It’s that time again; we’ve hit the New Year and have those New Year resolutions we have made on our minds. Heading out in to the big wide world and expanding your knowledge and experience is often a popular one. You can never be too cultured after all! With that in mind here are the top destinations of 2016. Maybe there’s at least one that will make it on your New Year’s travel resolution list…or maybe there’s 4.
What better place to go than a location full of areas of outstanding natural beauty and incredible ocean life. Whale watching is one of the biggest draws for heading here; for example, you can catch a glimpse of the endangered Bryde’s whale in the Hauraki Gulf. And we’ve all developed a fondness for penguins since Sir David Attenborough’s documentaries (and Happy Feet of course) and New Zealand has three species which you can see. If you a bit of a film buff then you can go on the Lord of The Rings tour and live the Tolkien-fan dream!
There are many travel options, one of the cheapest being backpacking. There are plenty of affordable camping and backpacking accommodation and some tours start at as little as £356. You can also hire a campervan and experience the Kiwi landscape in true traveler style.
There are so many interesting and historical things to see here but one of the lesser discovered gems is Hokkaido. It has an amazing ski experience and there are a range of areas in and around Hokkaido that fit different skill levels of skiers and snowboarders. If you’re looking for something more historical, Himeji-jō, Japan’s striking castle, is one of only a few remaining in the country. It’s surrounded by moats and defensive walls which were built in the 1500s and is a stunning sight to behold.
Because there are so many sights to see, it’s best to do some research and choose a holiday package that suits your particular Japan interests. On first glance it may seem an expensive place to visit but you can easily find a way of going that is within your budget. For example, the average cost of a bed in hostel is about 2000 yen, which is only about £11.
Full of natural wonders and listed by The Washington Post as one of the world’s most tourism-friendly countries, Canada is a place not to miss. If you want to experience history then tour Quebec, nestled in eastern Canada. Founded in 1608, it’s North America’ oldest walled city and offers quirky charm reminiscent of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s imagined Vulgaria. Another popular area to see is Alberta, a world heritage site; you can trek up the Rocky Mountains, sleep in a tipi or witness the miraculous Northern Lights whilst there.
Many universities are looking to help students experience more of the world through things like gap year programs, so you Canada is in your reach if you’re a student. Student travel institutions can help you secure your visa as well as take the hassle out of the organisation. For non-university students, look in to the working/backpacking opportunities and work whilst you backpack your way through the country.
Polar bears, waterfalls, and winter sports – what’s not see! There’s a host of natural beauty and wildlife to feats your eyes on. Key things to plan in are the top attractions, known as The Big Five: dog sledding, the otherworldly Northern Lights, seeing the icebergs, meeting the interesting local people, and whale watching. If you’re not too tired from all of that, try seeing the view from the top and go mountaineering. For fitness and sport fanatics, you can take part in the 160 kilometre Arctic Circle Race that involves 3 hard-core days in the mountains.
Many of the towns have only have a few hotels so it can be a bit pricey. However, there are hostels which give dorm room options as well as single and/or double rooms. You can cut down on hostel costs even further by going self-catering. If you want to save even more money then opt for camping; you can pitch up in most places, but the weather can be harsh so make sure you have all the necessaries for this.
Nathalie is a blogger with a passion for travel, fashion, family and cocktails. She blogs about her life and her interests at http://www.helpimgettingmarried.com, a blog she set up prior to wedding the man of her dreams who she now lives with, along with fluffy cat James. You can follow Nathalie on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/martinnathalie9.