As we get closer to wrapping up 2016, I’m sure that I’m not the only thinking about and preparing for 2017 travels. Whether you’re looking to pack your flip flops and chase the sun, or hunting for a winter adventure, I have a few suggestions for you!
I took inspiration from some of my own personal travels and a few travel destination ideas from the new Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2017 ($20.99, available here) which you can purchase in-store or online now. The book is an awesome holiday present (I’ve gifted this present a colleague and he LOVED it) or to keep for yourself as it presents a few list of travel ideas by country, region, cities, budget and group size.
Jot down a few notes, bookmark this post, or share it on social media with your friends or family who may be working on their 2017 travel plans! I have also listed a few decision criteria, including cheapest flight cost in 2017 as at the time of writing that I think could help narrow down your decision! I used Skyscanner to look for the cheapest flight options available leaving from Toronto next year (all prices are in Canadian dollars and are the cheapest flight in 2017 at the time of writing).
1. South Africa
I have so much love for this beautiful country which hasn’t dimmed even after visiting it a second time around. South Africa has a bad rep from decades of apartheid, but visiting the country today shows how much it has progressed since those days. From Cape Town, to Kruger National Park, there’s so much to do in South Africa that a few days won’t be enough. You’ve got incredible beaches in every direction, world-class wineries and culinary scene, breathtaking nature, and adventures for every age. My favourite places so far? Cape Town and Mpumalanga.
- Best For: Families, couples, budget travellers and solo travellers looking for adventures, incredible food / wine, being close to nature (and once-in-a-lifetime experience like diving with sharks) and the outdoors
- Flights: Fly to Cape Town starting at $1084 on Ethiopian Airlines or Johannesburg starting at $1090 on Ethiopian Airlines
- How Long to Go For: Plan to spend at least 3 weeks to explore different parts of the country from Cape Town, Durban, Kruger, and Mpumalanga
- Read More: Postcard From | A Safari Adventure at Kruger National Park, Learning to Surf in Cape Town, South Africa, and 5 Free Things to Do in Cape Town, South Africa.
The Great White North has been crowned the #1 country to visit in 2017 by Lonely Planet – an incredibly humbling honour! Canada is (in my opinion at least) one of the most under-rated travel destinations – we are often seen as the country north of the USA, and that we all live in igloos. However, Canada is both a winter and summer wonderland for anyone thinking of heading North to enjoy Canadian hospitality and delicious maple syrup, icewines and poutine.
- Best For: Families, group, couples, luxury travel and solo travellers of all ages looking for year-long adventures – winter and summer alike, incredible food scene and urban charms without paying tons of money.
- How Long to Go For: Plan to spend at least 2 weeks to explore different parts of the country. Visit Toronto (financial hub), Montreal (the cool, hip city), Quebec City (Old European vibe without the $$$), Vancouver (beautiful landscape and scenery), and Banff National Park (Canada’s first national park)
- Read More: 7 Reasons Why You Should Visit Canada in 2017, and Postcard From | Taste the Season
Iceland, considered one of the safest countries in the world is seeing an incredible boom of tourism in the last few years thanks to the otherworldly beauty of its landscape, and natural wonders, Nordic charms, and incredibly high quality of life. Thanks to many inexpensive flight options from North America (Icelandair and WowAir), the island country is projected to see tourism boom faster how quickly it’s growing right now. Enjoy the tranquility of the hot springs (avoid the Blue Lagoon – it’s overpriced and such a tourist trap unless you’re paying the extra $$ for a more luxurious option), explore the rugged beauty of the island during an 8-day Ring Road drive, and explore the black sand beaches all over the country.
- Best For: Families, group, couples, photographers, luxury travel and solo travellers of all ages looking for winter adventures, incredible photo opportunities who wants to enjoy the tranquility and be connected to nature.
- Flights: Flights to Reykjavik start at $324 via WowAir. Remember that this fare doesn’t include cost of checked luggage.
- How Long to Go For: Plan to spend 1-2 weeks to explore different parts of the country. Be sure to stay outside of Reyjavik to experience as much of the nature as possible.
- Read More: 32 Fun Facts About Iceland, Packing For Iceland, France, and Greece!
Namibia is on my list of places to visit in 2017 thanks to a Netflix documentary I watched called Wildest Africa. The country feels and seems like something straight out of an adventure novel – wildlife spotting in Etosha National park, sand surfing in the Sossusvlei Dunes, visiting the notorious Skeleton Coast in the Namib Desert are among many incredible things to be enjoyed in this beautiful country. Of all the things I want to enjoy in Namibia, the number one thing I want to desperately see is the meeting point between the sands of the Namib Desert meet the Atlantic Ocean.
- Best For: Group, couples, budget travel and solo travellers of all ages looking for winter adventures, incredible photo opportunities who wants to enjoy the tranquility and be connected to nature.
- Flights: Flights to Windhoek start at $1089 on British Airways
- How Long to Go For: Plan to spend 2 weeks to explore different parts of the country. Desert, safari, eclectic cities and more await!
Myanmar (or Burma) was once one of the most secretive Asian country ruled by military junta and has only elected its first civilian government very recently. The legacy of a long military rule is evident in the challenges facing travellers when visiting the country for the first time. Myanmar’s charms lies in the fact that it is a window to “Old Asia” and how difficulties in travel is part of the excitement and appeal.
- Best For: Group, couples, budget and adventure travels looking for an authentic “old Asia” experience and hospitality and not fazed by the difficulties of travel in a largely agricultural country that’s untouched by tourism
- Flights: Flights to Yangon start at $1029 on China Eastern
- How Long to Go For: Plan to spend 2 weeks to explore all parts of the country by canoe, riverboats, and rafts
Nepal has recently been in the news due to a devastating earthquake that happened in 2015. Fortunately, most of the country largely escaped devastation with its hiking trails, and temples mostly intact. The devastation caused by the earthquake has had a huge impact on people’s livelihoods which means the country is in need of tourism to ensure livelihoods are protected. Be prepared to get a close-up look of the Himalayas from Kathmandu Valley, get in touch with Nepal’s spiritual side by exploring Kathmandu’s temples and medieval towns.
- Best For: Group, couples, budget travel and adventurers looking for a close-up to nature, I-can’t-believe-we-did-that moments, some of the world’s best and most famous hiking/trekking trails
- Flights: Flights to Kathmandu start at $1138 via China Eastern
- How Long to Go For: Plan to spend 2 weeks to explore temples, epic treks, medieval towns, and visiting the Chitwan National park.
7. South Korea
South Korea is destination beloved by many with its well-established infrastructure, eclectic culture, and incredibly instagram-friendly cities. With plenty of delicious foods to be enjoyed, bustling city of Seoul and a relaxing visit to Jeju island easily done in a period of one week, this modern, and dynamic country is quickly becoming one of the most-watched travel destinations in 2017.
- Best For: Group, family, couples, budget travel and adventurers looking for a mix of urban lifestyle and traditional experiences, all-in-one-country experience while enjoying a vibrant and dynamic backdrop of temples and skyscrapers
- Flights: Fly to Seoul starting from $1029 on China Eastern
- How Long to Go For: Plan to spend 2 weeks to explore temples, walk and shop in the main shopping districts of Seoul
Now over to you! Where would you like to travel in 2017?