Best Travel Destinations for 2016

Can you believe 2015 is almost over? With this, new travel trends are coming and fantastic places are emerging. In today’s age of terrorism, travel will still thrive and I want you to know you shouldn’t postpone your travel plans because of this. Carry on, and live the life you always imagined.

Whether you want to tango your way to Uruguay or see the northern lights in Greenland, here are the best travel destinations for 2016. Gear up and make sure to add these outstanding places for next year’s adventures!

 

#20 – POLAND

20

Parks, old towns, castles with a taste of nature — Poland is one of the top destinations to visit in Europe. It has a very rich tradition and history full of hospitality. A land of natural beauty, Poland is abundant in idyllic lakes and beautiful mountains which are the best views in Eastern Europe.

Currency: Polish zloty

Best time to go: September/October

Things not to miss: The elegant city of Wroclaw, the jewish Kazimierz (Krakow), the lovely summertime feel in Sopot, nightlife in Warsaw, hiking the Tatra Mountains, visit Auschwitz-Birkenau (the most notorious extermination camp!), solitude in the Mazurian Lakes, take a peek in the work-hard-play-hard city of Poznan, eat some gingerbread in Torun, visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine.

Destination Highlight: The Mazurian Lakes

Language Tip: Good morning/afternoon is “dzien dobry” and good evening is “dobry wieczor”.

 

#19 – BHUTAN

19

With a very remarkable heritage, Bhutan is home of the most authentic of everything. Culture is deeply rooted and the warmth of the people is very overwhelming. It’s just full of magic and mystery! If you are seeking to escape bustling destinations, Bhutan will give you the best treatment.

Currency: Bhutanese ngultrum

Best time to go: March-May & September-November

Things not to miss: Religious festivals like Gomphu Kora Festival and Monggar Tshechu, reflect in Buddhist temples and shrines, the Paro Valley, views of the Himalayan Valley, visit Punakha Dzong, spiritual retreats.

Destination Highlight: Eastern Bhutan

Language Tip: How are you? =  Ga Day Bay Zhu Yoe Ga ?

 

#18 – MEXICO

18

A mixture of stunning coast lines, ancient temples and semi-‘Hollywoodinized’ culture, Mexico is one of the great civilisations of the world. Rich in Spanish traditions, it is home to the most multi-cultural and loving people.

Currency: Mexican Peso

Best time to go: December – April

Things not to miss: Diving in Cozumel, the Zocalo in Mexico City, the ancient religious ritual of Voladores de Papantla, Colonial town of Guanajunato, the pyramids of the sun in Teotihuacan, cliff diving in Acapulco, the maya sites of Palenque and Chichen Itza,  Baja Beaches, visit Cancun, whale watching in Baja, Silver Jewellery in Taxco, The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, the famous Tequila, train ride in Copper Canyon, the spiritual Tulum, Museum of Frida Kahlo, listen to Mariachi, nightlige in Playa del Carmen, visit the Oaxaca Markets.

Destination Highlight: Tequila, Jalisco (the birthplace of tequila)

Language Tip: Donde es la peda? = Where is the party?

 

#17 – SEYCHELLES

17

Never heard of it? Imagine yourself sunbathing on a powder white sand, not sharing the beach side with other people. See it? That’s Seychelles. Famous as a honeymoon destination, Seychelles is full of marine reserves and magnificent beaches. Worry not — it is definitely an affordable destination!

Currency: Seychellois rupee

Best time to go: All year round (tropical country)

Things not to miss: whale swimming, the pyramid shaped island of Silhouette, beaches of the West Coast, the exclusivity of North Island, tropical paradise of La Digue, wildlife sanctuary in Fregate, outdoor adventure in Praslin, luxurious white beach in Denis.

Destination Highlight: La Digue

Language Tip: I’d like a room with a bathroom – Zher voo-dray ewn shom-brer a-vek ewn sal der bun. Note that they also speak French.

 

#16 – MOROCCO

16

A Western favourite, Morocco continues to fascinate through its rich culture and crafts. There is a mixture of Western and Islamic culture and you will find great interest in deep immersion. Different tribal groups such as the berbers are still present. This is also where most of the Game of Thrones Season 1 episodes where filmed.

Currency: Moroccan dirham

Best time to go: April-May

Things not to miss: the Atlas Passes (trekking), the colourful town of Chefchaouen, the dramatic cascades of D’ouzoud, the medieval city of Fez, arts and crafts, the city of Tangier, camel trekking and camping at the Sahara Desert, Todra Gorge, the beautiful Mosques, tea drinking, stunning Kasbahs, The Jemaa Al El Fna in Marrakech, see the Barbary Apes, the seaside town of Asilah, the famous GOT filming location of Essaouira, Roman city of Volubilis, colonial city of Casablanca, beautiful Riads.

