After a difficult two years many of us are in desperate need of a little sun, sea and sangria and will likely be looking ahead to when we can get our next getaway. In fact, the start of the new year has historically been a popular time for booking your next holiday - so much so that the first weekend of January has been referred to as ‘Sunshine Saturday’.
When looking at the last five years of Google search data, terms such as ‘Family Holiday’, ‘All Inclusive Holiday’ and ‘City Break’ all peak in the first week of the new year before steadily dropping until the summer.
There’s just something about the cold weather, the return to work and the famous January blues that leaves many of us dreaming of white sandy beaches and far off shores. However, after two years of travel restrictions, closed borders and an ever-changing traffic light system, where’s the first place you should visit?
In order to answer that question, luxury getaway specialists Travelbag surveyed their customers to identify different bucket list locations around the world, before ranking each of these against a unique scoring system to determine ‘The Ultimate Bucket List Index’.
In order to determine where each destination ranked on this bucket list, Travelbag scored them across a number of criteria including adventure, wilderness, scenery, wellness options and local food and drink culture. Destinations also received a score for coastal scenery and average temperature.
According to the data Madagascar is the ultimate bucket list destination, scoring high across almost every category.
Although with only one point difference, Australia came in a very close second with New Zealand rounding off the top three. Australia and New Zealand also scored quite well across the six different categories, regularly featuring in the top three locations.
Australia for example placed in four out of the six categories, taking the top spot for three out of those, New Zealand didn’t fare quite so well, only featuring in three of the categories, however they consistently ranked in second place for each of them.
Adventure VS Relaxation
Australia also seems to be the best option for any thrill seekers with the country scoring the highest in the adventure category. In order to score destinations for how adventurous they were, Travelbag looked at a range of activities and how available they were to holidaymakers in that location. Of the twenty activities looked at, Australia offered everything except for bobsledding. Other destinations that scored highly in the adventure category include New Zealand, Canada, Indonesia and Switzerland.
However, if you’re looking for a much more relaxed vacation with more than a few opportunities for a well-deserved pamper then your best bet is to jet off to the Maldives, which has the highest number of pamper locations per 1,000 people.
If the Maldives isn’t an option, other destinations worth adding to your bucket list include Indonesia which has the second highest number of relaxation and pamper locations out of all the countries (Italy has the most) or Madagascar.
Sun, Scenery and a shrimp on the Barbie
And while we’re talking about Madagascar, that also seems to be the top destination for the animal lovers out there where the animal kingdom outnumbers people by five to one.
If you’re just looking for somewhere that’s as hot as possible, then your best booking Tunisia for 2022 as that snagged the top spot for the temperature category, closely followed by Madagascar once again and Bolivia.
Likely coming as no surprise, but according to the data, foodies would be best served heading to Australia or New Zealand. Although Italy, which was recently named as home to the world’s favourite cuisine in a YouGov poll, shouldn’t leave too bad a taste in your mouth after coming in fourth place, just behind Indonesia.