Are you wondering where to go on holiday this year? Need some insight into the top travel destinations? You've come to the right place!
Everyone seems to put out a "Best Spots to Travel" list every year, so to make things easy for you, I've put together a master list with the Top 3 spots from the following lists: National Geographic's "Best Trips 2017", Travel and Leisure's "Best Places to Travel in 2017", Fodor's "No List 2017", Lonely Planet's "Best In Travel 2017", and Conde Nast's "Best Places to Travel in 2017."
You'll also find my pick for a dream destination (for those of you willing to spend a few extra dollars for an outstanding experience!) at the end.
The authority on culture, travel and adventure, Nat Geo has divided their "Best Trips 2017" list into three sections: Nature, Cities and Culture.
1. The Island of Kauai, USA
This stunning island is one of the Hawaiian islands, and one that is more sparsely visited than the rest. You will find lush jungles, stunning waterfalls, and fantastic hikes. There's a reason that more than 60 movies have been filmed there (including Jurassic Park)!
Northern lights that dance through the night sky, stunning natural views, rocky beaches, winter sports, and reindeer — what more could you want in an outdoor adventure!
3. Baja California, Mexico
Underwater adventures are what you travel here for — the marine life is what scuba divers' dreams are made of!
1. Marrakech, Morocco
One of my absolute favourite cities, Marrakech will transport you to a world where snakes are charmed in the main square, the call to prayer is beautifully hypnotizing, the food has flavours you have never tried before, and even colours seem more vibrant. Museums, markets, art, culture and more — exactly my kind of urban adventure!
2. Madrid, Spain
The country's vibrant capital, Madrid is full of everything you would want in a city — great food, great nightlife, an abundance of culture, and an international feel.
3. Anchorage, United States
This pick could fall under nature as much as it falls under cities, as anywhere up north seems to be defined by the harsh, yet stunning, environment that it is located in. And outdoor activities are one of the main reasons to visit — surfing, hiking, glacier walks, the list goes on and on.
A small island in the Mediterranean sea, this spot has been on my personal travel list for a few years now. There have been some fascinating archaeological findings made in recent years, and who doesn't love a trip that involves blue skies and a beach?!
2. Papua New Guinea
Nat Geo's description of this spot has me sold! "Located in the South Pacific north of Australia, PNG includes the eastern half of the world’s second biggest island, New Guinea, and about 600 small islands. For indigenous cultures in secluded villages, life pretty much goes on as it has for centuries."
3. Chengdu, China
A UNESCO-designated City of Gastronomy, this city has some incredible restaurants serving traditional cuisine and some incredible World Heritage Sites as well.
The staff of this fantastic travel publication came up with 50 great places to visit in 2017. Here are the top three!
1. Angra dos Reis, Brazil
Located between Sao Paulo and Rio, this is where the Brazilians escape to in the summer time when the beaches in the larger cities get too crowded.
2. Belfast, Northern Ireland
Hip cafes, lounges, restaurants, and art venues are making this beautiful city an attractive destination for those looking for an urban adventure.
3. Belgrade, Serbia
Not a typical destination (at least not for those of us in North America), according to T+L, this city has a quickly growing food scene and "the biggest draw is the growing craft-beer scene (the city has 37 breweries)."
Fodor does something a bit different, they put out a "No List" and tell you the spots that you should stay away from (due to an outbreak, war, etc.) and where to go instead.
1. Avoid Dubai (its under construction in preparation for Dubai Expo 2020) and go to Hong Kong — one of my favourite cities — instead!
2. Skip the Great Barrier Reef (it's under threat, give it some time to recover!) and head to the small and stunning Atauro Island instead.
3. Miami Beach is one to miss if you are concerned about Zika, but Key West is the perfect alternative if you are looking to soak in some Florida sunshine.
My fave travel guide company has multiple must-see lists for 2017 (make sure to check them all out!), but — so this post doesn't go on forever — I am only going to list their picks for the top three countries to visit.
I have to admit that I am very excited that my home country topped this list! Canada has so much to offer nature loves, urbanites, culture, buffs, foodies and everyone in between. Plus, it's our 150th birthday in 2017, meaning that there are going to be major events and celebrations going on throughout the year.
I know, this seems a bit strange due to the history of drugs and violence that this country is known for, but according to LP, that violence has subsided and what has been left behind is incredible architecture, great food, and a really interesting culture.
3. Finland (our first repeat spot!)
Also on Nat Geo's list above, Finland made the LP list because it is celebrating it's 100the year of independence in 2017, and will "also [play] host to the World Figure Skating Championships and the Nordic World Ski Championships this year."
Conde Nast has 17, editor-endorsed picks on their "Best Places to Travel in 2017" list.
1. Canada (our second repeat spot!)
See the info above.
2. The American Midwest
According to CN, they want to explore the cities and talk to the people that voted for Trump in order to find out who they are, what they believe in, and how they live. Could make for an interesting adventure!
3. Cuba (beyond Havana)
Since the island country has been opened up to Americans, tourism is booming. Now's your chance to get there before it becomes too commercialized!
Last year I picked a resort in the middle of the ocean as my dream destination, but this year I'm sending you inland to Chiang Mai, Thailand — more specifically, the Four Seasons Resort.
This stunning (and very expensive — rooms start at around $1,300/night) resort is nestled amongst rice paddies and the jungle with rooms that look like treehouses, beautiful pools, and sunset yoga... just watch the video below, you'll see what I mean.
Is there anything that you would add to the list? A great spot or hidden gem that you think would be the perfect destination in 2017? Let me know in the comments below!