The best tour operators in the world: 2023 Readers' Choice Awards

By Condé Nast Traveller

The best tour operators in the world 2023 Readers' Choice Awards

It’s been a challenging few years for tour operators but the names below are in it for the long haul (as well as the short and medium), honing itineraries and managing expectations. So who prepared your travel documents this year? Red Savannah and Black Tomato scored highest for first-hand knowledge, and Exodus Adventure Travels and Abercrombie & Kent for on-the-ground support. But when it came to all-round endeavour, Scott Dunn and The Turquoise Holiday Company were leaders of the pack. Both report a surge of interest in Asia, as well as multi-generational travel, solo adventures to Namibia, Bhutan and Mexico, and authentic experiences such as outback stations in Australia and bear lodges in Canada.

These are the best tour operators in the world, according to the 2023 Readers' Choice Awards . The scores below are percentages representing overall average levels of satisfaction.

The Turquoise Holiday Company

The best general tour operators in the world 2023

15. Cox & Kings. Score 88.00

14. Hayes & Jarvis. Score 89.44

13. Carrier. Score 90.73

12. Simpson Travel. Score 91.48

11. Kuoni. Score 92.82

10. Mr & Mrs Smith. Score 93.29

9. Kensington Tours. Score 94.14

8. Audley Travel. Score 94.77

7. Original Travel. Score 95.44

6. Cazenove + Loyd. Score 95.92

5. The Ultimate Travel Company. Score 96.75

4. Abercrombie & Kent. Score 97.12

3. Elegant Resorts. Score 97.39

2. Red Savannah. Score 97.96

  • The Turquoise Holiday Company. Score 98.42

Scott Dunn

The best travel specialists in the world 2023

15. Wild Frontiers (including Journeys Within). Score 94.81

14. Martin Randall Travel. Score 95.17

13. Intrepid Travel. Score 95.40

12. Wilderness. Score 96.54.

11. Inntravel. Score 96.88

10. Oxford Ski Company. Score 97.15

9. Kirker Holidays. Score 97.47

8. andBeyond. Score 97.61

7. Ampersand Travel. Score 97.65.

6. InsideJapan Tours. Score 97.79

5. Steppes Travel. Score 97.88

4. Black Tomato. Score 98.03

3. Exodus Adventure Travels. Score 98.15

2. Healing Holidays. Score 98.35

  • Scott Dunn. Score 98.70

The 7 Best Tour Companies

Classic Journeys is our top pick

Ligaya Malones is an editor, blogger, and freelance writer specializing in food and travel. Ligaya's work has appeared in publications including Lonely Planet and BRIDES.

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Name a travel style or preference and there’s a tour company out there that caters to it—though not all travel tour companies are created equally. To help plan your next jaunt to destinations near and far, we rounded up some of the best tour companies out there, whether you’re a food-obsessed jetsetter, wish to lean into hidden histories, or want maximum adventure on a budget.

The 7 Best Tour Companies for 2023

  • Best Overall: Classic Journeys
  • Best for Exclusive Perks: Prior
  • Best for Eco- and Socially-conscious: G Adventures
  • Best Budget: Intrepid Travel
  • Best for Foodies: Salt & Wind Travel
  • Best for Offbeat Travel: Atlas Obscura Trips
  • Best Cruise: Linblad Expeditions
  • Our Top Picks

Classic Journeys

G Adventures

Intrepid Travel

Salt & Wind Travel

Atlas Obscura Trips

Linblad Expeditions

  • See More (4)

Final Verdict

Methodology, best overall : classic journeys.

Classic Journeys is an established tour operator with hundreds of itineraries led by local, deeply connected guides.

Knowledgeable, full-time local guides

Decades of travel planning experience

Options for family adventure tours and solo travel

Not ideal for weekend jaunts as most trips run at least six days or more

Itineraries to the African continent are limited

Classic Journeys has led small group travel experiences since 1987, and was among one of the few tour operators licensed to legally bring Americans to Cuba starting in 2010—a process the company started in 2003. The California-based business partners with local guides who often have deep community relationships, as well as the flexibility to deviate from the pre-planned daily schedule as they see fit, like squeezing in an unexpected dinner invitation to a family’s home, or participating in a festival the group happens to run into.

With more than 100 itineraries offered to destinations around the world, including Europe, North and South America, you can choose from six days in Belize exploring Mayan culture, forests, and marine reserves; or head to Cuba to cook with a local chef, visit a cigar-making factory, chat with a photojournalist who captured Castro’s life, and more.

While the company offers small group tours including family adventures and tours for solo travelers, 40 percent of its business comes from custom-designed tours. Discounts are available for adults traveling with children, and those traveling with six individuals or more to a party.

Best for Exclusive Perks : Prior

Travel-magazine worthy trips and access to exclusive, expert-led culinary, history, architecture experiences and more help this membership-based company stand out.

Itineraries designed by a team of experts including travel editors, fashion designers, chefs, and other creatives

Membership includes marketplace of exclusive experiences

Can create fully custom, private trips or to travel with other Prior members

Annual membership fee

Browsing its full marketplace of curated experiences is only accessible to members

Not the best fit for more budget-minded travelers

Prior is a membership-based travel planning company powered by a team of travel editors and experts across various disciplines, from culinary to art, fashion, and history. Access to curated experiences and accommodations are offered at Prior’s World and Bespoke membership tiers, which run $850 and $2,500 a year, respectively. 

As a member, tap the Prior team to create a custom itinerary, participate in small group travel with other Prior members, as well as shop from its marketplace of pre-designed experiences such as a private walking tour of Rome’s Jewish heritage or a curator-led tour of the Vatican’s artworks. 

Prior launched in 2019, and one of its first small group trips featured a private meal at chef Massimo Bottura’s home in Modena, Italy, as well as a near-impossible reservation at Bottura’s restaurant, Osteria Francescana—a 2018 World’s Best Restaurant winner. Upcoming trips for 2022 and beyond include an eight-day exploration of Egypt with designer and author Sibella Court, beginning in Luxor, and a long weekend of local art, wine, and wild-fire cooking in Uruguay with well-known chef Francis Mallman.

Best for Eco- and Socially-conscious : G Adventures

Affordable, multi-day adventures are offered to numerous destinations around the world in addition to its mission to give back to the community and environment.

Affordable adventures for various travel styles

Solo-traveler friendly

Great for family travel

Travelers who prefer a more luxury experience might consider another tour operator

Some clients have mentioned occasional inconsistencies with transport and accommodations on some itineraries

G Adventures is a tour operator that runs affordable, multi-day adventures across the world including Botswana, Tanzania, Cambodia, and Chile. Their tours are popular among solo travelers across all age demographics, though there are itineraries geared specifically toward 18-39 year olds, as well as family adventures for adults traveling with children ages 6 to 17. 

Tours include the eight-day “Santorini to Mykonos” sailing trip which is replete with fresh seafood and ocean relaxation, and “Cambodia & Vietnam: Bonfires & Banh Mi,” a guided adventure of bustling Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and the historic landscapes of  Cambodia’s Angkor Wat. Otherwise, choose from hundreds of options curated around all types of travel styles, from vigorous, action-packed exploration to more leisurely pursuits.

As part of G Adventures’ commitment to responsible and sustainable travel practices, the company partners with various non-profit charities dedicated to environmental and community outreach initiatives, and creates programming that directly benefits the communities travelers visit.

Best Budget : Intrepid Travel

Budget-friendly adventures are available across all seven continents and 120 countries.

Affordable small group travel to 120 countries

Itineraries themed to travel style, from more leisurely to active adventures

Family-friendly itineraries offered

May not be the best choice for those seeking high-end accommodations

For more included meals, must select one of its Premium itineraries

For upgraded service like 24/7 ground support, must choose from its Premium itineraries

Founded in 1988, Intrepid Travel operates more than 1,000 itineraries across all seven continents and 120 countries. The company specializes in affordable small-group tours with themed itineraries for active adventurers, wildlife lovers, retreat-seekers, and family tours. 

For example, Intrepid’s 13-day Vietnam Family Tour features sailing along Halong Bay, participating in a traditional paper flower making class with local community members in Hue, and experiencing a homestay with a local family along the Mekong Delta. Short-break and retreats itineraries run five days or less and include destinations such as England’s Cornish coast, Turkey’s beaches, or four days between Utah’s Zion and Bryce National Parks.

The company insists on sustainable travel as well—with considerations for climate, animal welfare, diversity and inclusion, for example. Tour leaders focus on local history and uncovering hidden gems in each destination, like a felucca (a traditional wooden sailboat) cruise on the Nile, or a bicycle trip through Provence in southern France. Trips average 10 people per tour, with inexpensive yet comfortable lodging and transportation coordinated with family-run businesses.

Best for Foodies : Salt & Wind Travel

Traveling with Salt & Wind means food-first activities, luxe accommodations, and itineraries designed with founders’ firsthand experience.

Ideal for food-obsessed travelers

All itineraries are curated by its food and travel expert founders

Private itinerary planning also available

No travel outside of Mexico, Spain, Italy, and France

A handful of departures each year might be difficult to book for those with less flexible schedules

50% deposit to engage in custom travel planning services

Looking to taste the world? A food first, small group travel trip with Salt & Wind Travel might be the way. This boutique travel planning company (which also plans one-off, private trips) specializes in itineraries to Mexico, Italy, France, Spain, California, and Hawai’i.

A guided food, fashion, and wine trip to Northern Italy, for example, includes checking into luxury boutique hotels, a cocktail crawl, interactive cooking class, a truffle hunt, boating around Lake Como, a 3-star Michelin meal, and more. A group trip to Mexico City, on the other hand, might include visits to design studios, dinner at Pujol (where the Michelin-starred restaurant books up months in advance), and a street food tour.

Private day trip planning is also available.

Best for Offbeat Travel : Atlas Obscura Trips

Immerse yourself in the history, arts, culture and hidden stories of your next travel spot, whether it on a light walk through a historical site or trekking through a rainforest.

Selection of offbeat and niche itineraries

Local experts unlock access to unique experiences

Focus on responsible travel

Likely not ideal for travelers looking for traditional leisure experience

Dedicated family trips currently not offered

Custom trips not offered at this time

Follow your curiosity, no matter the subject matter, with Atlas Oscura’s group trips around the world. Choose themed trips focused on history, arts and culture, photography, and more. For example, its 12-person max Artisans & Exiles itinerary to Japan’s Sado Island includes a visit with metalworking artisans, a history lesson of Sado’s exile and gold rush past, an electric bike tour through the island’s paddy fields, and an overnight at a traditional onsen (hot springs). 

Other itineraries, which range in activity level from moderate to challenging, might include tracking wolves in Sweden’s forests, exploring Romania’s castles and medieval villages, and trekking through India’s remote jungles (categorized by Atlas Obscura as “challenging”). Itineraries also outline where meals and transportation are included. 

About half of Atlas Obscura trip guests are solo travelers, and each itinerary includes 24/7 access to the emergency assistance organization Global Rescue.

Best Cruise : Linblad Expeditions

Luxurious yet engaging itineraries to remote locales are ideal for inquisitive minds.

One of the few cruise companies offering itineraries to some of the world’s most remote locations

Deeply knowledgeable experts on wildlife, history, photography, and more onboard

Certified photo instructor aboard Lindblad-National Geographic ships

Itineraries might be too long for some

Not for those seeking leisure

With over five decades of expert cruising tours to remote locations around the world including the Falklands and the Marquesas Islands, Lindblad Expeditions partners with National Geographic to provide sea-based adventure experiences that offer guests up-close wildlife and sealife encounters in the middle of seldom seen natural surroundings.

Their carbon neutral fleet ranges from massive sailing yachts to expedition ships custom-built for arctic adventures. Each Lindblad ship caters to a different need: Their Egyptian Oberoi Philae is designed for luxury and relaxation on the Nile, while the National Geographic Explorer ventures to the Arctic, Antarctica, and Patagonia.

Groups range from 28 to 148 guests, depending on the ship. Two new Alaska itineraries launched in 2022, including a 15-day cruise along coastal British Columbia, and the fjords and villages of its Inside Passage, uniquely navigable by the nimble National Geographic Orion.

Tour companies for every travel style and interest offer everything from dedicated departures to custom planned trips—from long weekends to weeks long adventures.

We combed through dozens of tour companies and filtered for great service, amenities, unique itineraries for a variety of travel styles, and customer reviews. Bonus consideration was given to tour companies offering specialized touches as well as family-friendly and solo travel-friendly offerings. We also assessed travel companies’ environmentally- and socially-conscious policies.

