2015 travel forecast: The big list of lists

adventure travel, big list of travel 2015, local travel, off-the-beaten-path travel, speciality travel, travel for shakespeare lovers, travel forecast 2015, world travel, ethical travel, map illustration © Janet Giampietro

Travel trends in 2015 for US citizens: The big story is legal travel to Cuba. But don’t rush there just yet if you want to travel freely – your itinerary will be limited – and only allowed through State Department-licensed agencies.

Structured tours called people-to-people interactions encourage experiences that bring Americans and Cubans together. Moseying to the beach, doing some scuba diving or wandering off-the-beaten-path remains verboten unless you enter illegally through another country, which may cause other problems at this time. But we wait in hope to see this country before it succumbs to a full blown resort-and-chain-store haven.

Besides Cuba, the top locations for 2015 are Singapore (celebrating its 50th year of independence), Japan (depreciation of the yen), Oman (desert, beaches, green valleys, souks), Romania (castle-hopping), Uruguay (regional wines and whale migration) and close to home, the beautiful Hudson Highlands in NY State. Asia and South America are red-hot places to go this year. The rest of the locations span the globe.

Trends in how we travel: DIY travel is the new norm in favor of pre-packaged tours, in addition to the pairing of natives and locals for meals, and ethical travel (being aware of our impact on the environment) also figure prominently.

We’re off!

adventure travel, big list of travel 2015, local travel, off-the-beaten-path travel, speciality travel, travel for shakespeare lovers, travel forecast 2015, world travel, ethical travel

The New York Times BIG list of 52 places, is well, all over the map. Here are the top 20 places, some familiar but ready for rediscovery, and others alien, and waiting to be explored.

  1. Burgundy, France
  2. Bolivia
  3. Cuba
  4. Durban, South Africa
  5. Elqui Valley, Chile
  6. Faroe Islands
  7. Macedonia
  8. Lower Manhattan, New York, NY USA
  9. Medellín, Colombia
  10. Milan, Italy
  11. The North Coast of Peru
  12. Oman
  13. Orlando, Florida USA
  14. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
  15. Steamboat Springs, Colorado USA
  16. Singapore
  17. St Vincent and The Grenadines
  18. Tanzania
  19. Yellowstone National Park
  20. Zimbabwe

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Condé Nast Traveler editors’ suggest 15 different, beyond-the-classic places in which to luxuriate in 2015.

  1. Belgrade, Serbia
  2. Berlin, Germany
  3. Cape Town, South Africa
  4. Cartagena, Colombia
  5. Cuba
  6. Guangzhou, China
  7. Helsinki, Finland
  8. Houston, Texas USA
  9. Mexico City, Mexico
  10. Milford Sound, New Zealand
  11. Myanmar
  12. Nassau, The Bahamas
  13. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA
  14. Rwanda
  15. Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

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adventure travel, big list of travel 2015, local travel, off-the-beaten-path travel, speciality travel, travel for shakespeare lovers, travel forecast 2015, world travel, ethical travel

National Geographic Traveler highlights 20 go-now locations that, in their words, will send you packing. From sea to sky, adventure is on the agenda.

  1. Corsica
  2. Choquequirao, Peru
  3. Esteros del Iberá, Argentina
  4. Haida Gwaii, British Columbia
  5. Hyderabad, India
  6. Koyasan, Japan
  7. Maramureș, Romania
  8. Medellín, Colombia
  9. Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar
  10. Mont St. Michel, France
  11. Mornington Peninsula, Australia
  12. National Mall, Washington, DC USA
  13. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma USA
  14. Port Antonio, Jamaica
  15. The Presidio, San Francisco, USA
  16. Sark, Channel Islands
  17. Sea Islands, South Carolina USA
  18. Taiwan
  19. Tunis, Tunisia
  20. Zermatt, Switzerland
  21. Readers’ Choice Winner: Faroe Islands

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Travel + Leisure’s list of 50 places to go in 2015 has been shortened to 10, but you’ll want to see them all because … “These are the places changing the travel map.” What are you waiting for?

  1. Catskills, New York, USA
  2. Chengdu, China
  3. Fez, Morocco
  4. Istanbul, Turkey
  5. Milan, Italy
  6. Oman
  7. Prince Edward County, Canada
  8. Puerto Plata, D.R.
  9. Rotterdam, Netherlands
  10. Wasatch Mountains, Utah USA

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The Rough Guides’ picks for top countries to visit in 2015 is skimpy on words. The stunning imagery envelopes the future traveler in its beauty. I’m inspired, sign me up for any or all destinations.

