3 Great Lists for 2017 Travel Inspiration

We’re currently in the final planning for our upcoming trip to the Galapagos and Bolivia later this month with our friend Michelle.  We started planning in the middle of last year and are finalizing our Bolivia portion of the trip.  The current debates include “do I need a visa before I get there?” and “do we need Yellow Fever certificates to get in if we’re arriving from Ecuador?”  It’s always fun to sort out those logistics and see the variety of answers available from tour companies, consulate websites, and visa expediters.  Good times.

Then, during a work conference call, my team was talking about a potential adventure to Baffin Island in Canada later this year.  As I was looking through my calendar, it made me think, “where else might I go in 2017?”  Doing a bit of research and idea gathering definitely gets the creative juices flowing.  I keep my own ongoing “bucket list”  as well and after looking at these lists, I have a few spots to add.  Here’s what a few sources have to say in terms of hot destinations.

Lonely Planet:

First stop, the folks at Lonely Planet.  They break it down by countries, cities, regions, and value (seems like you can give a LOT of suggestions on where to go during a single year).  Here are their winners for 2017.

  1. Canada:  maybe this is targeted at nervous Americans looking for a quick getaway?
  2. Columbia:  this has been on my radar for a while, mostly as a paragliding destination.  I’ve heard great things.
  3. Finland: another on my “bucket list,” I just saw a friend’s photos on Facebook–she took her family for Christmas.
  4. Dominica
  5. Nepal:  I have dreams of going back!
  6. Bermuda
  7. Mongolia:  this hit my list last year–and was almost the trip for the winter.  I think I’d prefer to visit in the winter and get a sense of the place.
  8. Oman
  9. Myanmar:  I keep seeing people raving about Myanmar, and suggest getting there soon before changes take place.
  10. Ethiopia

The rest of their options are overviewed here,  including cities, regions, and value trips.

Crazy blue glacial lakes are all over Canada are worth a visit.

Travel and Leisure:

T+L goes big by offering up 50 of the best places to travel (sure, I can go a place a week, right??).  Here’s their top 10 places–more specific than just countries, and some unexpected suggestions.

  1. Angra dos Reis, Brazil
  2. Belfast, Northern Ireland
  3. Belgrade, Serbia
  4. Bermuda:  landing on another list, clearly Bermuda’s got something going on.
  5. Cambodian Coast
  6. Cape Town, South Africa:  what a great town!  It has a San Francisco vibe, great restaurants, and interesting history.
  7. Cincinnati, Ohio:  I did a double take on this one–really?  Cincinnati?  Hmmm.
  8. Devon, England
  9. Guayaquil, Ecuador:  I’ll be passing through Guyaquil on my trip later this month, I’ll report back on what I find!
  10. Hamburg, Germany:  Definitely–I think it’s “the new Berlin” but more chill.

The list continues here.  I’ll give it to T+L for some creative suggestions and also giving places you might not think of a second look.

Are you SURE, T+L? Cincinnati made their list of cities for 2017.

National Geographic:

Nat Geo breaks it down by Nature, Cities,  and Culture.


  1. Kauai, Hawaii:  Absolutely yes.  As I always say, one day in Hawaii is better than no days in Hawaii.
  2. Finland:  Well, this confirms it, it’s on the bucket list!
  3. Baja California, Mexico:  Snorkeling with Whale Sharks either here or near Cozumel sounds amazing.
  4. Banff, Canada: A fantastic mountain town!
  5. Cloud Forests, Ecuador:  Although Ecuador is coming up later this month, we’re not headed to the Cloud Forests–sounds intriguing!
  6. Via Dinarica, Western Balkans:  I had to do a bit more reading on this one, as I hadn’t heard of it before.  It’s a trek that links the Dinaric Alps, which traverses Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Serbia, Kosovo, and Macedonia
  7. Tiger National Parks, Central India
Kauai seems nice any year, really, doesn’t it?


  1. Marrakech, Morocco:  Another city on my bucket list.  Morocco and the Atlas Mountains have been on my radar for a while.  I’ve looked at trying to do a quick jump from Europe, but hadn’t been successful in finding convenient flights.
  2. Madrid, Spain:  How is it possible I still haven’t been here?
  3. Anchorage, Alaska:  Another great mountain town.  Our first “big vacation” was to Anchorage in 2000 and I had fond memories of it.  We re-visited in September of 2015 and enjoyed it all over again!
  4. Seoul, Korea:  A lively, fun food town!
  5. Moscow, Russia:  On the bucket list!
  6. Cartagena, Columbia
  7. Hamburg, Germany:  Another mention!  I’ll have to tell my friend Laura her town is up and coming (but she already knew this, I’m sure!).

Check out the culture list here.

All of Morocco seems like a great adventure, doesn’t it?

I also like to use the New York Times Travel section for inspiration–they usually have a good list of places to go (here’s the 52 Places to Go list from 2016) but haven’t published their 2017 suggestions just yet.  There are definitely some interesting trends and repeats on the list worth mentioning (Canada, Ecuador, Finland) that are in my current (or hopeful) plans for this year.  These lists are definitely helpful for validation, but also for finding new ideas, like the Via Dinarica hike!  Time to get planning for this year!


Update!  The New York Times showed up with their list yesterday!  How good was that timing, huh?  Canada and Hamburg both made the top 10.  Very interesting.

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