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 2017…

Auckland + Queenstown, New Zealand

New Zealand has always been one of the most beautiful, film worthy places on earth, with everything from snow capped iconic mountain to lush greenery and sandy beaches. With more direct flights than ever from top carriers and more on the way, New Zealand is trending in 2016 and on fire for 2017 as airline’s are recognizing demand to visit this incredible spot. If you’re going all the way to New Zealand, you really need to see it all, so we suggest seeing a few cities like Queenstown, Milford Sound and Auckland. it’s easier than ever, with value at an all time high and it could just be the perfect place to escape the increasingly crazy world…

a statue of a man on a mountain with a body of water and mountains

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 hosted the 2016 Olympic Games, boosting infrastructure for tourists with improved transportation and accommodations.

a body of water with a stone wall and buildings in the background

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Croatia is a melting pot where Eastern and Western European history and culture simmer and stew with Mediterranean views, cuisine and hospitality. In 2017, 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.

a green lights in the sky over a snowy landscape

Reykjavik, Iceland

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 and still will be in 2017, 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…

a city skyline at night with water reflection

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 and 2017 is sure to b even better. If that’s not enough to convince you, the Canadian Dollar is tanking, making this an absolutely ripe time to head North.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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