It’s getting’ hot in here, so pack your travel bag, I am gettin’ so hot, I might grab my passport!
OK, OK, so it’s a kind of cheesy take on singer Nelly’s hit song, but it does get the point across—2015 is going to be a great year for travel! Numerous A-List travel publications are spreading the travel gospel to new adventurers, seasonal voyagers and travel junkies alike.
On their lists are several recognizable destinations offering new attractions, accommodations, entertainment venues and the like, as well as little known, off-the-beaten track and almost unheard of locales and diversions. Following are just a few to get your 2015 travel planning on the move!
Although I am only personally familiar with choosing accommodations through booking website Hotels.com, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they are offering their pick of 13 emerging destinations from around the world. And when you think about it, as one of the most recognizable worldwide travel booking organizations, they would have great insights into where (and what) today’s travelers are seeking.
Among their stateside picks are Portland, Ore., for its eco-friendly environment and abundance of microbreweries and coffeehouses, and Charleston, S.C., noting it as an emerging culinary destination coupled with renowned Southern hospitality and charm.
International destinations include Quebec City, Canada, widely recognized as the cradle of French civilization in North America; Busan, South Korea, the second largest city in the country and featuring such diversity as beaches, rivers, mountains and a vibrant city life; and Essaouira, Morocco, a charming fishing harbor and bohemian city recognized for its world heritage sites, among others. www.hotels.com
I have been a fan of Lonely Planet for many, many years, as they possess almost 40 years of experience creating and publishing some of the most respected travel guides for those desiring to explore the globe. This year, they say that their experts “have trekked the globe to select their top 10 best cities, regions and countries to visit in 2015.”
In their top regions category, they have chosen places including Rocky Mountain National Park, Khumbu in Nepal and the Atacama Desert in Chile, while Nicaragua, Serbia, Singapore and St. Lucia made the list for top countries. www.lonelyplanet.com/best-in-travel
Budget Travel is another one of my travel reference favorites, and each year they offer a fantastic top 10 budget destinations list. I’m not the only one who watches my travel dollars, and when they suggest places where I can stretch it even further, like Colombia; the Great Barrier Reef; Denver, Colorado; Cambodia; Nashville, Tenn.; Bali and a few others, I’m all in!
This year, they are also offering a fun travel personality quiz where travelers can find their perfect destination match from the list and possibly win an 11-day trip to Italy, which is their top travel destination for 2015. http://bit.ly/1IZqzem
The general traveling public typically doesn’t consult travel studies to find out where to go, what to do, what to eat and so forth, but those of us in the biz often check them out because they give us great insights into travel trends that may affect how we plan our editorial travel calendars.
The folks at Resonance Consultancy have recently completed a national study of active U.S. international travelers that shows that American Millennials—those typically born in 1980 or later and often referred to as Generation Y—are having a significant impact on international travel. The international destinations selected from the over 1,200, 18 and older active travelers with household incomes of $50,000 and over who had traveled internationally in the past year included Switzerland, Japan, Greece, the U.S. Virgin islands, Bermuda, England, Canada, Ireland and Germany, just to name a few. http://resonancereport.com/collections/frontpage
One of the most interesting and in-depth lists I came across this year is from TravelSquire.com, whose editors and contributors are all seasoned destination specialists and impassioned travels with decades of experience. Full disclosure: I frequently write for this publication as well.
Nevertheless, a great many of the places chosen for their “28 Hot Destinations for 2015” have definitely got my attention! But what sets them apart is that they delved much further than just offering a list, instead taking into account several important criteria (beyond just what destinations they like) that are important to travelers. This includes falling fuel prices and a very strong dollar, which make travel more affordable this year. The list includes quintessential American cities like Atlanta and Louisville, which are experiencing their own resurgence, and international destinations that were either closed off or formerly offered very limited access to travelers.
With that information in hand, Travel Squire created a four-part series that expertly details destinations such as the new Provence of Alsace, France; Constantia, South Africa; Sapporo, Japan; the French island of La Reunion; Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario; St. Helena, a tropical island in the South Atlantic Ocean; Saba in the northeastern Caribbean Sea, near St. Maarten; Bangkok, Thailand; Namibia; Greece; Myanmar, formerly called Burma; and London, England, among others.
Each part of the feature series offers a uniquely detailed overview, stunning photography and personal insights that really take the reader to the heart of the destination.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!
So there you have it! Enough to whet your whistle, shake off your dusty travel bags and rev up your passport. Get out there and enjoy!
Lysa Allman Baldwin is a freelance writer and the publisher and editor of Amazing Escapades, offering “adventures for the mind, bod and belly (www.amazingescapades.com).