Travel Scene: What destinations are on your life's 'bucket list?'
Do you have a bucket list of destinations you want to travel to in 2017? If not, maybe you should. We have a bucket list and many other Americans have as well, according to InsureMyTrip, a site that compares travel insurance selections.
The top destination that travelers have picked for next year is Mexico, the travel site reports, and the remainder of the favorite "bucket" sites virtually cover the globe.
Here are the others, listed in order from top to bottom: Italy, Hawaii, South Africa, England, New Zealand, France, Israel and India.
MyTrip Travel Editor Julie Loffredi was quoted in a news release that "there is a surprising uptick in travelers heading to more remote and exotic destinations next year — with India, New Zealand and South Africa making our top list. However, many travelers are seeking calmer locations and trips closer to home with Mexico dominating our rundown.
"Results also suggest England and France will make a comeback in 2017 with a boost in expected visitors following 2016," Loffredi said.
Our 'bucket trip?'
We've made a host of trips to many — perhaps a hundred — locations through the years, but the one coming up is one we've thought about but have never scheduled until now.
It will be next March, and there are several highlights in this itinerary, which is climaxed by four nights in amazing Dubai. The trip starts in Singapore — we're there for a few nights — and then we board one of the most acclaimed cruise ships in the world, Regent's Seven Seas Navigator.
On the way to Dubai, the major stop on the trip will be in India — there actually are a few other stops there — when we can take a several-day side-trip to the Taj Mahal in Agra.
But it will be tough to beat Dubai, with its tallest and most elaborate hotels in the world — one that features an indoor ski slope — plus the world's largest shopping center, the largest man-made island, the largest airport and many more attractions.
It's about a three-week "bucket trip" and open to anyone, if you've got the time and the money.
Top cruise destinations
On the subject of surveys, Cruise Critic has reviewed online cruise picks and has come up with the top cruise destinations in the world.
Briefly, St. Petersburg, Russia, is the highest-rated port of the year, Europe's rivers receive the highest ratings and Disney Cruise Line's Castaway Cay is the top port in the Caribbean.
River cruise port cities were the top-rated category as a whole, with all of the top five destinations receiving the highest marks across the board. Paris was rated the best destination, with reviewers naming the city's beauty, museums and gardens as particularly impressive.
Castaway Cay ranked highest among cruise line private islands, and topped all Caribbean categories combined. Also ranked high were Bonaire, St. Maarten and Cozumel. The best North American cruise destination was San Francisco.