  1. Bangladesh
  2. Canada
  3. Egypt
  4. Greece
  5. Haiti
  6. Iran
  7. Malaysia
  8. United Kingdom
  9. Uruguay
  10. Zambia

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adventure travel, big list of travel 2015, local travel, off-the-beaten-path travel, speciality travel, travel for shakespeare lovers, travel forecast 2015, world travel, ethical travel

Fodor’s Go List has a little something for everyone. The 25 don’t-miss spots include emerging hot spots and value destinations. There’s grand or sedate in every price range and length. Take off.

  1. The Arctic
  2. Barbados
  3. Bourbon Country and Louisville, Kentucky USA
  4. Cleveland, Ohio USA
  5. The Florida Panhandle, USA
  6. Guadalupe Valley, Mexico
  7. Guatemala
  8. The Hudson Valley and the Catskills, New York USA
  9. Iceland
  10. Jackson Hole, Wyoming USA
  11. Melbourne, Australia
  12. Newfoundland, Canada
  13. Namibia
  14. Norway
  15. Oman
  16. Paris
  17. Patagonia, Chile
  18. Piedmont, Italy
  19. Pilsen, Czech Republic
  20. Punta del Este, Uruguay
  21. Romania
  22. The Silk Road, China
  23. Singapore
  24. Sri Lanka
  25. Vietnam

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adventure travel, big list of travel 2015, local travel, off-the-beaten-path travel, speciality travel, travel for shakespeare lovers, travel forecast 2015, world travel, ethical travel

For the Lonely Planet’s Budget Traveler, economy doesn’t have to mean sacrifice. Here are the best places to go to get the best bang for your buck, or pow for your pound in 2015.

  1. Bali
  2. Portugal
  3. Romania
  4. Samoa
  5. Shanghai
  6. South Africa
  7. Uruguay
  8. Taiwan
  9. Tunisia

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adventure travel, big list of travel 2015, local travel, off-the-beaten-path travel, speciality travel, travel for shakespeare lovers, travel forecast 2015, world travel, ethical travel

Travel bloggers, those lucky many who live and breath travel 24/7, picked a wide range of travel locations. They’re all desirable, but yay for the Scottish Highlands – one of my favorite places.

  1. All Over Europe
  2. Barbados
  3. Cambodia
  4. Cape Town, South Africa
  5. Cascais, Portugal
  6. The Caucasus
  7. Chengdu, China
  8. Guatemala
  9. Hudson Valley, New York USA
  10. Istanbul to Beijing and beyond (Marco Polo route)
  11. Korea
  12. Koh Wai, Thailand
  13. Krabi, Thailand
  14. The Maldives
  15. Mons, Belgium
  16. Mount Everest, Nepal
  17. Nozawa Onsen, Japan
  18. Playa del Carmen, Mexico
  19. Santa Fe, New Mexico USA
  20. Scotland’s Highlands
  21. Sri Lanka
  22. Umbria, Italy

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Eco travelers – check out what five experts on ecotourism have to say about these top destinations offering responsible, sustainable culture.

  1. Barbados
  2. Cape Verde, Africa
  3. Gwaii Haanas, British Columbia
  4. Iceland
  5. Kaikora, New Zealand
  6. Kelmtu, British Columbia
  7. Ladakh, India
  8. Northeast Kingdom, Vermont
  9. Norwegian Fjords
  10. Palau
  11. Pembrokeshire Coast, Wales
  12. Samoa
  13. Sierra Gorda, Mexico
  14. Tortuguero, Costa Rica
  15. Uruguay

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Interest appears to be waning in space travel. Last year, with Virgin Galactic so close to blast-off, that horrific crash sidelined the fleet for an unknown amount of time. With so many delays, people are looking elsewhere for the ultimate adventure.

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adventure travel, big list of travel 2015, local travel, off-the-beaten-path travel, speciality travel, travel for shakespeare lovers, travel forecast 2015, world travel, ethical travel

And finally, for those of us who love off-the-beaten-path travel, this photo essay includes stunning images and destinations. Deception Island, Antarctica is way off and way cool and on my to-see list.

  1. Pipiwai Trail, Maui
  2. Kingsmere Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada
  3. Chobe River, Namibia/Botswana
  4. Crespi d’Adda, Italy
  5. Deception Island, Antarctica
  6. Hamelin Pool, Western Australia
  7. Taroko Gorge, Taiwan
  8. Overberg, South Africa
  9. Passau, Germany
  10. Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta Canada

Have your passport at the ready. What’s your first stop?

Map design + animation: © 2015 Janet Giampietro. Photos: Cuba: Lisette Poole for NYT; Corsica: Marc Dozier; Oman: Robert van Waarden; Uruguay: Globetrotter Girls ; Japan: Turnipseed; Deception Island, Antarctica: LandLopers.

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