Winter is a popular time for travel destinations — most of us want to escape the cold and head to warm getaways. Planning early allows you to get the best deals on flights, provides a wider range of options to choose from, and avoids disappointment when it comes to securing your desired destination.
Dana Cox is the founder and creator of the Cox Travel Adventure brand. We sat down to chat with her about her top travel picks for this year, including the travel trends she’s beginning to see. "We want to build inspiring, fulfilling travel dreams for people," Dana remarks. "Travel has a beautiful power to enrich lives and foster that cultural understanding which is how we can come closer together rather than being divided."
The first travel destination she recommends is Bali, Indonesia. “I understand it’s a far flight,” Dana stated. “The reason I say Bali is because it is known for its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and lush landscapes.” The culture is “really interesting,” she affirms, offering a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure, whether you’re going with a group, your significant other, or even solo.
For adventure buffs who want to climb mountains to those interested in exploring Bali’s rich history of ancient temples, the island is a really special place to explore. “I love a spa treatment,” Dana said, remarking that Bali is a common spot for wellness retreats. “They have these wonderful, world class spa treatments with flower baths, massage, and tea that provides a truly enchanting experience,” she said.
Many of the resorts have cool bungalows where you get floating breakfasts right up to your room, water sports to fill the afternoon, and luxury dining experiences come nightfall. “My husband and I experienced a private cave dinner with music and candles once,” Dana said. “It was a fantastic experience.”
The travel expert also states that Central Bali in particular has a little bit of everything — lush and green landscapes surrounded by rice terraces, small traditional villages full of local markets, and a downtown area filled with arts and culture, and a “lively nightlife” equipped with high-end dining options and upscale shopping boutiques.
Second on the list is Iceland. Breathtaking landscapes include glaciers, geysers, and waterfalls, to which Dana recommends if you’re there, “you have to do the whole bath thing,” referring to the thermal baths in the hot springs.
“If you love nature, Iceland is a paradise for you,” Dana confirms. “Depending on the time of year you go, you can experience the northern lights.” Hiking through the national parks “is a dream,” she says, that offers really unique and unforgettable journeys like walking through town at night. “It looks like a Hallmark movie plug-in light,” Dana recalls. “It’s something you remember that has that homey and quaint feel.”
Her third recommendation is Portugal. Offering a very rich history, Portugal is full of vibrant cities and picturesque coastlines that again, have something for everyone to enjoy.
“You can explore vineyards and relax on the beautiful beaches,” Dana said. “It is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered,” as the southern European country is not (yet) bogged down by tourists.
Touching a bit on trends of travel, Dana pleasantly states that people are looking for a more authentic and immersive experience when they travel, to which she recommends to “try off the beaten path types of things. Less of the ‘I want to get the Instagram shot’ and more connecting with the local culture and really embracing what another world has to offer.”
Dana Cox is the founder and creator of the Cox Travel Adventure brand. We sat down to chat with her about her top travel picks for this year, including the travel trends she’s beginning to see.