Just like that, 2012 is in the history books, as we say "Helllooooo" 2013! As we settle into our post-Holiday routines, it's no surprise many may be looking forward to those dog days of summer where leisure reigns supreme and summer travel is in our not-so-distant dreams [future]. So where will 2013 take you? Here's an at-a-glance view of some top destinations for 2013, some of which I've had the pleasure of visiting in the past few years and would highly recommend them.
American Samoa (U.S. Territory)
No passport, no problem! As America Samoa is a U.S. territory, U.S. residents do not need a passport to visit this South Pacific beach vacation dreams are made of. Be forewarned, however, that much like its other far-flung island friend - the Hawaiian Islands - this destination would be more in line with cashing in your 401k to finance. Not the most affordable destination, but definitely ranks as a trip of a lifetime.
Tutuila offers incredible beaches, waterfalls and even the National Park of American Samoa, but Reid recommends jumping on a quick connecting flight to the 3-square-mile Ofu in the Manu'a Islands, which features white-sand beaches flanked by palm trees and surrounded by shark-tooth-shaped mountains. On April 17th, Flag Day, the island is in full celebration mode, however Polynesian Utopia can be reached nearly any time of year.
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
The Rijks Museum emerges from a 10-year renovation in April 2013, with a wing devoted to Vermeer and Rembrandt - steps from the recently redone Stedelijk Museum. This is just one event of an epic year of milestone events for Amsterdam in 2013. The Dutch city will be celebrating the 400th anniversary of its famed Canal Ring, which has given Amsterdam the moniker, "Venice of the North." In 2013, Amsterdam also marks the 175th birthday of the Artis Royal Zoo, the nation's most famous zoo, which houses 900 species of animals. As you can see, Amsterdam - a city rich in history, culture and most widely known for its Red Light District and "Coffee Houses" - will be ripe for visitors. Take it from me, as I've been to Amsterdam twice, Amsterdam has a lot to offer, including some of the best shopping, people watching, and an all-around good time.
Not the Berlin I remember from high school. Yes, as a military brat, I've had the luxury (and sometimes misfortune when I think of making new friends every few years) of living in many different places. Although I never lived in Berlin, I visited Berlin on a band trip from my not-too-distant German city of Mannheim. And as an avid traveler, I have been keeping a pulse on Berlin's evolution in recent years. Worth noting is Berlin's skyline, which is best described as a beauty to behold.
Beginning in October 2013, Berlin will be easier to access via air travel thanks in part to the highly anticipated - and long overdue - opening of the Brandenburg Airport, which... continue reading here