12 Travel Ideas – One Big Adventure For Each Month Of The Year
No, this is not my bucket list of travel ideas for 2017. I mean, who cares about what destinations I’m visiting next year?
Instead, it’s a list of destinations, which are all worth a visit (or even more than one!) and to maximise the experience, I’ve selected the best month of the year for each of them.
No matter whether Santa brought you a present or not (or even if he did, was it really what you wished for?), these travel ideas will make a perfect gift for the adventurer in you.
January: Escape The Crowds And Visit The (Still) Festive Italy
While during the holiday season Italy is very crowded with tourists, once the New Year arrives, the streets become emptier. The winter is quite mild with only the occasional rains and very little snow in the cities.
Here are just a few ideas of what you could do in Italy in January:
- Visit Milan and enjoy the beautiful decorations, while walking around the shopping district without the tourists.
- Get lost in the narrow alleys in Venice and spend hours at San Marco square without being pushed from every side.
- Shoot amazing photos of the Duomo and other incredible places in Florence without having hundreds of unknown people in your pictures.
- Go back in time 2,000 years and experience a snapshot of life in the 1st century AD while strolling the streets of ancient Pompeii.
- Enter a fairytale and explore the small Italian towns of the Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre, and Lombardy.
Start planning a trip to Italy as soon as possible, as earthquakes have destroyed more than a few buildings in the past couple of years. Who knows which masterpiece might be next unfortunate?
February: The Best Time To Escape Winter In Tropical Cuba
Since Cuba opened for US tourists, things are changing rapidly in the country. Soon the iconic old cars will start to disappear from the streets of Havana, so if you want to still see this amazing sight or drive a car, which might be older than you, start planning a trip to the Caribbean island.
Don’t just visit the all-inclusive resorts in Varadero or Cayo Coco. They’re not going anywhere and big chain resorts are all the same in every country anyway. Here are some travel ideas instead: try to spend a few days exploring the capital Havana, the old town of Trinidad, which is a UNESCO heritage site, the jungles and tobacco fields in the inland.
Don’t forget to try the cigars, coffee and rum, which also make for great souvenir ideas.
March: While Winter Continues In The North Hemisphere, Visit Another Tropical Paradise – Costa Rica
With twelve climate zones and such diverse relief, the tiny Central American country offers something for anyone. The lush jungles and the amazing volcanos are a nice escape from the hot weather at the beaches. The national parks and even the side of the road are full of wild animals.
In fact, Costa Rica is the country with the most diverse wildlife in the world! And if that’s not enough to get you excited and packing, check the underwater world and the fantastic scuba diving spots Costa Rica offers.
The roads are pretty decent and a road trip is a must. Don’t fool yourself, though, that you can explore the whole country on one trip. The distances might be small, but you’ll make so many stops, not wanting to miss a thing on your journey, that a 2-hour drive will suddenly stretch for half a day or longer. And if you were clever to rent a 4WD car, take the back roads to discover the real beauty of Costa Rica.
April: You Made It Through The Winter, Now Enjoy Spring In Belgium
Belgium is not considered a great travel destination, but that’s only by people, who’ve never visited. The country offers basically everything a traveller can wish for: friendly people, great choice of food and drinks, historical sites, sea coast and excellent infrastructure.
April is the month with less rainfall, which means that you can take long walks through the cobblestone streets of the fairy-tale little towns of Bruges, Namur or Leuven. You can shop in the second largest city Antwerp for some exquisite shopping (it’s the capital of the diamonds industry!) or admire the art of Rubens.
Enjoy a gourmet dinner or a single beer in one of the historical buildings around the market square, which has been transformed into a pub, bar or restaurant. Just don’t even think of tasting every beer, as there are 180 breweries in Belgium, producing over a thousand original beers. Cheers!
May: The Best Weather Of The Year To Visit Germany
Weather in Germany is known to be unpredictable and unpleasant. My insider tip: travel to Germany in May! The days are long, the temperatures are high, there’s enough sunshine during the day, but it’s not hot, so you can explore the busy cities or the cute little towns. It’s raining less than during other months and everything is lush and blossoming.
Despite the big distances in Germany, the good infrastructure allows for travelling fast and covering a large area within a short period of time. It’s heaven for speed lovers: the trains travel at 300+ km/h and on highways without speed limits you can test your car’s maximum speed.
If you’re concerned about recent terrorist attacks in the big German cities, then head to the smaller picturesque towns or fairy-tail castles along the Rhine. And for culture and museum lovers it’s a real paradise here, too.
June: Visit The Secluded Beaches Of The Dominican Republic While The Crowds Are Still Away
The travel ideas for the summer begin, of course, with a great place to work on your tan. The Dominican Republic is most popular for its all-inclusive resorts and endless white-sand beaches. If you leave the comfortable but artificial complexes, you’ll discover the real colours and beauty of the island country.
If that’s not enough, find what other Punta Cana excursions you can take on.
July: See The Midnight Sun In Sweden
You might be aware of the fact, you can see the Northern Lights in winter in Sweden, but did you know you could also see the Midnight Sun? In summer, the sun doesn’t set at all and at midnight it’s still pretty high above the horizon.
