The top international destinations for US residents? Thailand, Cuba, Peru and Mexico.
Thailand and Nepal led the pack for long-duration trips (4-5 weeks). With the death of its beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Thailand will be in official mourning until Oct. 2017 … but look for the country to make up for lost time once the black clothing is put away.
While the tourism infrastructure is lacking, the country is making a concerted effort to open its arms to visitors. And with its ancient ruins, friendly locals, and incredible food and culture, it’s time to welcome the embrace. It should be noted, though, that some Iranian-Americans have run into serious issues when traveling in Iran.
Hot springs and dog sledding, scuba diving(!) and kayaking, skiing and hiking, plus a mixture of Inuit and Norse cultures, lit by a midnight sun and northern lights. Oh, and Greenland is melting, so you might want to prioritize this one.
About a 90-minute drive from the San Diego/Tijuana border is Mexico’s Napa Valley: the Valle de Guadalupe. Rustic and rural, you’ll find dozens of wineries here, from major players to a number of mom y papi operations. You’ll also find amazing farm-to-table restaurants like Laja and Corazon de Tierra, as well as super-cool lodgings in post-modern “pods” at Encuentro Guadalupe.
Get to know your next First Lady a little better with a trip to her home country. And this medieval gem of a town (population 5,000) is the perfect starting point. With its mash-up of Byzantine and Gothic architecture, it’s reminiscent of Venice, which sits across the Adriatic from Piran, a three-hour ferry ride away. In fact, Piran was part of the Venetian Republic for nearly 500 years and boasts an impressive array of historic churches, squares and palaces, not to mention a stout wall defending the city (no doubt paid for by invading Ottomans).
Serbia has doubled its tourism to 1 million visits a year and it plans to forge ahead with even more growth. And events like the EXIT Festival, one of Europe’s best music gatherings (held in a 17th century fortress along the Danube), are helping to drive the traffic.
The upside of economic troubles is that the Rand is poorly valued, and the place is really cheap. Great scenery, wild game, beaches … it has it all.
While the peace agreement failed to pass, Colombia’s Caribbean coast, including Santa Marta and Cartagena, continue to be safe – and alluring – for travelers.