10 Hot International Destinations to Visit in 2017

We love a good new year’s resolution, don’t you? CheapAir is resolving to make international travel a priority in 2017 and we think you should too! We can’t wait to share our picks for must-visit spots for the year. To make the list, a destination had to be relatively inexpensive, rich in culture, history or archaeological interest (most of these were all 3!), and had to be a rising star in leisure travel. Here’s who made the cut.

cambodia

1. Cambodia
Visitors to southeast Asia flock to Thailand in droves. Cambodia deserves to have this kind of attention, as it’s home to a rich, if troubled history, and some of the most impressive archaeological ruins in the world (Angkor Wat). The capital, Phnom Penh, boasts some of the loveliest French architecture from the Indochina era and the food is plentiful, delicious and cheap. Cheap flights are on EVA Air from JFK from around $800.*

cape town, south africa

2. Cape Town, South Africa
The entire continent of Africa is on our bucket list, but if you only have a week or two for vacation in 2017, the must-visit destination is Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town sits at the foot of the swoon-worthy Table Mountain and has culture in spades, activities for the whole family and a wallet-friendly price tag to boot! Multicultural tolerance is the hard-earned rule of the land in Cape Town, and as Christians, Muslims, Jews and Hindu residents will tell you – Cape Town’s residents are proud pioneers in social justice. Flights to Cape Town start at around $750* from Washington DC (IAD).

belize

3. Belize
Why Belize in 2017? Why not! There’s a lot to love about Central America’s most accessible spot. To begin with, Belize’s official language is English, making it super easy to get your feet wet in this part of the world without a stressful language barrier. If your ideal vacation involves lounging on the beach, Belize has some beauties, but it’s perhaps known best to be a destination for divers the world over. You can also visit archaeological wonders built by the Mayans, and take part in jungle adventures like rappelling down waterfalls, zip lining above the canopy and crawling through ancient cave systems. If you’re scouting retirement destinations you could do a lot worse than Belize – the government allows expat “retirees” significant perks and you only have to be 45 to qualify! Book your roundtrip flight on American for just $400* from Denver.

colombia

4. Colombia
The country of Colombia has been on a mission for years to improve it’s rather tarnished image and it’s won us over with one, key element: the enthusiasm and hustle of the Colombian people. Colombia has no huge must-see sights like Machu Picchu or the Amazon. But what it does have is a population with a deep and abiding love of country anxious to show visitors what they love about it. Bogota is the third highest capital city in South America (at nearly 9,000 feet) and if you get outside the capital you’ll find many adventure activities for every taste and skill level. Flights to Bogota are usually quite reasonable – Aero Mexico offering flights right now from Dallas for around $600.*

marquesas, french polynesia

5. Marquesas, French Polynesia
Fans of ecotourism will find much to love about French Polynesia’s Marquesas Islands. The volcanic islands are unprotected by reefs, so the coastlines have a completely different feel than their neighbors like Tahiti (3 hours away by air). Looming cliffs and wide bays are buffeted by intense waves all year round. The interiors of the islands are bucolic and beautiful where you can see herds of goats and horses running free. The smallest of the inhabited islands, Tahuata, is a fun day trip where you will likely see schools of dolphins on your approach. The 12 islands that make up the Marquesas are an unspoiled and untouched destination. Locals demand respect for Mother Nature and faced with her intense beauty, most everyone complies. Getting to the Marquesas is not for the faint of heart – virtually all flights go through Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia and operated exclusively by Air Tahiti. Flights to Papeete from Los Angeles are around $1800* if you really shop around for affordable dates.

new zealand

6. New Zealand
The island nation of New Zealand is a country of contrasts – locals in Christchurch like to say you can be on the beach in the morning and skiing in the afternoon and that’s not hyperbole. The country has been rocked by a series of devastating earthquakes in recent years, which has contributed to bargain basement prices for leisure travelers. Come for the hospitality, the varied culture, the breathtaking landscapes and the incredible value. Getting there might try your patience a bit (the flight is LOOONG and expensive), but you’ll quickly forget the pain once you set eyes on New Zealand. Flights on Fiji Airways start at around $1400* round trip from Los Angeles.

