It’s about time for us to start making travel plans for 2016. Let’s think beyond the holidays and start considering where to go for the next twelve months.
Admittedly, some places are better than others during different times of the year. That’s why we narrowed down some of the very best spots to visit for each month of 2016.
(All photos: Thinkstock)
Tired of the cold? Why not chase the summer all the way to Australia. Start your trip a couple of days before December ends and catch New Year’s Eve down under where the exit of one year and beginning of another is greeted with epic parties on the beach and a fireworks display over the Sydney Harbor Bridge. The light show is synchronized to a soundtrack and televised globally– hours before the strike of midnight in most other parts of the world.
February is a month for falling in love, whether it’s with a significant other – or showing yourself some well-deserved TLC! For either one, a vacation in Bali is the perfect prescription to fan the flames. The price tag on a plane ticket can be steep, but once you get to Bali athetrip can be done on a budget. In Seminyak, home of shopping and places aplenty for the perfect Thai massage, hotels a walk from the beach can be found for under $100. Or, you can book a private bungalow with your own outdoor hot tub for under $200/night. While there you can rent a car, with a driver, for about $50/day and enjoy the scenery for an hour ride to Ubud, the more relaxed cultural arts center of Bali. Ubud is also home to the Sacred Monkey Sanctuary and the well-known Yoga Barn where you can stay or drop in for a class.
Related: 30 Places to See Before You’re 30
Of course you want to spend St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland! The festivities are a multi-day affair of parades and celebrations in the streets in Dublin. You can round out the trip with a scenic train ride to Cork and pucker up to the Blarney Stone, a block of limestone built into Blarney Castle. Legend has it that those who kiss the Blarney Stone are gifted with the eloquence of speech.
San Diego, California
April showers bring May flowers…Unless you’re in San Diego, where dozens of varieties of flowers take up a city block in Spreckles Park during the annual Coronado Flower Show. Entry to the biggest tented flower show in the country is only $5! There’s also a wine and beer garden and scheduled entertainment during the three-day celebration.
Tel Aviv, Israel
In May Israel celebrates its Independence Day, a month of cultural activities, a film festival and many marquee summer concerts. It is summer for 10 months of the year in Tel Aviv and the beach culture is vibrant during May. Head here for the food and the nightlife. You may just extend your stay through June.
Related: How Many Countries Are There Really?
Machu Picchu, Peru
Before the peak tourism months of July and August begin and after the rainy season ends, June is a perfect time to visit Machu Picchu, a hikers’ delight that is consistently voted one of The New Seven Wonders of the World.
Las Lenas, Argentina
Start in Buenos Aires, where you’ll enjoy off-season prices. From there, take a flight to Las Lenas – and go skiing! This remote resort boasts terrain for all ski levels and is a perfect fix for skiers who live in places where it’s summer in July.
Arizona in the summer? No, we’re not crazy. While the daytime temperature will hover in the 90s, the natural springs provide relief during hikes and it’s worth braving the dry heat for the discounted hotels and the Hummingbird Festival that takes place early in the month. Arizona also it provides one of the most magical places to see the annual Perseid Meteor Shower. Book a room at the Enchantment Resort, take a seat on the balcony and you can watch stars shoot from the sky while enjoying complete tranquility.
September is off-season in Hawaii. The summer tourists have departed and the holiday visitors have yet to arrive, making it a great time to visit. In addition to the beautiful beaches, the Aloha Festival, billed as “Hawaii’s Biggest Party” takes place in September, celebrating Hawaiian culture with a series of celebratory events all month long!
Albuquerque, New Mexico
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the largest hot air balloon event in the world, takes place each year for nine days in October. You have the option to take a hot air balloon ride yourself, or you can just marvel at the colors and creativity as hundreds of hot air balloons of various shapes and sizes take flight all around you.
We all know Thanksgiving in the U.S. began when the pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock in 1620. It’s no surprise then that Plymouth celebrates Turkey Day with a special pride. Take a family trip to this historic town around Thanksgiving and drink in the patriotism expressed through reenactments, food and music.
New York, New York
Christmas in New York City is legendary, and for good reason. Only a Grinch couldn’t get in the spirit of the holiday season during a trip to NYC where you can catch the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, indulge in “The Nutcracker” at Lincoln Center, Instagram the massive tree at Rockefeller Center and ice skate in Bryant Park.You might just get your very own miracle on 34th Street.
Check out our original adventure travel series A Broad Abroad.