New Year, new travel suggestions, it is that time of year that travel publications roll out their suggested hot destination list for the coming year. These can be useful, especially if anybody is not actually aware that Australia, India, Argentina or Portugal exist!
In some cases they may have a vested interest in the destination, they maybe organising their own tours or the destinations maybe an advertising client. So how useful are these lists in reality? Most people have a decent idea of the World map and also have a fair idea where they wish to go, a list does not make them anymore desirable.
“maps have to be redrawn as a new nation is born”
In most years there is a core list of recommended destinations, few surprises are thrown up. This makes perfect sense if it has been a top destination for several years it is unlikely to change overnight. Political situations change however, places become more fashionable, new resort destinations have literally been built and once in while maps have to be redrawn as a new nation is born. Updates are useful and informative.
Burma is probably set to become a ‘hot’ destination as it seems to becoming more tolerant and more accessible to visitors. South Sudan is a completely new country, how exciting is that? However, I suspect the political situation there may put off all but the most adventurous for the time being.
Cuba is a nation in flux, at the moment the changes are probably minor, but as time passes they are likely to gain some momentum. The concern for traveller’s maybe that it changes beyond recognition. Restrictions for travel there from the United States were lifted last year, as more visitors from various destinations arrive it is likely now is the best time to visit.
Despite the huge expense involved, the Antarctic is a dream destination for many and will continue to be for some time. In the recent years of recession there may have been a decrease in numbers but it still remains a popular choice for affluent adventurers.
Budget travellers are always on the lookout for a great travel bargain. The financial situation in many of Europe’s top holiday destinations, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy will be a magnet for the budget conscious. Struggling economies and a weakened currency will ensure they remain an attractive proposition and probably be offering further discounts to attract visitors.
“These lists are a starting point”
Due to the effects of the Arab Spring, North African countries such as Morocco and Tunisia are also likely to be offering good deals to woo back tourists. Egypt is also keen to attract visitors back though this must be tempered with the situation which still appears unstable there at the moment.
These are reasonable reasons for travelling to any destination but the list of desirable places to visit is almost limitless. These lists are a starting point, a place to maybe find a little inspiration when looking for something different.
If stunning scenery is a requirement there is an endless list, New Zealand, the Himalaya, Iceland, North America and Canada, Patagonia and much of South America, many African nations, Switzerland are just scratching the surface. Every continent and almost every country has views that are breath-taking.
Seeking culture; aboriginal Australia, India, Morocco, Egypt most of North Africa, no all of Africa, Oman, Peru, Chile, Korea, Japan, Bolivia, New York, yes New York! Every culture is slightly different to our own, some of the differences are quite subtle, others are shockingly apparent. Try travelling throughout Europe, there will be differences in every country, in many from region to region too.
“They are however all individual reasons to travel”
These are common reasons to travel, there are almost as many motives as destinations to visit, nightlife, architecture, wildlife, relaxation, cuisine, photography are just a few more. They are however all individual reasons to travel, choosing to visit a destination because there is something about it that appeals on a personal level.
The title of this article is admittedly misleading, if you came looking for that one great destination to visit, sorry it will not be found here. It is impossible to recommend a place for all, what appeals to one can be tediuous to others. Different expectations and interests ensure thankfully, we choose to travel to different locations.
In common with most prediction articles of this type there are not any great revelations or insights, it is unlikely that anything new has been learnt from reading this. Somebody may have slipped some kind of truth drug in my last coffee!
The benefits of travel lists will mainly be felt by the authors, publishers and destinations that are featured. They can be a source of inspiration, seeing pictures of an exotic location accompanied by a descriptive and entertaining narrative may have the reader chomping at the bit to visit.
Those genuinely without any idea where to travel to may find the spark of inspiration required.
However it is probably more beneficial to pick out a favourite travel writer, one that there is an affinity with, who has similar interests and values. Select one that is trusted, likely to explain the unpleasant aspects and not just provide a prose filled with hyperbole. Read about the destinations they have visited, website or book it is immaterial, it is likely if they enjoyed a country and its culture, so will you.
I have a recommendation afterall, maybe the ‘hottest’ destination is the one you are already in, why not stay close to home and explore your own backyard?
Ultimately we travel for our own reasons, to enjoy our own experiences and hopefully not just for the bragging rights that a ‘fashionable’ destination has been successfully ticked off.
If you only travel to one ‘Hot’ Destination this year, make it the one you really want to visit!
“The correct way to travel is your way; the right direction is your direction.”