With a New Year comes new resolutions, such as plans to work out more, promises to be stop being late for everything (is that just me?), intentions to quit biting your nails—and, of course, crossing a new destination or two off the bucket list. Figuring out where to go is a bit of a catch-22, though, because you know you need to save up money for a trip, but you won’t actually know how much until you pick a place. Honestly, choosing your next destination is half the battle! If you’ve got an idea of what you’re looking for but just haven’t nailed down a location yet, then take a look at this list. Here are 10 amazing destinations to travel to in 2017
Great for: budget travelers who desire the quintessential European experience
I cannot wait until I get back to Poland, especially Krakow. This city had it all—amazing food, exciting nightlife, rich history, plenty of sights to see, and a warm and welcoming culture. Even better, it’s incredibly affordable (from an American’s perspective) so you can do all the things you actually want to do without worrying about your wallet.
The Westfjords in Iceland
Great for: photographers (amateur, Insta-stars, and pros alike)
It seems like everyone is packing their bags and going to Iceland, and with good reason—this country is simply gorgeous. If you’re headed that way and want to avoid the inevitable crowds, make your way to the Westfjords. Only a small percentage of Iceland’s tourist actually make it out here, and it’s totally worth a few days drive in the car or a flight up to Isafjordur to check it out (pro tip: summer will be the best driving conditions here!).
Great for: travelers who want it all
Chile is filled with immense natural beauty. Santiago is an obvious choice as the country’s capital, and there you’ll find vibrant art, amazing food, and stellar city views (including from the tallest building in South America). Enjoy city life, but know that you also have options with the Andes Mountains and the lovely oceanfront at Valparaiso nearby.
Great for: urban adventurers
Travel to Cuba is still incredibly new, but ever since the more relaxed regulations took place, more and more airlines are offering flights to Havana. Tourism infrastructure is still getting built up and you’ll want to make sure you follow the guidelines to visit—but if you have the chance to experience the rich culture here, you definitely should.
Great for: foodies (and anyone not on a diet)
Portland was trending a few years ago, thanks to Portlandia, although the hype has cooled down a bit. The city is still insanely cool for tons of reasons (art! hiking! beer!), but one thing that always stands out is the food. I’ve never had a meal I didn’t like in Portland, so pack the stretchy leggings.
Cape Town, South Africa
Great for: wine lovers
If you can stand the long flight over, Cape Town is the wine country of all wine countries. Lots of wineries there offer accommodation, and you can enjoy bottles of wine for mere dollars. And sure, you can enjoy wine in many places of the world, but Cape Town also offers safaris, amazing hikes, shark cage diving, paragliding, and some pretty breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.
Great for: beach bums
If the craziness of Cancun isn’t your style, head about an hour and a half south of there for a more beach with sparkling blue waters and Mayan ruins. Not only is the American dollar strong right now, but this is a great way to travel internationally when you don’t have a bunch of extra paid time off—a flight there likely won’t take up a full day of travel and it’s in the same time zone as the East Coast.
Hoi An, Vietnam
Great for: the traveler who wants something unexpected
When traveling to Asia is mentioned, many people think of cities in Thailand or India—and when it comes to Vietnam, Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh are the top picks. But if you’d like something incredibly unique, make your way to Hoi An. As a port city, it’s a bit of a melting pot and you’ll find a delightful mix of architectural influences. Plus, biking is a prime mode of transportation, which is always a plus in my book!
South Island, New Zealand
Great for: outdoorsy types
Audrey Hepburn once said, “Paris is always a good idea,” but I’d argue the same for New Zealand. Go to the south island (fly into a place like Queenstown or Dunedin) and enjoy some of the best hikes and camping Mother Nature can offer. Make the trip extra memorable and check out the Nevis Thriller, coming in 2017. Remember that New Zealand’s seasons are opposite those in the U.S., so plan accordingly. 🙂
Joshua Tree, CA
Great for: road trippin’ wanderlusters
I made my first trip out to JT recently and ~wow~ what a place! The park is crazy pretty (especially in the wee hours) and Joshua Tree the town has a quaint, cute little “downtown” area. It’s small, but it offers a memorable, all-American trip. You can obviously camp in the park, but there are loads of AirBnBs out there—plus, Palm Springs is a short drive away if you’re wanting a more resort-y getaway.