Travelbag’s experts have selected the best long-haul destinations for 2017. Check out the definitive guide here.
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Travelbag’s 2017 Ultimate Destination Guide

by Travelbag on 13 June 2017, 09:06AM

With advances in technology and people having more time off work, visiting far-off destinations for an exotic holiday is no longer a pipedream for many Brits. Long-haul holidays are now more achievable than ever before, with flights taking less time and costs dropping.

As the UK’s leading specialist in tailor-made long-haul holidays, we’ve put together a list of 12 of the ultimate destinations that you should visit in 2017.

1. New Zealand

New Zealand

Ever popular, New Zealand is a great destination for all the family and with the 2017 British and Irish Lions Tour visiting in June and July there’s no better time to go and take in its most famous sport.

Choosing between the North and South Islands can be tough but why choose just one when your holiday could encompass both? Make your way from Auckland to Queenstown, taking in all the beautiful scenery and Lord of the Rings inspired adventures. With flights available via Dubai and Doha, New Zealand is more accessible than you may have first thought!

2. Dubai


The jewel in the United Arab Emirate’s crown, Dubai is home to some of the most impressive skylines in the world. With futuristic architecture and luxurious hotels, plus restaurant and shopping facilities that would make even the biggest shopaholic weak at the knees, there’s no better time to visit.

With Dubai having a hot, sweltering climate for most of the year, it can difficult to find a time when the temperature drops. For those looking for slightly less heat, between November and March is ideal, and for those looking for sun, sea and sand, spring and autumn are your best bet.

3. South Africa

South Africa

The rising star for water sports, South Africa is a dream for any aspiring surfer. With a beautiful coastline that seems to go on forever and waves ideally suited for surf lessons, visiting now gives you a better chance of finding that perfect beach before the crowds arrive!

In your downtime, explore some of the world’s best scenery – experience the wildness of the Kalahari Desert in the North, cross the Limpopo River by boat or wander the streets of its many cosmopolitan cities such as Cape Town. The diverse geography in South Africa is what makes this country so extraordinary.

4. Mauritius


Once a destination for pirates sailing the seven seas, the tropical island of Mauritius now attracts thousands of British holidaymakers looking for a well-earned escape every year. With botanical jungle gardens, Indian temples and rare species of animals everywhere you turn, a Mauritius vacation is truly one for the explorers!

For those who are more active, enjoy the world-class golfing resorts or water sports or simply recharge with a visit to one of the islands’ many luxurious spas and gourmet restaurants. Although Mauritius is considered a year-round destination, it’s best experienced as a winter sun holiday.

5. Canada


A dynamic and inclusive country, Canada is celebrating its 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation and it’s set to be one hell of a birthday party! With the Canadian dollar falling in value, overseas visitors can expect to get a lot of bang for their buck, meaning you’ll get to indulge in all of the fantastic cuisine and wine, as well as embrace the beautiful scenery of Canada’s great outdoors.

As Canada is such a huge country, it makes for a ginormous journey. With such a vast array of incredible landscapes, Canada is best seen by road and has some of the most impressive driving routes in the world. If you’d prefer fewer stops, areas such as Toronto and Niagara, as well as Vancouver, are perfect places to act as base.

6. Australia


A firm favourite for Brits, Australia is one of the greatest travel destinations in the world and a place brimming with possibilities. With a vast and varied landscape, Australia is a country that is sure to excite any avid traveller looking to escape the everyday.

On the east and south coasts, you have some of the most globally recognisable cities and breathtaking marine adventures, whilst the west and centre is home to the wondrous Outback and some of Australia’s largest wine regions.

As the country is so large, the weather can vary hugely. As the seasons are reversed due to Australia’s location in the southern hemisphere, most holidaymakers choose to go down under for the winter period, with Christmas and New Year being particularly popular times to visit.

7. Mexico


A country with a fascinatingly rich heritage, beautifully spotless beaches, delicious food and spectacular fiestas, Mexico is the perfect getaway. With the Mayan Riviera boasting high temperatures all-year round, it’s a popular destination for British holidaymakers looking to escape the winter blues.

Spend your days trekking through exotic jungles in search of ancient Mayan and Inca ruins, top up the tan in Cancun or Playa del Carmen before taking a dip in the Caribbean Sea, and stay up all night embracing the party culture of Mexico City and Acapulco. Mexico’s energy is infectious and there’s something to suit the taste of every traveller.

8. Malaysia


The lush green islands of Malaysia has seen a huge surge in tourism recently, with travellers choosing to explore beyond the comforts of Thailand and Cambodia and discovering less travelled but equally amazing destinations in Southeast Asia.

With Malay, Chinese and Indian influences, Malaysia is a fascinating concoction of cultures and a country of extraordinary beauty. Intrepid travellers will find themselves spoilt for choice with exotic jungle rainforests, national parks and secluded beaches. Any trip to this country wouldn’t be complete without visiting the cosmopolitan capital of Kuala Lumpur, where you’ll get to experience the stunning skyline and iconic Petronas Twin Tower building.

9. USA


An iconic country famous around the world, the USA really is the ‘Land of Opportunity’. With such diversity, the possibilities are endless when deciding where to visit. From glamorous cities such as New York and Los Angeles to the breathtaking landscapes across its many national parks, cramming everything in to your perfect itinerary might be tough.

As the country is so large, the culture, cuisine and weather varies depending on where are you, meaning everyone has the possibility of creating a route that fits their very own idea of the American dream.

10. Maldives


Beach lovers rejoice! The Maldives offers a haven for sun worshippers due to its immaculate beaches, endless sunshine and turquoise waters. Simply put, it’s a paradise! Known for being a romantic island getaway destination, the Maldives has an abundance of luxurious resorts and spas, as well as beautiful scenery, making it the perfect place for a honeymoon or couples retreat.

Located in the heart of the Indian Ocean, holidaymakers will find that the long-haul journey was well worth it when they arrive to beautiful weather and strikingly blue skies. Make the most of the perfect weather and crystal clear ocean by getting in the water for scuba diving, snorkelling and boat trips.

11. Thailand


No country combines adventure, exotic scenery and beautiful beaches quite like Thailand. With fantastic food, lively cities, glorious coastlines and lush rainforests, what’s not to like?

Thailand is a country that enchants its visitors and has them returning over and over again. Enjoy the fast pace of cities like Bangkok and then escape to the islands on the Andaman Sea for some of the best diving in the world, nights you’ll never forget, and rest and relaxation on the beach. Before you leave, don’t forget to indulge in a spot of shopping. With prices so low, you may have to invest in a second suitcase just to get everything home!

12. Bahamas


Located just off of the coast of Florida, the Bahamas is made up of 700 islands on the edge of the Caribbean Sea. The laidback lifestyle attracts thousands of visitors each year who want to enjoy the good life – sipping rum cocktails on the beach and island hopping to explore everything that’s on offer. The surrounding Caribbean Sea is perfect for water sports and is also home to the third largest coral reef in the world, where you can scuba dive to your heart’s content.

Although the Bahamas is blessed with great weather all-year round, travellers who visit over Christmas and New Year will also get the opportunity to experience the unforgettable Junkanoo street parade. Here you’ll get to bring in the New Year with upbeat Caribbean music and join in with the locals, who don colourful traditional costumes as they dance through the streets.

Wanderlusting for more travel inspiration? Find your perfect route and destination by following in the footsteps of one of these iconic explorers.

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