Published on : Saturday, July 29, 2017
“The world is diverse – there’s no reason that US visa restrictions should impact your travel style. There are great alternatives to some of America’s most popular attractions which deliver similar experiences, and in some cases you don’t have to fly very far to enjoy them,” said Mamoun Hmedan, Managing Director of Wego Middle East, North Africa and India. “For those a little further afield, such as Australia and New Zealand, it’s well worth the effort. Gulf carriers and many others make the journey convenient and affordable.”
The well-travelled team at Wego brainstormed and came up with great substitutions for a selection of popular US destinations, worthy of exploring under any circumstances.
Swap the Grand Canyon for Australia’s Kimberley
Remaining largely untouched and covering hundreds of thousands of square kilometres, the wilderness of the ancient Kimberley region is one of Mother Nature’s greatest wonders.
Fly to Broome direct from Perth, the capital of Western Australia, or from Sydney and Melbourne on the country’s east coast. The historic pearling town is famed for Cable Beach, a long white sand beach (22 km) and aqua green waters.
The Kimberley is built for adventure and a dramatic landscape you’ll not see anywhere else in the world. Drive Gibb River Road (660 km) through the region and towering limestone cliffs and pools in Windjana Gorge National Park, home to freshwater crocodiles.
Fly over the incredible Bungle Bungle Ranges, or take a cruise on the massive Lake Argyle where the world’s largest tropical tides create whirlpools and giant waves as they push through Buccaneer Archipelago.
And amongst this incredible natural beauty you’ll find some of the most exclusive five star accommodation. Try the clifftop Berkeley River Lodge which can only be reached by helicopter or seaplane; Kimberley Coastal Camp, Home Valley Station or Eco Beach Resort.
Swap New York for Tokyo, European capitals
That New York buzz is original, granted, but there’s nothing quite like Tokyo for brighter lights, and of course, a completely unique fashion spirit.
The city’s Harajuku style, named after the dedicated street-fashion around Harajuku Station, ironically began and was influenced by the postwar occupation of Japan by American soldiers. Harajuku style has since inspired fashion trends and music all over the world, including New York.
If you’re a fashionista at heart, and New York Fashion Week is your thing, level up for London, Paris or Milan – each of whom are part of the Fashion Week circuit in February (Spring) and September (Autumn). European catwalk trends often dictate the world’s fashion direction for the coming year. Besides, some of the best shopping in the world is found in each of these beautiful cities and the majority of America’s biggest designers are represented on these stylish streets.
Swap Florida’s theme parks with loads of others!
The kids don’t miss out either. Trade in Orlando’s theme parks for Paris, Tokyo or Hong Kong Disneyland. Shorter flight times with no less of that Disney magic.
For thrillseekers and roller coaster lovers try the world’s longest – The Steel Dragon 2000 at Nagashima Spa Land in Japan. Or mix your love of cars and coasters with a visit to Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, home to the fastest roller coaster at 149 mph – the Formula Rosa.
Australia’s beautiful Gold Coast is theme park central with no less than five major theme parks, including two enormous water parks, and Sea World – an ocean rescue and conservation park, also home to one of the most amazing Polar Bear exhibits in the world.
In Singapore check out Universal Studios, and just over the border, a short drive away in Malaysia’s Johor Bahru, take the kids to Legoland, Angry Bird Park or Sanrio Hello Kitty Town.
Swap Great Smoky Mountains with New Zealand, Italy and Thailand
America’s Great Smoky Mountain range is breathtaking, no doubt about it. But Mother Nature has kindly stamped her beauty in many other locations.
New Zealand, majestic backdrop to the Lord of the Rings films, has a very special place in many hearts. Friendly locals, crisp mountain air, lush green national parks, and dramatic snow capped landscapes mirrored in alpine lakes will likely have you planning a return trip almost immediately after you arrive.
The Dolomites in northeastern Italy provide the awe of rugged limestone cliffs, picturesque forests, quaint village life and of course that amazing Italian food.
For something completely different, and no less mind blowing, go tropical in Khao Sok National Park in Thailand’s southern Surat Thani province. The world’s oldest evergreen forest, spread over 739 square kilometres, combines the sea, limestone mountains with waterfalls oozing over their peaks, hidden caves and lakes all into one. Even more attractive is the number of spectacular resort islands such as Phuket and Krabi which are conveniently located nearby.