So, you’re familiar with this drill. I roll some dice, wave a magic wand, uhm and ahh, and then suggest to you 10 random places that you could go in the new year.
On the surface, this seems like a truly ridiculous process, because most publishers put no thought into their top 10 lists. But I’m ok with it, because at least it gets you thinking out of the box on places and experiences you could add to your list, instead of either staying home or just going to the same resort or village that you went to last year.
Having said all that, here’s my top 10 suggestions on where to go in 2011. And yes, I’ve got a reason for each one (beyond my own whimsical tastes).
I suspect the next month or so will be a good time to book an Egypt trip. A couple of weeks ago a tourist was killed by a shark while diving, which is unfortunate and could happen any time. You’ll still more than likely safe, even if diving, but fears of a major tourism slowdown means some cheap rates will be popping up.
As if you didn’t need a reason to visit this beautiful island paradise, Continental is opening up daily flights from New York in March, making it even easier to get here, and maybe even make excuses to stay over in New York a few days while on your way there or back.
In April 2011, Prince William will marry Kate Middleton in Westminster Abbey. This will either be your dream chance to witness an event in history, or a total overcrowded nightmare. Consider this your warning to book now (either to get in or get out); the nuptials happen April 29th.
New Zealand is one of my favourite countries, but both islands of this Oceanic country will go sports crazy when the Rugby World Cup comes to town, from September 9th to October 23rd. Games will be held in towns throughout, so there is plenty of opportunity to come and roam around while you’re here.
On the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York City, the new memorial at the former location of the World Trade Center will be opened. The entire site will not be open – a museum is still going to be under construction until 2012, but the main area with waterfalls and the names of the victims will be opened on September 11, 2011.
Hawaii’s tourism industry has long been doing a fantastic job of promoting themselves. Their latest push? Food. I can’t wait to get over there and eat, and you should consider doing the same.
Ongoing through the end of February in Thailand’s Songkhla province is the Hat Yai lantern festival. It’s one of the most colourful festivals in all of Asia, and a great event to combine with a few days relaxing on the beach in Krabi.
Iceland really has come up in the tourism world – it was an expensive favourite for offbeat travellers, and then with the banking crisis folks figured out where it was on the map, and now it’s a hot tourism spot. But who can pass up the multiple chances in 2011 to see Yoko Ono’s Peace Tower? If it disappoints, there are always hikes on glaciers and dips in thermal pools to round out the trip.
It looks like Croatia’s membership into the EU will finally happen in 2011. That doesn’t mean that there will be a dramatic price change overnight, but it seems like every time someone does join the EU, the change comes around eventually thereafter. So, if you want bargain basement pricing, it’s time to go now.
Last but not least is the lonely island of Cuba – a place where you can step back in time, almost literally. Many fear that every year that passes means it is closer to when regime change. And that means a quick influx of American tourists who fear the current travel restrictions. So, why not go now when the going is good?
Posted : Friday, December 31st, 2010 at 13:03
Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.