Destination Highlight: Tangier

Language Tip: Assalam Oualaikoum means “peace upon you” is used as “hello.”

 

#15 – IRELAND

15

Ireland will fetish of beautiful landscapes. A combination of nature and rural living, Ireland is full of myths and life traditions. You know the Irish loves to drink so nightlife (even ‘daylife’) is pretty much… ALIVE. Make sure not to be overdosed with morning and afternoon drinking!

Currency: Euro

Best time to go: July-August (peak months); May-June & September (good months)

Things not to miss: Killarney National Park, Skellig Michael, the mountain valley of Glendalough, the rock of Cashel, walking in Connemara, spectacular cliffs in Dun Aengus, drinking Guinness, horse riding by the beach, cliff walks in Horn Head, pre-historic site of Bru Na Boinne, visit Derry’s City Walls, climbing the Croagh Patrick, cracked limestone terraces in The Burren, The Giant’s Causeway.

Destination Highlight: The Burren

Language Tip: Bolloxed means very drunk. 😉

 

#14 – INDONESIA

14

You think it’s just Bali? Then you’re wrong! Indonesia is more than that! You will be mystified with the myriads of languages, deeply rooted culture and the most amazing food in Asia! Beaches, mountains, volcanoes — this tropical country is definitely a must see.

Currency: Indonesian rupiah

Best time to go: All year round (tropical country)

Things not to miss: Borobudur Temple, Surfing at G-land, Ubud, visit the dragons in Komodo Island, Gili Islands, Cruising the Borneo River, Krakatau (the world’s most famous volcano), The region of Sulawesi, climbing volcanoes in Lombok, Yogyakarta, Bandung, Semarang and Bali. (See also: 5 Hot Destinations in Indonesia)

Destination Highlight: Yogyakarta

Language Tip: Dimani toiletnya? = Where is the toilet?

 

#13 – MALAWI

13

Numerous countries in Africa is slowly becoming a popular tourist destination and Malawi is one of the impressive places we all have to see. It has stunning lakes, terrific mountains and a rich culture that takes tourists into unparalleled excitement.

Currency: Malawian kwacha

Best time to go: April-May

Things not to miss: visit the skeletons in Maravi Mountains, Chisi fortifications in Zomba, Mwalaumodzi in Nsanje, visit Nguludi slave house in Chiradzulu, Manchewe Waterfalls in Livingstonia, Go cycling along Lake Malawi. (See also: 107 Free Things to do in Malawi)

Destination Highlight: Liwonde National Park

Language Tip: Muli bwanji? = How are you?

 

#12 – PORTUGAL

12

Often overlooked because of Spain, Portugal is a mixture of ancient cities and captivating beaches. It has a low volume but high in frequency — meaning, if you are looking for an outstanding place to relax (even a short holiday), Portugal is your mate.

Currency: Euro

Best time to go: June and September

Things not to miss: Parque Nacional da Peneda-Geres, Kayaking on the Mondego River, Medieval Monsaraz, University town of Evora, Algarve Beaches, Biking in the Mountains of Algarve, Canal trip in Aveiro, Rio Duoro Valley, The village of Alfama in Lisbon.

Destination Highlight: Parque Nacional da Peneda-Geres

Language Tip: Tudo bem? = “Are you well?” This is a most common greeting than “como esta.”

 

#11 – JAMAICA

10

Jamaica is not only rich in beaches but it is also full of outdoor activities like rafting, snorkelling and hiking. It is home to all-inclusive resorts and of course, Bob Marley. 😉 Jamaica’s landscapes are considered to be the most beautiful in the Caribbean.

Currency: Jamaican dollar

Best time to go: October to mid-December

Things not to miss: YS Falls Cascades, Ironshore and Rose Hall, Dunn’s River Falls, Canoe Valley Wetland, Hellshire Beach Recreation Area, Bob Marley Museum, Martha Brae, the controversial marijuana tour (not legal but doable).

Destination Highlight: Hellshire Beach Recreation Area

Language Tip: Wah gwaan = What’s up?

 

#10 – AUSTRALIA

11

Probably not popular because Australians are travellers themselves (long-term even!). Australia is pretty good in the chill life because of their stunning beaches and surf points. Considered a developed country, Australia is a combination of cosmopolitan cities and extremely impressive landscapes.

