It’s a long weekend here in Australia (woo hoo!) and with three sun filled, glorious days ahead of us, It’s the perfect time to kick back on the beach, catch up with friends, dream a little and plan your 2016 travel adventure.
To get your ideas flowing I thought I’d highlight a few travel destinations that you should visit in 2016.
From countries that you MUST get to before they are changed forever, to cities where you’ll find our Aussie dollar stretching that little bit further. Inspiration to travel is everywhere!
Still one of my Favorite places on the planet, Cuba is worth visiting NOW before it turns into a tourist trap and is no longer the Cuba of yesteryear.
I say this because after diplomatic relations between the U.S and Cuba resumed this year, U.S citizens can now visit Cuba, and whilst still restricted to 12 specific travel purposes, more and more American’s will be making the journey to Cuba for a taste of that forbidden fruit, that has been a no go zone for so long.
While the increase in American tourists, may not ‘ruin it’ as such, Cuba will most certainly evolve in one way or another, and to see it turn into a western tourist trap will break my heart.
The beauty of Cuba is that it is still relatively untouched from Western culture. From the vintage cars to the vibrant cities, and the fact that there aren’t McDonalds restaurants on every corner. For the time being it’s still the real deal, so go now and soak up the culture.
Salsa dance in an underground club, sip Mojitos at an Al fresco cafe and commandeer a 1950’s convertible for the afternoon, before the thousands of Carnival Cruise ship passengers beat you to it!
After this years 7.8 magnitude earthquake devastated Nepal, killing more than 8000 people and displacing thousands more, the country is on the mend, and if there is one thing they need, it’s the tourist dollar to help boost the economy.
They need us to go back!
With it’s snow capped, Himalayan mountains and world renowned hiking routes, Nepal is one of the most popular destinations for adventure and nature lovers alike. They copped a massive blow after the Earthquake, with a serious drop in tourist numbers, but with all of the popular hiking routes (even Mt Everest) and their UNESCO heritage sites all re-opened, tour operators and agencies are urging us to return.
Heading to Nepal in 2016 will not only enable you to experience one of the worlds most scenic landscapes, but you can contribute to their recovery as well.
You can choose to volunteer and be a part of the rebuilding process, with many agencies and companies running programs where you can get involved. Or if you don’t want to be as hands on, just by choosing travel companies such as Intrepid Travel you’ll still be contributing without having to lift a finger. For the 2015/16 season, Intrepid will be donating all profits from its Nepal trips to local projects supported by their not-for-profit, The Intrepid Foundation.
Having hiked among the highest mountains in the world, interacting with the Nepalese people and witnessing their big smiles first hand, I can honestly say that there isn’t another place on earth quite like it, so go now and help them return to their humble, yet beautiful way of life.
Brazil is one of those destinations that you’ll find on most travellers bucket lists, and with over 5 million international tourist arrivals annually, it’s their idyllic beaches, iconic landmarks and of course Rio’s spectacular & colourful street parade ‘Carnival’ that lures in travellers from all over the world.
But there is another reason that you should go now. Our Aussie dollar goes further!
With the falling value of our Aussie dollar against currencies like the USD and GBP, it can hit travellers hard and potentially deter you from travelling to some of the most popular destinations. (Sorry America and England).
But there are still some places where the value of our currency has actually gone up and Brazil is one of them. According to John Collett, Finance guru from the Sydney Morning Herald it’s up 16% from the same time last year. Winning!
So if you’re looking for a destination that will allow you to stretch your tourist dollar by staying longer, experiencing more, buying your weight in Havaianas and drinking a mean Caipirinha on the beach for $1AUD, then Brazil will tick all the boxes.
Oh and if you’re a fan of sport, then RIO are hosting the 2016 Olympic Games, so there is some added incentive for you to get over there next year.
So, there you have a few tips on where you should plan to visit in 2016, and why you should go now, rather than ‘oh, I’ll get there one day’.
There are plenty of other destinations that are worth mentioning in a ‘Go there now, before they are changed forever’ post, but there are already plenty of those lists on the internet…. do some googling.
These are just a few places close to my heart, that i feel are 100% worth visiting now. One day might never come, or one day could be too late to experience these destinations in all their glory.
Enjoy the long weekend everyone, and happy travel dreaming!