What’s hot in the wide world of Travel for 2016? Cuba…hands down. Not only was there a number of charter companies offering services there, not only was there a separate seminar on it, but the where to go in 2016 featured it has well. Though how to get there and what to do…is where it got a little heated. However before I get to that and the seminars I attended, below are a sampling of the tables I hit…

South Africa – As soon as you walk in they had a huge booth…coinkydink I just booked a trip there…I think not.

Bahamas- I’ve been to Nassau…so it was discussing the outer islands that sparked my interest 

Georgia – Not Atlanta, the country a former part of the old Soviet Union. While I’ve never been, it has a special place in my heart. A girl from here used the “Deal-breaker” line breaking up with me. 

It’s Easy- My go to spot for getting my Passport updated and Visa’s. They have a new App for those who don’t live in a location where they have an office. Pretty cool.  

Morocco- On my list of places I need to go…plus they are supposed to have some pretty cool beaches and I want to “rock the Kasbah”:) 

Okinawa – I grew up reading about the brutal battles that took place here. Turns out, supposed to be s beauty fit place with great beaches and their own unique culture.  

Croatia – I’ve been to Dubrovnik but really want to see more. The Adriatic blew me away and I literally felt a bond to it. Could be due to my paternal Grandfather came from here. Also perpetually rocked a tan.   

Cuba – Turns out, you don’t necessarily have to choose a full on Group Guided trip from the Charter companies. You can just purchase flights etc…more on this…

As stated I attended two seminars which were both great(Of note, I can’t believe I have to write this…but turn your damn cell phones volume off when attending a seminar, conference, movie, concert, etc.!I lost count how many times people’s phones went off and how long the ringer went on for. Seriously, a little respect to the speakers and attendees)

Top New Destinations 2016 Notes 

Arthur Frommer and his daughter Pauline spoke on what they believe are the hot spots for 2016 and both were very entertaining public speakers. Hot top 2 for them…Columbia and Iceland. Been there, done that. I as well highly recommend both.

Pauline shared a great story on her Volunteer vacation with her family in Chenai, Southern India. 

Canada is a 2016 Hotspot! Why, the US dollar is crushing the Loonie 1 to $1.40+. Hotel room prices…just buy the hotel!:) of note 2017 is their 150th…free National Parks entrance. 

Japan Was very expensive, now 170 yen to the $ now makes it moderately priced and affordable. So need to go for so many reasons.

France -Terrorism has really hurt tourism. However with the dollar within 10% of the Euro it’s the time to go. Plus…millions of us still live and thrive in NY. The same will be for Paris. Plus 1 hour away by high speed train…Champagne. Grapes and the grapes of wrath from years of war with Germany. Learn yourself some history and toast to Peace.  

Russia – The ruble has fallen dramatically, so Moscow went from crazy expensive…to “Yo Ivan some more Caviar and Natalya keep the Vodka flowing:) However, the people are very pro-Putin and thus blame Americans for their current economic woes and let you know it. Smile why requesting some more Vodka. 

Egypt- Sadly a very unsafe destination right now…top contender for where not to go 2016.

Cuba- Arthur totally shot down the group trips as grossly overpriced and canned. My favorite moment of the day…especially since I agree with him. He did point out that there are not enough hotels so stay in so look into a Casa Particular via Airbnb. 

Next seminar was on 2016’s top hotspot…Cuba 

3 million visited last year in 2015, most were Canadians and Europeans. The American invasion has barely started… 

Hotly contested as to what you can do i.e. going with a group or going solo. This panel was all about the benefits of the Group tour. There is definitely a market the for Tourists. Travelers will likely side with Arthur. This panel believes Cuba will only get more expensive. While I’m sure some things will. I personally think booking a direct flight with accommodation will be less then what I feel are extravagant prices vs what you can do anywhere else in the Caribbean for. 

US Telecom providers Verizon and Sprint work in Cuba…expensive though.  

Mechanics of moving money is still very complex. Of note, not a good idea to write Cuba on a check, PayPal , etc it could get traced back and the US Gov will be less than ecstatic. 

Cuba reputation is that’s it’s very safe…though that is likely a positive side effect of a totalitarian Police State… 

Direct flights are expected this year. I’m keeping my eyes on this. I want to go before we turn it into a Mall on the beach. 

So where will your first trip be in 2016? For mine, stay tuned for upcoming pieces on…

  

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