More and more Canadians are choosing to break up the frigid winter with a trip to a milder climate. And there's nothing like the first few snowflakes of the year to get you thinking about a winter escape.
Almost across the board, Canadians are getting around more often. In 2016, for example, there were nearly 82 million passengers flying Levels I to III, according to the most recent figures available from Statistics Canada. That's a 7 per cent increase from 2015. Many of these trips were for pleasure purposes, whether to see friends and relatives or simply to view a part of the country that people have long been meaning to visit.
A global hub for innovation, entertainment and tourism, Singapore is one of the most picturesque countries in the world. As noted by Travel+Leisure, February marks the beginning of a popular travel stretch in the Southeast Asian island nation, given that monsoon season is over and hotels tend to offer reduced rates. Not to mention the incredible Chinese New Year celebrations that happen this time of the year.
If you like exotic cuisine, look no further than Singapore City's world-renowned hawker markets. Travel+Leisure recommends Maxwell Food Center, which is right around the corner from Chinatown. The Hainanese chicken rice and congee is must-try dish, as is sup tulang, or bone marrow soup.
Looking for a bit of a more familiar thrill? Take a walk on the wild side at the Singapore Zoo. Leopards, cheetahs, giraffes and even polar bears are among the animals that inhabit the peninsula, which spreads out over approximately 69 acres of land.
2. New Zealand
If you've ever seen the Academy Award winning movies "The Lord of the Rings," you have a pretty good idea of just how glorious a country New Zealand is. All three installments of the major motion picture were filmed on location. Made up of two islands — known as the North and South — New Zealand sits approximately 900 miles to the southeast of Australia and is known for its panoramic views and lush landscape.
Because New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere, it's a great winter escape for Canadians. The peak of New Zealand's summer syncs perfectly with the harshest months of the Canadian winter, so you can leave your coats and snow boots behind.
If the weather isn't enough to inspire you to book your ticket, New Zealand.com has some great ideas for unique experiences to take in while you're there. From a variety of Lord of the Rings tours on the North Island, to bird watching, Mount Cook and Stewart Island on the South, there are plenty of activities to choose from as you craft your own unique vacation.
Located in South America, Patagonia is more of a geographical region than it is a country. Spread out over 300,000 square miles, most of Patagonia is located within Argentina —occupying approximately a third of the country — and juts into Chile as well.
More than anything else, Patagonia is an outdoor enthusiast paradise. So much so, it was the featured location for the reality television series "Alone," where 10 contestants — all supremely experienced in survival skills — compete to see who can last the longest in total isolation. The region is home to only two million people, making it one of the lowest population densities in all the world.
Home to Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, the Fitz Roy area in Argentina, Laguna del Desierto — Spanish for Lake of the Desert — located in the province of Santa Cruz and much more, Patagonia is certainly your stop for adventure.
Make 2019 the "Year of Experiences" by visiting one of these exciting locations. It's sure to be a trip you'll never forget.