7 must-see travel hotspots of 2017
A 150th birthday will be celebrated just across the U.S. northern border. The 2017 America's Cup will be held on island waters east of the U.S. East Coast. And commercial flights recently resumed after a 55-year lapse between the U.S. and an island country south of Florida.
For those three reasons, Ottawa, Bermuda and Havana — north, east and south of the U.S. border — are among the world's travel hotspots in the new year. Here are details about those destinations, along with four others.
With daily commercial flights connecting the U.S. and Cuba for the first time since JFK was president, American tourists are traveling to the Caribbean's largest island by the thousands. You may know about Cuba's white-sand beaches and classic American cars, and the popularity of cigars and baseball, but less well-known historic sites include the beach where Christopher Columbus landed in 1492 and natural wonders such as the nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites and six UNESCO Biosphere Reserves.
The 35th America's Cup comes to Bermuda, a British Overseas Territory, in May and June 2017, with an 11-acre America's Cup Village opening in January 2017 and a boating-mad populace of 60,000 eager to show off their lovely, isolated, beach-fringed volcanic island to the world. Located two hours by air from New York City (640 miles east of North Carolina), Bermuda is an ideal spot for the yachting race with its crystal-blue waters and consistent winds. It's also an intriguing place to visit, where travelers see pink-sand beaches and crystal caves.
Chile is a paradise of historic cities, beautiful beaches, a wondrous wine country, awe-inspiring observatories and spectacular mountains — all within reach of the cosmopolitan metropolis of Santiago. Plus, Chile and Canada are the only countries in the Western Hemisphere that have climates inhospitable to mosquitoes, along with low crime rates and high safety rankings. So, worry-free and travel-worthy, the world is discovering this travel hotspot.
Canada celebrates its 150th birthday in 2017 with festivities all year in the capital city of Ottawa. The celebration began with the lighting of a cauldron at Ottawa City Hall on New Year's Eve, continues with a Stanley Cup festival and downhill ice-skating world championships in March, and climaxes on Canada Day (July 1) with fireworks and other events to commemorate the anniversary. You might even bump into the popular young prime minister, Justin Trudeau, who's as cool as the Canadian climate.
The crime rate is also low, the air is clean, the people friendly, the alpine lakes stunning, the resorts remarkable, the mountains magnificent and the trains famously on time. Oh, and the cheeses and chocolates are amazing. No wonder Switzerland is a hotspot now more than ever. New in Switzerland in 2017: the Gotthard Tunnel, the world's longest rail tunnel (35 miles), with trains zipping between Zurich and Lugano at up to 155 mph.
6. U.S. Virgin Islands
This Caribbean archipelago will celebrate its Transfer Centennial in 2017, 100 years after the islands were transferred from Danish to U.S. governance. Daily events are planned during centennial week (March 27 – April 2), including parades and gala balls on all three major islands (St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix), and centennial concerts and fairs are scheduled throughout the year. Besides this hoopla, the USVI has three national parks, splendid beaches and great snorkeling.
7. South Korea
Seoul is an international city that even frequent travelers tend to overlook. But 2017 is the time to visit, before South Korea is filled with Winter Olympics visitors in February 2018. Even if you don't visit Pyeongchang, the mountain resort area (110 miles from Seoul) where the Olympic venues are clustered, there's much to see and do in Seoul. The city of 10 million is known for its high rises, including a 123-story skyscraper, but it is also known for large city parks and revered Confucian shrines.
If you go
United Airlines flies to all of these places. Visit united.com or use the United app when you're ready to plan your 2017 trip for vital travel information like baggage information, travel documents, check-in and inflight entertainment options.
Around the web
We know people are taking a second look at their travel plans right now. If you're scheduled to travel March 10 – May 31, 2020 and would like to change your plans, there is no fee to do so, regardless of when you purchased your ticket or where you're traveling. This is in addition to our previous waiver, which waives all change fees – domestic and international – for tickets purchased March 3 – April 30, 2020. This is available for any of United's published nonrefundable fares. If you decide to cancel your flight, you can retain the value of your ticket to be applied to a new ticket without a fee. These electronic travel certificates are now valid for 24 months from the date they were issued. This includes all currently valid electronic certificates and all new ones issued on or after April 1, 2020. You might not see this policy change reflected everywhere right away – we appreciate your patience as we work to make that happen.
