As we get closer to wrapping up 2016, I’m sure that I’m not the only thinking about and preparing for 2017 travels. Whether you’re looking to pack your flip flops and chase the sun, or hunting for a winter adventure, I have a few suggestions for you!
Read More: 7 Reasons Why You Should Visit Canada in 2017.
I took inspiration from some of my own personal travels and a few travel destination ideas from the new Lonely PlanetBest in Travel 2017 ($20.99, available here) which you can purchase in-store or online now. The book is an awesome holiday present (I’ve gifted this present a colleague and he LOVED it) or to keep for yourself as it presents a few list of travel ideas by country, region, cities, budget and group size.
Jot down a few notes, bookmark this post, or share it on social media with your friends or family who may be working on their 2017 travel plans! I have also listed a few decision criteria, including cheapest flight cost in 2017 as at the time of writing that I think could help narrow down your decision! I used Skyscanner to look for the cheapest flight options available leaving from Toronto next year (all prices are in Canadian dollars and are the cheapest flight in 2017 at the time of writing).
1. South Africa
I have so much love for this beautiful country which hasn’t dimmed even after visiting it a second time around. South Africa has a bad rep from decades of apartheid, but visiting the country today shows how much it has progressed since those days. From Cape Town, to Kruger National Park, there’s so much to do in South Africa that a few days won’t be enough. You’ve got incredible beaches in every direction, world-class wineries and culinary scene, breathtaking nature, and adventures for every age. My favourite places so far? Cape Town and Mpumalanga.
- Best For: Families, couples, budget travellers and solo travellers looking for adventures, incredible food / wine, being close to nature (and once-in-a-lifetime experience like diving with sharks) and the outdoors
- Flights: Fly to Cape Town starting at $1084 on Ethiopian Airlines or Johannesburg starting at $1090 on Ethiopian Airlines
- How Long to Go For: Plan to spend at least 3 weeks to explore different parts of the country from Cape Town, Durban, Kruger, and Mpumalanga
- Read More:Postcard From | A Safari Adventure at Kruger National Park, Learning to Surf in Cape Town, South Africa, and 5 Free Things to Do in Cape Town, South Africa.
The Great White North has been crowned the #1 country to visit in 2017 by Lonely Planet – an incredibly humbling honour! Canada is (in my opinion at least) one of the most under-rated travel destinations – we are often seen as the country north of the USA, and that we all live in igloos. However, Canada is both a winter and summer wonderland for anyone thinking of heading North to enjoy Canadian hospitality and delicious maple syrup, icewines and poutine.
- Best For: Families, group, couples, luxury travel and solo travellers of all ages looking for year-long adventures – winter and summer alike, incredible food scene and urban charms without paying tons of money.
- How Long to Go For: Plan to spend at least 2 weeks to explore different parts of the country. Visit Toronto (financial hub), Montreal (the cool, hip city), Quebec City (Old European vibe without the $$$), Vancouver (beautiful landscape and scenery), and Banff National Park (Canada’s first national park)
- Read More:7 Reasons Why You Should Visit Canada in 2017, and Postcard From | Taste the Season
Iceland, considered one of the safest countries in the world is seeing an incredible boom of tourism in the last few years thanks to the otherworldly beauty of its landscape, and natural wonders, Nordic charms, and incredibly high quality of life. Thanks to many inexpensive flight options from North America (Icelandair and WowAir), the island country is projected to see tourism boom faster how quickly it’s growing right now. Enjoy the tranquility of the hot springs (avoid the Blue Lagoon – it’s overpriced and such a tourist trap unless you’re paying the extra $$ for a more luxurious option), explore the rugged beauty of the island during an 8-day Ring Road drive, and explore the black sand beaches all over the country.
- Best For: Families, group, couples, photographers, luxury travel and solo travellers of all ages looking for winter adventures, incredible photo opportunities who wants to enjoy the tranquility and be connected to nature.
- Flights: Flights to Reykjavik start at $324 via WowAir. Remember that this fare doesn’t include cost of checked luggage.
- How Long to Go For: Plan to spend 1-2 weeks to explore different parts of the country. Be sure to stay outside of Reyjavik to experience as much of the nature as possible.
- Read More:32 Fun Facts About Iceland, Packing For Iceland, France, and Greece!
Namibia is on my list of places to visit in 2017 thanks to a Netflix documentary I watched called Wildest Africa. The country feels and seems like something straight out of an adventure novel – wildlife spotting in Etosha National park, sand surfing in the Sossusvlei Dunes, visiting the notorious Skeleton Coast in the Namib Desert are among many incredible things to be enjoyed in this beautiful country. Of all the things I want to enjoy in Namibia, the number one thing I want to desperately see is the meeting point between the sands of the Namib Desert meet the Atlantic Ocean.
- Best For: Group, couples, budget travel and solo travellers of all ages looking for winter adventures, incredible photo opportunities who wants to enjoy the tranquility and be connected to nature.
- Flights: Flights to Windhoek start at $1089 on British Airways
- How Long to Go For: Plan to spend 2 weeks to explore different parts of the country. Desert, safari, eclectic cities and more await!
Myanmar (or Burma) was once one of the most secretive Asian country ruled by military junta and has only elected its first civilian government very recently. The legacy of a long military rule is evident in the challenges facing travellers when visiting the country for the first time. Myanmar’s charms lies in the fact that it is a window to “Old Asia” and how difficulties in travel is part of the excitement and appeal.