bran castle, romania

7. Romania
Romania has been on a lot of “up-and-coming” travel lists for years now, but we think that 2017 might be the year that Romania finally hits the big time. Bucharest is still a bit rough around the edges, but there’s a reason that Hollywood has been making films here for years – the countryside, smaller cities and towns are lovely, inexpensive and relatively untouched by globalism and familiar brands (there’s not a single Starbucks in the land). If you come to Romania, you can expect to take a vacation from the familiar – and isn’t that what travel is all about? LOT Airlines offers good round trip deals from a variety of U.S. gateways – $660* from JFK.

england

8. England
The Brexit referendum in 2016 has made England a more affordable destination for Americans than it has been in a very long time. The dollar is strong against the pound, so we recommend a trip across the pond in 2017. Many travelers stick to London proper, but we fancy a trip to the stunning English countryside, where picturesque villages retain a sort of quaint charm and the natural beauty is profound. Virgin Atlantic is offering roundtrip flights for the bargain price of $500*.

canada

9. Canada
Not only can Canada boast one of the world’s dreamiest Prime Ministers and a reputation for being one of the countries most welcoming to visitors, in 2017 our neighbor to the north turns 150 and there will be celebrations galore around the country all year. This is good news for international travelers, not least because Canada really delivers on that old travel adage that “there is something for everyone.” Outdoors enthusiasts will fall deeply in love with Alberta’s Banff National Park and the casually cosmopolitan will love the chill vibe of Vancouver. The chic and worldly will feel right at home in Toronto and travelers looking for a bit of old Europe will find Montreal right up their alley. Flights from $250* from San Francisco to Vancouver and Chicago to Toronto. Flights from New York (LGA) to Montreal are under $200.*

havana, cuba

10. Cuba
Enthusiasm for Cuba is showing no signs of easing in 2017; in fact, interest is off the charts! Havana is still getting the bulk of the love, but adventurous souls are venturing out to other parts of the island – Santiago de Cuba, Santa Clara, Holguin, Camaguey and Cienfuegos all have their own personalities and flavor to recommend them. Stay in Havana for a week or rent a car and tool around the island to your heart’s content. You can easily qualify yourself for travel and even DIY an educational trip to Cuba. We have lots of resources to help make your Cuban travel dreams a reality. Just navigate over to our Cuba flight search page and start your research now! Flights from Miami and Fort Lauderdale start for under $150* on JetBlue.

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*Fares include taxes and fees and are valid as of 12/28/16 on select dates between 01/01/17 and 10/31/17. Lowest fare seats are capacity controlled and may not be available on every airline, flight, or date. Fares subject to change without notice.

36 Comments

  1. Hi I’m looking at going to Orlando for a 14 day Disney trip I have been looking at flights etc for the pass 3 weeks now I’m ready to book it they have gone up around £150 pp and there is 7 of us going is this likely to return or even come down a little even tho there is. Sale on it’s still seems a lot more just a week later I’m wanting to go and if August so just 8.5months away should I just look else where or hold on for flights to come down if they will etc this is with virgin

    1. Hi Andi, In our experience with Orlando (a destination that really has no low season), once fares start to climb they do not typically reverse. Booking now seems the safer bet.

  2. Hi

    Could we pls send cheap flt detroit mi to manila philippines range to 600.00 vice versa including tax…thks

    1. Hi Jorge, I do not see fares anywhere near that inexpensive for you, unfortunately. I see a few dates throughout the year that have fares for around $900. Those are about the best prices out there right now.

  3. Would be interested in any bargain air fares from LAX to Clark International airport in the Philippines! Round trip of course in April 2017.

    1. Hi Edward, It looks like there are flights available in April for around $850 depending on the dates you travel and how long you plan to stay. Can you share the dates you’re considering (or the number of days you’d like to stay)?

  4. I am an American citizen and i have travelled to all of the countries in Central America and many different parts of Mexico.Do you have to get special permission or a special visa to travel to Cuba?