Currency: Australian dollar

Best time to go: It varies on traveller’s interest(s) — Spring (September – November); Summer (December – February); Autumn: (March – May); Winter (June – August)

Things not to miss: The Great Ocean Road, Bondi Beach, The Franklin River, Sailing in the Whitsundays, The Kimberley (Australia’s last frontier), Kangaroo Island, South Australia wineries, Blue Mountains, fearsome crocodiles in the north, Fraser Island, Wilpena Pound, Atherton Tablelands, surf the country’s world famous waves.

Destination Highlight: South Australia wineries

Language Tip: When they say “thongs,” they are referring to your slippers/flip flops.

 

#9 – ICELAND

9

Magical glaciers, fizzing hot springs and spectacular landscapes, Iceland is definitely a must see. Tourists are slowly swarming the island so much they are about to outnumber the Icelanders. It has a really small population and ‘Icelandic’ is the official language. The famous Northern Lights can also be seen here!

Currency: Icelandic krona

Best time to go: All year round, depending on your interest. Iceland is looks different in every season!

Things not to miss: Porsmokr National Park, Skaftafell National Park, Hiking in Hornstrandir, The Blue Lagoon, the erupting Geysir, Flatey, Hot Springs in Landmannalaugar, Breidavik (beach), Swimming/dipping in the volcanic crater of Askja, Lake Myvatn, Whale watching tour from Reykjavik or Husavik, Runtur (the legendary nightlife).

Destination Highlight: The Blue Lagoon

Language Tip: Eg heiti… = My name is…

 

#8 – FIJI

8

An addition to the stunning beaches crew, Fiji has some extraordinary coral reefs and astonishing island beauty. Like Seychelles, it is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in the world. But worry not as they are slowly welcoming backpackers in the island! Fiji is also a very good place to surf.

Currency: Fijian dollar

Best time to go: All year round

Things not to miss: White water rafting in the Namosi Highlands, Bouma National Heritage Park, hiking Waya Island, the picturesque Navala Village, snorkelling, surfing, kayaking, luxury cruise to the Mamanucas and Yasawa Islands, Fiji Museum, shark diving in Beqa Island.

Destination Highlight: Namosi Highlands

Language Tip: O yau mai… = I am from…

 

#7 – BOTSWANA

7

Botswana is one of the African countries privileged with the best wildlife extravaganza in the world. An extraordinary place, it is one of the most exclusive countries in Africa. Breathtaking landscapes can also be found in the country.

Currency: Botswana pula

Best time to go: December

Things not to miss: Delta and Falls Overland, Moremi Game Reserve, D’kar, Tuli Game Reserve, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Chobe National Park, Okavango Delta, Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Makdadikgadi National Park, Khama Rhino Sanctuary.

Destination Highlight: Okavango Delta

Language Tip: Le kae? = How are you?

 

#6 – MYANMAR

6

Slowly making their way to democracy, Myanmar is one of the most beautiful countries in Asia. Myanmar had a 15-year tourism boycott which made it inaccessible to tourists for a very long time. Now everyone is on their way to this magnificent and culturally rich country!

Currency: Burmese kyat

Best time to go: March to May & October to February

Things not to miss: trekking in the north, hot air balloon ride in Bagan, Yangon, River trips in Ayeyarwady, Inle Lake, Mountain top monastery in Hpa-an.

Destination Highlight: Northern Myanmar

Language Tip: Ya ba de! = it’s alright!

 

#5 – PALAU

5

A beautiful archipelago with volcanic islands, forest and lagoons , Palau is the new tropical trend in 2016. It is full of diverse marine life and of course, our very own favourite — BEACHES! Palau is also one of the best diving spots in the world.

Currency: United States dollar

Best time to go: October to May

Things not to miss: Palau marine life, New and Big Drop Offs, Chandelier Cave,World War 2 Japanese ships, New and Big Drop Offs, Peleliu Wall and Cut, Mandarin Fish Lakes, Jellyfish Lake, Blue Hole/Blue Corner, German Channel, Ulong Channel.

Destination Highlight: Blue Corner

Language Tip: Ke uangerang? = how are you?

 

#4 – CUBA

4

Like Myanmar, Cuba also drove to the direction of welcoming tourists, but slowly. A lot of American tourists are looking forward to visit Cuba and in the years to come, they are expecting a big leap in tourism. Make sure to include this in your 2016 bucket list!

Currency: Cuban peso

Best time to go: May – October

Things not to miss: Punta Gorda in Cienfuegos, trekking the La Plata Mountain Trail, Plaza de Armas Book Market, Varadero Beach, Old Havana, Salsa clubs in Havana, Havana’s Malecon, Trinidad Old Town, The Hershey Train, experience classic American cars, Alejandro Robaina Tobacco Plantation, diving the Southern Coast.

