Deal Experts' 2014 Travel Plans

For travelers looking for a little inspiration, here's where our team of North American Deal Experts will be heading in 2014.
01/07/2014 11:59 am ET Updated Mar 09, 2014

New year, new vacation days. To Travelzoo Deal Experts, and millions of our subscribers, the change in the calendar means another opportunity to embark and expand our horizons. For travelers looking for a little inspiration, here's where our team of North American Deal Experts will be heading in 2014.

Safe travels!

Natural wonders
• My 2014 bucket list trip is Peru's Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. This ancient UNESCO World Heritage Site tucked away in the misty mountains of Peru will not be around forever, and each year restrictions on tourism get tighter. These ruins showcase the power and strength of humanity during the height of the Inca Empire. -- Mary Walker Baus, Los Angeles
• I plan on going to Iceland this spring with a Travelzoo deal my friends and I bought. Visiting around the spring equinox is one of the best times to see the Northern Lights, plus this is a peak year in the lights' 11-year cycle. Even if we miss the lights, I'm looking forward to the spectacular scenery. --Kelsey Rexroat, New York City
• My 2014 wish list is to book a 5-star "The Bachelor"-esque type vacation to South Africa. I tried to make it happen for my honeymoon in 2013, but it fell through ... I'm feeling like this is the year! Open-air accommodations look super romantic, helicopter rides are right out of an episode, and the game drives are perfect for an up-close and personal glimpse of the Big Five. -- Gia Anayas, Chicago
Thailand seems to have it all from enchanting temples to beachfront paradises. Over the past few years we've seen an increase in packages and hotel deals; because of that I've had a number of friends visit Thailand as one of their first experiences with Asia. It's easy to take an escorted package, but it also seems fairly simple to mix up the vacation by self-packaging and maybe even adding on Bali or the Maldives -- may as well while you're out there. -- Blaire Constantinou, Los Angeles

Setting sail
• I expect a cruise to be such a very different way to experience Europe during Christmas: beautiful vistas from cruising down either the Rhine or Danube and visiting world-famous Christmas markets. A river cruise is like a floating hotel through Europe at a relaxed pace. The itinerary usually includes many ports of call -- including smaller, hard-to-get-to villages -- and you only unpack once. Best of all, all meals, wine and guided tours are included in the cruise price. -- Debbie Kwok, Mountain View
• Cruising in Alaska: I've always been a warm-weather gal, but for the past four years, I've wanted to sail on an Alaska cruise. Being able to spot glaciers and wildlife from the ship would be unlike any cruise experience I've ever had. Just based on pictures I've seen from Alaska itineraries, I'm looking forward to making Alaska part of my cruising repertoire in 2014. -- Jessica Tilley, Las Vegas

Big city stays
• St. Petersburg, Russia, is on my list this summer. I've heard great things about their white nights, and it's unchartered territory for me. I'm looking forward to experiencing the culture, arts and history as well. -- Rifi Sachdev, Los Angeles
New Orleans: beignets, gumbo and po' boys. -- Annie England, New York City
• I've spent years reading about the beautiful street art and the stunning architecture of Lisbon: I'm hoping 2014 is the year I see Portugal firsthand. -- Hilary Solan, Chicago
• Riga, Latvia, was named the 2014 European Capital of Culture, and there's cheap air access: Ryanair and Wizz Air have been operating low-cost flights for some time now. -- Hafeez Jessa, Vancouver

Family-friendly fun
• I'm going to Disney World! I've always wanted to say that - we're taking our toddler to meet Mickey and counting down the days! Then once we get to Orlando, we'll be counting the minutes in line ... -- Josh Gershenson, Chicago
Niagara Falls, a classic vacation destination. It's time I see what all the fuss is about for myself. -- Lydia Smith, New York

Postcard-worthy landscapes
• In 2014 I'm hoping to head to the Amalfi Coast in Italy. I've never been to Italy, and the wine, food, culture and picturesque coastline seem truly unique -- and romantic. -- Jessica DeBolt, Los Angeles
• Cambodia. I haven't made it to Asia yet, and I'd love to make Cambodia my introduction to the continent. Friends who have gone have told me that the gorgeous scenery, rock-bottom prices and friendly locals make it worth the trip. -- Ashley Hamilton, Chicago
Napa & Sonoma -- I wish it was a more exotic bucket list, but with young kids, the ultimate dream of a South Africa safari, an Emerald Isle experience or a New Zealand quest is still a few years off. -- Andrew Young, New York City
• St. Johns, Newfoundland, not to be confused with Saint John, New Brunswick. It is the oldest and most easterly city in North America. There is a ton of Maritime history and unique shops and restaurants along with landscapes that are hard to come by elsewhere. -- William Brown, Chicago
• I would like to go to Australia and New Zealand. I've always wanted to go and now have more of a reason because I made some friends from there during my 2013 Travelzoo Experience to Thailand! -- Sarah Firoozi, Austin

Sun-soaked stays
• For me, it's Belize! Why: It's exotic while still accessible. I am an avid sailor, and they have some great conditions plus there's a nice combination of beaches as well as hills and mountains with a bit of a tropical touch. -- Saskia Jacques, Toronto
• Booked: Bora Bora and Moorea honeymoon plus Cancun bachelorette party. -- Meghan Turner, Los Angeles
• Within the U.S., I'd like to spend a long weekend with a good book and my feet in the sands of Puerto Rico. With no passport required, and U.S. currency accepted, it's the closest and most convenient way to escape the Midwest and take in island life. -- Antoinette Fadera, Chicago
Cartagena: I've heard it has a rich cultural history along with a great beach. It's a pretty inexpensive trip, and JetBlue flies direct from JFK! -- Sean Cahill, New York City
• A girl has to dream big, so my list wouldn't be complete without a trip to the land of opulence -- Dubai. -- Heidi Stallings, Chicago

-- Hilary Solan is an editor at Travelzoo and based in Chicago. Travelzoo has 250 deal experts from around the world who rigorously research, evaluate and test thousands of deals to find those with true value.