Hope you enjoyed my previous post on best places to visit in 2016 in India for every month. For those who are looking to travel abroad this year, here are is a month-by-month itinerary for international destinations around the world.
Watching the Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights is a once in a lifetime, unforgettable experience. And January in Norway is the darkest month with the longest possible window to see the lights. There are many tour operators offering Northern Light cruises where the crew will provide wake-up calls when the viewing is best. You can sleep in a real snow hotel, go on dog-sledging, snowmobiling, spot some exotic wildlife like polar bears, arctic foxes and reindeers.
February: New York, United States
This Valentine’s Day, add some edge to your romance with a downtown Manhattan adventure. From horse-drawn carriage rides through Central Park to Eskimo kisses on the ice rink at Rockefeller Center, New York is the perfect destination in February. Head to the Meatpacking District for a romantic stroll along the neighborhood’s unique elevated park, the High Line. The Valentine’s Day package at the Hotel Gansevoort is both sweet and sexy featuring roses, chocolate-covered strawberries, champagne and the classic game of Twister. Take advantage of the late check-out time and sleep in or spend the morning lounging at the heated outdoor rooftop pool.
March: Costa Rica, Central America
A verdant, mountainous region with miles of coastline, Costa Rica is every adventure traveller’s Mecca. In March, the weather is dry, warm and sunny and great for outdoor activities. Fly across forests, ravines and valleys in Costa Rica’s famed zip-lines, explore the lush rainforests with stunning waterfalls and unsual widlife including three-toed sloths and howler monkeys. Go on night safaris to spot noctural species. Scale and hike a volcano and peer over the edge into the massive craters. Go rafting and ride the rapids or soak in the famous hot springs of Costa Rica.
There is nothing more spectacular than the spellbindingly beautiful sight of cherry blossoms in full bloom. Japan is known for the cherry blossom festival or hanami from late April to early May, which is the flowering season of these dainty pink flowers. You can also take the Bullet train, attend the popular Japan Tea Ceremony or visit the famous Mt.Fuji. If you are a cat person, then the trip can’t be complete without a vist to the unique Cat Islands.
May: Kenya, Africa
May is the best and affordable month to visit Kenya. Also, since its the birthing season, you can get a chance to see baby animals in the safaris. Camp at popular national parks, see everything from elephants, rhinos, zebras, lions and leopards. If you are lucky you can also witness the annual Wildebeest Migration event. Stay in the Giraffee Manor where giraffes pop in their heads through the windows while you have breakfast. If you are bold enough, go for the Big Five Snake Safari where you can spot the most venomous snakes – the Python, Boomslang, Puff Adder, Cobra and the Mamba.
Iceland is the perfect location for whale watching and June is the perfect season to sight the world’s greatest creatures under the Midnight Sun. You can also sight some white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises. Iceland has no shortage of adventure activities. From ice caving to glacier hiking, dip into the famous Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater, take the famous Journey to the Center of the Earth where you descend to the bottom of a crater.
July: Alaska, United States
Head into the wild this July and explore Alaska’s awe-inspiring wilderness of towering glaciers and lush forests. 98% of America’s brown bear population thrives here and in July, the world’s largest sockeye salmon run, attracts a hungry audience of brown bears. Visitors can watch from viewing platforms as these grizzly brown bears dodge to intercept the relentless flood of leaping salmon. Head deeper into the frozen wilderness by going on an Alaskan cruise ship.
This island is one of the most popular and expensive vacation spots ever. However, during this summer rainy season, resort prices drop by 30% – 40% and some hotels start throwing in free extras. Scuba diving, snorkeling, shark diving and water sports are world class in Maldives. The crystal-clear waters are home to whale sharks, rays, sea turtles, and more. Explore lagoons, caves and dazzling coral reefs whilst swimming amongst schools of brightly-coloured exotic fish of all shapes and sizes. Go on a romantic sunset boat cruise and discover the beauty and vivid colours of the Maldives’ majestic underwater world.
September is one of the better months to visit Malaysia as it’s not that scorching hot or not too rainy either. Visit the world’s tallest twin towers in Kuala Lumpur, go on a trip to Genting Highlands with its theme parks and casinos. Kids are sure to enjoy the popular Legoland and Hello Kitty Town. Whether its shopping or food or adventure or luxury, Malaysia has plenty of options for everyone.
October: The Grand Canyon, Arizona, United States
Spend a week in the world’s longest and most awe-inspiring canyon. Embark on an adventure like no other, winding your way down the Colorado River on a raft, through the full length of the canyon (rougly 446 km). This is not for the faint hearted, the stretch of the river has an estimated 161 sets of rapids. Opportunities for mini hikes to tucked-away waterfalls or into side canyons filled with jungle-like foliage are abundant, and you can camp on the riverbanks under star-filled skies. And don’t forget the super-thrilling experience at Grand Canyon Skywalk with the glass walkway.
November: Sydney, Australia
Mix up your autumn with a little spring by crossing the equator and heading to Sydney. Sydney’s combination of surf beaches, a sparkling natural harbour, beautiful public gardens and unspoilt foreshores is irresistible. Talk to the animals at the Taronga Zoo which houses around 2900 exotic and native species of animals. For the ultimate sleepover, book the Roar & Snore package, where guests camp overnight at the zoo. Take a Backstage Tour at the Sydney Opera House, climb the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, dine at Sydney’s finest restaurants, camp on Cockatoo Island, go on a trip to the Blue Mountains and Jenolan Caves.
December: Moscow, Russia
Moscow is a great place to spend the Christmas season. The Russian Winter Festival takes place in Izmailovo Park right before Christmas. You can literally break the ice with a boat cruise down the Moscow River. The 2-hour cruise offers you the opportunity to enjoy lunch or dinner while admiring the beauty of Moscow under the winter cloak. Don’t forget to visit the world famous Ice Sculpture Museum. You can also try skating now as more than 20 skating rinks open here during the coldest months.
So where are you planning to travel abroad this year?
Author: Archana Gurusamy