Destination Highlight: Diving the Southern Coast

Language Tip: Que bola? = What’s up? or How’s it going?

 

#3 – GREENLAND

3

Scientists revealed that the Northern Lights will be dimming for a decade. Meaning, they will be difficult to see after next year. Clearly, 2016 is the best time to go or wait 10 years before you do. Greenland is one of the most beautiful places to see the Northern Lights. Aside from that, it is rich in wilderness that will give the adventurer in you a challenging spree.

Currency: Danish krone

Best time to go: All year round, depending on traveller’s interest.

Things not to miss: The Souther Fjords, Ilulissat Kangelua, Arctic Highlights, Museums, Nuuk Region, Sisimiut Region, Southern Greenland, The Narsaq Peninsula, Kangerlussuaq.

Destination Highlight: Southwest Greeland

Language Tip: Suminngaaneerpit? = Where are you from?

 

#2 – URUGUAY

2

A country that has the poorest and most amazing President, Uruguay deserves recognition in the coming years. It is a rather expensive country similar to Argentina but different in terms of culture. Drinking mate in parks is the trend. The East is home to the best tourist spots of the country, more popular to the Argentines.

Currency: Uruguayan peso

Best time to go: December – March

Things not to miss: Punta del Este, the colonial city of Colon, Cabo Polonio, Punta del Diablo, Wine tasting in Montevideo, Villa Serrana, learn how to dance Tango, watch live football!

Destination Highlight: Punta del Este

Language Tip: Como andas? = How’s it going?

 

#1 – PHILIPPINES

1

The Philippines has been overlooked a lot of times because of Thailand. But honestly, the best beaches in the world are in this country. A wide variety of water sports and island hopping are most popular. I bet you will never leave the Philippines like many other foreigners I know!

Currency: Philippine peso

Best time to go: November to May

Things not to miss: Boracay Island, Apo Reef Marine National Park, Chocolate Hills and Tarsiers in Bohol, surfing in Siargao, the Banaue Rice Terraces, Puerto Galera, diving in Coron, island hopping in El Nido, Spanish colonial city of Vigan, Filipino food, whale shark encounter in Oslob, Mount Mayon in Bicol, Mount Pinatubo.


Ready for 2016? Pack your bags and go! What’s your dream destination for 2016? If it’s not in the list, feel free to add it by leaving a comment below!

Love this post? Add it to your 2016 plans Pinterest board by hovering on the image below!

Dear girls of the world (3)

Trisha is one of those people who left their comfortable life to travel the world and learn about life. Her style is to stay in one place she likes for 3 months (or more) to know what it feels like to eat, cook, speak and sleep in another culture that isn’t hers. She'd like to believe she's not traditionally traveling but she just chooses to be somewhere else all the time. Trisha is an ambassador of Girl Rising, a global movement for girls' education and empowerment. In no particular order, her favourite cities in the world are Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong and Tel Aviv. Follow her life adventures on Instagram: @psimonmyway

Comments

  • November 23, 2015

    Interesting list.

    Glad I’ve already ticked quite a few off before you let loose with these hot tips.

    Just a quick correction (from an Australian). When we refer to ‘thongs’, we mean flip-flops, not slippers (or is slippers what they’re called in the Philippines?)

    Have you visited them all? Curious how you came up with the list! 🙂

    reply
  • November 24, 2015

    I couldn’t agree more. Yes, definitely Philippines is number one. I heard and searched a lot of how beautiful Philippines is. One day I will visit this beautiful place.

    reply
  • November 25, 2015

    An awesome way to welcome 2016. Bhutan and Myanmar are also on list for 2016.
    How many of them are in your bucket list??

    reply
  • November 25, 2015

    Great list! I have a few of these on my list for this year, time for me to revisit south Eastern Asia!

    reply
  • November 26, 2015

    Wonderful list of places to visit in 2016. A lot more traveling for me to do if I’m to tick all of them off!

    reply
  • November 26, 2015

    No language tip for Philippines? Haha. Love the list and you easily got me to #20. That’s where my eyes and feet are definitely craving for. 😀

    reply
  • November 26, 2015

    Definitely, Philippines on the top list. Also, Exploring countries in Africa excites me more 🙂

    reply
  • December 11, 2015

    I hit up Ireland, Portugal and Poland this year and they were all stellar destinations! Uruguay is on the travel agenda for 2016, so I’m happy to see it on this list. 🙂

    reply
  • December 19, 2015

    Myanmar and Malawi are two of our favourite places. I lived in Malawi for a semester of grad school, doing an internship, and it really is a wonderful place. The chambo fish from Lake Malawi is delicious!

