The thing about travel bucket lists is that the more you see, the bigger bucket you'll need. You'll start off with a small list of major cities and well known attractions, you'll discover tons of natural beauty, finally, pointing you towards the lesser traveled; and eventually end up with a list more resembling of a pool than a bucket. To help take your bucket list from a kiddie pool to an Olympic pool, we've highlighted some trending destinations, based on increased airline searches, major events and other factors which are sure to wow you in 2016...
Auckland + Queenstown, New Zealand
New Zealand has always been one of the most beautiful places on earth, with everything from snow capped iconic mountain, to lush greenery and sandy beaches. That's nothing new. Unfortunately it's one of the farthest reaching destinations for most of us, with an unenviable list of connections. With more direct flights than ever and more on the way, New Zealand is trending in 2016 as airline's are recognizing demand to visit this incredible spot, bringing easier access, wherever you are. With increased intra island flights, enabling extra destinations like Queenstown, Milford Sound and Auckland, it's easier than ever, with value at an all time high.
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Rio will leave you awe struck. It's almost impossible to look in any direction without finding striking mountains, award winning beaches, sunsets and a color palate to make even an expressionist painter feel hallucinatory. The caipirinhas certainly don't hurt either. After an amazing entrance to the world stage hosting the 2014 World Cup, Rio will host the 2016 Olympic Games. A city is never better than in the lead up and immediate hangover following the storied games, with improved transport, better safety and of course, the iconic world wonders like Christ The Redeemer and my favorite, Vista Chinesa.
Croatia is a melting pot where Eastern and Western European history and culture simmer and stew with Mediterranean views, cuisine and hospitality. In 2016, you can quite literally live like a king in Dubrovnik, thanks to the numerous palaces, monasteries and forts from days and times of despots, which surround the beautiful coastal city. With the Croatian Kuna as low as it's ever been, you won't even need a kings ransom. As the Euro continues to "shrink" Europe, this is the perfect time to experience this truly unique European destination before it becomes full pop culture in the travel world.
As one of the Northern most populations, Iceland is literally almost out of this world. Though it's most famous for the mysterious and unpredictable Northern Lights, travelers pack in to Reykjavik and surrounding areas for rugged terrain, unique culture, sophisticated food and life unlike anywhere on earth. Short days, long nights and tons to see. Iceland is one of the hottest destinations of 2016, thanks to increasingly cheap flights connecting both sides of the pond. With start up carrier WOW Air, offering flights as low as $99 to these beautiful nordic lands, it's hard to pass up an opportunity to experience winter at it's best...
Montreal + Quebec, Canada
Europe is bustling with historic villages, alps and haute cuisine. North America, on the other hand, not so much. While strikingly different, both Montreal and Quebec offer a romantic setting, steeped in European feel and old world charm. Wherever you end up, you'll find easy access to the best of winter sports, summer adventure and dramatic terrain. It's gorgeous. With rare produce and game from surrounding areas carving out a unique cuisine, both cities have become a major hot bed of restaurant activity in 2016, with more culinary awards per capita than any other city. If that's not enough to convince you, the Canadian Dollar is tanking, making this an absolutely ripe time to head North.