2017 Travel List

Happy New Year! If you’re like most people, you’re starting to think about planning your next vacation now that the holidays are over. Maybe you’re trying to sneak in some family time over spring break, indulge in a romantic getaway for two, or make memories with some of your favorite people. (I’ve actually got all those things on my 2017 travel list!). There are no bad reasons to travel, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out where to go. Luckily, I’ve got the inside track on the hottest spots for 2017, and I’m here to inspire!

2017 Travel List


The struggling economy (and severe decline in Russian tourism), make 2017 a brilliant time to visit Greece. Pop into Athens and hit the ancient ground running. Spend a day taking in the Acropolis, Ancient and Roman Agoras, and Zeus’s Temple. Bypass the massive group tours (especially if you visit in July-August), and pay a bit extra for a private guide who will bring Hellenism to life. But don’t linger in Athens too long. One more day on the mainland to search for the oracle in Delphi, then it’s off to the Cyclades.


Visit the beautiful Greek Isles in 2017


From May to October, the blue-roofed houses and the Aegean sun await! For the best experience and views, base yourself on one of the quieter isles—Naxos, Ios, or Lesvos. Island hopping is easy on the many catamarans and ferries. You’ll be glad you opted against staying in Mykonos or Santorini when the cruise ships come in.

Wittenberg, Germany

2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation—a movement spawned by Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses on the Castle Church door. While Germany has been amping up for the milestone for several years, 2017 will be a climactic time to visit. But don’t limit your activities to Wittenberg! The entire region of Saxony is considered to be the cultural heart of the country. If you want to take in the best parts of the region and the Luther celebrations, I suggest basing in charming little Leipzig and taking the train to Berlin and the area sights. There are also “Luther Routes” you can follow for a history-inspired tour of Germany.



Beautiful sights and charming villages in Slovenia


If there was a “Best New Destination” award, Slovenia would be at the podium thanking the academy. Mark my words—in the next five years, everyone is going to be talking about this place! Kind people, a green landscape, and lively culture are just the beginning of Slovenia’s charms. Here, you can swim at the beach one day, hike (or even ski) the next, and meander through wine country after that. If you think it isn’t a #jetlagworthy destination, think again; both Venice and the beaches of Croatia can be done in day trips. After tangling with the crowds in St. Mark’s and the prices in Hvar, you’ll be elated to return to Trieste.


For years, I’ve been proclaiming the wonders of Iceland only to have people look at me like I’m nuts. The craze is catching on, my friends! This little island is a natural paradise and a sensory wonderland. Active volcanoes, black sand beaches, and thundering waterfalls may sound more like the wonders of Hawaii, but Iceland lays claim to all of these natural wonders—and then some. It’s not all mountain treks and hot springs, though. Bustling Reykjavík in particular will keep city folk entertained in museums, cafes, shops, and pubs—with a stunning backdrop of glaciers, of course. Go in winter (Nov-April) for Northern Lights or May-July for the best weather, birdwatching, and fewer crowds in the Blue Lagoon.


Brazil is in the midst of a tourism surge following the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. Meanwhile, savvy travelers have the best of South America virtually to themselves. From Guayaquil to the Galapagos, Ecuador is beautiful, tropical, and hospitable. Uruguay’s beaches rival any you’ll find along the Atlantic coast, and the street food scene is enough to get this foodie on a plane. Both Chile and Argentina boast outstanding wines and dual seasons thanks to their position on the equator. And then there’s Peru. This tiny country packs a punch that’s stronger than its pisco sours! As if Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley weren’t enough…visitors could easily spend a month exploring the Amazon River, Liman coast, Incan ruins, Lake Titicaca, and sprawling nature reserves that host the world’s greatest conglomerate of biodiversity. {For more on visiting Chile and Argentina, see this post.}

Visit Chili's beautiful beaches



Has this list inspired your travel plans in 2017? Do you have a dream destination in mind already? I’d love to answer any questions you might have or help you get the pieces put together. The world is a big, beautiful place, and there’s no time like the present to start exploring it.

Here’s to a captivating 2017!

Ciao Chow,

Autumn Welborn is a vacation planner and travel agent in Lubbock, Texas