Like it or not, 2014 is coming to an end soon and it is almost time for the annual new year’s resolutions. Usually my plans about what to do less or more of in the next 12 months are forgotten just after a few weeks, so I decided that this year shall be different. One of the Dalai Lama’s most popular quotes is “Once a year go somewhere where you have never been before”, but I prefer to live by Katja‘s slight amendment: “Once a month go somewhere where you have never been before.”

A dock at sunset on White Sands Island in the Maldives.

After I wrote my wish list for 2015 I was so overwhelmed by all your comments and thoughts on the article, on bucket lists and your personal travel dreams, that I started asking around the Travelettes teams, which places and experiences take over their dreams day and night. Together we came up with a list of traveletty places we hope to visit in the new year – because travelling is a new year’s resolution I definitely won’t forget.

Going to a place I’ve never been before is always super exciting, but can also be quite overwhelming if I don’t speak the language or it is a little off the beaten track. In these kind of situations it can be nice to travel with a group, and an experienced guide who knows the place inside out. The tour operator Contiki for example offers you the ideal framework of organised activities, local expertise and round-the-clock support – and in-between you are free to choose your own adventures. They have trips all around the world, so no matter where you haven’t been before Contiki can almost certainly get you there.

If you are in desperate need for inspiration and don’t know which places will are the coolest hotspots of 2015, check out our selection of the 12 most traveletty destinations for the new year.

1) Tanzania

&beyond klein's camp / lea foustad harbo

When asking my expert friends which country is a good one to visit for an Africa newbie, they almost always say Tanzania. They swoon about island hopping in Zanzibar and Mnemba, tell adventurous stories of climbing Kilimanjaro and show-off first class wildlife photos from safaris to one of the national parks. Tanzania seems to be a country with many faces that I definitely want to see next year!

2) Maldives

four seasons resort maldives

It is no secret – Katja loves the Indian Ocean and its islands. It started with a first visit to the Maldives a few years back, and now, she hopes to finally return and teach her baby Atlas everything she knows about paradise. No matter which of the 1,000+ islands she chooses this time, she will do away with the old stereotype that paradise is only for honeymooners and big spenders.

3) Honduras

Honduras-islands-and-beach

Frankie has been meaning to visit Honduras for ages. Not only because she has family there, but also because of the many dreamy stories about magnificent waves, beautiful islands and colourful underwater world. The Bay Islands, with the main islands Roatán, Guanaja and Útila, sound particularly alluring to her to finally get back into diving. Here are 10 more reasons to travel Honduras.

4) Pan-American Highway

osa peninsula - rainforest of the austrians

There’s nothing like a road trip. After several visits to the US West Coast Marie is saving up all her wanderlust for an epic road trip from the northern states to the most southern tip of South America later in 2015. On her way she will explore just about every country in North, Central and South America, speak English and Spanish, learn how to surf, and encounter fantastic people. If you have less time, just chose any country along the way, rent a car and live the (weeklong) dream.

5) The North-West

yoho national park

We all know the North American North-West is breathtaking – particularly if you are into the outdoors. Caro’s dream for 2015 is to spend some time in the west of Canada and the US, and travel around British Columbia, Alberta, Washington State and Oregon. Maybe she will find (and run from) a bear in the Rocky Mountains, or explore the urban jungle of Portland, Seattle and Vancouver.

6) Norway

oslo people

Although Katja has been in Norway numerous times, it is still one of her dream destinations for the new year. Why? There are many reasons to go to Norway: the northern lights, the fjords, wildlife or cool cities like Oslo or Trondheim – but no, she’s a way more pragmatic lady. Norway is inhabited by some of the most beautiful creatures on this planet, who are worth to travel even from afar: bearded men. If that’s not a good reason to visit, what is?!?

7) Borneo

14358333418_b4a5a307cd_z via Luke Price

From bearded men of the north, to wild animals in more exotic climates. That travelling South East Asia is awesome might not be a big secret – but somehow there is always something new to explore. Annika, who is definitely no SE Asia newbie, is dreaming of the rainforest in Borneo and finding herself a cute orangutan baby to cuddle.

9) Ecuador & Galapagos

top 10 manaus

One can dream, right? Although Ecuador is not the most popular destination of South America travellers, there is plenty to see. First up, the origin of the mighty Amazon river. As Ecuador is relatively off the beaten track, typical river cruises here are more intimate and authentic than for example in Brazil. Second, there are fantastic surf spots for beginners and pros along the coast – again with much less traffic than other places. And finally, there is Galapagos – a kingdom for somebody who’s a sucker for exotic animals and giant turtles like Rita!

10) Australia

australia-australian-beautiful-bicycle-bike-Favim.com-425280 via Favim

Oz is an evergreen among the Travelettes. While some haven’t been there before, other can’t wait to return in 2015. Sophie, for example, who used to live in Melbourne wants to visit her old neighbourhood, meet up with friends and explore every inch between Brisbane and Perth she hasn’t seen before. To escape the crowds of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria she plans to venture to Western Australia and Tasmania instead. The perfect month to visit will be March, as the climate would be post-scorching and flight prices go down a little.

11) Philippines

Cocktails

While Annika is searching for monkeys and yoga mats in the rainforest of Borneo, Alex will be sipping on rum cocktails in the Philippines. There are more islands to explore than you can count; quadruple this number several times and you know how many beautiful beaches you can find. In case you lost count – there are millions of reasons to go to the Philippines in 2015!

12) Shetland Islands

shetland-ponies-cardigans5
via Visit Scotland

Having spent a year on the mainland of Scotland, Kathi is now ready to explore the northern-most part of the UK. The Shetland Islands can be reached by plane (boring expensive) or by ferry (cheap adventurous), there is a fire festival in the end of January, and it’s far enough up north that she hopes to catch some Northern Lights. Not even to mention the ponies!

Do you feel inspired? What are your top destinations for the new year and do you include travelling in your new year’s resolutions?

 

* This post was sponsored by Contiki and contains affiliate links.
All photos by the Travelettes or sourced as stated.


This is a post by Kathi Kamleitner.

Kathi Kamleitner was a regular contributor at Travelettes from 2013 to 2019. Originally from Vienna, Austria, she packed her backpack to travel the world and lived in Denmark, Iceland and Berlin, before settling in Glasgow, Scotland. Kathi is always preparing her next trip – documenting her every step with her camera, pen and phone.

In 2016, Kathi founded Scotland travel blog WatchMeSee.com to share her love for her new home, hiking in the Scottish Highlands, island hopping and vegan food. Follow her adventures on Instagram @watchmesee!