Travel's Best Amusement Parks and Water Parks 2014

From Tokyo’s DisneySea to Tennessee’s Dollywood, our advisors handpicked the most thrilling theme parks for our family fun list, Travel's Best Amusement and Water Parks 2014.

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Best Site for Travel Packages: HolidayPirates.com

Best Site for Travel Packages: HolidayPirates.com

"For great package deals, check out the website HolidayPirates.com. They find incredible deals for packages, flights and more departing to and from Europe. I've found some incredible, hard-to-find offers on that website, like $500-roundtrip flights to Europe or $50 flights from Europe to Turkey." -- Matthew Kepnes, Nomadic Matt 960 1280

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Best Times for Off-Peak Travel: Jan. 15 to Feb. 28; Oct. 15 to May 15

Best Times for Off-Peak Travel: Jan. 15 to Feb. 28; Oct. 15 to May 15

"US Airways offers economy round-trip tickets to Europe from North America for just 35,000 miles from Jan. 15 to Feb. 28. If you have their co-branded credit card, that price drops to 30,000 miles roundtrip. American Airlines also offers off-peak discounted award tickets to Europe from Oct. 15 to May 15 for 40,000 miles, down from the usual 60,000. If you have their co-branded credit card, you can even get 10% of those redeemed miles back, up to an annual cap." -- Summer Hull, Mommy Points 960 1280

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Best Hotel Rewards Program: Starwood Preferred Guest

Best Hotel Rewards Program: Starwood Preferred Guest

"Starwood Preferred Guest is a great hotel program, with a vast portfolio of hotels throughout the world. Redemptions start at just 2,000 points and members have the option to transfer points to dozens of airlines at a 1-to-1 ratio, with a 5,000 point bonus on every 20,000 points transferred." -- Rick Ingersoll, Frugal Travel Guy 960 1280

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Best Phone App for International Travel: Viber

Best Phone App for International Travel: Viber

"Calling, texting and emailing while abroad can rack up thousands of dollars in fees. However, there are great apps like Viber that you can use for free with an internet connection. Viber users can send free text messages, photo messages, video messages and more with other users, and it’s compatible with iPhone, Android, and other major mobile and desktop devices." -- Brian Kelly, The Points Guy 960 1280

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Best-Value Trip: Eastern Europe

Best-Value Trip: Eastern Europe

"For a great-value trip, head to Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine) for very cheap destinations, great food, friendly people and few tourists. It's the medieval Europe you want without the crowds in Prague or Tallinn." -- Matthew Kepnes, Nomadic Matt 960 1280

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Best Car Rental Option: Costco Travel

Best Car Rental Option: Costco Travel

"If you have a Costco membership, you can get good deals from Costco Travel such as no additional driver fees with certain rental companies. If booking abroad, AutoEurope.com gives good rates in Europe. I used it to book a wagon for a trip to Paris which saved me about 40% off booking directly with the rental company." -- Arthur Hsu, Mileage Runner 960 1280

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Best Frequent Flyer Program: United MileagePlus

Best Frequent Flyer Program: United MileagePlus

"United MileagePlus is a great program, as it offers access to an extensive route network and award inventory. In short, they make it easy to redeem your miles. United miles are also easy to earn, with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offering instant 1-to-1 transfer of points to United." -- Rick Ingersoll, Frugal Travel Guy 960 1280

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Best Site for Fare Alerts: Yapta

Best Site for Fare Alerts: Yapta

"If you don’t want to constantly check and recheck websites for the best fares, then sign up for Yapta’s fare alerts. They will automatically keep you updated on the fares you are interested in. All you have to do is set the date(s), city pairs and the price point, and they will alert you via email." -- John E. DiScala, Johnny Jet 960 1280

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Best Site for Blind Travel Bids: BiddingForTravel.com

Best Site for Blind Travel Bids: BiddingForTravel.com

"When I shop around for hotels and car rentals, I don't think there is any better place than Priceline. But keep in mind when you use their Name Your Own Price feature, you can't cancel. Before I make a blind bid, I always log on to BiddingForTravel.com to see what other people's luck was with their bids. It shows how much people paid for which dates and will give you a pretty good idea of which hotel you will end up with." -- John E. DiScala, Johnny Jet 960 1280

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Best Credit Card for Travel: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Best Credit Card for Travel: Chase Sapphire Preferred

