The Best Countries For Americans To Visit By The End Of 2016

A lot of people think that December is not a good time to travel because the prices skyrocket. The truth is that as long as you don't fly too close to Christmas you can find great offers, especially last-minute deals, Ivy Chou, travel expert at DealsPlus, says. "The cheapest time is during the first two weeks of the month," she adds. "They are trying to push their inventory, so they are not empty now and oversold around December 25."


Visiting England now is a good idea for several reasons, most of which stem from Brexit. The one consequence that benefits the traveler is the tumbling pound. "Flights aren't bad at all and it's generally cheaper in the winter," Chou says. The historic drop of the pound is dragging airlines, fashion brands, sports and even chocolate with it. "People often forget that most of the money they spent is once you get there, not on the flight, so cash in while the dollar is strong," she adds. You will get a lot more for your buck. Hotels, food, drinks and transportation will be cheaper.


"The euro is still on the poorer side for them," Chou says. You can find a hotel for under $20 a night, she adds. Athens is a former Olympics destination definitely worth a trip. The host of the first modern Games, still has venue where they were held in 1896, the Panathenaic Stadium. This one-of-a-kind stadium is made entirely of marble and hosts events and concerts even today. After visiting the stadium, there are other ancient architectural gems you need to visit, like the Parthenon and the Acropolis and history buffs will enjoy the many museums in the area.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is becoming a more and more popular stop for those looking to take in the culture without breaking the bank, Chou says. Prices are still affordable so go now before everybody starts talking about the country, she adds. This is "the new Thailand" of Southeast Asia. The history and natural beauty are major draws, as is the fact that travelers can enjoy touring the country for less than $30 a day. The exotic island offers access to lavish rainforests, stunning beaches, misty mountains, elephants, leopards, and giant whales. 


"I see a lot of expensive prices for safaris but you can find a bungalow or similar lodging in Kilimanjaro National Park for about $120 a night, Chou says. "Don't fall for the touristy chalets." The park is one of the most beautiful places in the world. The snowy peak of Africa's highest mountain looms over a vast savannah as well as mountain forest on its higher slopes and an Alpine desert above them. The park is home to 140 species of mammals, many of them rare or endangered such as the African elephant, and a wide range of flora.


Look beyond Costa Rica if you are considering a trip in South America. There have been some great deal lately that include flight, hotel and tours, Chou says. "I recently saw an offer for an all-inclusive 5-day hike with a guide through the jungle for under $400." Peru's Sacred Valley is home to the famous Machu Picchu, one of the world's most famous tourist attractions. Hike along the Inca Trail and capture views of ancient ruins. Visit the Nazca Lines, one of the most mysterious places on the planet. The lines, located in the arid Peruvian coastal plain, were scratched on the surface of the ground between 500 B.C. and A.D. 500.


"This is the new place to go," Chou says, "and it's still relatively cheap." Cuba is a lot more than awesome cigars. Now that traveling there is easier, you should see for yourself. Walk around the colorful streets; go on adventures that will show you not just the people and the architecture, but also the history, culture and wild side of the country; cave diving, rock climbing, and zip lining are on the must-do list. 


The wine, the tango, the fishing, the mountaineering, the nightlife, the architecture – the reasons to visit this beautiful country are endless. Buenos Aires is one of the world's most exhilarating capital cities, with astonishing art, captivating neighborhoods, and excellent food. Iguazu Falls should be on your bucket list. The falls are made up on 275 individual drops that stretch for 1.7 miles. Exploring them by foot or hopping on a boat to experience Iguazu by water is an absolute thrill. You can actually get very close to the waterfall.


Bathing with elephants in Nepal is an underrated adventure you should do. Go on a wildlife safari in the southern part of the country. Go ballooning above the Kathmandu Valley or bungee jumping off a 500-foot suspension bridge snuggled within the mountains, high above the river. Canoeing and rock climbing are other popular escapades in Nepal.


"There are a lot of 5-star hotels that you can book for about $100-$120 a night," Chou says. You won't regret going to the Ma'In hot springs located near the Dead Sea. They are developed from winter rainfalls. Underground lava helps to heat them and infuses them with therapeutic minerals. The kingdom boasts many thrilling hiking paths, eco-lodges and cycling tours. The ancient city of Petra is on everyone's bucket list, but arrive there through Jordan's desert wilderness for a truly authentic adventure.


"It is becoming more popular," Chou says. Albania is one of the cheapest places for travelers and definitely a place you should visit before the word gets out. It has been touted as a cheap alternative to Greece and Italy, as it features a rich history without the typical European price tag. The history shines through in the capital, Tirana, from the architecture to the museums, this city is a must-see. Travelers in Albania can get by on a budget of $40 a day. It's catching up with the rest of Europe as it's breaking away from its Communist past. Go now to see stunning mountains and rustic villages before they are commercialized. 


Wales declared 2016 the "Year of Adventure." That means you will find adrenaline-inducing experience involving zip-lines, surfing, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, and walking the Wales Coast Path, according to Visit Wales. Culinary adventures in Wales could include visiting one of Wales' Michelin starred restaurants, eating oysters or lobster fresh from the sea, sampling the growing Street Food scene in Cardiff or a trying a few craft beers or ciders at one of many food and drink festivals across Wales.

South Africa

South Africa is an incredible destination for animal lovers. Going on a safari and wildlife spotting are just some of the endless adventurous options you have available in South Africa. Take a River Cruise and see the hippos and crocodiles; you can even kayak with them. Or go open-water swimming.  Witness the gorgeous natural beauty of the famous Garden Route and its beaches, scenic creeks and lakes, hills and mountains. The Cango Caves are probably the oldest tourist attraction in the country and totally worth your time. If you're brave enough, you can dive with white sharks and even ride an ostrich.


The kayak is a fundamental part of the history of Greenland, so you're bound to find some incredible sights and landscapes that can't be accessed any other way. One such feature, the Blue River, is formed by melting glaciers. Ittoqqortoormiit is the most isolated town in the country. Dog sledding, expedition cruises and wildlife are the most sought after adventures. It is also right next to the world's largest and deepest multi-branched fjord system.

Northern Ireland

"I saw some amazing package deals that include backpacking and tours," Chou says. Make sure you check for them on Groupon or Living Social, she adds. Prices in general in the country are not very high. A major tourist attraction, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is also one of the most terrifying. It links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrickarede. The bridge is approximately 66 feet and 89 feet above the rocks below.


"The country is gorgeous," Chou says. "And you're going to get a lot of bang for your buck." A 3-course meal is easily just $10. "You pat for the flight and everything else is practically free," she adds. Ho Chi Minh is a thrilling destination off the beaten path. Want to escape the winter and visit an interesting, lesser-known place where it's 80F these days? Go on a tour through the Mekong Delta, a vast maze of rivers, passing by rice paddies and houseboats. The beautiful Ha Giang province boasts a uniquely preserved tribal culture. The scenic landscape includes everything from terraced rice paddies to large forests.