Travel Tuesday // Places to Visit in 2017

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Another year, and a fresh load of vacation days. There have been a lot of articles lately that have caught my eye about Americans letting vacation days go unused. This baffles me. People may not want to fly around the world, but don’t they at least want to get paid NOT to work?! I won’t spout off all the statistics about how using your vacation days makes you better at your job (you can read this one, and this one), instead, I’ll give you some inspiration for places to travel to in 2017. Now, let's all make a pact to be sure we use every single vacation day we have for 2017.

Portugal A small country on the western edge of Europe, Portugal feels like it’s still one of Europe’s best kept secrets. For starters, Portugal is affordable. Meals, admission fees, hotels, all priced to go easy on traveler's wallets. A small country, it's easy to get around and visit different regions, from the city to the beach, and their wine country is just starting to be explored.

Nicaragua Taking some cues from Costa Rica, its southern neighbor who sees tons of visitors each year, Nicaragua has been growing its tourism industry in its peaceful political climate. Granada is a colonial city, rich in history, is located on Lake Nicaragua. This huge lake offers all the outdoor activities that visitors to Central America are looking for, at prices far lower than its more popular neighbors. Want to visit Caribbean islands that don't see any cruise ships? Take a quick flight over to the Canary Islands.

Cuba With travel restrictions greatly loosened, visitors can now explore this beautiful island and see it before the travel industry booms and change comes. It’s close proximity to the US make it a great option for a quick winter getaway. If this winter is anything like last year’s, everyone will need one of those.

Tanzania This one we can file under: trip of a lifetime. For those wanting to experience East Africa, Tanzania is the perfect country to visit. Often referred to as the Switzerland of Africa, Tanzania has a stable government and a robust travel infrastructure. Consider splurging on a luxury safari here and visiting the world famous Ngorongoro Crater. Not sure what type of wildlife you’ll see? Follow my favorite safari Instagram feed, Thomson Safaris, to get a peek.

Big Island, Hawaii Lots of visitors flock to Hawaii each year and never go beyond Honolulu. Escape the bustle and traffic of Oahu and visit the Big Island instead. Home to the world’s most active volcano, you can walk on land younger than you are and watch the island being made before your eyes. A rainforest on one side of the island and dry beaches on the other, you get the best of both worlds all on one island. This is the only Hawaiian island where tourism is not its largest industry (yet), the Big Island will show you the real spirit of aloha.

Where are you headed in 2017? Let me know in the comments.

Photo by David Hansen.