"The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers generous sign-up bonuses and flexible points that can be transferred to both airline and hotel partners. The Sapphire Preferred makes it easy to amass points quickly, with 2x points on travel and dining. The original signup bonuses can be worth over $500 in travel after you meet the required minimum spend, within the first 3 months typically." -- Rick Ingersoll, Frugal Travel Guy 960 1280

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Petra, Jordan

Petra, Jordan

“The ancient Rose-Red City of Petra in Jordan is much more than a scene from Indiana Jones; it’s one of the world’s most impressive ancient sites,” says Matt Long. “From the 3/4-mile-long entrance through a narrow slot canyon to the massive building carved into the mountain, Petra rarely fails to impress visitors, as it has done for more than 2,000 years.” 960 1280

Jordan Tourism Board  

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

Off the coast of Queensland, Australia, sits an underwater treasure: the largest coral reef system in the world, known simply as the Great Barrier Reef. “Its size is daunting — it can be seen from outer space — but that doesn’t stop the millions who visit every year to experience not only the warm tropical waters, but also the amazing diversity of life hidden just beneath the waves,” says Matt Long. 960 1280

Maxime Coquard/Tourism Australia  

Northern Lights

Northern Lights

“The great polar wonder of the aurora borealis has captivated imaginations for millennia, but it’s also one of the world’s most impressive natural wonders,” says Matt Long of LandLopers.com. “These dancing sheets of greens and pinks across the night sky may have their origins in outer space, but their effect on those of us here on Earth certainly can’t be denied.”  960 1280

Bard Loken/Visitnorway.com  

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

The lost city of Angkor is one of the world's most impressive architectural wonders. With more than 100 intricately carved 12th-century Khmer temples and sacred shrines, Angkor Wat is epic in size, scope and artistic detail, says travel junkie Julia Dimon. “A visit here is almost a mystical experience.”    960 1280

Matthew Micah Wright/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images  

Antarctica

Antarctica

“It’s huge, it’s maddeningly hard to get to, and it’s all but impossible to thoroughly explore, but that’s what makes it great,” says Expedition Unknown host Josh Gates. Ships are crossing the Drake Passage in record numbers to give visitors a look at our mysterious seventh continent, “one of the most silent, raw and spectacular landscapes on Earth.” 960 1280

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Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar

Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar

The shining star of Myanmar, this soaring temple and ancient Buddhist stupa sits on a high hill at the heart of the country’s largest city, Yangon. The temple is like a small city, dominated by a 325-foot gilded spire at its center, says Expedition Unknown host Josh Gates.  960 1280

Mr Anujak Jaimook/Moment Open/Getty Images  

Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe

Straddling the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, this incredible natural wonder is one of the world's largest waterfalls. “A visit here makes you appreciate why the locals call it Mosi-oa-Tunya, which means ‘the smoke that thunders,’” says Julia Dimon. “Upon arrival to the falls, travelers will journey down a trail, leading them just a few hundred feet from the unrelenting, cascading waters” of the Zambezi River.  960 1280

Pascal Boegli/Moment/Getty Images  

East Africa and the Seychelles

East Africa and the Seychelles

“The perfect mix of glamping and R&R, the beach-safari honeymoon is going to be huge for 2014. With luxe private island resorts and some of the most crystal-clear waters you’ll ever see, the Seychelles has serious sex appeal. Go here first to unwind, then head to Kenya for the Great Migration. You’ll see wildebeest, lions, elephants, rhinos and more,” says advisor Yolanda Crous of Brides magazine. For a mix of private and posh, stay at Seychelles’ Maia Luxury Resort and Spa on the secluded sands of Anse Louis.   960 1280

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Brazil

Brazil

“Sexy beaches, buzzing nightlife, pristine jungles -- this South American nation has pretty much everything a honeymooner could want, ” says Yolanda Crous of Brides magazine. And with the World Cup happening this summer and the Olympics coming up in 2016, this country has never been hotter. Party all night in Rio de Janeiro, soak in some sun on the laid-back beaches of Bahia, then cross off the Amazon from your bucket list with a stay at Uakari Floating Lodge. 960 1280

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Rwanda and Mauritius

Rwanda and Mauritius

“Recently, we’ve seen more of our honeymooners twinning destinations to ensure they make the most of their time away together. So I’d recommend combining 2 contrasting destinations, such as the more intrepid Rwanda with the laid-back island of Mauritius to make for one truly incredible and eye-opening luxury honeymoon,” says advisor Tom Marchant of Black Tomato. Search for mountain gorillas in the remote African republic of Rwanda, then relax on the shores of the Indian Ocean at the romantic Oberoi Mauritius resort, “ensuring you return home sun-kissed and relaxed” says Marchant. 960 1280

