The New Year gives us all a clean slate, a chance to think about how we’d like to improve ourselves and our lives in the future. If traveling more is at the top of your list of resolutions for 2016, consider booking a flight to one of these trending destinations.
The upcoming Summer Olympics have encouraged Brazil to improve its tourism infrastructure with increased flight options and a bevy of newly opened hotels. Even if you’re not a sports fan, next August could find you sipping a caipirinha on glamorous Ipanema Beach, standing in awe of the wondrous Christ the Redeemer, or rooting for the best athletes in the world amid international crowds. Who can resist that?
Maybe you’re interested in the Olympics, but would like get to experience its host without the crowds. Tokyo is abuzz with its recent election to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, and the excitement is tangible. Enjoy a little peace and quiet at one of the city’s temples or dress up as your favorite cartoon warrior for a lively night in Akihabara. Make your trip even more special by visiting during hanami, the traditional springtime blossom viewing season in late March and early April.
Need an escape? It can be difficult to find a truly secluded corner of the world, but the Maldives fits the bill. This string of tropical islands just south of India welcomes no direct flights from the U.S., but once you’ve overcome the hurdle of getting there, you’ll get to enjoy stunning sunsets, luxurious resort living, and world-class scuba diving.
If you need a vacation, pronto, worry less about trendy and more about timeless. Italy never goes out of style, and the infamous Venetian Carnevale starts on January 23 in 2016, leaving just a few short weeks between you and the trip of your dreams. Marvel at extravagant eighteenth century costumes from behind your own traditional mask as you hop from party to party among Venice’s romantic canals.
An African safari has earned a spot on many a bucket list, and there are few places better to fulfill that dream than Botswana. Gliding through the Okavango Delta in a traditional dugout canoe will put you up close and personal with a huge variety of wild game. Explore the public areas of Chobe National Park or Moremi Game in your search for the Big Five – lions, elephants, buffalo, leopards, and rhinoceros – or enjoy an expert guided tour on a private wildlife reserve. 2016 is a particularly special time to visit as Botswana celebrates its 50th anniversary of independence.
Speaking of major milestones, America has a big one coming up in 2016: the centennial of the National Parks Service. The United States run river deep and mountain high with a wide range of national parks preserving the country’s natural beauty. Watch Old Faithful erupt in Yellowstone, spot a croc in the Everglades, or raft the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Serious hikers might seek to finally tackle the elusive through-hike of the Appalachian or Pacific Crest Trails, while water lovers may prefer kayaking along Glacier Bay or the coast of Maine’s Acadia National Park