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The 50 Best Places to Travel in 2022

From far-flung destinations to hometown favorites, 2022 is the year to get back out there and turn your dream trips into reality.

Since 1971, Travel + Leisure editors have followed one mission: to inform, inspire, and guide travelers to have deeper, more meaningful experiences. T+L's editors have traveled to countries all over the world, having flown, sailed, road tripped, and taken the train countless miles. They've visited small towns and big cities, hidden gems and popular destinations, beaches and mountains, and everything in between. With a breadth of knowledge about destinations around the globe, air travel, cruises, hotels, food and drinks, outdoor adventure, and more, they are able to take their real-world experience and provide readers with tried-and-tested trip ideas, in-depth intel, and inspiration at every point of a journey.

Planning new adventures as a new year approaches is always a thrill, but finding the best places to visit in 2022 is unique. After two years of border closures, cruise cancellations, and travel restrictions galore , 2022 is the year we hope to get back out there, uninhibited (albeit vaccinated and COVID tested ), return to our favorite destinations, and cross new ones off our lists.

Though the hospitality industry was hit hard by the pandemic, many properties used the forced downtime to renovate rooms, add new amenities, and expand outdoor spaces to offer even more once guests return. 2022 is when many travelers will venture further from home, and even overseas, for the first time since the start of the pandemic, finally reaping the benefits of these valiant efforts.

Although COVID variants remain, regulations are still evolving, and precautions must still be taken, many of the destinations we chose for 2022 offer what we believe travelers are looking for in a post-pandemic world, from hotels with private accommodations to destinations teeming with fresh-air activities . Others, like Las Vegas , are for those who are ready and raring to make up for all the social time they missed — with a few splashy headliners, including Adele and the Raiders, thrown in for good measure.

As cruising makes its comeback , we included unforgettable places to see by water, from Antarctica to the Nile, and as hard-hit destinations like Italy and Asia recover, we found the buzziest reasons to return. Of course we didn't forget about all the stateside gems we got to know while domestic travel was surging, from Alaska and California to Florida and Michigan.

Our 2022 list, organized alphabetically, doesn't hold back, with aspirational trips as far away as India, Mozambique, Qatar, and even space — but we're also including hometown favorites, like Walt Disney World and its new Star Wars hotel ; the wellness retreats of beautiful Sedona; and the simple pleasures of small-town , farm-to-table living in Franklin, Tennessee. Because no matter what type of trip you've been dreaming of, we want to help you turn 2022 into the year you get back out there and make it a reality.

— Edited by Nina Ruggiero and Scott Bay

1. Abruzzo, Italy

Stretching from the heart of the Apennines to the Adriatic Sea on the peninsula's southeastern side, Abruzzo, Italy has long been one of the country's most overlooked destinations despite its unspoiled villages, picturesque Trabocchi Coast, and stunning natural escapes. Over the past few years, however, it has gone from a sleepy underdog to an ambitious harbinger of slow travel, sustainable gastronomy, and conscious hospitality. Villa Corallo , a 19th-century mansion near Civitella del Tronto was transformed into a five-star hotel in 2019. Dimore Montane , an eco-lodge opened in 2020 in Majella National Park, marries glamping with environmentally-friendly facilities with a zero waste policy. Meanwhile, restaurants like Bottega Culinaria in San Vito Chietino and Materia Prima in Castel di Sangro are redefining the region as one of Italy's most exciting food hotspots for their innovative and sustainable takes on local produce and traditional dishes (in case Niko Romito's three-Michelin-starred Reale wasn't enough). And completing construction this Spring is Via Verde dei Trabocchi: a cycling and pedestrian path along the Adriatic sea that's being built on a disused railway route. — Marianna Cerini

With many international borders closed over the last two years, many eager U.S. travelers' eyes turned to Alaska . The vast state, famous for its towering, snow-capped peaks, pristine wilderness, massive national parks, and colorful locals, made for a dynamic destination with no passport required. But as borders reopen, interest in the 49th state is showing no signs of slowing down. Alaska's tourism board said early forecasts are projecting that more than 1.57 million cruise ship passengers could visit southeast Alaska in summer 2022. That's an 18% jump from 2019, the previous record year. Many perennial favorite cruise lines , like Holland America, will be returning to full strength after a non-existent 2020 and abbreviated 2021. Others, like Windstar Cruises, UnCruise, and Hurtigruten are rolling out fresh itineraries or are launching new ships. On dry land, Alaska is set to see myriad new offerings and events. In Juneau, the Sealaska Heritage Institute will open their Arts Campus (where visitors will be able to learn about Alaska Native art and culture) and will host Celebration , one of the largest gatherings of Indigenous peoples. In Anchorage, Fur Rendezvous , Alaska's oldest and largest winter festival, will be back from Feb. 25 to March 6 (which also happens to be peak aurora season ). The event hosts activities like the Running of the Reindeer and the Outhouse Races, before culminating with the 50th running of the iconic Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race . — Bailey Berg

3. Anguilla

This easy-going Caribbean gem is simpler than ever to get to with American Airlines launching the first-ever nonstop, direct flight from Miami on Dec. 11. Private charter flights by Tradewind Aviation have also resumed service to the island. And the just-opened Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club has a fleet of jets to ferry guests from key U.S. cities. The sprawling luxury resort will include a few restaurants overseen by chef Abram Bissell, formerly of Eleven Madison Park, The NoMad, and The Modern. Quintessence , a boutique luxury resort with perks like butler service and a 4:1 staff-to-guest ratio, is opening a more affordable annex of suites called Quinn that will debut in 2022 (along with a Champagne cellar tasting room and Art Bar). New Restaurant Uchu at Belmond Cap Juluca is taking inspiration from Belmond's collection of properties in Peru. Named after the Quechuan word for spice, the menu will feature contemporary Peruvian cuisine inspired by three of the country's regions: the coast, the jungle, and the highlands. — Scott Bay

4. Antarctica

The pandemic shutdown created a compelling reason to visit Antarctica in 2022: See how the whales, seals, and penguins react after nearly two years without seeing humans. New polar-class expedition ships and new ways to get to the White Continent are reasons to pack your boots too. Viking Expeditions will be in Antarctica for the first time in 2022 with new, twin 378-passenger expedition ships. Ponant's new 270-passenger Le Commandant Charcot introduces eco-friendlier sailing, as the first hybrid-electric ship fueled by liquified natural gas (rather than heavy fuel). Quark Expeditions' long-awaited 199-passenger Ultramarine delivers exciting heli-hiking adventures via two eight-seat twin-engine helicopters. Hit a craps table in between icy exploration on the luxurious new all-suite 200-passenger Crystal Endeavor . Silversea Cruises' posh, 144-passenger, all-suite Silver Explorer returns with a debut travel option: Skip the notorious (for rough water) Drake Passage and catch a private flight directly from Chile to Antarctica to board the ship. — Fran Golden

American travelers have long loved the Bahamas for its crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches, and sunshine just about 50 miles off the coast of Florida, but there are even more reasons to visit the island nation in 2022. Baha Mar on the Island of New Providence has a brand new water park equipped with everything from a lazy river to a surf simulator, and day passes are available for purchase to those who aren't resort guests. For more rest and relaxation, journey to the outer islands of the Bahamas. While charter flights will get you exactly where you need to go, Crystal Cruises is offering a Bahamas-centric cruise that brings guests to some of the quieter and more remote islands. On its mid-July cruise, guests will embark and disembark from Nassau and then be whisked away via "6-star" service to the islands of Bimini, Great Exuma, San Salvador, and Long Island. Beyond the beach, don't forget to indulge in some local food and culture. The Island archipelago is famous for its conch, stew fish, and rock lobster. From late April through early May, Carnival is celebrated in Nassau and back after a pandemic hiatus. Keep an eye out for the famous sound and dance of the junkanoo. — Jamie Aranoff

6. Barbados

Whether you want a relaxing all-inclusive stay or a vibrant vacation filled with dining and nightlife, Barbados has you covered. Nowhere is that more evident than the pedestrian-friendly South Coast, which is teeming with new resorts and restaurants. The O2 Beach Club & Spa is an all-inclusive resort set on the white sands of Dover Beach, with three pools, six dining options, seven bars, and the Acqua spa, featuring the only hammam treatment room on the island. It joins other luxurious South Coast hotels, including Sandals and Sea Breeze Beach House . If you can pull yourself away from the resort pools, head along the coast to Worthing Square Food Garden, an outdoor food hall with 20 vendors serving dishes from around the Caribbean. Or stroll down the mile-long boardwalk for easy access to ocean-front food and drinks at local favorites like Champers, Salt Café, Tiki Bar, and Chill Café & Bar. — Kevin Gray

A favorite of adventure travelers for its rainforests and divers who explore the Great Blue Hole and expansive barrier reef, Belize offers an abundance of casual spots and a handful of luxe resorts. The latest arrival is Alaia Belize, an Autograph Collection Hotel , in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, opened mid-2021 with plans to add to its already extensive guest room, suite, and oceanfront villa accommodations. Major airlines are also recognizing the destination's potential with nonstop flights and convenient connections from most U.S. cities. In addition to United and Delta's nonstop flights from Houston and Atlanta, respectively, Alaska Airlines added nonstop service from Los Angeles and Seattle to Belize City in November, and Frontier will start weekly nonstop flights from Denver and Orlando. — Patricia Doherty

8. Budapest, Hungary

Very few places in the world capture both old-world charm and elegant modernity like Hungary's capital city, and Budapest's latest 130-room luxury hotel, Matild Palace , is a shining example. The neo-baroque palace-turned-hotel, which opened last summer in the city's District V, is a UNESCO-protected site that once housed the city's royalty. The hotel is now home to Wolfgang Punk's famed restaurant, Spago , the first of its kind in central Europe. It also hosts the Duchess bar — a rooftop "liquor library" that mixes craft cocktails using local wines and pálinka, Hungarian fruit brandy, which can be enjoyed alongside panoramic views of the Danube river. Surrounded by 22 wine regions, Budapest is a city for oenophiles. Enjoy a glass of Kékfrankos or Kadarka in the Castle District's newly opened wine bar, Takler Borbár Buda , founded by one of the country's renowned winemaking families. Don't leave the city without visiting Marlou , a biodynamic wine bar near the Hungarian State Opera, and Portobello , an unassuming coffee and natural wine bar around the corner from Matild Palace. — Stephanie Andrews

9. Burgundy, France

The region of Burgundy is known for — you guessed it — its Burgundy wine, but French wine isn't the only reason Burgundy is a must-visit in 2022. In the spring, the region's capital city of Dijon will welcome the Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie et du Vin (International City of Gastronomy and Wine), an expansive complex with a cooking school, a new hotel, a handful of restaurants, and a wine cellar with over 250 by-the-glass offerings. The new project is perfectly situated at the starting point of Burgundy's famed wine route — Route des Grands Crus — which runs from Dijon to Santenay and produces some of the country's most well-regarded wines, including pinot noir, chardonnay, and sauvignon blanc. — Evie Carrick

10. British Virgin Islands

Within the Caribbean, the 60 islands that comprise the British Virgin Islands have long held the reputation of luxury draped in relaxation. And now it's doubling down on that brand of island spirit with Richard Branson's second private island, the 125-acre Moskito Island that opened in October and sits right across from his first BVI paradise, Necker Island (which received a serious upgrade when it reopened last year after a two-year closure). The new destination will eventually have 10 private estates that can be rented through Virgin Limited Edition , but among the ones already available are Point Estate, starting at $17,500 a night, and Oasis Estate for $19,000. But Moskito isn't the only shiny new reason to visit BVI. Proving the area's resilience following the devastation after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Saba Rock , the private island long known for its diving, went through a complete reconstruction before reopening in October; the Bitter End Yacht Club reopened in December with BVI's first over-the-water bungalows; and Oil Nut Bay will expand in early 2022 with new villas, a watersports center, and spa. Also on tap for 2022, the solar-powered White Bay Villas and new hilltop suites at Long Bay Beach Resort . And with the Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival returning in the spring of 2022 after being canceled for two years, BVI is proving it's truly back and stronger than ever. — Rachel Chang