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Java, Indonesia

Java, Indonesia

“The perfect combination of some of the world’s best beaches, private islands, bold cuisine and ancient temples, Indonesia is a surefire hit when it comes to choosing a romantic honeymoon destination,” says advisor Tom Marchant. For 2014 forget Bali and head to Java for post-nuptial relaxation. “The term “deserted island” tends to be overused in travel literature, but Kura Kura off the coast of Java truly is just that. Located in the Karimunjawa archipelago, this island hideaway is made up of only a handful of beach cottages and pool villas, so you can enjoy the unspoiled setting without any disruption,” says Marchant. 960 1280

Courtesy of Black Tomato  

Space Travel

Space Travel

“A common thing I have been hearing is that couples want to go somewhere unique -- somewhere none of their friends have gone. Well, I can promise that none of them went to space for their honeymoon! Be one of the first to experience zero-g and the incredible views from space with Virgin Galactic, and you will certainly never forget it!” says advisor Katie Frederick of Ever After Honeymoons. Interested couples should book soon, because prices are slated to jump 25% -- up to $250,000 -- in the coming year. 960 1280

Mark Greenberg/Virgin Galatic  

The Maldives

The Maldives

“Want to completely disconnect and relax in secluded privacy? Jet off to the Maldives where you can enjoy the views from an overwater bungalow. There are so many romantic experiences, like watching dolphins play on a sunset cruise, picnicing on a deserted island and snorkeling at night among thousands of fish,” says advisor Katie Frederick of Ever After Honeymoons. Couples planning a 2015 honeymoon can look forward to the futuristic 5 Lagoons project which will include a star-shaped hotel and floating golf course. 960 1280

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Marrakesh, Morocco

Marrakesh, Morocco

“Between the rolling desert, carriage rides through ancient markets, belly dancers and snake charmers, this North African city feels like an epic movie set,” says advisor Rebecca Dolgin of The Knot. Dolgin suggests taking a 90-minute car ride to the village of Imlil in the Atlas Mountains, and either trek or take a donkey up to the hilltop Kasbah du Toubkal to enjoy stunning views of Mt. Jbel Toubkal and authentic Moroccan fare at the kasbah’s rooftop restaurant. The Baldaquin Suite, outfitted with a “show-stopping canopy bed” is perfect for honeymooners, says Dolgin. 960 1280

  

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

According to The Knot's editor in chief Rebecca Dolgin, “Jackson Hole is a legendary ski slope, but non-skiers may partake in snow tubing or sleigh rides through the National Elk Refuge. Year-round, hop on the mountain aerial tram for an awe-inspiring, nearly mile-long vertical trip to the top of Jackson Hole Mountain. Rustic Snake River Lodge & Spa is famed for its mountain views and honeymoon specials.” Newlyweds can now fly direct from 12 cities and get on the slopes faster with J-Cards (advanced Radio Frequency ID lift tickets). 960 1280

  

Botswana and Cape Town, Southern Africa

Botswana and Cape Town, Southern Africa

“My husband and I went to Botswana and Cape Town for our honeymoon and it changed my life. Our first day in Botswana was magical -- before we even arrived at our lodge we saw a giraffe. Then we went on “a sundowner,” our first game drive where we saw 4 of the Big 5 -- leopards trying to mate, elephants cruising around, male lions making the women kill for their dinner and Cape buffalo charging,” says advisor Julie McCully of Travel Channel. After a heart-pounding safari, head to Cape Town’s beaches and unwind in secluded paradise at Llandudno cliff resort. 960 1280

Photographer: Hongqi Zhang (aka Michael Zhang and michaeljung)  

Argentina

Argentina

“Argentina has it all for a romantic honeymoon, especially for food lovers. Buenos Aires has fabulous architecture and amazing wine and food. It's a city where you have to be careful of your waistline because there is so much good food, but you will walk it off while checking out the sights,” says advisor Julie McCully of Travel Channel. After you have had your fill of late-night dinners and dancing tango all night in Buenos Aires, head to Mendoza and be wined and dined at the luxury wine hotel and spa, Entre Cielos. 960 1280

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