SEATTLE — Whether you’re looking to travel domestically or internationally, there’s a spot on this list that would be perfect for your next vacation.
"I was reading all of the travel newsletters that are out there ... all of them have a top ten or top 20 list of what are the hot destinations," said AAA Washington's Lisa Anciaux. "They're all different, but all of them had these places to go on their lists."
AAA Travel chose the top three international destinations, the top three beach destinations, and then some local destinations for travelers looking to stay closer to home while still getting away.
For a South-American beach destination, Anciaux recommends Belize.
"You're going to find not all of the fancy, fancy resorts, although there's some great ones down there, but snorkeling, and again, diving ... it sits on the second-largest living coral reef around. That's why the waters are great for diving and for snorkeling."
Tahiti and Bora Bora
"Tahiti and Bora Bora were the top two [beach destinations]," Anciaux said. "Whether you cruise there, or whether you just island hop. Snorkeling, diving, or just relaxing on the beach ... they've got over-water bungalows if you want to stay there. So, just a relaxing vacation. It's easy to get there, people think it's a lot harder than it is, but it's only an eight-hour flight from Los Angeles nonstop."
The Whitsunday Islands are off the Southern coast of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
"You get there via Brisbane, so we're talking Australia," said Anciaux. "So what a great way to go to Sydney first and visit there, and then go to these wonderful islands. There's like 74 different islands ... beach, water, it's just that 'relaxation' place to go."
One of the top international locations chosen is Berlin, where music, history, and nightlife are fixtures.
"They have now over 180 museums," said Anciaux. "There are more bridges in Berlin than in Venice. There's really been a rejuvenation of Berlin over this last ten, 12 years, and you can still get the old-feel, so you feel part of that history from the Cold War, yet you've got all this modern artwork, the food, the culinary scene."
Another hot location is Istanbul, "It's a remarkable city that meets old and new ... I personally like cruising into there because you come from the Black Sea up the Bosporus Strait, and it's just an amazing view. The Grand Bazaar is something everyone should see once, and the food is absolutely wonderful."
"River cruising is really the way to go," she said. "Viking River has some great river cruises in Egypt. It's very safe to be on the river cruise, too."
The Grand Canyon
For travel options that are located closer to home, Anciaux suggests the Grand Canyon.
"The Grand Canyon is celebrating its 100 year anniversary this year, so there's going to be a lot of extra talks and lectures all throughout the summer which will be fun for a lot of people."
"Houston is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moonwalk," said Anciaux. "So there's going to be a lot of great things going on during that time at the space center to go visit. That's a great family vacation, educational, plus a lot of fun."
As for putting these vacations on the calendar, Anciaux recommends planning ahead.
"The cruise lines and tour companies are coming out with their best deals as early as possible," she said. "Use one of our travel counselors, it's good to help map out your best vacation and find those deals for you."