    reply
  • December 19, 2015

    The Phillipines does look an amazing place to visit. I also want to go to Iceland, Greenland and Cuba. I think visiting Cuba now would be amazing before the influx of American tourists. I see you have Ireland there, have you ever thought of visiting Wales. It is green and stunningly beautiful and very underrated. I am biased though as I live there!

    reply
  • December 19, 2015

    I’d love to visit the philippenes. Actually it’s a stellar list – I’ve been to a few but the rest are definitely on my wish list too!

    reply
  • December 19, 2015

    This reads like my 2016 travel bucket list! I have been fortunate enough to explore Australia in depth but the other destinations are still to feature in my passport.

    reply
  • December 20, 2015

    What a great list! Many of these are on our own and we’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to travel to a few of these already. Bhutan is one we’d absolutely LOVE to see… but the plane ride in and the daily cost may prolong our visit!

    reply
  • December 20, 2015

    I’m traveling to Iceland and Ireland next year! Woohoo! So I was pleased to see them on the list. I would just love to visit Botswana as well, can’t wait to visit Southern Africa!!

    reply
  • December 20, 2015

    Great list and I’m sure most people would love to go to all of these places. I’ve been very lucky to go to quite a few. Bhutan and Botswana are on the long term list in the next few years. I lived out in Australia but would go back for a short trip. This gives me itchy feet!

    reply
  • December 22, 2015

    You’ve hit a lot of places on my wishlist; particularly Morocco, Mexico and Greenland. So many places, so little time!

    reply
  • January 10, 2016

    Great list. I have been to a handful, have Morocco down for a visit in 2016, and all the rest are “on my list.” Good luck to you in the coming year!

    reply
  • January 10, 2016

    Great list! Haven’t made it to most of these – the world is so big! How did you come up with the list?

    reply
  • January 10, 2016

    we could only tick off 4 on the list for this year. We must say that Poland at 20 has been one of our favourite destinations. We have been twice and love scenery is amazing and its pretty cheap. Great list

    reply
  • January 10, 2016

    Trisha, your photography is ON POINT! Wow! I’m glad I’ve ticked a few of these of my list! I’ll be based in Germany this coming year, so Poland and Ireland are definitely on my radar 🙂

    reply
  • January 10, 2016

    ok so DREAM destination for 2016 would be South Africa. But we are going to wait until the boys are a bit bigger! Anywhere warm, tropical and with beaches to build sandcastles sounds just perfect to me! We are fortunate enough to be heading to the beaches of Hawaii for three weeks later this month! and after that …. who knows!!!

    reply
  • January 10, 2016

    Great list! We would love to go to so many of these and return to the few we have visited as well. We are hoping to make it back to Iceland this year and we hope to go to Greenland, as well! Morocco is really high on our list, too!

    reply
  • January 10, 2016

    SO many of those destinations are on my list. I love the way you laid out the destinations. The seasons make it easy to try and map out my year. Thanks for the great resource!!

    reply
  • January 11, 2016

    You’ve basically put together my 2016 bucket list trisha 😀 I would LOVE to get to Bhutan though above all. Really hoping that I can visit before mass tourism takes off!

    reply
  • Janna
    January 11, 2016

    I love this list so much! I’m a Filipina and I’m glad you listed the Philippines as your number one destination here. I’m actually planning on going back sometime this year for a vacation. Cant wait to explore it!

    reply
  • January 11, 2016

    Iceland seems to be on a lot of peoples’ lists this year and rightly so! I love it that you put Morocco in there too. It’s an amazing place but I only got to experience Marrakech when I went so must go back and see the rest 🙂

    reply
  • Len
    June 15, 2016

    Nice blog but do you mind deleting the Borobudur Temple jumpshot photo?

    Borobudur Temple is Mahayana Buddhists’ holiest shrine, quite comparable to Muslims’ Mecca and Catholics’.

    Jumpshot in a temple, seriously?!

    reply
  • September 8, 2016

    These are all wonderful destinations! I recently visited Portugal with my fiance, and it was so beautiful! Nice work! Thanks so much for posting this!

    reply
  • October 21, 2016

    Your breakdown of the best times to visit these areas will be very helpful for travelers. Your pictures do a great job of making these places attractive.

    reply
  • December 21, 2017

    I vote for morocco!!

    reply

Post a Comment

Currently under construction but I’ll be back soon!

Follow me on