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Three top budget travel destinations for 2014

View of airplanes at Corfu Airport
View of airplanes at Corfu Airport
Kudak - Wikimedia Commons

If you combine great food, endless attractions, and outdoor activities, with a budget you can afford, then consider these three top destinations for 2014.

South Africa

With hotel rates down this year, visitors have more options in choosing places to stay. Wildlife parks are again one of the top attractions in South Africa this year.

Kruger National Park is still one of the best on the African continent. For a nominal entrance fee, visitors can view wildlife up close in safe environment. Expect to see wildlife such as the buffalo weaver, elephant shrew, leopard tortoise, ant lion, and rhino beetle.

For sun worshipers, Cape Town's beaches are ideal for swimming and surfing. A variety of vendors, cafes and restaurants serve up some great local dishes.

The township of Soweto offers visitors to a number of sites and attractions that reflect on the city's heritage and culture. The Nelson Mandela Museum and the Apartheid Museum give visitors a glimpse into the past as to the town's struggle to overcome apartheid. For some great tasting food, be sure to visit some of the restaurants on Vilikazi Street. Visitors will find a selection of local dishes including tripe, morogo (boiled wild spinach), and ting ting (sour porridge).

Maritime Provinces

Visitors looking for a great vacation getaway on a budget want to head up north to Canada's Maritime Provinces. Made up of the three provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, they are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Maritime Region is known for it's hospitality, incredible seafood and rich heritage.

Halifax, Nova Scotia is usually the main starting point to explore the coastline and the rest of the provinces. One of the most visited towns is Old Town Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At a ripe old age of 260 years old, the town has not changed much over the years. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful small towns in Canada.

Next up on the list is the picturesque province of New Brunswick. Some of the sites that should not be overlooked include the historic city of St. John, the Acadian coast that includes sandy beaches and beautiful scenery, and the Bay of Fundy, featuring the world's highest tides.

Prince Edward Island is the smallest among the three provinces. But don't let that fool you, there is plenty to see and do. Travel and Leisure named it as the Top Island in the Continental U.S. and Canada in its 2013 World’s Best list. Featuring one of the region's top culinary art scenes, small laid-back towns, and the sandy beaches of Prince Edward Island National Park, visitors will enjoy a memorable experience.

Istanbul, Turkey

For around $50 per day, visitors can experience the city's many attractions. Istanbul is an ancient city, featuring many unique attractions not found anywhere else. Many visitors are surprised to learn that the city sits on two continents (Europe and Asia).

To get a sense of Istanbul's history and culture, taking a free sightseeing tour is the best way to learn and understand their customs. A number of restaurants, cafes and markets can be found while strolling the old neighborhoods. Take a relaxing break while sipping Turkish tea or coffee, or having some local dishes at some of the city's superb restaurants.

Many remains of ancient civilizations can be seen throughout the region. Some of the major points of interest such as Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome, are situated in Sultanahmet. Just a short walk or tram ride west of Sultanahmet is Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world.

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