11. Costa Smeralda, Sardinia

You're likely to glimpse Europe's pro athlete and yachting crowds at Marriott's four hotels on the Costa Smeralda, the glitzy Italian destination known for its Caribbean-like beaches and luxury resorts. Its glamorous Hotel Cala di Volpe has gradually been unveiling room renovations alongside new dining options, including its Harrods Suite, with a roof terrace and sea-facing plunge pool, and BeefBar 's first Italian outpost. The entire area is one big " Billionaire Experience ," but Formula One and entertainment mogul Flavio Briatore snagged the term for his new dining and nightlife venue in designer shopping destination Porto Cervo. For more of a low-key, family-friendly escape, the Baglioni Resort Sardinia opened an hour south in San Teodoro in June, overlooking the stunning Tavolara Marine Reserve . — Nina Ruggiero

12. Crete, Greece

The Greek Islands have long been a perennial favorite vacation destination for discerning travelers, and Crete, the largest of the 227 islands in the archipelago, deserves a spot atop your must-see list. Yes, it's a place where you can find the white-washed buildings and blue roofs you've lusted after on Instagram for years, and a spot where you can dive into the cerulean blue waters of the Mediterranean at every turn. And of course you can dig deep into both history and mythology as humans have lived on the island since the 7th millennium B.C ., not to mention the fact that Crete is the birthplace of Zeus . It's little surprise then, with all this beauty and history, that Crete continues to harbor a rich creative community, mostly centered in the neighborhood of Chania. There, visitors can peruse works in museums like the Mediterranean Architecture Center , or seek out unique pieces in galleries like the Municipal Art Gallery or the Redd Gallery . To visit Crete, hop aboard a sailing with Silversea , which takes guests to Crete and several other stellar islands, or book a stay at the Blue Palace Elounda, a Luxury Collection Resort , named one of the Top 10 Greece Resort Hotels in Travel + Leisure 's World's Best Awards, 2021. — Stacey Leasca

13. Walt Disney World

The " World's Most Magical Celebration " — Walt Disney World's 18-month-long 50th anniversary event that kicked off on Oct. 1 — continues through 2022 with enchanting touches and highly anticipated ride and hotel openings. Star Wars : Galactic Starcruiser will begin offering its immersive, two-night adventures in a galaxy far, far away on March 1. The interactive, choose-your-own-adventure experience will have guests wielding lightsabers, sleeping on the ship, brushing shoulders with Star Wars characters, eating intergalactic cuisine, and maybe even going on a secret mission, making this a truly unique experience that you can't find anywhere else in the world. Other 2022 openings include the Guardians of the Galaxy : Cosmic Rewind indoor coaster at Epcot, slated for summer. — Elizabeth Rhodes

14. Doha, Qatar

As we ask ourselves what cities of the future should look like, we naturally look around for examples. Places like Shanghai, Tokyo, and New York City seem to fit the description on paper, but I'd argue that no city better encapsulates that definition than Doha, the capital of Qatar. There is so much to discover — from East-West/West-East , a series of four steel monoliths created by sculptor Richard Serra to the Museum of Islamic Art , the massive 560,000-square-foot gallery. Eat at Syrian comfort food spot Damasca One, Em Sherif a rooftop spot that serves up authentic regional dishes, and the lively corner restaurant Nourlaya Contemporary for Sri Lankan cuisine. Stay at the Mandarin Oriental Doha or Banyan Tree Doha . (Read Robinson's full dispatch on Doha in the July 2021 edition of Travel + Leisure) — Whitney Robinson

15. Edinburgh, Scotland

The Auld Reekie is buzzing with new energy. The highly anticipated Hotel W , designed by Jestico and Whiles in conjunction with Allan Murray Architects, is opening next winter. And several other hotels have recently opened in and around the city — Marine North Berwick , the Market Street hotel , Rusacks St. Andrews , and ship-turned-luxury-hotel Fingal . Gleneagles Townhouse , a first-ever city outpost from the famed Gleneagles estate, is opening in the spring. St James Quarter, a developing area of the city, and where Hotel W is being built, is opening next year with 85 shops, 30 restaurants, and a cinema. New in whisky is the September christening of Johnnie Walker Princes Street . And promising to shake up the scotch scene in the capital city is Leith Distillery , opening in the summer. — Scott Bay

16. Finger Lakes, New York

The Finger Lakes have bolstered their wellness and culinary offerings in recent years, carving out a name for themselves in the luxury travel realm. Inns of Aurora , comprising five historic mansions, debuted a holistic wellness facility in 2021 — set on 350 acres overlooking Cayuga Lake, complete with hydrotherapy pools, meditation areas, and a farm fresh cafe. Forty miles west of Cayuga, The Lakehouse on Canandaigua — situated on, yes, Canandaigua Lake — recently unveiled the Willowbrook Spa, which boasts lakeside barrel sauna sessions among other innovative treatments. Sandwiched between Cayuga and Canandaigua lakes is Seneca Lake, home to the largest of the Finger Lakes wine trails (this might be riesling country, but don't knock the lighter-bodied reds till you try 'em) and foodie draws like the 14-seat F.L.X. Table . Travelers visiting in the coming year will also see the Finger Lakes festival roster return in full force, including Rochester's Lilac Festival in May and International Jazz Festival in July, as well as attractions for the historically inclined road tripper, like Cayuga County's celebration of Harriet Tubman's birth through a number of walking tours and activations rolled out through 2022. — Maya Kachroo-Levine

17. Franklin, Tennessee

Despite its count of more than 80,000 year-round residents, the very walkable Franklin firmly grasps onto its small-town charms, starting with a quintessentially quaint downtown chock-full of shops and restaurants finding shelter in brick storefronts lining the sidewalks. The uninitiated might know this place for its past — Civil War museums, battleground sites, and historic markers telling the stories of a slave market, race riots, and Black soldiers in the U.S. Colored Troop division of the army all offer points of education and reflection. But the southern city has many modern-day draws as well — for starters, an exciting food and drink scene that includes the Tennessee Whiskey Trail and Arrington Vineyards , the largest winery in the region. Musical events and venues abound, too: The Pilgrimage Music Festival is one of the biggest in the state, and the 7,500-seat FirstBank Amphitheater , newly opened inside a former rock quarry, has welcomed the likes of the Jonas Brothers and Santana to its stage. There's also Leiper's Fork , a quirky-cool enclave filled with antique shops and art galleries. Even more brand-new to the scene is Southall , a 325-acre farm and inn with 62 rooms and suites and 16 cottages opening this June. The lush setting amid rolling hills makes active adventures (hiking, biking, kayaking), wellness pursuits (a spa, meditation, yoga, and two outdoor pools), and nourishing food (the restaurant uses ingredients grown, raised, and foraged on the property) easy to find. All of this and more lie just a short, 30-minute drive from bustling Nashville, making it tempting to tack onto a visit to the capital city. — Alisha Prakash

18. Galápagos Islands

The world's largest marine biosphere reserve will expand more than 20,000 square miles next year thanks to a recent presidential decree . The conservation measure seeks to combat illegal fishing by offering increased protection to the thousands of species that populate the archipelago's waters as well as a migration corridor stretching up to Costa Rica used by sharks, whales and other sea life. Come January, travelers can cruise this UNESCO-protected region on new nine-day adventures from Hurtigruten Expeditions and outfitter Metropolitan Touring aboard the 90-guest carbon-neutral MS Santa Cruz II. For a more intimate experience, passengers can book Aqua Expeditions ' seven-suite 164-foot superyacht, Aqua Mare, when it debuts in May. At the end of the year, eco-enthusiasts can sail to lesser-explored islands to spot giant tortoises, sea lions, flightless cormorants, Galápagos penguins, and marine iguanas on Quasar Expeditions ' new sustainable yacht — the 18-passenger M/Y Conservation featuring biodegradable amenities, renewable energy and a carbon-neutral footprint. Those with timid sea legs should check into the locally owned and run Montemar in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. — Nora Walsh

19. Greater Palm Springs, California

Greater Palm Springs is kicking its signature self-care into high gear in the coming year. Taking a cue from its sister property, Sensei Lanai , the new Sensei Porcupine Creek is converting a 230-acre private estate into a luxury wellness experience in Rancho Mirage in 2022. In Palm Springs proper, Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza will celebrate Indigenous art and history alongside the new Spa at Séc-he , where visitors will soak in approximately 12,000-year-old hot springs. Nearby, Fleur Noire Hotel just opened its adults-only casitas and bungalows, with a speakeasy Champagne bar to follow. Unexpectedly, the desert has a budding surf scene — the former Wet 'n Wild waterpark is becoming Palm Springs Surf Club , with a state-of-the-art wave pool, spa, restaurant, and bar; DSRT Surf is set to open a 5.5-acre wave lagoon in Palm Desert; and Kelly Slater himself is bringing a green energy–powered wave basin to Coral Mountain , a proposed new wellness resort with a hotel and residences, set to open in La Quinta by 2023 pending city approvals. And for entertainment outside the splash zone, the $250-million Coachella Valley Arena will host hockey, concerts, and more live events by the end of the year. — Nina Ruggiero

20. Greenville, South Carolina

Once in the shadow of Charleston and Asheville, Greenville has emerged in recent years as a go-to destination in its own right — and it keeps giving travelers more reasons to visit. In 2022, the city of just over 70,000 people will welcome a luxury boutique hotel, unveil a new public gathering place, and build on its well-earned reputation as a culinary and craft beer hotspot. The long-awaited, 187-room Grand Bohemian hotel is expected to open its doors this spring, complete with a two-story restaurant and bar, art gallery, and spa. The 60-acre Unity Park will feature plenty of greenspace, an observation tower, baseball fields, playgrounds, and walking and biking trails. And recently opened restaurants, including French Laundry alum Drew Erickson's Camp , Urban Wren, Coral, and an outpost of Nashville's famous Prince's Hot Chicken located inside Yee-Haw Brewing will ensure you're well-fed while in town. — Kevin Gray

21. Ilha Caldeira, Mozambique

While South Africa and Uganda grab headlines for African wildlife, Mozambique has been quietly making strides protecting 17 percent of its land — including beaches, coral reefs, and islands — showcasing its dedication to its natural beauty both on land and underwater. Ever since the country's 16-year civil war ended in 1992, the southeastern African nation has been aiming to build back in the right ways. Case in point: the private island of Ilha Caldeira, less than seven miles off the coast as part of the Primeiras and Segundas Archipelago, located within the marine-protected area with 20 percent of the country's intact living coral. It's here that the eco-luxury Banyan Tree resort chain has developed one of its most ambitious projects yet, a five-star property — accessible by jetty or helicopter — with 40 private pool villas that will be completely solar powered. Add to that a fish market restaurant with a 270-degree ocean view, the brand's trademark Banyan Tree Spa, and world-class diving, all in a too-pristine-to-believe beach setting, and this island escape is sure to draw attention away from its Indian Ocean neighbors when it opens at the end of 2022. — Rachel Chang

22. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Those wary of traveling internationally in 2022 will find solace in Jackson Hole, a mountain town with endless open space (Wyoming is the least populated state in the U.S.) and plenty to do. In the winter, life revolves around Jackson Hole Mountain Resort , home to some of the nation's best skiing and snowboarding. In the summer, plan your trip around the Jackson Hole Food & Wine Summer Festival (June 23-25) or head to the nearby Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. For easy access to the mountain town, travelers can hop on one of Aero's high-end, seasonal flights and stay at The Cloudveil off the Town Square or the Caldera House at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. — Evie Carrick

23. Kafue National Park, Zambia

Straddling three regions of Zambia, Kafue National Park is the largest (and oldest) in the country, measuring 8,648 miles. In the wildlife-rich Busanga plains — located in the secluded northern side of the park — spend the night at newly opened Chisa Busanga Camp in their bird's nest shaped rooms. Enjoy a silent safari, thanks to e-cruisers or an e-bike safari provided by the property. See wildlife from above with a hot air balloon safari from Shumba Camp or Busanga Bush Camp . Other accommodation offerings in the park include riverfront Ila Safari Lodge and Mukambi Safari Lodge . Both properties offer fishing, walking safaris, boat cruises, and have Instagram worthy pools (perfect for a soak and the traditional safari sundowner: a gin and tonic). — Mazuba Kapambwe

