Planning for a trip has been part of my routine for nearly a decade now. Here are seven destinations I suggest you add to your list of places to visit in the very near future.
Visit for its breathtaking landscapes
If you can visit just one European country in the upcoming year, make it Ireland. Several affordable flights are presently available. I spent 14 days in Ireland and it wasn’t nearly enough. Although the island may seem tiny in comparison to Canada, a 21-day stay would have been ideal. On the other hand, if you can’t afford such a long stay, I recommend visiting Dublin, Killarney, Limerick and Galway. Don’t hesitate to rent a car and get off the main thoroughfares to enjoy breathtaking scenery.
Visit for Taiwanese cuisine and culture
I lived in Taiwan for several months but I assure you that’s not why I included it in this list! The Lonely Planet ranks the city of Kaoshiung in its list of Top 10 destinations for 2018. Affordable flights to Taiwan can be found for under $1000. The best time to visit Formosa, in order to avoid typhoon season, is between October and May.
Visit for Thai cuisine and the temples
Atop Tiger Cave Temple
If you haven’t visited Thailand yet, this is the year to do it. Apart from the famous Full Moon Festival, there’s so much to see. The favourite, though lesser known (by tourists) city of Krabi serves as a gateway to the islands of Ko Phi Phi. I highly recommend a 2 or 3 day stay. Visit the breathtaking Tiger Cave Temple, perched atop a mountain which few people take the time to climb. I promise, the view is memorable. Go to Ko Phi Phi where you’ll find a good balance between the number of tourists and locals. Take a few days to visit Bangkok, the country’s capital. Don’t be afraid to try classic Thai dishes; they’re delectable and unique.
Visit for Mexican cuisine and the beaches
You want to enjoy a sunny clime without have to fly for hours on end? Go to Mexico. It’s close to home and affordable. Take a flight to Cancun, rent a car and discover the Yucatan. Drive along the peninsula’s border to discover mind blowing cuisine. Visit a few of the small villages and talk to the locals. You’ll find that they are generous with their time and are happy to talk to strangers. Merida, Progresso, Campeche, Champoton and Valladolid are must-sees. When I travel to Mexico, I invariably stay in an all-inclusive hotel where I can enjoy the beaches and recharge my batteries.
Visit for the Olympic spirit and Korean culture
Take a flight that lands in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, and spend a few days in this modern and culturally rich city. You’ll find innumerable Korean (and Japanese) restaurants in every district. To immerse yourself in Korean culture, a K-Pop show in Seoul is an absolute must. With the upcoming Winter Olympics taking place in Pyeongchang City from February 9th to 25th, you’ll definitely appreciate the country’s rapid public transportation system. This is the perfect time for a getaway in Korea.
Visit for the beaches and wildlife
Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean, is little known to Canadians. It’s a good springboard for visiting the region and discovering a culture influenced by the French. The island’s many beaches offer magnificent views. Go on a safari for an experience you won’t soon forget.
Visit for the desert and moroccan culture
If you want to step out of your comfort zone, go to Morocco. The souk of Marrakesh will give you plenty to see. Hone your negotiation skills! Head to Merzouga for a unique experience: sleeping in the Sahara Desert. Enjoy beautiful beaches and learn more about Moroccan history in the port city of Essaouira.
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