It's a new year, and pretty much every travel website we've seen has a list of must-see travel destinations for 2017. Some have a top 10 list, but others have lists that are even longer. Fifty places to go in 2017? Really? How much vacation time do you think most people have?
So, we've narrowed our list down to the top five places. And they aren't just places that we think you should visit because they look super cool (though, they are all, in fact, super cool). We have actual reasons why now is the best time to visit.
That being said, here are our top five destinations for 2017!
Cuba has opened up to travelers from the US for the first time in decades, which means that 2017 is the year to visit if you want the most authentic experience possible. There are fantastic itineraries where you can really explore the art, culture and engage with the people of Cuba. And increasingly, cruise ships are adding visits to Cuba as part of their itinerary. If you want a window into Cuba before tourism takes over, now's the time to go!
London has always been an expensive place to visit, but with the recent vote to exit the EU, the Pound is at an all-time low to the dollar. Whether you're looking to make your first trip to see one of Europe's most fun cities to visit, or if you're making a return visit to haunt your favorite spots, you'll be able to see and do more for a lot less money. And, of course, the rest of the UK is a relative bargain, as well. If you've been looking for the right time to take the trip-of-a-lifetime to Scotland, or you're eager to research your ancestry in Northern Ireland, 2017 is the perfect time to make it happen!
Colombia has beautiful beaches, stunning mountains, charming colonial cities and the glorious Amazon, but it's less crowded now than it should be, and that won't last much longer. Colombia is a much safer place to visit today than it was in the 80's and 90's and yet, tourism continues to lag. Maybe it's because the Netflix series "Narcos" has cemented the idea in travelers' minds Colombia is unsafe. There are fabulous itineraries to Colombia right now to fit every budget, as well as cruises that stop in Cartagena. So why not make this the year that you get to know one of South America's most fabulous countries?
Botswana has long been the most stable and prosperous country in Africa, and it has really come into its own as a fabulous travel destination. Eco-tourism is a big deal in Botswana, with more than 38% of the country's land protected for conservation. The Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park or the Kalahari Desert all provide for stunning landscapes, pristine wilderness and fantastic opportunities for a unique photo safari. It's also close enough to destinations like Victoria Falls, Johannesburg and Cape Town that you can easily build Botswana into a longer itinerary in Southern Africa.
Myanmar (or Burma, if you're making a political point), was closed to tourists for nearly fifty years. Though that changed a couple of years back, Myanmar has only just learned how to accommodate the tourism industry. There are now some really fantastic itineraries to allow travelers to explore the rich culture of this country, visit its stunning temples and archeological sites, and interact with the lovely, hospitable people of the country. Myanmar is about to hit its stride as a tourist destination, so we think visiting in 2017, while it's still a "hidden gem," makes a lot of sense.