Clients always ask me what the hottest destinations are. While the Classics remain the Classic (Hawaii, Italy – and for good reason!), there are some newer destinations emerging and old favorites reemerging in travels this year. Here are the top picks that have emerged from Gehring Travel clients in 2017:
- Northern Lights: One of the hottest destinations happens to be one of the coldest! Cold weather adventure meets stunning landscapes when you take a trip to see the Aurora Borealis. While we can’t control Mother Nature, the Lights tend to best appear between October and March. Iceland, with its not-to-be-missed Blue Lagoon, Norway’s Tromso, and Sweden’s Lapland have been a top request in recent months, with no signs of slowing down.
Insider Tip: Schedule a private “chase” at night, when your guide can go off the beaten path until the wee hours to find the best photo ops. Not a photog? No problem! Your guide will send them to you and you can still brag to your friends !
- Hawaii: A perennial favorite, Hawaii is always a sought-after year-round destination. Because the Zika virus – which has touched nearly all of the Caribbean – hasn’t reached Hawaii, we’ve seen a huge uptick in requests here this year.
Insider Tip: Try pairing the manicured Maui (our favorites here are the Relais & Chateaux Hotel Wailea and Andaz Maui) with the stunning, remote island of Lanai, home to the newly renovated Four Seasons Lanai. Time stands still here, and it is just a short ferry from Maui.
- Italy: You can never go wrong with an Italian vacation, right? With old world charm and incredible food and drink, Italy’s top cities remain popular, but recently Puglia (think the heel of the boot) has emerged as the new it-spot.
Insider Tip: The Amalfi Coast is still just as romantic, and popular, as ever….but skip the crowds and heat of the summer. Head there in early April or October to receive the same fabulous food and friendly service, without the prices or crowds. And don’t miss spending a few nights on Capri – this island is an insta-highlight for clients every time!
- Croatia: Partly thanks to the gorgeous vistas featured in Game of Thrones, this renaissance country has been added to bucket-lists everywhere. With walled towns, crystal clear water, and some of the hottest party spots in the world, it’s no wonder Croatia is an up-and-coming destination.
Insider Tip: Flights here can be a bit more expensive and require more connections due to more limited air schedules, but it’s worth the trek if you have the time.
- Cuba: Maybe it’s the mystery that shrouded the island for so long, or perhaps it’s a longing to see a country frozen in time, but with the recent lift on the travel ban, everyone is wanting to hit up the beaches and explore Havana.
Insider Tip: There are many blogs and sites with tips on how to “do Cuba on your own”. With regulations between this island nation and the U.S. constantly (and I mean constantly) changing, the risk of something going awry on one side or the other between when you book and when you travel is too high! We work only people authorized companies that are legally allowed to plan customized trips to Cuba. It’s not cheap, but it’s much less expensive than paying for an Airbnb-style trip that may be cancelled due to changing rules.
- Chile: Wineries, waterfalls, deserts, cities – this coastal country has it all. Escape our winter for warmer weather, and forget about jetlag (it is 1 hour ahead of the Eastern time zone). Atacama, Patagonia, and and the Central Valley wine region are the most requested spots.
Insider Tip: Build in an night or two to stay at the stunning Singular Patagonia in Puerto Natales. The restaurant here serves up some of the best food in the entire country!
- Palm Springs: If you’re looking to getaway without picking up a passport, Palm Springs is an emerging destination. The hip, mid-century vibe attracts anyone looking for a fun retreat, and the absence of Zika has helped its rise in popularity.
Insider Tip: Forget Coachella. Head to P.S. during its famed International Film Festival in early January to see the real stars come out. Every year, this festival showcases the best in international films, but also has a star studded Awards Gala, known as the first of the season awards shows.
- Portugal: Portugal has skyrocketed to the destination list this year, thanks to its history, affordability, and ease of flights. The country can also easily be seen in a 7-10 day trip, and a traveler can even get a good feel for the culture on a 4-5 day vacation. The friendliness, great food (freshest seafood ever!), local hotels, and ease of travel (highways and trains are good) can create a 5* trip at a fraction of the cost of its European neighbors.
Insider Tip: Don’t make the mistake of combining Spain & Portugal into one trip, unless you have a lot of time on your hands. Both countries have such a fantastic culture. Spain is enormous (warranting multiple trips to grasp the various local cultures…much like France), and Portugal deserves more than a 2-3 day add on to Spain. Both are wonderful, and so easy to get to – they deserve their own trip!
What is on your list for upcoming travel?