    1. Hi Joseph, U.S. citizens are on the honor system to select an approved reason for travel: https://www.cheapair.com/blog/travel-news/can-i-travel-to-cuba-additional-information-for-u-s-citizens/. If you would like to DIY your trip, you can read about how best to do that here: https://www.cheapair.com/blog/travel-tips/how-to-travel-to-cuba-without-a-tour-group-in-8-easy-steps/. The Cuban government also requires a Cuban travel card (visa) which most airlines will help you obtain. Good luck to you. Cuba is amazing.

    1. Hi Joseph, Yes Cuba issued a tourist card to visitors. If you are incoming from a city outside the United States, the airport staff will issue you your card. If you purchase a ticket with a U.S. air carrier, they all are handling the “tourist card” issue a little differently. I would reach out to whatever airport you plan to fly with and find out how they assist.

  5. I want to know what the cheapest flight I can fly to Ottawa Canada on August 7th – August 13th . I live in San Antonio and would prefer to.fly out of there but can fly out of Dallas also.

    1. Hi Treva, The flights are actually less expensive right now from San Antonio. You can get a flight from around $425 round trip on Air Canada with 2 connections (8 hour flight time) or spend about $100 more to have just one connection and a 7 hour total flight time.

  6. You advertise flights other countries but did not see any for Triniad& Tobago. Do you know of that Country?

    1. Hi Jacqueline, try searching for Tobago. We may not have sales to Tobago at the moment, but we definitely have fares to the airport there.

    1. Hi Frances, I do not see any nonstop flights from San Diego to Winnipeg. It looks like one stop is the best you can do. United, Delta, WestJet and AirCanada all offer itineraries with one stop.

  7. Looking for cheap tickets To San Juan PUERTO RICO MY dad is very sick
    Want to leave Jan25 2017 from Denver Den o
    International.and return Feb21 2017
    Can u help me with the cheapest tickets
    For two person’s.
    Thank you.minerva Rivera

    1. Hi Minerva, It looks like the cheapest tickets right now are $362 on American. There are a number of different itineraries available at this price.

  8. I’m so surprised and in shock that you have given your number one slot to Cambodia. I think over all, safety was not a criteria for making the list. My daughter recently went there to volunteer at an NGO. She is well travelled and has to over 30 countries. She stayed in Phenom Phen. As it is a country with rich history, it is a 3rd world country. My daughter was robbed twice, during the day. The police made her pay a bogus fee. She found that out at the Embassy. Her hostel has a sign telling tourist not to go out at night. She had to get help from the US consulate for a new passport. There is much more to this story, but I’ll keep it short. The readers need to know what really goes on here. Safety should be a criteria. Readers should be advised. Thank you!!

    1. Hi Ann, Thanks for your feedback. This post was meant to be a general guide for interesting travel destinations. We always recommend people use reasonable caution when traveling (even domestic travel can carry the risk of petty theft, especially in cities, airports and train stations). It’s really just one of the annoyances of travel more than anything. Also, it is true that local police corruption exists, though you’ll find this problem even in first world countries like Italy and Mexico. Our posts are meant for travel inspiration, but we do realize that not everyone has the ideal experience and sometimes troubles befall us.

    1. Hi Jaga, Do you have any particular dates in mind? Also, would you be willing to travel from Newark if the ticket price is better? Or do you have specific airports you prefer?

    1. he best prices to Cozumel look to be on April 6 and returning on April 13. You can get a connecting flight on American at the moment for around $275. Otherwise, fares range from $325 all the way up to nearly $400 in late May.

  9. We are a family of 5 adults wanting to go on a European vacation. We are open to all suggestions and would like to travel anytime from September to early December. Any suggestions for a budget friendly vacation?

    1. Hi Becca, Europe on the whole is going to be a better deal this year (and September-November are historically very affordable months to go). Can you tell me any of the following: (how long of a trip, how many destinations you’d like to see, do you have a preference for western/eastern countries or north versus south – the weather can be quite cold in the north and east), etc.

  10. Traveling to Dominican Republic July 22-26. Flying into SDQ or POP. Should I book now to get best rate or wait. Could fly out of DFW, OKC or MAF…Any help would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Rex, You’re traveling during hurricane season, so it is a good time to get the best fares. I would definitely look now to get an idea of what how fares are trending. You can probably wait a bit to buy, watching fares to see if they dip or start to rise.

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