To see this amazing spectacle, you’ll need to travel further than the capital Stockholm. The Swedish railways are a great way to get to Luleå on a night train, for example.
If you don’t want to travel so far, but still want to enjoy nature, there are great travel ideas for you directly in the capital Stockholm. Just hop on a boat and visit the islands of the Archipelago or the sweet water lake Mälaren in the opposite direction. The waters are so clean, that you can not only go for a swim but drink from the lake without a second thought!
Other cool travel ideas for you while in Stockholm include a visit to one of the fantastic museums or galleries. My personal tip: visit Vasa Museum, the home of a 300-year-old warship! While the ship itself was one of the biggest failures in history when it sank, taking it out of the water after nearly 300 years and displaying it in the museum turned into one of the biggest museum successes.
August: Take The Most Epic Road Trip On The Pamir Highway In Tajikistan
Even if you have no idea where Tajikistan is located, I’m sure you love epic road trips! While the temperatures are above 30°C in the cities, the high altitude of the Pamir Mountains offers the needed coolness.
The season is perfect for camping or spending the night in typical yurts. The only problem might arise from going to a higher altitude too fast. The country is perfect for any adventurer, but better hire a guide and an experienced driver to take you through the mountain roads, as their condition is sometimes disastrous.
September: Attend The Opening Of The New Cultural Season In Bulgaria
At the end of the hot summer, the capital city of Bulgaria – Sofia, starts to get noisier and more crowded as people return from their summer holidays. The cultural season starts with concerts and theatre premiers. The city is full of life and the late summer nights are still long and warm for dining and partying outside.
But if you’re not so fond of big cities and crowds, now is also a perfect time to go hiking or trekking in the Bulgarian mountains. For extreme adventures head to Rila or Pirin with their 2,500+ m high peaks. For more casual trails don’t miss the magical Rhodope Mountains.
September is also a great month to visit the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. The weather might be a little unpredictable with casual short rains but the crowds are gone and chances are you’ll have the beaches all to yourself.
Not a nature lover? No problem, travel ideas also include cute little towns and villages, like Melnik, Koprivshtitsa and Tryavna, which offer great vibe and insides into the lives of people from the 18th and 19th century. Try some traditional Bulgarian meals, enjoy the colours of the surrounding mountains, or admire the architecture of the Bulgarian Revival houses. Want to go even further back in time? There are also temples and burial sites, dating back to 6th century BC!
And if you’re tired of so many diverse sites, spoil yourself in one of the numerous hotels in Velingrad, the SPA capital of the Balkans.
October: Head To The Atlantic Coast Of Morocco
Now that autumn has started, it’s time for a dip in the Atlantic at the shores of Morocco. While in summer the high temperatures cause water to evaporate and form a fog over the ocean, now that it’s not so hot, you’ll be able to see the beauty of the Atlantic coast.
And if a few drops of rain happen to fall and the weather is not suitable for a beach walk, try to find your way to the nearest souk or kasbah. You’ll be immediately transformed into a 1001 nights fairy-tale decor. Just make sure you don’t get lost in the labyrinth of small alleys.
Find out how argan oil is produced or watch goldsmiths do their magic as they turn silver into incredible jewellery and decorations. Try the delicious dishes and enjoy the incredible colours of the goods at the market stalls. Don’t forget to haggle for your souvenirs as this is one of the most rewarding experiences. Smell the herbs and drink some green tea with fresh peppermint, also known as the Moroccan whiskey.
November: Visit The National Parks Of Canada
What better reason to visit Canada, than its 150th birthday? On this occasion, all National Parks will have free entrance!
Canada may not have a long history as a country, but is the home of 38 National Parks and 8 National Park Reserves. Explore waterfalls in Ontario, meet polar bears at Hudson Bay or hike one of these jaw-dropping trails in Banff. And don’t miss a visit to the Horseshoe of Niagara Falls! Plan to stay after dark as well and enjoy the beautiful lights, which illuminate the waters. Check also these amazing things to do while visiting the Niagara Falls and let me know which one was your favourite!
December: Work On Your Tan Before The Holidays In Mexico
Before the end of the year, dip your body one last time in the warm waters near Mexico. December is perfect for visiting one of the numerous beach resorts. Work on your tan before the holidays, increase your immune system defences before the winter and try to find Christmas decorations at unexpected places.
Travel to the incredible, vibrant Oaxaca and indulge in unique experiences.
Don’t miss a visit to at least one Mayan archaeological site in Yucatan and a dip into the cool, sweet waters of one of the numerous cenotes near Tulum and Playa del Carmen.
Some of the Mayan pyramids such as Chichen Itza and Coba get a lot of visitors, so make sure to be there as early as possible to avoid the crowds. Other pyramids are still hidden deep in the jungle and you need to be quite adventurous to get there.
But being alone, climbing the steps of the pyramid and looking at the jungle around you from its top is worth it! My recommendation is to be adventurous and explore Mexico on a road trip.
Pick At Least One Of These Travel Ideas And Make A Wish
If Santa didn’t bring you a trip to a dream destination for Christmas, now it’s time to write your New Year’s resolution and include at least one of these travel ideas in it!
I know I’ll be going to Tajikistan in August, what about you? Where are you heading in 2017? Share your travel ideas in the comments and who knows, your wish might just become true.