We are going to let you in on a little secret: Many of those “What’s hot” and “Top trends” lists that show up at the end of the year are really just shameless promotional pieces concocted by editors and marketing executives sitting around a conference table.

This “trend by committee” approach might fly for some other industries, but we at Expedia believe travel recommendations should not be decided in the boardroom. Instead we feel that the best travel recommendations should come from real travelers who have had real travel experiences in places that really are on the move. That’s why we provide a way for our customers to share their experiences in verified hotel reviews. And it’s why we have tasked our Expedia Viewfinder blogger team to create our first annual “Destinations to Watch” list.

In compiling this list, we asked our team of travel experts to share the destinations that are showing up on their radars for travel in 2016.



To be clear, this was not a competition to see who could select the most remote destinations or a place so inhospitable that most people wouldn’t dream of spending their precious vacation time visiting. Our assignment also wasn’t for our bloggers to make predictions for what they think will be hot destinations in the coming year. (We believe predictions are better suited for fantasy sports, Oscars® parties, and political pundits.)

Because we know you appreciate real, authentic advice from real travelers like you, we tasked our team of Expedia Viewfinder bloggers to hand-pick the destinations they feel are on the rise; destinations they feel deserve to be recognized in the coming year. Some of the picks might be destinations that our Expedia Viewfinder bloggers recently have visited. Others might be destinations that, for whatever reason, have found spots on an Expedia Viewfinder bloggers’ bucket lists. In short, the spotlighted destinations are places we think you should go.

In each of the “Best destinations for 2016” posts, our bloggers will back up their selections with clear ideas of why they chose the way they did. One of our Expedia Viewfinder bloggers will highlight a European destination known for quaint villages, opulent castles, crystal clear rivers, lush green mountains, stunning coastlines, gastronomy, and fine wine. Speaking of fine wine, another Expedia Viewfinder will be highlighting a South American destination with some of the world’s best wines.

Viewfinder Tip: Heading to one of our Destinations to Watch for 2016? Book a package and save a bundle of cash.

The posts will start publishing early next week, so keep an eye out. As we roll out these expert travel recommendations, we also will add each of the subsequent links to the bottom of this post so you easily can have an overview of the entire list (and so you can have a link to share with friends…hint, hint). Eventually, links to our “Destinations to Watch” series will appear below the question at the end of this post.

We hope 2016 is the year you get to fulfill one of your lifelong travel dreams. We also hope our list of destinations to watch in 2016 inspires you to add one or two more destinations to your list! Happy New Year, and happy reading.

What destinations are on your list for 2016 and why?

See our list below for the best destinations for 2016. Come back often to see what’s new!

Best destination for 2016: Orlando

Best destination for 2016: Costa Brava

Best destination for 2016: Oaxaca, Mexico

Best destination for 2016: Portugal

Best destination for 2016: Detroit

Best destination for 2016: Ischia, Italy

Best destination for 2016: Chile

Best destination for 2016: California