Music, sports, tourist walks and just goofing around…2017 promises to be a cracking year for international travel – and we’ve got the goods on the five destinations you MUST check out this year.
If you’ve been catching up on the many, many posts on social media sites by travel writers who proclaim that they quit their jobs to travel the world, we’re sure you’re thinking, “Who does that?”
We’re kidding – a lot of people have really quit their jobs to embark on an almost spiritual pursuit of travel. We’re not saying you should, too – not all of us can drop everything to just travel – but we do suggest that you should take some time off this year to make a trip to a faraway land. Not only will it relieve some of your stress and help you experience what the rest of the world lives like, it will also broaden your mind in many different ways.
Besides, the year 2017 is great for travel. Last year’s Brexit vote has left the GBP and Euro still a little shaky, so it’s a good idea to visit the EU countries while you can. But then again, demonetisation in India has given the Rupee a fair beating as well. Either way, whether global currencies aid and abet your travel plans or not, just go ahead and make your holiday itinerary.
If you’re even slightly confused about where you can go this year – after all, the world is HUGE, and picking one destination is akin to picking a needle from a haystack – don’t worry, we’ve got your back. We’ve got not one, not two, but five excellent recommendations for your foreign trip this year. Pack your bags and go to –
1 Chile. When people think of South America, they normally first think of Brazil. And then of nothing else. Which is unfortunate, because Chile is a place well worth your time. It was awarded as the best adventure tourism destination in the world at the World Travel Awards 2016. And why not? You can go crazy with the most inventive adventure water sports all along its staggeringly long 2,650-mile-long coastline. Then there is its wonderful wine tourism potential, with verdant vineyards that are pleasing to the senses. You can also find excellent accommodation in its boutique hotels and eat succulent food at their spate of excellent restaurants.
2 Canada. You must visit Canada at every opportunity you get, but do visit particularly this year – the great country celebrates 150 years of its birth. The celebrations are expected to carry on for the better part of the year, and you can expect free entry at its several historical sites and its over 200 national parks. Plus, the entire country is vast and gorgeous, with some of the friendliest, nicest people you will find anywhere in the world.
3 Granada.This Spanish city boasts of the best architecture, food, shopping and open spaces. Check out the historic cities of Alhambra and Albaicin, which mixes traditional Islamic buildings with wide expanses of flowering blooms, and the stunning Sierra Nevada, where you can feast your eyes on snow-capped mountains or go down to the coast to sun yourself on the beach. If you like dancing, put on your high heeled boots or stilettos and head down to Andalucía which has a bustling flamenco scene, especially in Sacromonte.
4 New Zealand. One of the must-visit destinations for sports buffs this year is New Zealand. The scenic country with the most delectable and hearty food is set to host a spate of prestigious sporting events this year. Travel to the country in time for the 9th World Masters Games in April (in Auckland), the Lions Tour (The British & Irish Lions Rugby Series) in June, the Audi Quattro Winter Games in August and the famous Rotorua Mud Festival in December.
5 Memphis.This normally nondescript town near New Orleans will come alive with a series of music festivals in 2017. Expect to be entertained by jazz recitals – the city is the birthplace of several jazz greats – but you will be blown away by the weeklong tribute to the King of Rock n’ Roll, Elvis Presley. The King’s 40th death anniversary is on August 11, and his Graceland-based home will hold a weeklong tribute with live music acts, community contests, a fair, panel discussions and a candlelight vigil on the last day of the fest. Memphis kick-starts the celebrations by opening a new entertainment complex in the late singer’s name, titled Elvis Presley’s Memphis, in March this year.
And now, for the important part of your trip…
You can have the time of your life on your travels, but only if you have the assurance of carrying sufficient foreign currency with you. You will need to arrange for a substantial part of the foreign exchange (forex) before you leave. Airports also facilitate forex, but you will get the currency at a higher rate, and hence, spend more money.
Instead, ask your bank about their forex rate. The forex rate changes every business day, and your bank can get you the major global currencies such as USD, GBP, Euro, Yen, etc. Reputed banks like IDFC Bank have a range of forex services to suit your needs. IDFC Bank also offers help in determining how much money you are likely to need on your trip and how much money you can exchange at one go.
IDFC Bank offers 26 major currencies, and such useful features as doorstep delivery of forex. The bank also facilitates quick and stress-free encashment. Be sure to find out the forex rates and when you should encash your Rupees, so as to get the maximum bang for your buck.