24. Kaunas, Lithuania

Kaunas, Lithuania has a lofty New Year's resolution. After a century of wars, Soviet rule, and, since the 1990s, independence, this UNESCO Creative City of Design is ready to cultivate a new identity — and it's doing so as one of two European Capitals of Culture for 2022 (alongside Novi Sad, Serbia). The festivities commence in January, with thousands of concerts, festivals, exhibitions, and events throughout the year to celebrate Kaunas' history while cementing its path forward . Also this year, Kaunas will welcome the highly anticipated $30 million Science Island, Lithuania's first national science and innovation center designed by UK firm Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC). By May, the city's former Magnus Hotel will reopen with sparkly new digs and a posh rooftop under the ibis Styles umbrella . This lively city is also a main stop on the recently unveiled 1,330-mile Forest Trail across the Baltics. And, a host of just-announced Ryanair flight routes, including Madrid to Kaunas, will make visiting this capital of culture a breeze. — Stephanie Vermillion

25. Kyushu, Japan

Kyushu may be less than two hours from Tokyo by plane, but it feels far from Honshū's well-beaten tourist circuit. The southwesternmost Japanese main island is still largely unexplored, providing those willing to venture off the beaten path with a much different Japan than the one they'll find in its cities. As a warm, subtropical island, Kyushu is home to long, golden beaches and some of Japan's best snorkeling and scuba diving. Inland, the country's most active volcano, Mt. Aso, feeds the island's myriad natural hot springs — many of which offer sea views. And while the island has accommodations that include both hot spring resorts and luxury beachfront villas , nothing tops a stay at Hirado Castle , which was recently restored and renovated to welcome visitors overnight . — Evie Carrick

26. Lanai, Hawaii

Wellness opportunities and cultural awareness are showcased along with luxury at Lanai's two Four Seasons resorts. At Sensei Lāna'i, A Four Seasons Resort , guests can now choose the Discover Sensei Experience , offering the ability to enjoy the retreat's amenities without joining the more comprehensive programs. New "Optimal Wellbeing" programs focus on improving performance in tennis and golf along with overall wellness. Four Seasons Resort Lanai is adding an observatory as part of "Love Lanai," featuring cultural experiences designed to share the island's rich heritage. The observatory program will center around the history of Pacific voyaging, native traditions, and astronomy. — Patricia Doherty

27. Las Vegas, Nevada

Never bet against the house: The pandemic may have put a damper on Las Vegas, but the ever-on-the-move city is back in a big way for 2022. A massive new development on the Strip, Resorts World Las Vegas , opened in June, has three distinct Hilton properties under one enormous roof, not to mention more than 40 restaurants and bars, plus pools (plural), and a handful of $15,000-a-night villas . Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, the Cromwell , and downtown's Circa Resort & Casino are also giving visitors fresh options on where to stay. The city's pro sports teams — also now plural — are drawing in fans. And off-Strip "immersive experiences," like the Omega Mart by Meow Wolf and the Illuminarium, both at Area15 , are lending an additional layer of things to do beyond the expected. Not that there's anything wrong with splashing out on dinner and a show after the past two years. Live acts — like Adele's just-announced residency at The Colosseum — are once again hot tickets, as is a table at chic new supper club Delilah , at the Wynn Las Vegas. Some things, thankfully, never change. — Paul Brady

28. Louisville, Kentucky

Your cowboy boots were made for walking the streets of Louisville. Nicknamed "The Bourbon City," an official gateway to Kentucky's bourbon trail, the city is expanding its bourbon footprint in 2022. In October, the Urban Bourbon Trail welcomed the first and only African American–owned distillery in the state, Brough Brothers . Meanwhile, its trailmate, Angel's Envy , will wrap its $8.2-million expansion project complete with a new event space and five tasting rooms in the spring. The city is most well known for hosting the annual Kentucky Derby every spring at the historic Churchill Downs racetrack, and the Downs will open the first installment of its multi-year expansion plan, the Homestretch Club , just in time for the 2022 Derby. There, attendees will be able to enjoy the race with an all-new trackside lounge experience. — Hannah Streck

29. Malaysia

Malaysia is home to a beautiful medley of cultures (Chinese, Indian, and Malay) and a diverse smattering of terrain: bustling cities with towering buildings, verdant rain forests with incredible wildlife, and idyllic islands with dreamy beaches. But all of this and more has been closed to the world for much of the pandemic. Now that the island of Langkawi is open via a travel bubble, with the rest of the country expected to follow suit in 2022, travelers can once again experience Malaysia's many gifts. Langkawi, a beach lover's paradise, blends unspoiled nature (UNESCO-listed Kilim Karst Geoforest Park ) and unparalleled luxury ( Four Seasons Resort , Datai Langkawi ), while cosmopolitan capital Kuala Lumpur draws visitors with its gleaming Petronas Towers, delicious hawker food stalls, and shopping. Then there's Borneo, complete with wildlife-packed jungles and a rich Indigenous culture, as well as Desaru Coast, a 3,900-acre area that's home to coveted resorts like the One&Only Desaru Coast , a tropical oasis that opened in early September 2020 (the brand's first in Asia). — Alisha Prakash

30. Maldives

The Maldives' 1,000+ islands sit in the Indian Ocean like a string of turquoise pearls. The tropical nirvana has 166 accommodation options, including the new Joali Being nature retreat, which leads guests on a transformative wellness journey. Alila Kothaifaru Maldives debuts in February with 80 beach and overwater villas on the Raa Atoll. Coming to the same atoll in May, also with 80 luxury villas, is Emerald Faarufushi Resort & Spa on a massive lagoon primed for snorkeling. The ever-innovative Soneva Fushi has a new experience that includes zip-lining to a six-course meal 30 feet about the sand. Along with Soneva Jani, they've debuted Soneva Soul , a new spa complex melding ancient and modern techniques. Other vacation favorites are unveiling new digs like the sleek, contemporary renovation of Naladhu Private Island and the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island , debuting in February. — Katie Lockhart

31. Newport, Rhode Island

Newport is considered one of the sailing capitals of the world. It is home to the largest fleet of America's Cup 12 Meter yachts , most of which are available for charter. In May, the coastal town is welcoming a Sailing Museum that is sure to solidify that title. Over the past few years, a slew of hotel openings have closed a much-needed gap for luxury accommodations, including Hammett's Hotel , Brenton Hotel , and The Wayfinder Hotel . The Vanderbilt, Auberge Resorts Collection is debuting the property's highly anticipated transformation conceived by Dallas-based design collective Swoon — the lobby, dining room, and shared areas are now complete with guest rooms finishing early next year. Renowned beverage executive Maxwell Britten has joined the team as chief cocktail curator alongside an amazing chef who cooks up a selection of elevated pub-inspired dishes. And don't miss Giusto , at Hammett's Hotel, which serves up excellent Italian with a Rhode Island twist. — Scott Bay

32. Nile Cruise, Egypt

There is no trip that will convert you to a life of river cruising quite like a sail down (well, technically, up) the Nile. In fact, the world's first river cruises sailed in Egypt, a country designed around the central waterway, where it makes sense that the Nile would act as your home base. A typical Egyptian river cruise sets sail from Cairo to Luxor and then Aswan, with the occasional stop to visit an island temple along the way — complete with sights like the Pyramids, Valley of Kings and Queens, Nefertari's tomb, and the Temple of Kom Ombo. In 2022, there's more than one new river cruise to choose from, between Uniworld's newly launched S.S. Sphinx and AmaWaterways' Amadahlia , both of which sailed their inaugural voyages in fall 2021. — Maya Kachroo-Levine

In late 2021, Panama launched a tourism platform along with the coolest tagline in travel: " Live for More ." With a booming coffee scene and a renewed focus on its culture, history, and biodiversity , the Central American nation is ready for its moment in the spotlight. It's an attractive place for those looking to get out of resort mode and into a world open for exploration and adventure. Immersive environmental experiences abound here, including trekking through the rainforest on its suspended hanging bridges and walking to the top of the Volcán Barú, an active volcano with both Pacific and Atlantic Ocean views from the top. There is also abundant opportunity to learn from Panama's seven Indigenous communities, each of whom offer their own personalized experiences and are happy to share their craftsmanship and traditions. Panama offers plenty of luxury, too. In its capital city, check into the American Trade Hotel , centrally located in Panama's Casco Viejo district, a historic neighborhood which happens to also be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. — Stacey Leasca

34. Phuket, Thailand

Before the pandemic, Phuket was beautiful but crowded, full of beach bars and tourists chasing all-nighters. It's still full of energy and surrounded by the same pristine sea glass–colored water, but its luxurious side is finally getting the attention it deserves, from its high-end coffee shops to its cocktail bars. Hide from the world in paradise with a stay in one of the private pool residences at Trisara , featuring kitchens, a private chef, butler service, and breathtaking views over the sea, as well as access to the resort's PRU restaurant , which has earned both a Michelin star and a Michelin green star. Or book a stay at the brand-new V Villas Phuket , which offers a curated selection of 19 private-pool, 1-, 3-, and 4-bedroom villas. Later, party the night away in Phuket Old Town with inventive cocktails at Club No. 43 (think: rum with grilled pineapple juice and espuma), or settle in for a great dinner and a night of daring performances at the Junkyard Theatre , which just launched a weekly Saturday night show. — Alison Fox

35. Pico, Portugal

The islands of the Azores — a Portuguese archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean some 900 miles west of Lisbon — are more popular than ever, and for 2022, travelers will want to fix their eyes firmly on the second-largest isle: Pico, an alluring, otherworldly locale covered with black, volcanic rocks. Conquering Portugal's highest peak, the cloud-shrouded, 7,713-foot-high Mount Pico, used to be the island's main draw, but a recent uptick in hospitality infrastructure has allowed for more opportunity to partake of Pico's most important agricultural output: wine. Renowned Portuguese winemaker Antonio Maçanita just opened a new winery that comes with bookable design-forward apartments adjacent to the island's unique vineyards. On Pico, grapes are planted on volcanic terroir that are then protected from Atlantic winds with rock walls. Maçanita's ​​ Azores Wine Company 's mineral, sometimes slightly salty wines could be the perfect celebratory drink after a grueling hike.The crashing waves around Pico are beginning to seduce surfers, too. And there are also ample opportunities to watch for marine life thanks to 20 species of dolphins and whales (including humpbacks and orcas) that can be spotted in these waters. But if you'd rather eat what's in the water: Try lapas, a local shellfish delicacy best served grilled with butter and garlic and finished with a squeeze of lemon. Thankfully, getting to experience all of this has never been easier: Starting July 1, United Airlines will for the first time connect Newark to the island of São Miguel (the Azores' largest island), and from there, it's a quick hop over to Pico. Or you could always get there via direct flights from Lisbon or Porto with Tap Air Portugal's stopover program. — Chadner Navarro

36. Quebec, Canada

After over a year of tight pandemic restrictions, Canada reopened to American tourists in 2021, so now might finally be time to plan that trip to the Great White North, starting with the province of Quebec. From the charming, French-influenced cities of Montreal and Quebec City to the region's snow-capped mountains, there's something new to explore every season. In December 2021, the first Club Med mountain resort in Canada, Club Med Quebec Charlevoix , opened, offering all-inclusive ski vacations just a short flight from several major U.S. cities. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is offering a foliage-packed autumn cruise from New York to Montreal in October. No matter what time of year you visit, Le Capitole Hotel in Quebec City and Humaniti Hotel Montreal are top picks for places to stay in the major cities. — Elizabeth Rhodes

37. Queensland, Australia

Australia's highly anticipated international border reopening will be well worth the wait, especially as more travelers seek nuanced cultural experiences and sustainable stays. The northeastern state has long been the gateway for visits to the rightly beloved Great Barrier Reef, and beginning in 2022, visitors can learn about conservation efforts and the ecosystem directly from the area's Traditional Land Owners and Indigenous guides during day trips from Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel . Aboriginal elders and Traditional Land Owners are also working with local operator Gudjuda Tours on a daylong excursion to tag and rescue one of the reef's most beloved creatures: sea turtles. Those who want to take a more extended trip to the Whitsunday Islands can look to Elysian Retreat , recently certified as the area's first fully solar-powered resort, or its carbon-negative sister property Pumpkin Island . Back on the mainland, within the verdant Daintree Rainforest UNESCO World Heritage Site, eco-luxury hideaway Silky Oaks Lodge will finally welcome guests back after its $15-million overhaul. — Sarah Bruning

