If you’re thinking about how to spend precious vacation time, you might be wondering if there are interesting places that you should see before they change forever. Or, maybe you haven’t been to the world’s top vacation spots yet, and it’s past time to go. Here are ten suggestions for the top vacation packages that are trending now.
#1 Plan an Eco-Adventure in Costa Rica: Wild and green, the picturesque country of Costa Rica is one of the most ecologically sustainable nations in the world, and 25% of the land area there is protected. Rainforests, waterfalls, volcanoes and incredible beaches make this a fascinating vacation destination.
Travel Tip: Zip-lining through a rain forest canopy with monkeys and toucans is a thrill you’ll never forget.
#2 Quick, Book a Trip to Antarctica: There are many reasons to visit Antarctica now. This wild and remote land way down under is home to scientists, penguins and migrating marine mammals. Incredible seascapes, calving glaciers, hordes of seabirds and pristine, untouched ice islands all make for a fascinating cruise.
Travel Tip: Consider booking a luxury cruise. First class cuisine and spacious ocean view cabins make the rigors of the ice continent more bearable.
#3 Take a Trip to Middle Earth: New Zealand has been a trending travel destination since the filming of The Hobbit Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings movies. New Zealand’s soaring mountains, rolling hills and deep caves provided the setting for The Hobbit, and you can still visit movie sets that represented scenes in the Warner Brothers’ movies.
Travel Tip: If you’re going to visit Hobiton, near Matamata, be sure to swig a beer at The Green Dragon Inn.
#4 Spend a Week in the Riviera Maya: Mexico’s coastal vacation destination is home to all-inclusive seaside resorts that serve up impressive cuisine and luxurious spa treatments. Just once in your life (or more) treat yourself to a Riviera Maya all-inclusive resort where you can soak up the sun and study the art of relaxation.
Travel Tip: Plan your trip around the rainy season for guaranteed great weather. December through April is the best time to go.
#5 Go North, to Canada: With cheap gas prices, and a strong U.S. dollar, U.S. residents should pack up the car and head north. Canada is trending now partly because it has a special birthday coming up: The country is turning 150 on July 1. Celebrate with a train ride across the Rockies, a visit to the French city of Montreal or a drive through the fishing villages of the Maritimes.
Travel Tip: A passport is the recommended document for crossing into Canada, but an enhanced driver’s license will also work.
#6 May I Go to Cuba? Even though the embargo is still in place, you can visit this Caribbean island legally now. There are some nice resorts along the northeastern coast, which are available if you plan ahead. Havana is fun, full of music, antique cars and friendly people.
Travel Tip: If you go to Cuba with a tour group or on a cruise, the operator will take care of the required paperwork to make the trip legal.
#7 The Incredible Spectacle of Iceland: Sparsely populated, covered by glaciers, and bathed in the glow of the Northern lights, the nation of Iceland is a wonder of natural beauty. Visit black sand beaches with icebergs, see geysers, volcanoes and vast areas of lava covered by soft layers of moss. Many people here believe in elves, and I can see why. It’s the magic.
Travel Tip: Take some time to drive all 16 hours of the Ring Road. The 2-lane highway offers views of waterfalls, glaciers and highlands.
#8 Grab Some Southern Hospitality: The popularity of Savannah, and of its neighbor, Charleston SC, is due to its affinity with the American past. The allure of the antebellum south may have been based on myth, but the grace and elegance of the historic mansions of Savannah with their formal flower gardens, is unmistakable.
Travel Tip: Stay in a bed and breakfast in the historic district. You’ll be steeped in the culture and tradition of the Old South. (Not to mention the muffins.)
#9 Land of Luck & Leprechauns: Kiss the Blarney Stone, ride a bike atop the Cliffs of Moher, or spend an afternoon in a warm, friendly pub. Ireland is trending with low airfares and great vacation packages including escorted tours. You might even be able to sleep in a castle.
Travel Tip: Rent a car and drive along the Wild Atlantic Way. In spite of Ireland’s other attractions, this remains one of the best rated “things to do in Ireland.”
#10 All-Inclusive Island Paradise: We can’t leave you without suggesting an all-inclusive Caribbean vacation in Paradise. These wind-swept sandy islands, from the Bahamas to Aruba, offer some of the most popular and trendy travel destinations in the world. Prices in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are competitive, and the sun and sand are incomparable.
Travel Tip: Watch for discount prices on all-inclusives with airfare. You’ll be surprised at how little it costs to be pampered on a sun-drenched beach under a palm tree.
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