Globetrotting Stilettos, 2016 is your year, our year, the year to travel more than you’ve ever traveled before. We know, travel ain’t cheap and it does involve research and planning, which is why we’re committed to making things as easy as possible for you. From listening to the experts at the NYT Travel Show dish on the hottest destinations to hit in 2016, to checking in with the good folk over at Conde Nast Traveler and pulling from our own expert knowledge, here are the ten places we suggest you hit in 2016. No pressure. Well, kinda, sorta.
Guadeloupe & Martinique
Guadeloupe & Martinique are two of the quickest and easiest trips to take right now thanks to Norwegian Airlines offering direct flights from New York, Boston and DC to the tranquil French-Caribbean islands. Keep things adventurous when you go and hike through the plush jungles, take a dip under waterfalls, and spend each night toasting to the beautiful red sunsets that you can and will enjoy on both islands.
Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
A lot of you probably never even heard of this part of Japan which is definitely a good thing. Uncharted territory is always an alluring option for us. Okinawa Prefecture is located on the Southernmost tip of Japan and consists of hundreds of Ryukyu Islands that span 620 miles long.With climates similar to the Bahamas, you’re destined to have a good time! Added bonus: the islands are are still underrated so your beach vacay will be crowd-free.
Yes, we know, Africa is a far stretch for most, especially when you have limited vacation days, but using them all on a trip to Tanzania is worth it! The East African country is known for its vast wild life so be sure to hit up Serengeti National Park when you go. The safari mecca is populated by the “big five” game which includes elephants, lions, leopards, buffalos and rhinos. Coastal living is pretty cool in Tanzania too, just in case you needed another reason to move this locale to the top of your list.
Did you know that Reykjavik, Iceland is only a five our flight from NYC? Exactly. Only five hours, so no excuses. If you can swing it, go now. The Blue Lagoon during the winter months is said to be fantastic. No matter the season, this natural jacuzzi always remains between 98-102*F. The contrast between the hot and cold must be a dope experience. Seriously, how can it not be? We’re trying to make it there this year, ahem, you should too.
Listen foodies, Pedraza, Spain is the place to be if eating your way through an enchanting Medieval village is the kind of thing that interests you. Trust, it’s not as gluttonous as it sounds. Located just an hour outside of Madrid, Pedraza’s cobblestone streets and ancient castles date back to the 1500s and apparently their infamous roast lamb lunches do too. We want in.
America’s National Parks
On August 25, the National Park Service will be celebrating 100 years spent protecting the enchanting Alaskan glaciers, serene Maine coastlines and all of America’s other natural beauty. In lieu of this centennial, we’re encouraging you to spend a long weekend exploring the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls or any of our country’s other impressive National Parks.
Ecuador & The Amazon
Headed to Brazil? Sweet. If you can swing it, pop over to Ecuador when you go. The landscape is diverse: Amazon jungle, Andes mountains, wild-life rich Galápagos Islands, and if you’re in search of more sand and sun, Salinas, Muisne and Atacames beaches are said to be gorge. We’re just saying…
Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar
Tourism to Myanmar is already on the rise, go now while travel to the country is still cool. Charter a boat and head south to spend a few days relaxing in the Mergui Archipelago, a cluster of islands across the Thai border that remain one of the planet’s most untouched destinations.
Mozambique is being coined the honeymoon Destination of 2016. If you’re not going on a honeymoon and are in search of a nice spot to hit with bae, give the southern African nation a shot. Snorkel, swim and do some wildlife spotting while lamping on the country’s Indian Ocean dotted coast line.
Simply put, Sri Lanka is underrated, hence the reason we want you to go. The teeny Indian island is tropical, affordable and clear of thick crowds. Visit the southwestern shore to check out their new luxury hotel, Tri Lanka, if you bank account allows for it.
Promise us that you’ll hit one or more of these destinations in 2016. Deal?