Top 12 Destinations For International Travel

India

India is hot and will only get hotter in 2012. Not only is it a magnet for business travelers and Indian expats returning to visit family and friends, but booking a spiritual journey to Rishikesh, on the shores of the Ganges River and the foothills of the Himalayas, has never been more appealing.

Peak Season: June, July and December

Shoulder Season: March, April, August, September, October and NovemberNew Zealand

New Zealand will continue to be hot in 2012 for many reasons. Not only is it relatively affordable for U.S. travelers, but it is also the setting of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Ring’s prequel The Hobbit. Hordes of hobbit fans are expected to descend upon the quaint Kiwi town of Matamata to trample around the set of Hobbitown. New Zealand also offers world-class wineries, spectacular scenery and the best drinking buddies you can find on Middle Earth.

Peak Season: December, January and February

Shoulder Season: April, May, October and November

Europe

Historically a close second to beach vacations, Europe is the place where Americans like to spend their travel dollars the most and 2012 will be no different. Travel professionals have started to note the popularity of off season and shoulder season travel to Europe. That means that savvy travelers are starting to take advantage of winter and fall deals to their favorite European destinations. Watch out for Iceland becoming the hot European destination of 2012 due to its new affordability post financial meltdown, and also keeps an eye on Italy and Greece becoming hot again, for the same reasons.

Peak Season: June, July and August

Shoulder Season: January, February, September, October and NovemberLondon

London will be so hot in 2012 that it deserves its own mention. With the 2012 Olympics, London is set to showcase why it is the most cosmopolitan city in Europe.

Peak Season: June, July, and August

Shoulder Season: January, February, September, October and November

Paris

Paris is so popular that it also deserves its own mention. Americans have been deeply in love with Paris since the 1920’s and 2012 will be no exception. Hordes of American tourists will flock to the City of Lights in 2012 to be dazzled by its beauty and culinary and cultural wonders.

Peak Season: April, May, June, July and August

Shoulder Season: January, February, September, October and November

St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg was created as Russia’s showcase to the west and in 2012 it still remains a powerful showcase indeed. Visit the Hermitage museum and be amazed at the treasures collected by centuries of Czars and Czarinas. A summer visit will add the bonus of white nights and the cultural events that revolve around them.

Peak Season: June, July and August

Shoulder Season: April, May, September and October

South Africa

South Africa is fast becoming a world-class destination that is surprisingly affordable for U.S. travelers. Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities on earth, penguins and Table Top Mountain included. The South African national park systems is set up in such a way that anyone with a rental car can drive themselves and admire lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos and rhinos along with zebras, warthogs, hyenas and South Africa’s plentiful bucks. American travelers will appreciate a visit to Stellenbosch, the Western Cape’s prime wine region, with world-class wine and food.

Peak Season: April, May, September, October and November

Shoulder Season: June, July and AugustPeru

Peru is among the top five destinations in 2012 for adventurous Americans. Hiking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu is fast becoming a popular bucket list thing to do and the culinary delights available in Lima and Cuzco are well worth the price of the airfare. Peru is also quite cheap for U.S. travelers, making it an almost perfect adventure destination.

Peak Season: June, July and August

Shoulder Season: February, October and November

Buenos Aires

A surprisingly affordable, trendy and sophisticated city, Buenos Aires dazzles with its French revival buildings and great food scene. Take a side trip to the wine region of Mendoza or the deep blue glaciers of Patagonia.

Peak Season: December, January and February

Shoulder Season: April, May, June, July, August, October and NovemberBrazil

This is Brazil’s decade as it will host the Soccer World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016. Americans have already fallen in love with Brazil’s affordability and amazing beaches from the world famous Ipanema beach, to the solitary stretches of sand and surf along the northern cities of Recife and Fortaleza. With friendly locals and world-class scenery, Brazil is perfect for those seeking a tropical vacation.

Peak Season: February, July and December

Shoulder Season: May, June, August and SeptemberChina

China is big on the travel map and will only get bigger in 2012. Not only is China affordable and lots of fun, it offers something for everybody from Macau’s glitzy casinos that rival anything Las Vegas has to offer, to the 24-hour party and shop till you drop atmosphere of Hong Kong and Shanghai, to the ancient treasures of Xian and Guilin. American foodies will have a feast exploring China’s culinary delights.

Peak Season: May, June, July and August

Shoulder Season: February, March, April, October and NovemberIndonesia

Indonesia is very affordable and gobsmackingly beautiful in its sheer variety. From Bali’s temples, rice paddies and surfer beaches, to its world class diving spots along chains of un-inhabited islands, to the bustle of modern day Jakarta contrasting against the almost impenetrable jungles and Stone Age tribes of West Papua, American travelers have fallen in love with Indonesia.

Peak Season: January, July, August, September and December

Shoulder Season: April, May, September and October

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