Where to me summertime in Montreal is the best time to be around the city, and play the game of being a tourist in your own town, others like to get their travel on.
No hate. I'd probably want to do the same, but as someone who did not grow up in fabulous Montreal, it's sometimes hard for me to imagine missing out on all the Montreal staple summertime fun!
But where does one go when they want to travel? I'm sure you have a tourist bucket list. Or maybe you just have one dream spot you want to go and take in.
Contiki, a travel agency dedicated for younger individuals (18-35) had recently done a survey among this age group, and from it, they have put together a top 10 list of travel destinations, as deemed by young Montreal!
Here are the top 10 travel destinations as voted by Montreal locals:
It might be small, but the UK is chock full of history, heritage and beautiful countryside.
From the party towns of Manchester and Liverpool to the never-ending rolling hills of the Lake District, an abundance of Irish pubs and the bagpipes in Scotland, this is a destination with so much to offer. Did we also mention Royal-mania? With the recent wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the UK has been the center of the world’s attention ever since.
Expect to delve deep into everywhere from the Welsh capital of Cardiff to Oxford, Bath, London and Liverpool on any of Contiki’s UK adventures, including a visit to the one and only Warner Brothers magical Harry Potter World!
With some of Europe's greatest cities, enchanting landscapes, an intoxicating mix of historical architecture and nightlife, and of course German beer festivals, this country is one of the hottest destinations for millennials worldwide.
Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg make Germany the perfect city go-to with museums, food (wurst all day, every day) and ample time to take in the art scene and landmarks.
You can expect to find traditional culture, art, dynamic cities and Japanese cuisine in this adventure-packed destination. Now is the perfect time to visit with Air Canada’s new year-round non-stop flights from Montreal to Tokyo that started earlier this month and before Tokyo welcomes the rest of the world for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
The ski resorts, Japanese Alps, and Tokyo clubs are all experiences offered on Contiki’s 13-day Japan Unrivalled trip.
Receive a traditional footbath in the hotel's hot springs in Takayama, explore the Tsukiji Fish Markets in Tokyo and eat teppanyaki and sushi until your heart is content all while being guided around one of the world’s most unique countries. Oh, did we mention that you can also channel your inner Mario or Princess Peach on a real-life Mario Kart go-karting course on the streets of Tokyo?
Irresistible food, amazing architecture, incredible art and stunning scenery, it’s no wonder why the la dolce vita life of Italy is so inviting. With the art-filled cities of Rome, Venice, and Florence, the wine region of Tuscany and the stylish sophistication of Cinque Terre, Milan, and Lake Como, Italy really does have an abundance to offer.
Contiki’s Mediterranean Escape vacation offers 10 carefree days where you’ll get up close and personal with Rome’s cool Trastevere neighbourhood, savour a wine and mozzarella tasting with the Amalfi Coast in the background and laze by Capri’s crystal blue waters.
The cuisine, unique culture, sights and stunning beaches of France make it one of the most iconic destinations for young Montrealers to travel to. With beautiful architecture, some of the best food and wine around and a certain sophistication, there’s no wonder the coastlines, countryside, and cities of France are so appealing.
Not to mention many Montrealers can trace their roots back to this country, or at least understand and pass off as being French! Europe’s second largest country is also home to the French Rivera where glamour, beaches, and wine spell out epic summer sojourns. It’s never been easier to get to the south of France thanks to new nonstop flights from YUL to Marseille.
The Central American country is renowned for its party culture, but with Aztec and Mayan ruins, Mexico is also rich with history and also known for its palm-tree lined beaches and tropical jungles.
Crammed with cultural tradition, diverse geography, adventure, nightlife and World Heritage Sites, there’s more to Mexico than tequila and Mariachi bands.
Did we also mention the food? Sharing a border with the US to the north and Belize and Guatemala to the south, Mexican food is more than just burritos and tacos.
This is a continent full of bucket list musts. With the sun-filled seasons attracting young Montrealers in droves (must be those legendary cold Montreal winters!), Australia offers everything from outback experiences, to slow pace cities and of course, the Great Barrier Reef.
Head to the white sandy beaches of Noosa, Fraser Island, Byron Bay and the Whitsundays for a summer filled beach experience and experience the surreal Blue Mountains and a snorkeling trip to the breathtakingly beautiful Whitehaven beach.
Its climate, cuisine, terrain, endless adventurers, and buzzing cities make China one of the most diverse countries around, and Montrealers want to experience it all. It’s also never been easier to fly to China thanks to Air Canada’s daily nonstop flights from YUL to Shanghai.
From space-age metropolises like Shanghai and Beijing to the snow-capped mountains of Tibet, a China travel adventure offers virtually limitless possibilities. The world's second-largest country and comfortably its most populous is a kaleidoscope of sights, colours, and experiences that would take several lifetimes to explore fully.
9. Caribbean Islands
With 700 idyllic islands to choose from, the Caribbean is inundated with shimmering reefs, high mountain peaks, sandy beaches, tropical islands, spicy foods and unlimited amounts of sunshine. The relaxed culture, reggae music, and outdoor adventures can be found in the likes of Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua and Jamaica.
While there are more Caribbean all-inclusive packages than you can shake a stick at, young Montrealers indicated the desire for more immersive experiences in the Caribbean that venture out of the resort walls. They want to see the real deal, and not be stuck in line at a buffet.
Contiki’s sun-drenched two-week Sol Seeker trip gives travelers just that: the chance to soak up the Caribbean culture with an in-depth look at the local culture from ziplining through Garrafon Natural Reef Park near Cancun to learning more about the colonial town of Antigua.
Side note, Barbados is the land that gave the world the goddess Rihanna - so for me, this would be higher up on this top 10.
Bolivia may not be as well-known as Peru, but the neighbouring country has some epic experiences for adventure seekers.
4-Wheel-Drive over the iconic salt flats, Salar De Uyuni, to get your creative pics, before visiting the 100% haunted Great Train Graveyard, an adventure of a different kind. If those sound too passé, you’ll be pleased to know Bolivia also offers rock climbing and biking out the wazoo.
There you have it... the top 10 travel destinations of 2018, voted by YOU, Montreal!
Now, I get the appeal of each and every one of these places... though, I can't help but feel that you guys maybe missed some gems on here.
If it were up to me, Greece would be on this list! For one, I was a huge fan of Greek Mythology growing up, and I've always dreamt of seeing the temples and ruins in Greece. Plus, their weather is great and they have some incredible beaches.
Or what about Sweden? Another one high up on my personal list... but, to each is own, I guess.
No matter where your wanderlust takes you, remember that life is an adventure! You can find more information on Contiki's travel packages around the world right here!