38. Santa Ynez Valley, California

Two hours from L.A., the Santa Ynez Valley is rural, unassuming, and coming into its own. The region has grown grapes for decades and has even made a Hollywood cameo in the movie Sideways. The arrival of newer tasting rooms, restaurants, and hotels in recent years has firmly put the area on oenophiles' and travelers' radars. Start with a private olive oil tasting at Global Gardens and hard cider at Tin City Cider in Los Olivos. Follow with pizza pies at Full of Life Flatbread and vino at nearby female-owned A Tribute to Grace and Casa Dumetz . Detour to Firestone Walker 's outpost in Buellton for a few limited edition craft brews and finish with dishes such as roasted tomato and fennel risotto at the Ballard Inn's Gathering Table . Though it's technically just beyond the boundaries of the valley in Lompoc, The Hilt Estate , is too good to miss. And once it opens this year as an Auberge property, The Inn at Mattei's Tavern will make for the perfect base from which to explore it all. — Tanvi Chheda

39. São Paulo, Brazil

Known for its dynamic combination of luxury, design, and fashion influence, São Paulo is an international metropolitan hub of arts and culture. It's the largest city in South America, hosting an array of entertainment opportunities such as fabulous hotels, decadent restaurants, high-class museums, and iconic mid-century architecture. With airlines including American adding flights throughout Brazil in 2022 and a flourishing hospitality renaissance throughout the city, São Paulo is well prepared for its anticipated influx of new travelers. A must-visit destination for 2022 is the Rosewood São Paulo , located in the heart of São Paulo's Cidade Matarazzo and housed in a historic landmark building. Here, visitors will encounter 200-plus luxurious guest rooms, suites, and residences, plus six restaurants and bars and two pools. — Molly O'Brien

40. Savannah, Georgia

This coastal Georgia city is rightly famous for its atmospheric, moss-draped streets and squares, not to mention its hundreds of years of history. But lately Savannah has been boosted by creativity and innovation outside the sometimes frozen-in-amber Old Town, which means now is a particularly compelling time to visit. Make home base the brand-new Thompson Savannah , a slick 13-story tower with interiors by Studio 11 Design that anchors the still-developing Eastern Wharf neighborhood. Phase one of the 54-acre development, which aims to turn a once-industrial waterfront into a contemporary mixed-use destination, includes hundreds of apartments, fitness trails, access to the Savannah River, and multiple bars and restaurants, including Fleeting , a seasonally driven spot inside the Thompson. At the same time, Savannah's other major waterfront destination has also come into its own. The Plant Riverside District, a stone's throw from Old Town, marked its official grand opening in November 2021, putting a bow on a bustling JW Marriott hotel , countless restaurants and bars, and multiple live performance venues all along a rebuilt waterfront. Not that all the action is along the river: The ever-evolving Starland District, a short drive from Johnson Square, has its share of hangouts including Starland Yard , a food truck park that's also home to the excellent Pizzeria Vittoria Napoletana ; Two Tides Brewing Company , which pours hazy ales and delicious sours in a super-cool taproom; and Troupial , a Venezuelan cafe. You'll also want to pack Wildsam Savannah , a newly released field guide that helps visitors understand the layers of history (and the contemporary politics) that are fueling the latest renaissance in Savannah. — Paul Brady

41. Seattle, Washington

Few places offer both an urban and a natural escape in one destination — and the Emerald City might be one of the best. The city center is world-class with top hotel accommodations ( Four Seasons Hotel Seattle and Thompson Seattle ), locally focused fine dining, and countless cultural sites. Then, just minutes away from all of that is some of the most stunning outdoor recreation out there. Adding to the city's luster is the newly opened Lotte Hotel Seattle . The 189-room tower is bringing high design and refined service to the area. Charlotte , the hotel's restaurant on the 18th floor, serves up an inventive menu that is sure to become an all-time favorite dining experience. The landmark Fairmont Olympic Hotel recently completed a $25-million historic restoration of its public spaces, quickly becoming one of the most Instagrammable spots in town. Plus, its buzzy new culinary showpiece will debut in the months to come. Before leaving Seattle, don't miss a meal at celebrated pasta specialist Brian Clevenger's new restaurant, Autumn . — Scott Bay

42. Sedona, Arizona

Makito Umekita/Travel + Leisure

With tourism already surging thanks to the Instagram fame of attractions like Devil's Bridge, Sedona garnered even more of a following during the pandemic among cooped-up city dwellers enthralled by the destination's red rocks and energy vortexes. In 2022, set your sights on North America's first landscape hotel, Ambiente , home to 40 standalone accommodations (called "atriums"), most with private rooftop decks perfect for stargazing. Opening in May, the sustainability-focused retreat will offer on-site trailhead access — further immersing guests in the Sedona landscape while combating traffic along the city's main highway — and reactivate an ancient waterway to populate a stream running throughout the hotel. Experience Sedona's culinary clout right on property at Ambiente's restaurant, Forty1, housed in a refurbished airstream, or venture next door to Mariposa , the city's must-visit restaurant by chef Lisa Dahl, who pioneered fine dining in this town. — Maya Kachroo-Levine

43. Singapore

Singapore reopened to vaccinated American travelers in October 2021 with the introduction of the country's Vaccinated Travel Lane . Travelers can fly from the U.S. on Singapore Airlines' vaccine-mandatory flights ; the World's Best airline 26 years running launched Vaccinated Travel Lane flights this fall, and United Airlines plans to follow suit by January 2022. Even in the early stages of reopening to foreign travelers, the city-state is already unveiling new culinary ventures. Recently, chef Julien Royer, behind three-Michelin-star Odette, opened Claudine , and Raffles Singapore unveiled Osteria BBR by Alain Ducasse, while Marina Bay Sands plans to debut chef Tetsuya Wakuda's second restaurant within the hotel in the new year. Of course, there's just as much flavor to be found at Singapore's famed hawker centers, now on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage. As tourists return to Singapore, new cultural attractions follow — from the return of Singapore Art Week, beginning Jan. 14, to the recent unveiling of SkyHelix Sentosa , an open-air ride towering 300 feet above sea level, for anyone still in need of thrills after a 17-hour flight over the Pacific. — Maya Kachroo-Levine

44. Southwest Michigan

Beaches with ocean-like views were once the main draw to Michigan's southwest coast, but new high-style accommodations and hyper-local experiences are giving us more reasons to go. Where to stay with so many options? Consider the cool new motel-turned-boutique Lake Shore Resort in Saugatuck; The Fields glamping retreat with new spa tents in South Haven; the revamped, modern Harbor Grand Hotel in New Buffalo; or anywhere along the coast with high-touch Bluefish Vacation Rentals , which has killer lakefront homes now stocked with handmade local goods. Hop on the new pedestrian/bike trail in Union Pier, and definitely shop two new woman-owned standouts: the beautifully curated Haven and Ariane Prewitt's AP Cottage, scheduled to open this spring. Women are showing off the culinary scene, too, with everything from a special saison ale — winner of the 2021 Great American Beer Festival — at woman-owned Waypost Brewing Co. , to new herb-inspired cocktails at James Beard-winning chef Melissa Corey's Penny Royal Café & Provisions , to James Beard nominee Abra Beherns' Granor Farm , where dinners return this year in a new glass-enclosed barn. — Nina Kokotas Hahn

45. St. Moritz, Switzerland

If you're on the hunt for glitz, glamour, and powder for days, look no further than St. Moritz, Switzerland. The Alpine ski town has long been considered the birthplace of winter vacationing. Tourists first flocked to the mountain town in 1864 , when hotelier Johannes Badrutt took a few British travelers to the community, promising them bluebird days all winter. It wasn't long until others learned about this hidden winter oasis. Skiers and winter sports enthusiasts flocked to the mountain, which has now hosted the Winter Olympic Games not once, but twice. It's an ideal place for ski bunnies too, thanks to its luxury shopping, and its numerous Michelin-starred restaurants . This winter, head to St. Moritz for its fantastic events like White Surf (Feb. 6, 13, and 20, 2022), an international horse race that takes place across the frozen Lake St. Moritz, and the Snow Polo World Cup (Jan. 28-30, 2022), which happens to be the world's only high-goal tournament on snow. Book a stay at the Badrutt's Palace Hotel , which officially reopened on Dec. 3 for the 2021/2022 season and offers guests the chance to try their hand at high-octane winter sports like skijöring, snowkiting, tobogganing, and even private helicopter tours to the peaks of Piz Bernina and Piz Palü. — Stacey Leasca

46. St. Pete/Clearwater, Florida

The beaches of St. Petersburg and nearby Clearwater are consistently ranked among the best in the U.S. and even the world , but there's more to this destination than white sand, pristine waters, and 361 days of sunshine per year. St. Pete/Clearwater offers more than 30 museums and galleries featuring world-renowned artists like Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso, as well as the largest collection of Salvador Dalí's work outside of Spain. One could say brewing the perfect beer is also an artform that St. Pete/Clearwater has mastered, with its trail of 35+ locally owned craft breweries. Playfully nicknamed the " Gulp Coast ," complete your experience with a digital passport that tracks your beer-sampling progress. These year-round offerings mean you can visit any time, but head over in June 2022 to revel in the 20th anniversary of St. Pete Pride , the largest Pride event in Florida, hosting events for everyone from friends and families to couples and solo travelers. — Jessica Poitevien

47. Todos Santos, Mexico

Todos Santos is one of Mexico's pueblo mágicos, or "magic towns," and locals are working to retain its history and culture while embracing the steady stream of travelers who have begun venturing an hour north of Cabo San Lucas to discover its charm. The area saw a handful of new boutique resorts pop up in 2021 that provide luxury amenities while keeping the rugged land and local flora the centerpiece. Wellness-focused Paradero describes itself as a "landscaping project" that just so happens to have luxurious suites, and El Perdido , an all-villa resort less than five miles south, provides all-terrain vehicles so visitors can get to Los Cerritos beach, the local surf break of choice. Oceanfront Rancho Pescadero 's multimillion-dollar transformation will be complete in the spring. Bookings for its oceanfront villas and penthouse rooms — some with private rooftops and plunge pools — open in January. Todos Santos has fully embraced farm-to-table dining, with Javier Plascencia's orchard-adjacent Jazamango leading the way, and Santa Terra , a cosmopolitan oyster bar meets arts and entertainment venue concept, is in the process of adding multiple bars and restaurants, plus a glamping site and amphitheater, according to its developer, "without chopping down a single tree." — Nina Ruggiero

48. Udaipur, India

After an extremely challenging 20-month closure, India reopened to vaccinated travelers on Nov. 15, 2021. Those looking toward South Asia in the new year, perhaps to see the Taj Mahal in Agra or hit the Goan beaches, should make sure Udaipur is on the itinerary. The city of lakes in southern Rajasthan is thought of as the most romantic Indian destination (even called the "Venice of the East") — but it's not just for honeymooners. From the vibrance of Hathi Pol bazaar and Shilpgram , an artisanal compound on the outskirts of the city with a festival set to return on Jan. 22, to the serenity of Lake Pichola, the artificial lake made in the 14th century, Udaipur is a city where you can fully immerse in Rajasthani culture. A hub of Indian luxury, Udaipur is now home to the country's first Raffles hotel, which opened in October. This private island hotel on Udai Sagar Lake is accessible only by boat — something of a trademark for the over-the-top hotels of Udaipur. Meant to be a flagship hotel in the Raffles portfolio, complete with brand staples (think: bars, both Long and Writers), 101 lavish suites, Rasoi cooking school, and lakeside open-air restaurant Belvedere Point. — Maya Kachroo-Levine

49. Wales, United Kingdom

Taylor McIntyre/Travel + Leisure

The only path in the world to follow the whole of a country's coastline, the Wales Coastal Path celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2022. Walking its 870 miles would take three months, but its most spectacular stretches can be seen in one visit — and in style. St David's in Pembrokeshire, west Wales, is Britain's smallest city with a mere population of 1,600 and is home to a Medieval cathedral , a luxury hotel inside Roch Castle , some excellent pubs, and the upscale St David's Gin & Kitchen . Hiking paths with unbeatable coastal vistas are within easy reach (try the St David's Head loop ) and pass neolithic tombs and hillforts. — Jamie Carter

