Best destination for 2014
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Best destination for 2014
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BORACAY ISLAND, THE PHILIPPINES

Why in 2014: As tourism from east Asia and the United States grows each year, the white-sand beaches of this southeast Asian archipelago should move from your bucket list to your see-it-before-it’s-overrun list–especially since Royal Caribbean made its first call to Boracay in October, a move that’s sure to incite other cruise lines to do the same. This will no doubt have a universal impact on Philippines tourism and its still-affordable hotel prices. But it’s also rather remarkable considering that tourists never even set foot on Boracay until the 1970s. Now there are more than 300 resorts and hotels for visitors to choose from on this thin speck of prime oceanfront real estate (less than a mile wide and less than four miles long)– and last year the area saw more than 900,000 visitors. Regional airlines like Airphil Express make the hour-long flight from Manila to Boracay’s new airport for less than $25 round-trip.

White Beach

When to Go: January to May is typically the best weather, but unless you’re keen to celebrate Easter with thousands of other tourists, skip Holy Week (March 24 to 31 in 2014), when major cities are packed with visitors. While heavy rain is always possible here, the second half of the year is typhoon season and best to avoid.

Where to Stay: Crown Regency Resort and Convention Center in Boracay offers upscale rooms with kitchenettes, a pool, onsite restaurants, and easy beach access (Boat Station 2, Boracay, crownregencyhotels.com, doubles from $110).

By The Editors of Budget Travel