The world is getting smaller year-on-year. And, while some countries are still steeped in conflict, and still too dangerous to explore, for others the slackening regulations and border-crossing opportunities afforded to us by the 21st Century have opened up – literally – a world of possibility.
So with more airline routes than ever before, where should your pin land on the spinning globe in 2017?
From March 27, British Airways will fly directly from Heathrow to New Orleans, the traditional jazz capital of the United States. It may not be the biggest city in America, or even the most diverse, but it is so steeped in culture that every street will expand your mind further than the last.
Enjoy the multiple annual celebrations and festivals which take place in the city, admire the French and Spanish creole architecture and cruise along the mighty Mississippi River. If you want our advice, get there for Mardi Gras.
This summer, airlines around Britain are beginning flights to Girona – an under-appreciated Spanish gem that’s about to be found and, likely, commercialised beyond repair. So get in early, for this ‘mini Barcelona’ is a wonder.
The perfect gateway between a small sunny resort and a city break, Girona will keep you guessing with its maze of traditional back streets, a cultural crash of architectural style and, of course, a massively out of proportion and irrepressibly impressive cathedral.
It’ll come later this year, but Thomas Airlines have recently announced that flights to Phu Quoc, Vietnam, will begin in November. An island hotspot, this is the far east at its very best – serene white sand beaches with lush green foliage and bright turquoise waters.
Go for the views, but stay for the food. Vietnamese cuisine has grown in popularity exponentially in recent years, with restaurants opening all over the Western world trying to emulate the native dishes. But there’s nothing like the real thing – so tuck into Pho, Banh and Bo kho until you pop.
Ever since The Italian Job, Turin has been on our radars – but still remarkably few gentlemen have set foot in the north Italian city. But in 2017 there’s no excuse, as several leading airlines expand their routes to include direct flights to Turin.
With luxuriant Baroque architecture, a rich automotive history and culture – from art to food – to marvel at, Turin is a must. Close to many top Italian ski resorts, too.
The Philippines as a whole is an emerging destination for 2017, and Palawan – one of the best examples of a relatively untouched paradise, is the best place to explore. With diverse landscapes, complete serenity and some of the best aquatic exploration possibilities in The Philippines, this is the place for you.
Its proximity to war zones aside, Cairo has profited handsomely from its closeness to fluctuating regimes and military uncertainty. As a result, you can live like a King in Egypt on a relative pittance for a week or two, holidaying in one of the most beautiful and cultural cities in the Middle East in luxury.
Boasting opera houses, a plethora of historical sites and landmarks and some genuinely great nightlife spots (if you know where to look), Cairo could soon rocket to the top of your favourite capital cities.