- Best For: Group, couples, budget and adventure travels looking for an authentic “old Asia” experience and hospitality and not fazed by the difficulties of travel in a largely agricultural country that’s untouched by tourism
- Flights: Flights to Yangon start at $1029 on China Eastern
- How Long to Go For: Plan to spend 2 weeks to explore all parts of the country by canoe, riverboats, and rafts
Nepal has recently been in the news due to a devastating earthquake that happened in 2015. Fortunately, most of the country largely escaped devastation with its hiking trails, and temples mostly intact. The devastation caused by the earthquake has had a huge impact on people’s livelihoods which means the country is in need of tourism to ensure livelihoods are protected. Be prepared to get a close-up look of the Himalayas from Kathmandu Valley, get in touch with Nepal’s spiritual side by exploring Kathmandu’s temples and medieval towns.
- Best For: Group, couples, budget travel and adventurers looking for a close-up to nature, I-can’t-believe-we-did-that moments, some of the world’s best and most famous hiking/trekking trails
- Flights: Flights to Kathmandu start at $1138 via China Eastern
- How Long to Go For: Plan to spend 2 weeks to explore temples, epic treks, medieval towns, and visiting the Chitwan National park.
7. South Korea
South Korea is destination beloved by many with its well-established infrastructure, eclectic culture, and incredibly instagram-friendly cities. With plenty of delicious foods to be enjoyed, bustling city of Seoul and a relaxing visit to Jeju island easily done in a period of one week, this modern, and dynamic country is quickly becoming one of the most-watched travel destinations in 2017.
- Best For: Group, family, couples, budget travel and adventurers looking for a mix of urban lifestyle and traditional experiences, all-in-one-country experience while enjoying a vibrant and dynamic backdrop of temples and skyscrapers
- Flights: Fly to Seoul starting from $1029 on China Eastern
- How Long to Go For: Plan to spend 2 weeks to explore temples, walk and shop in the main shopping districts of Seoul
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Now over to you! Where would you like to travel in 2017?
Yep, the time it would take to get there, and the incredible sights to see makes this destination one to watch out for!
Iceland and South Korea are top of my list. Also I’m happy Canada is getting some recognition ????
It’s about time right!? I hope you’ll get to go to Iceland soon – it’s absolutely breathtaking!
South Korea is one of the tops on my travel list, mainly because my cousin said shopping there is crazy awesome and I LOVE cute stuff. I just want all the LINE collaborations of makeup, they’re so cute!! As if I need anymore makeup products though ><
I hear the food markets there are absolutely delightful!! I would love to travel to all these places in the future if money wasn’t an issue!
This post is incredible – it sounds like there’s still plenty more places to see and visit! I love the list you’ve compiled here!!
Thank you Emma – I hope you get to visit some of these soon! Let me know which ones interest you most!
Yes! I want to go to all of them. Great post for fueling wanderlust! Definitely going to Myanmar and Nepal this year but would love to get to Africa
Thank you!! I am envious of your upcoming Myanmar and Nepal trip – I hope you have an incredible time!
Yay for Canada! I can’t believe that it still isn’t considered the major tourist destination it should be -thanks for including it on your list ???? South Africa is definitely on my bucket list – did you find it partiuclarly expensive once you arrived?
I agree too right! There’s just so much to do and see in this beautiful country ????
I found South Africa to be fairly inexpensive actually – everything is about half of what they would cost in Canada!
ooo more places to add to my bucket list he he. I have been to Nepal and totally agree with you, it’s gorgeous ???? . Would really love to go to South Korea and Myanmar too.
I didn’t know Lonely Planet did that book, I’m thinking it would make a great present for me!!!
Glad to help Becky!! It’s a great (last-minute, but don’t let them know!) gift for anyone and of any ages!
I agree that Canada is often overlooked as a travel destination for some reason. I, myself, haven’t been but would love to visit one day. I also have Namibia in my wish list ????
We’d love to have you experience our Canadian hospitality <3 I hope you make it to Namibia soon! I hear only amazing things about the country!
OH MY I loooove this post! I am a transplanted Canuck to the USA and I so agree…my country is so under rated..I am so happy to hear that it is rated number 1 destination by lonely planet! So funny about the igloo thing…that is the first thing I was asked when I went to college in Ca..do you all live in igloos up there? Really??!??! Wow..lol! l love your blog and sharing this on social media!
Thank you Valerie!! I feel like that too – everyone loves Canada but why don’t they come!! Thanks for sharing Valerie ????
This is an awesome list!!! South Africa is truly my favorite place in the world. Namibia is high on my list
South Africa is such a hidden gem – It’s a gorgeous country and there’s so many variety of things to do!
Great blog post. 2 out of the 7 are already booked for this year. Heading to Montreal in March with the family but only for 4 days. Thanks for the tips on traveling this year. Your list is very diverse, and not the usual places.
Thanks Kellyn and look at you go! I hope you’ll enjoy Montreal and the cultural / vibe / culinary experience there too!
Montreal was great. My kids loved it. Wish we could have stayed longer. Looking into Toronto in September.
Iceland and Myanmar are high up on my bucket list! I’m hoping to make it to Bagan for balloon season in October or November. Great list!
The first 3 as well as Nepal and Myanmar are very high on my list!! Great read, makes me even more inspired to go to these places
Thanks Chloe!! Hope you make it out to those destinations! Let me know when you do!
South Africa and Iceland are two places I really want to visit in the future! South Africa comes first – I agree you have to go for at least 2-3 weeks, its so far and so much to do, I really wana see all the wildlife out their too, x
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