50. Yucatán, Mexico

Mérida, the capital of the state of Yucatán, has emerged as one of Mexico's most popular cities thanks to its lively restaurant scene, a busy calendar of cultural events, and a relaxed tropical atmosphere. Increasingly, however, travelers are venturing beyond the city to explore the state's unspoiled nature reserves, ancient Maya sites, and sprawling haciendas — a number now converted into hotels. Among the destinations that are drawing travelers to Yucatán are El Cuyo, a quiet beach town that was long a closely guarded secret of windsurfers. Now visitors can also enjoy gourmet Mexican fare at the El Chile Gordo restaurant and boho-chic lodgings at the new Casa Mate . In Espita, a charming colonial town near Valladolid, is the Casona los Cedros hotel which opened in summer 2021. Sisal, a historic port in the western part of the state, has attracted new interest since being named a Pueblo Mágico at the end of 2020. A new highway completed in April now connects Sisal to Hunucmá (and then beyond to Mérida) making it easier for beachcombers to visit, and perhaps spend the night at the cool Club de Patos . — John Newton

51. Bonus: Space

This was a monumental year for human spaceflight — not only did NASA and SpaceX achieve a regular cadence of astronaut launches for the first time since the Space Shuttle was retired in 2011, but space tourism has also lifted off in a major way, making space a top destination to visit in 2022. And it's a realistic trip, too, so long as you have the budget for it. Both Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic succeeded in taking passengers to space on short suborbital hops this year, and each company plans to ramp up those flights in 2022 — Virgin Galactic already has more than 600 bookings. The price for a quick jaunt to space? A few hundred thousand dollars . If you have an even bigger budget (say, a couple hundred million dollars), you could charter your own orbital flight in a SpaceX Dragon Capsule, as did entrepreneur Jared Issacman with his Inspiration4 mission in September. There are also tourism trips to the International Space Station in the works; Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa launches on his multi-day journey in December, courtesy of space travel agency Space Adventures and Russia's Roscosmos space agency, which plans to take even more " citizen space explorers " to the orbiting laboratory in the near future. Of course, not everyone has pockets deep enough to cover space travel, but more affordable journeys are on the horizon. Startup Space Perspective plans to launch high-altitude balloon rides to the edge of space in 2024 , for the relatively low price of $125,000. Potential dealbreaker, though — the balloons don't actually reach space, maxing out at 100,000 feet in altitude, while space is considered to begin somewhere between 264,000 feet (50 miles) and 327,360 feet ​​(62 miles). But hey, at least there's a bar on board. — Stefanie Waldek

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The world's 51 best tourist attractions.

Organize your travel calendar to include these must-see places around the world.

Top tourist attractions in the world

(Getty Images)

Fully experience and appreciate the most memorable spots on your next adventure.

The Great Pyramids of Giza is a top tourist attraction in the world

Great Pyramid of Giza: Giza, Egypt

Eiffel Tower in Paris is a top tourist attraction in the world

Eiffel Tower: Paris, France

The Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles is a top tourist attraction in the world

Hollywood Sign: Los Angeles, California

Berlin Wall in Eastside Gallery, Berlin is a top tourist attraction in the world

Berlin Wall Memorial's East Side Gallery: Berlin, Germany

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is a top tourist attraction in the world

La Sagrada Familia: Barcelona, Spain

The Grand Palace in Bangkok is a top tourist attraction in the world

Grand Palace: Bangkok, Thailand

Mount Fuji in Japan is a top tourist attraction in the world

Mount Fuji: Shizuoka, Japan

Tower of London is a top tourist attraction in the world

Tower of London: London, England

Las Vegas Strip is a top tourist attraction in the world

The Strip: Las Vegas, Nevada

Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany is a top tourist attraction in the world

Neuschwanstein Castle: Bavaria, Germany

Ubud in Bali is a top tourist attraction in the world

Ubud: Bali, Indonesia

Most beautiful places in the world

Burj Khalifa: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The Statue of Liberty in New York City is a top tourist attraction in the world

Statue of Liberty: New York, New York

The Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai is a top tourist attraction in the world

Oriental Pearl TV Tower: Shanghai, China

The Colosseum in Rome is a top tourist attraction in the world

Colosseum: Rome, Italy

The Matterhorn in Zermatt, Switzerland is a top tourist attractions in the world

The Matterhorn: Zermatt, Switzerland

Blue Mosque in Istanbul is a top tourist attraction in the world

Blue Mosque: Istanbul, Turkey

Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong is a top tourist attraction in the world

Victoria Harbour: Hong Kong

Library of Celsus in Ephesus, Burkey is a top tourist attraction in the world

Library of Celsus: Ephesus, Turkey

Times Square in New York City is a top tourist attraction in the world

Times Square: New York, New York

The world's best tourist attractions

Buckingham Palace: London, England

The leaning tower of Pisa is a top tourist attraction in the world

Leaning Tower of Pisa: Pisa, Italy

The Forbidden City in Beijing is a top tourist attraction in the world

Forbidden City: Beijing, China

The Rosetta Stone at the British Museum in London is a top tourist attraction in the world

(Courtesy of The Trustees of the British Museum)

Rosetta Stone, British Museum: London, England

Disneyland in Anaheim, California is a top tourist attraction in the world

(Courtesy of Disneyland)

Disneyland Resort: Anaheim, California

Tulum in Mexico is a top tourist attraction in the world

Tulum: Mexico

Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul is a top tourist attraction in the world

Gyeongbokgung Palace: Seoul, South Korea

Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando is a top tourist attraction in the world

(Courtesy of Matt Stroshane & Disneyland)

Walt Disney World Resort: Orlando, Florida

Iguazu Falls in Brazil and Argentina is a top tourist attraction in the world

Iguazu Falls: Brazil and Argentina

The Vatican in Italy is a top tourist attraction in the world

Vatican City

Top tourist attractions in the world

Sydney Opera House: Sydney, Australia

Mount Everest is a top tourist attraction in the world

Mount Everest: Nepal and Tibet

Petra in Jordan is a top tourist attraction in the world

Petra: Jordan

The Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris is a top tourist attraction in the world

Mona Lisa: Paris, France

The Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian, China is a top tourist attraction in the world

Terra Cotta Warriors: Xi'an, China

Borobudur Temple in Java, Indonesia is a top tourist attraction in the world

Borobudur Temple: Java, Indonesia

Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is a top tourist attraction in the world

Mount Kilimanjaro: Tanzania

Jemaa el-Fna in Marrakech, Morocco is a top tourist attraction in the world

Jemaa el-Fna: Marrakech, Morocco

Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janiero in Brazil is a top tourist attraction in the world

Christ the Redeemer: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The Great Wall of China is a top tourist attraction in the world

Great Wall of China: China

The Taj Mahal in Agra, India is a top tourist attraction in the world

Taj Mahal: Agra, India

The Meiji Shrine in Tokyo is a top tourist attraction in the world

Meiji Shrine: Tokyo, Japan

Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa is a top tourist attraction in the world

Table Mountain: Cape Town, South Africa

Niagara Falls is a top tourist attraction in the world

Niagara Falls: New York and Ontario, Canada

Zócalo in Mexico City is a top tourist attraction in the world

Zócalo: Mexico City, Mexico

Angkor Archaeological Park in Cambodia is a top tourist attraction in the world

Angkor Archaeological Park: Siem Reap, Cambodia

The Galapagos Islands are a top tourist attraction in the world

Galápagos Islands: Ecuador

Hong Kong, China - Oct 4, 2016: Unidentified Asian teenage girl with a ponytail hairstyle is taking photo of the Fairytales Sleeping Beauty Castle, at Disneyland Hong Kong. Editorial Used Only.

Tokyo Disney Resort: Urayasu, Japan

Acropolis in Athens, Greece is a top tourist attraction in the world

Acropolis: Athens, Greece

The world's best tourist attractions

Golden Gate Bridge: San Francisco, California

The world's best tourist attractions

Navy Pier: Chicago, Illinois

The world's best tourist attractions

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How do I plan a trip around the world?

Where to begin? Do you want to see every single continent? Just one continent in great depth? Just one country in great depth? Travel is our favorite thing on the planet, but to plan a trip around the world involves many potential logistical headaches. That's why we make exploring the world easy, with food, accommodations and transport included in the cost of your trip.

How do you plan a world tour?

You do some research on the places you'd like to visit and how much time you'd like to see them all in, then you think about your budget. Traveling the world can be expensive, so it's good to prioritize stops you want to make and think about the best time of year to go.

How much does it cost to travel around the world?

There are many variables to consider for your around the world trip. When you go, where you go and what you do when you're there - no to mention transport, food and accommodations - can all add up to significant sums if you're looking to hop from continent to continent. It can cost around 4000 dollars per month to travel the world if you're really doing it on the cheap. That's why, with us, you get food, accommodations and transportation all included in the cost of your trip, so you can keep a lid on expenses.

How much is a round the world ticket?

A round the world ticket can range wildly, between $1500–$20,000 dollars depending on your flight's mileage, your route, whether you're flying economy or not, and the number of stopovers, though a simple two to four stop around the world ticket might cost as little as $1,500.

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It depends on where you want to go and what you want to do. The word is a big place, and there are many logistical challenges to overcome, including transport, food and accommodations. That's why our trips include all of this kind of stuff in the price, as well as unique experiences and a group of young explorers to share it all with.

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Best Places In The World To Visit

Here is the list of 33 best places in the world to visit, 1. paris, france - the city of lights.

Paris, France - The City of Lights

Known For : Eiffel Tower The Louvre Notre Dame

Paris, the enchanting 'City of Lights', captivates with its blend of history, art, and romance. Its cobblestone streets lead to iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame. By night, the Seine River reflects shimmering illuminations, echoing the city's luminous spirit. An epicenter of culture and elegance, Paris remains an eternal muse for visitors from around the globe.

Best Time: June to August

56 Paris Attractions

2. London, England - London: The heritage of England

London, England - London: The heritage of England

Known For : Tower of London British Museum London Eye

London, the heart of England, stands as a vibrant mosaic of history, culture, and innovation. From the regal Buckingham Palace and the echoing bells of Big Ben to the modern Shard piercing the skyline, the city embodies the nation's heritage. Cobblestone streets, iconic red buses, and the River Thames intertwining its fabric, London offers an immersive journey through centuries, celebrating the essence of English tradition while embracing the future.

Best Time: April to September

53 London Attractions

3. Pamukalle, Turkey - Pamukalle-The City of Minerals

Pamukalle, Turkey - Pamukalle-The City of Minerals

Known For : Pamukkale Natural Park Travertines Hierapolis

Pamukkale, located in Turkey, is often referred to as the 'City of Minerals'. Famous for its terraces of gleaming white calcium deposits, these natural thermal springs look like frozen waterfalls cascading down the mountainside. The therapeutic waters, rich in minerals, have drawn visitors for centuries, seeking rejuvenation and solace. With ancient ruins of Hierapolis nearby, Pamukkale offers a unique blend of natural beauty and historical depth, making it a mesmerizing destination.

Best Time: September

10 Pamukalle Attractions

4. Dubai, UAE - A Megacity That Never Stops Growing

Dubai, UAE - A Megacity That Never Stops Growing

Known For : At the Top Burj Khalifa Dubai Fountain The Dubai Mall

Dubai, a jewel in the UAE's crown, stands as a testament to ambition and innovation. Rising from desert sands, its skyline boasts architectural marvels like the Burj Khalifa, piercing the heavens. Luxury shopping malls coexist with historic souks, offering a blend of tradition and modernity. As a city that never stops evolving, Dubai dazzles with its opulence, technological feats, and a vision that ceaselessly pushes the boundaries of urban development.

Best Time: November to April

123 Dubai Attractions

5. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

The Pyramids of Giza, standing tall on Egypt's desert plains, are enduring symbols of ancient marvel and mystery. Built as grand tombs for pharaohs, these monumental structures have for millennia captivated imaginations with their scale and precision. The Sphinx, silent guardian of the pyramids, adds to the enigma. A visit to this UNESCO World Heritage site is not just a journey through sand and stone, but a leap back in time to a civilization's zenith.

6. Maldives, Maldives - A Tropical Haven

Maldives, Maldives - A Tropical Haven

Known For : Stay in an Overwater Bungalow Diving in Maldives Snorkelling in Maldives

The Maldives, an archipelago of over a thousand islands, emerges from the Indian Ocean as a tropical haven. Each atoll, with its aquamarine waters and powdery white sands, paints a picture of paradise. Overwater bungalows offer uninterrupted vistas of endless horizons, while vibrant coral reefs beneath the surface teem with marine life. For those seeking solitude and luxury embraced by nature's beauty, the Maldives is the quintessential retreat.

