Concierge’s IT List: Places for upscale tastes, but maybe cheaper

There’s The New York Times list of 53 places to go in 2008 (see post), the 40 travel tips and suggestions from London’s Times (see post )and now has an IT List of 10 more suggestions, all with sound reasoning behind each one.

The way a destination ends up on this list is that it’s had enough people show up to increase the odds that it has some sense of what travelers like, therefore it can deliver a vacation to write home about–or it’s a place people have gone to for years, but has something new to offer. In the case of this list, it’s luxury.

When I looked over the Concierge list, it occurred to me that there are places I’d like to go on a vacation if I had A LOT of money. Any place could be spiffy.

Oman, a place I never thought of going, but now that I’ve seen what it has to offer, I think it’s an option. For one thing, everyone I know who has gone to the United Arab Emirates talks about how expensive Dubai is. Oman, from Concierge’s description, seems to be a cheaper version of a place to travel in the Middle East that can provide some Western comfort, at least when it comes to lodging. Oman, like the UAE has luxurious hotels that I’d venture to guess are less expensive because a lot of people are not heading there yet.

The history of Oman is what attracts me the most.The 14th century explorer Ibn Battuta passed through here and from what I read, even though tourism is being developed, it’s possible to get a healthy dose of traditional culture.

If you’re looking for something tropical–like Bali, but not Bali since much of Bali has loads of tourists, one suggestion is Hainan Island, China. You can stay in luxury here too, but what caught my attention was the description of mountain villages. I’m not a more than a day or two beach person, but give me an afternoon of wandering through a village and I’m happy. Since I’ve been to several places in South East Asia, this would be a choice based on a place that would be different but familiar.

Mozambique is also on the list. I love the word Mozambique. Say it. Doesn’t that sound lovely? The trendy hotels and a beach scene are part of the draw, and the political stability has helped it excel. I’m intrigued by the Portuguese influence, plus the national parks and the music. I bet the traditional architecture is also fabulous. Besides that, I’d like to see how it compares to the other African countries I’ve been to.

Although I love Tuscany, Sicily, the’s suggestion of where to head in Italy this year, would be the place I’d pick to go if I could pick just one. The thing I like about this choice is that there is so much variety in not such a big place. I have a tendency to want to see everything. If there’s not so much ground to cover, it feels like the vacation can be interesting and restful.

After watching the Amazing Race teams navigate Croatia, Montenegro, a country that has been compared to it in looks and feel, seems as if it would be a fabulous choice. It’s also supposed to be cheaper than Italy and Croatia.

Paris, San Diego, Ecuador, St. Lucia, Puerto Escondido and the Oaxacan Coast are also on the list.

For some more details about what Ecuador offers, check out Aaron’s post on his trip there. For St. Lucia, check out Adrienne’s series St. Lucia There & Back. She has the ins and outs about all aspects of travel here. She did it all.

As for San Diego, Erik presented a list earlier in 2007 that tells you what to see there, a good place to start. He’s a guy who lived there, so he should know.

If you head to Paris, another possibility is a houseboat stay on the Seine, as Martha did with her mother.

As for the Oaxacan Coast, my dad, who has been to Mexico several times loves this section of Mexico. If I ever go to Mexico on an extended trip, Oaxaca is where I’m heading.