Eligible travelers on domestic flights and international tickets can request a refund on united.com or may call our contact centers if their flights have been severely adjusted or service to their destination suspended either due to government mandates or United schedule reductions related to COVID-19.
Certain tickets cannot be changed on united.com or the mobile app, including tickets booked through another airline (if the ticket receipt does not begin with 016). Please contact the original ticketing airline for changes.
Follow the steps below to stay up to date, change or cancel your flight.
Change your current flight:
- On the united.com homepage, select "My Trips" and enter your flight information to retrieve your flight.
- Select "Change flight" and then "Edit" to make the following changes:
- Date of travel or destination
- Add a flight
- Remove a flight
- Select "Continue" and choose a new flight option
- Continue through booking to confirm your new flight
Note: The change fee will display as waived, but any difference in fare may apply.
Cancel your flight and rebook later:
- On the united.com homepage, select "My Trips" and enter your reservation information to retrieve your flight
- Select "Cancel flight"
- Confirm flight cancellation
- If you have future flight credit, when you return to the reservation, select "Use Future Flight Credit" to shop for new flights and apply the credit towards a new flight.
Canceling or changing an award flight:
When you select "Cancel flight," you will have the option to cancel your award reservation and redeposit the miles or to cancel your award reservation and use those miles for another trip in the future.
*We're currently experiencing heavy traffic to united.com. If you experience an error while trying to change or cancel your flight, please try again later.
Click through the slideshow below for more detailed instructions:
Start on the United homepage:
User can select 'My Trips' on the homepage widget to find and retrieve their reservation.
When and where possible, we are working to repatriate travelers who are stranded abroad in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Our teams are working closely with government officials here in the U.S. as well as in other countries where flying has been restricted to gain the necessary approvals to operate service. In regions where government actions have barred international flying, we have coordinated with the the U.S. State Department and local government officials to re-instate some flights. Additionally, we have been operating several extra flights to countries in Central America and South America as we continue to play a role in connecting people and uniting the world.
We have operated more than 68 repatriation flights from Panama City, Guatemala City, Quito, Lima, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and Roatan, bringing nearly 9,200 people home. We will continue working with government officials to operate extra flights to Houston from Quito, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and from Lima to Washington Dulles and beginning April 5, we will begin operating multiple charter flights between Delhi and San Francisco. We continue to review more opportunities for flights between the United States and other countries to bring citizens home.
Video provided by the U.S. Embassy Ecuador of Americans returning home on United.
Additionally, our Customer Solutions and Recovery team is working with customers in the following markets to rebook them on flights back to the United States as capacity allows, either on our aircraft or on one of our airline partners' planes:
- Quito, Ecuador
- Managua, Nicaragua
- Roatan, Honduras
- San Pedro Sula, Honduras
- Seoul, South Korea
- Melbourne, Australia
We also recently reinstated several international flights back into our schedule to support customers and essential businesses which depend on these routes. As a result, we will be the only airline to offer service between Newark/New York and London, San Francisco and Sydney, as well as Houston and São Paulo, Brazil.
Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Here's a fun way to take your next video call….from a United Polaris® seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude. We're introducing United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom, a video conferencing tool that many people are using to stay connected.
So for your next meeting or catch up with friends and family, download the app to either your computer or mobile device to get started. If you've already downloaded Zoom you can skip ahead to updating your background image (see instructions below).
- Start here by downloading your favorite United image to your computer or mobile device. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- Next go to your Zoom app (you'll need to download the app to access backgrounds) and click on the arrow to the right of your video camera icon in the bottom of the screen.
- From here select, "choose virtual background" to upload your uniquely United photo.
Together, we are facing an unprecedented challenge. United Together, we rise to meet that challenge.