Christmas is within touching distance, and before we know it, we’ll be welcoming in the New Year. If you’re an adventurous type, you may already be thinking of the places you want to visit in 2017. If you’re keen to travel more, and you’re looking for ideas, here are some contenders for your wish list.
Bucket list favourites
There’s a reason why a small number of destinations crop up on most people’s travel bucket lists. It’s always good to try new things and explore different places in the world. But there’s no shame in wanting to tick off the best-sellers. If you haven’t already visited these destinations, why not consider making 2017 the year you make some dreams come true.
Arguably the most famous road trip in the world, Route 66 features heavily in travel-themed wish lists. Thanks to the movies, many of us have visions of tearing down the tarmac with the wind blowing in our hair. Route 66 will take you to some of the USA’s most iconic cities and towns. There’s a plethora of sights to discover along the way and some incredible scenery. Highlights include Amarillo’s Cadillac sculpture, Gateway Arch in St Louis, and Lake Michigan. Throw in the Grand Canyon, the Las Vegas Strip and the historic jazz bars of Chicago, and you’ve got yourself a memorable trip.
Seeing the Northern Lights
The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon that can be seen in countries located close to the poles. You can’t guarantee a sighting, but there’s a good chance of seeing the lights in Scandinavia, Greenland, and Iceland. For the best show, you need clear, dark skies and heightened aurora activity. The swirling neon lights become visible when solar winds crash into air molecules. You can check the aurora forecast online.
If you’re keen to see the Northern Lights, Finland and Iceland are the most accessible destinations from the UK. Flights are widely available, and you can also buy package deals that include tours. The best time of year to see the lights is between October and March when the sun rises late and sets early. If you’re visiting Iceland of Finnish Lapland, take advantage of other activities on offer. These are incredible destinations boasting stunning landscapes. Book a husky safari or visit a reindeer farm in Lapland. Go on a snowmobile safari on the glacier or marvel at the beauty of the Golden Circle in Iceland.
Image credit https://pixabay.com/en/photos/aurora%20borealis/
Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef
There are few places on Earth more beautiful and vibrant than Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Home to thousands of different species, this is the world’s greatest underwater playground. It is a truly idyllic spot for scuba diving and snorkelling enthusiasts. The reef boasts crystal clear waters and a series of islands that provide the perfect spot for soaking up the sun and admiring the views. If you’re not an experienced diver, don’t worry. You can take lessons out there, or simply use a snorkel. The waters are bursting with life, so you’ll see plenty without descending too far.
New York, the most famous city on the planet. You may think it’s all about A-listers, luxury hotels, and private jets. But you’d be wrong. This is an incredibly diverse city with distinctive boroughs, and it pays to get some insider tips before you travel. See the sights, but don’t miss out on the real New York. Live like a local, and take in the sights, sounds, and smells. You’ll find some great guides online. Christmas is a fantastic time to see the city and embrace the festive spirit. Spring and fall are also popular times to visit. Try and avoid the peak summer months when most try and escape the stifling heat.
Image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/quintanomedia/15778643103
New kids on the block: emerging destinations
The world is becoming more and more accessible every year. There are few places that are completely off-limits, and this is hugely exciting for intrepid explorers. If you’re looking for something a little different in 2017, here are some intriguing destinations to explore.
Colombians have endured turbulent times, and it’s only recently that this has emerged as a safe place for travellers. Years of civil war and unrest meant that this beautiful country was considered too much of a risk even for the hardiest adventurers. Today, life is very different. There’s little evidence of the country’s war-torn past, and there’s an air of optimism and excitement, especially in the big cities. Bogota is a fascinating blend of old and new. You’ll find a seamless mix of old-fashioned buildings and cosmopolitan cafes and bars.
When you think of wildlife, you tend to imagine driving through the dusty African plains in search of elephants and rhino. But Borneo offers an entirely different safari holiday. This verdant paradise has been hidden away from the eyes of intrigued animal lovers for decades. However, there have been major political changes, and more and more people are choosing Borneo as a holiday destination. Here, you can see orangutans swinging through the trees, and witness conservation efforts at first hand. This is also a great place to spot sun bears and clouded leopards. As well as offering unrivalled animal encounters, you can also try hiking, cycling, and climbing.
City breaks are incredibly popular. At the moment, there’s a lot of buzz and excitement surrounding Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon. Hotly tipped as a major crowd-pleaser for 2017, this seafront city oozes charm and character. Tree-lined streets lead to tranquil azure waters and golden sand beaches. In the heart of the city, you’ll find an array of lively bars, cafes, and restaurants. There are museums aplenty, and you’ll notice the strong Moorish and Latin influences in the architecture. Visit in the spring to take advantage of the sunshine without the crowds. In the summer months, temperatures reach over 30 degrees, and the heat can be oppressive.
Image taken from https://pixabay.com/en/lisboa-lisbon-city-cityscape-sea-1079629/
If you’ve got the travel bug, here are some destinations to fuel your wanderlust. Go for the established favourites, or beat the crowds and discover some hidden gems.