well as fishing off the boat at night and later enjoying a freshly prepared plate of your own catch!
11 Chiang Mai Lights
Said to be more picturesque than Bangkok, Chiang Mai is located in the North of Thailand. For views as whimsical as this photo, you’ll want to visit during Yee Peng Festival, which is a celebrated on the full moon in the twelfth month of the lunar calendar year according to Chiangmai.bangkok.com. Therefore, the festival is held in November.
The releasing of the lanterns represents the departure of negativity in the year. It is said that a wish made while releasing your lantern will come true.
So if you’re tired of wishing on stars, make Chiang Mai’s Yee Peng Festival your next destination.
10 Lake Bled, Slovenia Views
You probably haven’t ever considered Slovenia your ideal vacation spot, but maybe it’s time to rethink a few things. Lake Bled is (as you can see) a sight for sore eyes and paints a picture of tranquility amidst the trees and water.
The 6 km road around the lake is perfect for hiking or cycling, and afterwards you can cool off with a swim in the pristine waters.
If you’re feeling like a tourist, you can check out Bled Castle or head over to the island and explore the Church of the Assumption.
9 Kilimanjaro Sunsets
Move over Everest, you’ve got company. Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, located in Tanzania. A dormant volcano, Kilimanjaro is no walk in the park, but if you’re looking for a challenge, reaching the summit will certainly be a rewarding experience.
It can take anywhere from 5-9 days to climb Kilimanjaro but it’s recommended you take the longest route possible by most tour companies because your body needs the time to adjust to the altitude.
The longer your climb, the higher your chance of successfully reaching the top.
8 Cape Town In South Africa
Cape Town really does have it all so when you’re planning your sweet escape from the North America cold this winter, it’s definitely worth looking into! With sunny beaches on both the Atlantic and the Indian oceans you’ll have more options than you’d hoped for and a waddle of penguins hanging out on the sand nearby is an added bonus.
Cape Town caters to all types of travellers; whether you prefer to spend your holiday shopping at V & A Waterfront or revelling in wild Africa at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, it’s got you covered.
7 Vatican City Vibes
You can stand in two cities at once when crossing over from Rome to the Vatican. First views of this city will force you to gasp in awe at the sheer size of these historic buildings.
If you’re hoping for a glimpse of the Pope you’ll want to visit on Wednesday mornings for his general address or Sunday midday where he stands at his window and is visible from the main square.
St. Peter’s Basilica is truly a work of art and it’s worth your time and money to take a guided tour of the Vatican Museum to fully appreciate the time and artistry that built this city.
6 Akureyri Northern Lights
To embark on a true northern adventure, travel Iceland’s ring road north to the village of Akureyri. Whale watching, horseback riding and waterfall treks are amongst the adventures waiting for you here.
The most coveted of Iceland's spectacles is witnessing the aurora borealis. If you’re visiting from October - April your chances of seeing this spectacle of nature are best.
The night sky lit up in remarkable greens and purples is ethereal; make sure to research camera settings ahead of time so you can do them justice in your photos!
5 Cartagena, Colombian Streets
This photo tells the story of a city that has spanned many time periods. An old port city on the coast of the Caribbean, Cartagena offers colonial charm amidst a modern society.
South America is known for being a fairly affordable travel destination and the exciting nightlife and outstanding cuisine are a few more reasons to visit. You can enjoy a night on a party bus (a chiva) that will take you from your hotel or hostel to various bars around the city, and while you’re there make sure you practice your salsa.
4 Colours Of Cuba
Cuba has a rich history and is an island of white sand beaches, artistry, architecture and kind people.
Strolling through Old Havana will inspire imagery of decades past and Cuban music played in the streets will really help you unwind.
You can swim or snorkel at Cayo Coco or ride around the city in a classic car. Most people visiting here choose to stay in resorts but if you can, venturing out into the city for a day will give you a more realistic taste of the culture.
3 Baobab Alley, Madagascar
The Avenue of The Baobabs in Madagascar is as beautiful as it is useful. Their trunks can be tapped for water during dry seasons and the fruit off the trees can be eaten as well. These trees have been standing for over 800 years and are now part of a protected area.
Madagascar does not have a well established tourism industry, but if you’re an adventurous soul, finding your way to Menabe will be worth the effort.
English is not widely spoken here so in order to get around, it’s advisable to brush up on your French or learn some of the official language of Malagasy.
2 Majestic Old Town Prague
Gothic architecture and old world charm await you in the historic Old Town of Prague in Czech Republic. Instantly recognizable is Charles Bridge and the Old Town Square, where vibrantly coloured buildings with intricate details tower overhead.
Spend the day on a river cruise along Vltava taking in the city’s views at a distance while relaxing in the sun. Later, enjoy a traditional meal of goulash and roast pork dumplings, washed down with a famous Czech beer. For dessert, enjoy Trdelník, which originates from Transylvania. This eastern European pastry is served warm and is often coated in sugar or cinnamon.
1 Tbilisi, Georgian Vibrance
This stunning historic city is rich in colours and kind hearted people. As this city is not yet overrun by travellers, locals are excited to interact with visitors and share a bit of their culture with you.
Off the beaten path, Tblisi is in a league of its own for untapped tourism potential.
Markets, sulphur baths and cathedrals are a few of the unique experiences Georgia’s capital has to offer you; try to brush up on some Georgian before you book your plane ticket because otherwise communicating with the locals may be a little more challenging.
References: Todocanada, Drifterplanet, Travel.usnews, Thecrazytourist, Airtransat, Cinque-terre-tourism, Zionnationalpark, Halstatt, Theculturetrip, Chiangmai.bangkok, Lonelyplanet, Ultimatekilimanjaro, Cometocapetown.com, Huffpost,