It’s crazy to think that another year is over and that 2016 is about to start this week. It’s a great time of year to start making plans for the year ahead, or to just dream about the possibilities that the new year holds. What are your plans for 2016? What will be the popular destinations for 2016? I conducted a small survey among blogging and travelling friends (okay, it wasn’t that scientific!) to find out their most popular travel destinations for 2016. Some of the most popular destinations included the Philippines, with its amazing natural scenery, and Myanmar looks to continue being popular following its recent opening up to tourism. However, it was the next three destinations that were the most popular. Will you be adding any of these to your plans?
#3 Destination: Greece
Greece has always been a popular tourist destination. There’s the amazing islands, the incredible ruins such as The Acropolis in Athens, and then there’s Santorini, one of the most photogenic destinations I’ve ever seen in photos (although am yet to see in real life). In recent years some potential visitors have held off visiting due to alarm over the Greek debt issues, but Greece has now been out of the news for awhile and visitors during banking restrictions last year reported minimal issues (only local residents had restrictions on ATM withdrawals). So, 2016 could be the perfect time to visit…
#2 Destination: Norway
Norway is as far north as you can head in mainland Europe. It’s a land of contrasts: in summer the sun shines nearly all day in the far north, and there’s great hiking and fjords to explore. While in winter, the main attractions are the chance of glimpsing the Northern Lights, or heading to the ski fields and going on sleigh rides. The Northern Lights are beginning to ebb as part of their usual 11 year cycle, so it may be a good time to catch them!
Norway is the dream destination for 2016 of Liz from Lizzie Meets World. She says, “apart from the seeing the northern lights, I love the outdoors and Norway’s variety of landscapes all beckon to me.”
Emily from Emily Luxton Travels would also love to visit Norway. She says, “Norway has been on my radar for the longest time. There’s something almost mysterious about it – a breathtakingly beautiful country that remains relatively undiscovered by most tourists. For me, it’s the nature that’s most attractive; I adore hiking and being active, and Norway has some of the most spectacular looking scenery in Europe!”
#1 Destination: Iceland
During 2015 I was constantly seeing photos and articles about Iceland and it looks set to continue in 2016, as the country come out on top of my poll. I would love to visit Iceland myself for so many reasons, although my plans will probably need to wait until 2017. So, what are some of the reasons the bloggers I spoke to want to visit Iceland?
Marisa of The Traveling Storygirl says “I have always wanted to go to Iceland after I read stories about the volcanoes on the island as a little girl. Now that I am living in Europe I hope to travel to Iceland one day to experience the beauty of the island.”
Nicole from The Hot Springs Hunter wants to visit Iceland “for the geo thermals, the northern lights, and the extreme forces of nature. Life is best lived with a side of wild.”
Meanwhile, for Cheryl Rodewig, “it all goes back to Google Image Search. Someone mentioned Iceland to me — once, maybe — something about its ethereal beauty and many waterfalls. I did a quick search for photos and was captivated at a glance. That much raw splendor in an island smaller than my home state? Oh, we’re going.”
Where I Plan to Visit in 2016
The only concrete plan I so far have for 2016 is to head to Hawaii for 2 weeks in March. It’ll actually be my first ever time visiting the United States, so that will be an interesting aspect. Mainly I’ll be wanting to get away from Waikiki and explore the terrific, unspoilt natural scenery, trying to fit in Maui, the Big Island and Kauai, as well as Oahu. I’m also really looking forward to lots of amazing swimming and snorkelling, including the chance to swim with turtles, dolphins and more.
I’d also like to head to the Philippines, perhaps during October so that I can also attend TBEX Asia Pacific, part of the world’s largest gathering of travel bloggers and writers, which is this year being held in Manila from the 13th to the 16th October. Another possible destination is Kerala in India, which I will have the chance of attending as part of the Kerala Blog Express.
However, the rest of 2016 is still in planning! I’d love to visit some far flung locations such as Iceland and Morocco, but will likely keep to Asia. Maybe I’ll aim for an endless summer of beach weather, continuing on from my recent visits to Malaysia and Indonesia? But who knows what will come up; after all, just a few weeks ago I headed to Indonesia on a spur-of-the-moment trip!
Happy travels to everyone in 2016!
(Main photo of Hawaii by Paul Bica, photo of Santorini in Greece by Edward Dalmulder, photos of Norway and Iceland by Moyan Brenn, and photo of surf boards by Edmund Garman, all on flickr and used under Creative Commons license)