Best Time: Mid December to April

103 Maldives Attractions

7. Bangkok, Thailand - Of street food, skyscrapers and unending nights

Bangkok, Thailand - Of street food, skyscrapers and unending nights

Known For : Grand Palace Chatuchak Market Wat Pho Bangkok

Bangkok, the pulsating heart of Thailand, is a blend of modernity and tradition. Skyscrapers tower over ancient temples, while the scent of sizzling street food fills bustling alleyways. By night, the city transforms, with markets illuminating streets and rooftop bars offering panoramic city views. From the sacred spaces of the Grand Palace to the frenzied energy of Khao San Road, Bangkok delivers a whirlwind of flavors, sights, and unending nights of revelry.

Best Time: Late November to Mid Jaunary

129 Bangkok Attractions

8. Prague, Czech-Republic - A Historical and Cultural Excursion

Prague, Czech-Republic - A Historical and Cultural Excursion

Known For : Prague Castle Charles Bridge (Karluv Most) The Clementinum and the National Library

Prague, the heart of the Czech Republic, offers a mesmerizing journey through time. Its cobblestone streets, lined with Gothic and Baroque masterpieces, echo with tales of emperors and artists. The iconic Charles Bridge connects centuries of history, while the astronomical clock ticks away in Old Town Square. Serving as a canvas of architectural splendor and cultural richness, Prague promises an immersive historical and cultural excursion for every wandering soul.

Best Time: April to October

50 Prague Attractions

9. Great Barrier Reef, Australia - Nature's Biggest Marvel

Great Barrier Reef, Australia - Nature's Biggest Marvel

Known For : Green Island Heart Reef Hayman Island

The Great Barrier Reef, stretching along Australia's northeast coast, is nature's most magnificent masterpiece. As the world's largest coral reef system, it boasts a kaleidoscope of marine life and vibrant coral formations. This underwater wonder, visible even from space, offers a mesmerizing dance of colors and shapes. A sanctuary for biodiversity, the reef stands not only as an iconic symbol of Australia's natural beauty but also as the planet's most splendid marine marvel.

Best Time: June to November (Spring)

6 Barrier Reef Attractions

10. Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece

Known For : Watch Sunset at Oia Akrotiri Kamari Beach

Santorini, perched atop the Aegean Sea, is Greece's postcard-perfect gem. Its iconic white-washed buildings and blue-domed churches cling to steep cliffs, offering breathtaking sunsets over the caldera. The island's volcanic past has sculpted unique beaches with red and black sands, while its villages brim with history and charm. A haven for romantics, Santorini's enchanting landscapes and azure waters create an unforgettable tableau of Mediterranean beauty and allure.

Best Time: June to September

41 Santorini Attractions

11. Sydney, Australia - The complete Australian experience

Sydney, Australia - The complete Australian experience

Known For : Sydney Opera House Sydney Harbour Bridge Royal Botanic Gardens

Sydney, Australia's gleaming harbor city, delivers the quintessential Australian experience. Framed by the iconic Sydney Opera House and the sprawling Harbour Bridge, it's a vibrant blend of culture, cuisine, and coastal beauty. From the golden sands of Bondi Beach to its bustling markets and cosmopolitan nightlife, Sydney encapsulates the spirit of Down Under. Offering both urban allure and natural wonders, it's a destination that captures the heart and soul of the continent.

Best Time: December to February.

44 Sydney Attractions

12. Phuket, Thailand - Where Summer Beach Fashion Truly Comes Alive

Phuket, Thailand - Where Summer Beach Fashion Truly Comes Alive

Known For : Big Buddha Bangla Road Phuket Old Town

Phuket, Thailand's largest island, is the epicenter of summer beach fashion. Its golden sands and azure waters serve as a runway for sun-seekers, each flaunting vibrant swimsuits, breezy sarongs, and chic sun hats. Amidst the backdrop of swaying palms and beachfront bars, fashion truly comes alive, reflecting the island's effervescent spirit. Here, sun-kissed days are not just about relaxation; they're a stylish statement of tropical elegance and flair.

Best Time: November to February end

124 Phuket Attractions

13. Florence, Italy - The City of Character

Florence, Italy - The City of Character

Known For : Galleria dell’Accademia The Ufizzi Gallery Ponte Vecchio

Florence, Italy's artistic heart, is often described as the 'City of Character'. Birthplace of the Renaissance, its streets and squares are adorned with masterpieces from giants like Michelangelo and Botticelli. The Duomo's iconic dome dominates the skyline, while the Uffizi Gallery holds treasures of unparalleled beauty. Beyond art, Florence offers intimate cafes, Tuscan flavors, and a timeless ambiance, making it a destination where history and passion come alive in every corner.

Best Time: Throughout the year

41 Florence Attractions

14. Barcelona, Spain - The Paris of Spain

Barcelona, Spain - The Paris of Spain

Known For : Sagrada Familia Las Ramblas Park Guell

Barcelona, frequently hailed as 'The Paris of Spain', radiates with architectural splendor and cultural dynamism. The whimsical creations of Gaudí, from the iconic Sagrada Família to the vibrant mosaics of Park Güell, define its skyline. Narrow alleys of the Gothic Quarter, bustling markets like La Boqueria, and the sun-kissed beaches of Barceloneta collectively capture its unique spirit. Barcelona seamlessly blends ancient charm with avant-garde flair, mirroring the romantic allure of Paris in its own Iberian style.

Best Time: May to August

47 Barcelona Attractions

15. Mauritius, Mauritius - Indian Ocean's Island Paradise.

Mauritius, Mauritius - Indian Ocean's Island Paradise.

Known For : Black River Gorges National Park Seven Coloured Earth of Chamarel Scuba Diving in Mauritius

Mauritius, nestled in the heart of the Indian Ocean, emerges as the quintessential island paradise. Its powdery white beaches merge seamlessly with cerulean waters, providing a haven for sun-worshippers and water enthusiasts alike. Verdant mountains and sugar cane fields punctuate its landscape, while a rich tapestry of cultures defines its soul. From Creole rhythms to spicy curries, Mauritius offers a delightful blend of nature and heritage, embodying the very essence of tropical allure.

Best Time: July to October (winter)

146 Mauritius Attractions

16. Hong Kong, Hongkong

Hong Kong, Hongkong

Known For : Victoria Harbour A Symphony of Lights Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong, a dynamic metropolis, melds East and West in a vibrant tapestry of culture, commerce, and cuisine. Its iconic skyline, studded with futuristic skyscrapers, stands sentinel over bustling harbors and tranquil green mountains. From the aromatic alleyways of Temple Street Night Market to the serene trails of Lantau Island, Hong Kong offers a rich blend of urban energy and natural beauty, encapsulating the very essence of contrast and harmony.

Best Time: October to December (Autumn)

337 Hong Kong Attractions

17. Bali, Indonesia - An idyllic retreat

Bali, Indonesia - An idyllic retreat

Known For : Tanah Lot Kuta Beach Uluwatu

Bali, nestled within the vast Indonesian archipelago, stands as an idyllic retreat for souls seeking tranquility and enchantment. Its landscapes, where verdant rice terraces merge with sun-drenched beaches, create a tapestry of natural beauty. Ancient temples, the gentle hum of Gamelan, and the intricate dance performances narrate tales of tradition and spirituality. From the bustling streets of Seminyak to the serene vibes of Ubud, Bali promises a rejuvenating escape into a tropical dream.

Best Time: April, May, June and September

295 Bali Attractions

18. Amsterdam, Netherlands - Heritage and history, parties and parks, food and fresh beer

Amsterdam, Netherlands - Heritage and history, parties and parks, food and fresh beer

Known For : Rijksmuseum Van Gogh Museum Vondelpark

Amsterdam, the jewel of the Netherlands, offers a captivating blend of old-world charm and modern vibrancy. Its winding canals are lined with historic houses, reflecting centuries of heritage. By night, the city pulses with lively parties and the hum of conversation. Sprawling parks provide serene escapes, while bustling markets and cozy cafés tantalize with sumptuous food and freshly brewed beer. Amsterdam is a celebration of contrasts, where tradition mingles effortlessly with contemporary delights.

Best Time: March to October

44 Amsterdam Attractions

19. Seychelles, Seychelles - The Honeymoon Paradise

Seychelles, Seychelles - The Honeymoon Paradise

Known For : Anse Lazio Snorkeling in Seychelles Sunbathing in Seychelles

Seychelles, an archipelago nestled in the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, is often heralded as 'The Honeymoon Paradise'. Its pristine beaches, fringed by swaying palm trees and granite boulders, set the stage for romance. Crystal-clear waters shimmer under the tropical sun, while secluded coves offer intimate moments of tranquillity. A sanctuary for love and serenity, Seychelles is where newlyweds find their idyllic beginning amidst nature's most breathtaking canvases.

Best Time: April to May, September to October

96 Seychelles Attractions

20. San Francisco, Usa - The Golden State's City of the Golden Gate

San Francisco, Usa - The Golden State's City of the Golden Gate

Known For : Golden Gate Bridge Alcatraz Island Fisherman's Wharf

San Francisco, perched on the edge of California's coastline, is fondly known as the 'City of the Golden Gate'. Its iconic red bridge stretches majestically across the bay, while its hilly streets offer panoramic views of the Pacific. From the historic charm of cable cars to the bohemian vibes of Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco melds traditions with innovation. A cultural melting pot, it embodies the Golden State's spirit of diversity and progressive thinking.

Best Time: September to November (Autumn)

256 San Francisco Attractions

21. Mumbai, Maharashtra - The City of Dreams

Mumbai, Maharashtra - The City of Dreams

Known For : Elephanta Caves Marine Drive, Mumbai Juhu Beach

Mumbai, the bustling heart of Maharashtra, is often hailed as the 'City of Dreams'. Its skyline, a blend of colonial architecture and modern high-rises, tells tales of aspiration and evolution. From the vibrant lanes of Colaba to the serene Marine Drive promenade, Mumbai pulsates with energy. As the home of Bollywood and a melting pot of cultures, it promises a tapestry of experiences, where dreams take flight amidst its chaotic yet charismatic embrace.

Best Time: October to February

114 Mumbai Attractions

22. Kolkata, West Bengal - The city of Joy

Kolkata, West Bengal - The city of Joy

Known For : Victoria Memorial Fort William Kolkata Belur Math

Kolkata, nestled in West Bengal, is fondly termed the 'City of Joy'. A cradle of literature, arts, and revolution, its streets echo with tales of heritage and hope. Trams rumble past colonial edifices, while the aroma of roshogolla and street food fills the air. From the historic Howrah Bridge to the vibrant Durga Puja celebrations, Kolkata radiates a warmth and cultural depth, offering a soulful embrace to every visitor.

Best Time: October to March

79 Kolkata Attractions

23. Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, nestled high in the Andean mountains of Peru, is a testament to the architectural prowess and spiritual significance of the Inca civilization. Overlooking verdant valleys and shrouded in mist, this ancient citadel reveals a tapestry of stone terraces and temples. A journey to its enigmatic ruins offers a window into a bygone era, while challenging the physical and elevating the spiritual dimensions of those who tread its paths.

24. The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon, a majestic chasm carved by the Colorado River, stands as a testament to nature's unparalleled artistry. Spanning over 277 miles in Arizona, its layered red rock formations tell tales of Earth's ancient past. As sunlight dances across its vast expanse, visitors are left in awe of its sheer magnitude and raw beauty. A visit promises both a humbling perspective and an indelible imprint on the soul.

25. New Zealand - The Land Where Adventures Wait

New Zealand - The Land Where Adventures Wait

New Zealand, often dubbed the 'Land Where Adventures Wait', beckons with its juxtaposition of rugged landscapes and serene vistas. From the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps to the otherworldly geothermal terrains of Rotorua, it's a haven for thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike. Each corner of this island nation offers a unique dance of earth, water, and sky, promising unforgettable experiences for every intrepid soul.

26. Colosseum, Rome

Colosseum, Rome

The Colosseum in Rome, an enduring symbol of ancient grandeur, stands as a testament to the Roman Empire's architectural prowess and its thirst for spectacle. Once echoing with the roars of gladiators and spectators alike, this colossal amphitheater, with its arches and worn stones, evokes tales of bravery, drama, and human endeavor. A visit transports one back in time, offering a poignant glimpse into the heart of ancient civilization and its vast cultural tapestry.

