With vaccines on the way and things beginning to look a lot like a world before the pandemic, it’s time to think about your travel list again. It may be too early to plan your next trip, but it doesn’t hurt to start looking for lesser-known or overlooked destinations that won’t be as packed with tourists and can still offer amazing (if not better) experiences. If you’re looking for the perfect hidden gem for your grand 2021 travel itinerary, check out these three options!
1. Greenland, a Unique Experience Many Will Miss
The reality of Greenland as a travel destination is that there is a reason it’s still considered a hidden gem. Getting there is expensive, and it can take several flights to reach it. However, airport expansion plans are underway with direct flights scheduled to connect Greenland with North America, as well as Copenhagen and other cities. When it comes to unique experiences, Greenland won’t disappoint. You can hike an ice sheet, explore Viking history, go kayaking, and take in all the beauty off the coast of Ilulissat.
2. Gabon, a Truly Hidden Gem in Western Africa
If you want to see the true meaning of wildlife, as well as the last remaining wild coastlines of Africa, then a trip to Gabon is a must for you. While you’re there, you might also want to visit the small island nation of Sao Tome & Principe, easily accessible from Gabon’s capital Libreville.
3. Swedish Lapland, a Less Crowded Alternative to Norway
Although Norway tends to steal the spotlight with its breathtaking fjords and dramatic landscapes, many people overlook what lies just next door – the Swedish Lapland. Hidden gem adventurers won’t be disappointed by the compelling views of gentle mountains, pine forests, and powerful rivers and lakes that Sweden has to offer. Not to mention, you can also see the Northern lights from there in the company of virtually no one. The Swedish Lapland isn’t as packed with tourists as Norway, and you can have a truly magnificent experience there.
Due to recent world events and the temporary closing of many restaurants, bars, bistros, and other eateries, owners were forced to decide what to do with the thousands of dollars’ worth of perishable goods in their kitchens. Many of them decided to make a donation out of it.
The Paris Example
Since the French President Emmanuel Macron issued a 15-day lockdown, many restaurant owners opened their doors so neighbors could go in and enjoy free milk, cheese, beef bourguignon, and other goods. Their employees also got to take some pork pâté, Spanish ham, and cheeses home. Another part of the goods was sold to a nearby bakery that would remain open.
The Disneyland Donation
To reduce food waste, the managing team of Disneyland California decided to donate its excess inventory of packaged foods, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and banquet meals, to the Second Harvest Food Bank – sending it on to people in need within the region instead. They don’t call it the happiest place on Earth for nothing!
New York Donating to Charity
Many beloved restaurants in the Big Apple have also joined the donation bandwagon and have given away their perishable foods to the City Harvest charity. There is also an app, Transfernation, that allows New Yorkers with extra food to donate through it. You leave your address and food amount/type, and someone from the app will come to pick it up and take it to the closest food collection service.
Why Are Donations Important
Quarantine or not, donating excess food which you cannot consume before it’s gone bad is always the better thing to do. Many foundations around the U.S. have created dedicated funds that both restaurants and private citizens can join. For example, Feeding America is a nationwide network of food banks, and they always collect food, so keep that in mind.