Where to go and what to do in 2017? I hope that you have had a chance to take a look around my site.  If you haven’t there is still time.  If you have, then you may have picked up on just how much I value the transformative power of travel.  Travel that has the power to change does not necessarily have to be profound.  One just has to be open to the newness of experiences and the subtle differences that exploration can bring.

A few months ago I had the opportunity to visit a city in my state that I had only driven through.  It is about a two-hour drive from my home and I had a ball.  I saw some new things, met some interesting people and ate some great food.  The cost: a tank of gas and food.  Travel does not always have to be extreme or expensive, but it can always be purposeful.

Merriam-Webster defines transformation as an act, process or instance of being transformed [to change in composition, structure, character or condition].  In our minds we visualize it as achievement.  Hence the picture of a lady standing on a boulder, arms upraised, staring into the horizon.  Cliche? I know, but I like water – and sunsets – and achievement.

So what’s holding you back from achieving a transformation in your life?  The change doesn’t have to be travel, but I assume that travel is of interest because you are reading this on a site devoted to travel.  Is it money?  That is a very real concern and one that can be overcome with some creativity.  There are life-changing moments to be had in your own city.  Visit a museum in your city.  Many museums offer free admission to residents on certain days.  Is it fear?  Fear is not reality! Fear is a belief, a construct of the mind.  Don’t get me wrong, being chased by a dinosaur is real (and scary), but when were you last chased by a dinosaur?  Fear can be defined as false evidence appearing real or if you want to put a positive spin on it, Jason Rosen breaks fear down to focus, energy, action, result.  What will you focus on this new year and put your energy behind that will lead to action, result and transformation?  We hope that it is travel more, but above all, we hope that ultimately it is growth of mind and spirit.

Having said that, here are the top destinations searched in 2016:

  1. New York City
  2. Washington D.C.
  3. London
  4. Hong Kong
  5. Thailand
  6. Maui
  7. Rome
  8. Vancouver
  9. Rio de Janeiro
  10. Mexico City

The top travel trends for 2017 are:

  1. Adventure Travel
  2. Multi-generational Travel
  3. Experiential Travel
  4. Film Tourism
  5. Culinary Travel
  6. Multi-Country Asia Tours
  7. Changing River Cruise Demographics

With those trends in mind, here are a few travel suggestions for 2017 and beyond:

  1. Live like a local in your home away from home.  Rent an apartment or villa.
  2. Stop and smell the roses (or tulips).  Take a garden tour (local or international).
  3. Find your inner Marcus Samuelsson with a culinary tour (local or international).
  4. Plan your own milestone (anniversary, reunion, birthday) and group experience.
  5. Don’t let health concerns hold you back.  Gluten intolerant, limited mobility, kidney impairment?  There are gluten free international tours, special chairs to navigate the sand and cruises that offer dialysis at sea.
  6. Rejuvenate!  Wellness travel is growing.  Enjoy an unplugged vacation experience.
  7. Enrich your faith and walk in the footsteps of Jesus or Paul on a faith based tour.
  8. Be active on a global scale.  Take a hike through China or Nepal, enter the triathlon in Aruba, take a bike tour in Croatia or enjoy a combination river cruise and bike tour.
  9. See a professional sport internationally.  The NFL is headed back to London, plan for the World Cup in 2018, Wimbledon, the French Open or the Monaco Grand Prix.
  10. Go where no man has gone before on a Star Trek cruise.
  11. Get the whole gang together for a multi-gen trip (local or international).
  12. Leave the kids at home and take an adult-only Disney river cruise.
  13. Party internationally at the Nottinghill Carnival, Rio Carnival or a jazz festival.
  14. Everywhere you go, there you are!  Take a solo adventure and discover yourself as you discover the world.
  15. Cuba Now!
  16. Go while it’s still cold, before it’s hot.  Head to Antartica or the Northwest Passage.

What’s on your wish list?  January 31st is National Plan for Vacation Day.  Sign up to learn about our tours or send an inquiry to let us know how we can simplify your group travel planning.