2010 sizzles with travel hotspots


A new year means a new crop of deals and must-visit destinations, and SmarterTravel released today its editor’s picks for the top destinations to watch for in 2010.

“2010 is shaping up to be a year filled with amazing events and will likely be a continuation of 2009 in terms of great deals,” said Anne Banas, executive editor of SmarterTravel.com. “From beer festivals to a Las Vegas-like atmosphere in the far east, to geo-thermal pools and new family-friendly theme parks that rival Disney, there will be bargains for everyone.”

Dubbed the next Las Vegas, Singapore is now home to several new mega-resorts. The Marina Bay Sands, the first casino and resort in Singapore, is set to open in 2010 and includes three hotel towers topped by a “sky park” with gardens, 360-degree views, restaurants, and more. Also opening early in 2010 is Resorts World at Sentosa, a family-centric island with a Universal Studios theme park and the world’s largest oceanarium.

Dust off your passport and practice your “Guten Tag!” as travel to Germany in 2010 offers some of the most memorable, unique, and rare events. This European Capital of Culture will host more than 2,500 events in 2010 including the 200th anniversary of Oktoberfest in Munich.

2010 is set to be a banner year in Tampa, Florida. Busch Gardens is opening the Sesame Street Safari of Fun, a playland packed with rides, shows, and other amusements, and the new Glazer Children’s Museum reopens its doors. The 53,000-square-foot museum will be a place for children to learn, create, and play. Tampa is well-connected to the rest of the US, and, with air service from low-cost carriers, including AirTran, JetBlue, and Southwest, airfares will be competitively priced.

Iceland’s currency still hasn’t recovered from the economic crisis, and that means a very favorable exchange rate and ways for visitors to stretch the dollar. With 10,000 waterfalls, geo-thermal pools galore, a nightlife and music scene that draws crowds from around the world, there are activities for everyone. In 2010, low-cost carrier Iceland Express will debut seasonal service between New York, Reykjavik, and about two dozen European cities in June.

Santa Fe
Celebrating its 400th anniversary means hotels are offering up special deals and plenty of discounts. Check out SantaFe400th.com for anniversary specials and package discounts. Travelers also have more options to reach Santa Fe, New Mexico, with several new airline routes in place.

Other hot destinations to check out for 2010 include Hawaii, Mexico, Istanbul, Vancouver, Cuba, and more. These areas feature celebrations, new airline routes, the Olympics, and the World Cup.