27. Bora Bora, French-Polynesia - A colossal cosmos encircled by a mystique lagoon

Bora Bora, French-Polynesia - A colossal cosmos encircled by a mystique lagoon

Known For : Matira Beach Water Sports in Bora Bora Land activities

Bora Bora, situated in French Polynesia, is a colossal cosmos of vibrant blue hues and lush greenery, encircled by a mystique lagoon and barrier reef. Renowned for its turquoise water and luxury overwater bungalows, this tropical paradise effortlessly marries natural splendor with opulence. Each glimpse of its pristine beaches and silhouettes of Mount Otemanu on the horizon invites visitors into a realm of serene beauty and timeless allure.

Best Time: May to October

3 Bora Bora Attractions

28. Iceland - For the offbeat traveller

Iceland - For the offbeat traveller

Iceland, a realm of stark contrasts, beckons the offbeat traveller with its fiery volcanoes and glacial landscapes. From the ethereal glow of the Northern Lights to the geothermal springs of the Blue Lagoon, it offers an otherworldly escape. Its rugged terrains, dotted with waterfalls and geysers, promise an experience unlike any other. For those seeking paths less trodden and nature in its rawest form, Iceland is the ultimate destination.

29. New York City, Usa - The City that Never Sleeps

New York City, Usa - The City that Never Sleeps

Known For : Statue of Liberty Times Square Empire State Building

New York City, often dubbed 'The City that Never Sleeps', pulsates with unyielding energy. Its iconic skyline, punctuated by skyscrapers like the Empire State and One World Trade, stands as a beacon of ambition and dreams. The bustling streets, from Broadway's glowing marquees to Central Park's tranquil paths, tell tales of millions. A melting pot of cultures, arts, and ideas, NYC promises a perpetual dance of experiences, keeping its promise of sleepless wonder.

275 New York City Attractions

30. Costa Rica - Abundance of Natural Beauty

Costa Rica - Abundance of Natural Beauty

Costa Rica, a gem nestled between two oceans, is synonymous with an abundance of natural beauty. Rainforests teeming with vibrant flora and fauna stretch towards pristine beaches, where waves beckon surfers and sun-seekers alike. Majestic volcanoes rise against the horizon, and hidden waterfalls punctuate dense jungles. With its commitment to sustainability, Costa Rica not only offers a visual feast of biodiversity but also stands as a testament to harmonious coexistence with nature.

31. British Virgin Islands - The Gem of Caribbean

British Virgin Islands - The Gem of Caribbean

Known For : The Baths Rhone Marine Park (Salt Island) Fallen Jerusalem National Park

The British Virgin Islands, nestled in the heart of the Caribbean, emerge as a gem of turquoise waters and sun-kissed sands. This archipelago, comprising over 60 islands and cays, offers secluded bays, vibrant coral reefs, and verdant hills. Sailors drift lazily from one isle to another, seeking the perfect mooring spot, while beachcombers revel in the pristine shores. Reflecting the laid-back Caribbean spirit, these islands promise an untouched paradise for wanderers and dreamers alike.

Best Time: December to April

13 British Virgin Islan Attractions

32. Amalfi, Italy

Amalfi, Italy

Amalfi, nestled along Italy's rugged southern coastline, is a tapestry of sunlit cliffs and azure seas. This historic maritime town, with its maze of narrow alleys, boasts centuries-old architecture and bustling piazzas. Lemon groves scent the air, while vibrant bougainvillea drapes over stone walls. With its serene beaches and iconic cathedral, Amalfi perfectly captures the charm and romance of the Mediterranean, offering a slice of Italian paradise to every visitor.

33. Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, located in the heart of Cambodia, stands as a testament to the Khmer Empire's architectural brilliance and spiritual devotion. This sprawling temple complex, with its intricate carvings and grandeur, is both a symbol of national pride and a UNESCO World Heritage site. As dawn breaks, its iconic silhouette against the rising sun offers a moment of serenity and timelessness, inviting travelers to step back into a golden era of Cambodian history.

Are there more best places in the world that we missed out? Let us know in the comments below!

This post was published by Vrinda Movva

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World’s 30 Best Travel Destinations, Ranked

Best places to visit in the world.

Bali, one of the best travel destinations

The ultimate ranking of travel destinations aims to solve a serious problem: so many places to visit, so little time.

But even in a world with a trillion destinations, some manage to stand out and rise to the top. From the sleek skyscrapers of Dubai to the emerald-green waters of the Bora Bora lagoon, you’re sure to find at least one vacation that piques your interest (and likely several!).

These are the 30 best places to visit in the world. Which ones have you already been to? And which ones stoke your wanderlust most?

Note: We may earn money from affiliate partners if you buy through links on our site.

30. Argentine Patagonia

Traveler in Argentine Patagonia

In this region of the Andes, you’ll find glaciers, evergreen trees, deep blue lakes and clear skies everywhere you look. For a trip full of adventure and discovery, there are few better destinations on the planet.

No trip is complete without a visit to the craggy Mount Fitz Roy, the historic (and mysterious) Cave of the Hands, the Punta Tombo wildlife preserve, the Peninsula Valdes marine wildlife refuge and the impressive Perito Moreno Glacier. Be sure to bring your camera and your sense of wonder.

*Rankings are based on the 2021 U.S. News & World Report's " World's Best Places to Visit ," traveler ratings and our own editorial input.

What to Know Before You Go to Argentine Patagonia

Argentine Patagonia Glacier National Park

Where to stay: Cyan Soho Neuquen Hotel

Hot tip: Since springtime occurs in the southern hemisphere in October and November, those months are your best bet when planning a trip.

Fun fact: The largest dinosaur fossils ever unearthed were found in Argentine Patagonia. They belong to the largest-known titanosaur, believed to have weighed about 83 tons. 

29. Amalfi Coast, Italy

Campania, Amalfi Coast

Set in the Sorrentina Peninsula, the Amalfi Coast has long been renowned for its natural beauty and idyllic coastal towns. During the golden age of Hollywood, it was a preferred vacation spot for glamorous movie stars.

Days here are spent eating Italian food, drinking wine and walking around colorful cobblestone streets. You can also expect to drink copious amounts of wine as you look out into the Mediterranean Sea.

The best way to see the coast is to rent a car , then drive to different towns each day.

What to Know Before You Go to the Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast road

Where to stay: Hotel Marina Riviera

Hot tip:  If you're planning on using a beach chair to work on your tan, make sure you wake up early, as they are usually first come, first served.

Fun fact:  The Amalfi Coast is featured in Sofia Loren's 1995 Film, "Scandal in Sorrento."

28. Cancun, Mexico

Beach sunset in Cancun

For years, Cancun has been the preferred getaway for East Coast Americans (particularly Floridians) who want an international getaway that's still close to home. But despite the droves of tourists, the area has managed to keep the charm that attracted people in the first place.

The city is known mostly for its luxury hotels, wild nightlife and warm beaches. Definitely indulge in all of these — as well as the Mexican food! — but also consider other activities like visiting Mayan ruins, swimming in cenotes and snorkeling. One thing is certain: You won't run out of things to do in Cancun .

What to Know Before You Go to Cancun

Cenote Zaci, Mexico

Where to stay: Hyatt Zilara Cancun

Hot tip:  While you're in Cancun, make a plan to visit one of Grupo Xcaret's six eco-tourism parks, with the best ones being Xcaret and Xelha. The Mexican-owned company is credited with starting the eco-tourism trend in the Yucatan Peninsula, and the parks offer incredible and varied local experiences.

Fun fact:  The Yucatan Peninsula, where Cancun is located, was the cultural, political and economic center of the Mayan civilization. Many locals have Mayan ancestry and Mayan continues to be widely spoken in the area.

27. San Francisco, California

Close up of Golden Gate Bridge

Everyone should visit San Francisco at least once in their lives. Though tech companies grab all the headlines these days, it remains down-to-earth, diverse and packed with things to do.

Where to start? No matter your style, you’ll want to check out the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge, see the sunbathing sea lions at Fisherman’s Wharf, take a tour of the historic prison Alcatraz and relax in one of the city’s many parks, especially Dolores Park for its epic people-watching on the weekends. 

For dinner, treat your tastebuds and make a reservation at one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants in the Bay Area .

What to Know Before You Go to San Francisco

San Francisco houses

Where to stay: The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square

Hot tip: Want similarly beautiful landscapes and rich cultural attractions, but at lower prices and with (slightly) fewer crowds? Head to Oakland just across the Bay Bridge, named one of the most exciting places on earth to travel by National Geographic. 

Fun fact: The fortune cookie was invented in San Francisco by a Japanese resident. Random!

26. Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls in autumn Canadian side

Niagara Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in the world . The power with which water storms down cliffs on the border between the United States and Canada has captivated the imagination of humans for centuries. 

This natural wonder is comprised of three awe-inspiring falls. One of the best ways to experience them is on a boat tour.

What to Know Before You Go to Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls boat tour

Where to stay: Sheraton Niagara Falls

Hot tip: There is some debate about which side of the falls is better, but the general verdict is that the Canadian side offers better views. This is because you can (ironically) get a better view of the American Falls as well as get up close to Horseshoe Falls. 

Fun fact:  Established in 1885, Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the U.S.

25. Yellowstone National Park

Bison at the Great Prismatic Spring

Located mostly in Wyoming as well as Montana and Idaho, Yellowstone is America’s first national park and remains one of the most popular in the country, welcoming more than around 3.8 million people last year . With unpredictable geysers, rainbow-colored hot springs, craggy peaks, shimmering lakes and tons of wildlife — from elk to boars to bison — it’s easy to see why so many people flock here. 

The park makes for an awesome family trip and is well-suited to budget travelers since it offers so many campsites ( over 2,000! ). 

What to Know Before You Go to Yellowstone

Old Faithful Geiser erupting, Yellowstone

Where to stay: Stage Coach Inn

Hot tip: You’ll never fully beat the crowds at this wildly popular park, but April, May, September and November are your best bets for finding some solitude.  

Fun fact: Yellowstone is larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined.  

24. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

snorkle Destinations: Great Barrier Reef, Australia

As the largest reef in the world, the Great Barrier Reef is home to thousands of marine species. This makes it a paradise for scuba diving or snorkeling. 

The reef system is truly gigantic, with over 600 islands and about 2,900 individual reefs. This is one of Australia's greatest prides, but it's also a planetary national treasure. Seeing it with your own two eyes is an experience that is incredible beyond words.

What to Know Before You Go to the Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef from above

Where to stay: Crystalbrook Flynn

Hot tip: Though going underwater to see the reef is a must, we also recommend booking a helicopter tour to experience the magic of it from above.

Fun fact:  Made of corals, which are animals that live in collectives, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest living structure on the planet.

23. Santorini, Greece

White washed houses in Santorini

With its picturesque blue-domed churches, whitewashed buildings and colorful beaches, the island of Santorini is a photographer’s paradise. If you want to snap photos to post to Instagram and make everyone back home jealous, this is the place to go. 

Also make sure to experience some of Santorini’s archaeologically significant sites, like Ancient Akrotiri (an ancient city preserved by volcanic ash) and Ancient Thera (where humans lived as early as the 9th century BC). And don’t forget to visit the smaller islands that surround it, including Thirassia, Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni. 

What to Know Before You Go to Santorini

Santorini houses

Where to stay: Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Santorini

Hot tip: To optimize your vacation, U.S. News recommends visiting in September and October or April and May, when the weather is still warm but there aren’t as many other tourists milling around.

Fun fact: While it’s difficult to prove, locals like to say there’s more wine than water on this island where it hardly rains (and vino abounds).

22. Florence, Italy

Florience center, Italy

For art and history buffs (and anyone who appreciates delicious Italian food), Florence is a must-visit city. 

As the birthplace of the Renaissance, it’s home to some of the most iconic artworks by the world’s premier artists throughout history — Michaelangelo, Brunelleschi and Donatello, just to name a few. In addition to art museums and architectural wonders, Florence is also home to chic shops, quaint cafes and spectacular gardens. 

What to Know Before You Go to Florence

Il Duomo, Florence

Where to stay:  NH Collection Firenze Porta Rossa

Hot tip: Keep Florence in mind if you want to spend your honeymoon in Europe without spending a fortune, says U.S. News.

Fun fact: The city’s famed “El Duomo” cathedral took over 140 years to build .

21. Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite Falls

Yosemite, one of the most-visited national parks in America with more than 4 million annual guests, encompasses 750,000 acres of wilderness just waiting to be explored.

It’s home to scenic waterfalls, like the 317-foot Vernal Fall and the 617-foot Bridalveil Fall, as well as iconic rock formations like El Capitan and Half Dome, two popular spots for the world’s best rock climbers to test their mettle.

Not surprisingly, the wildlife here also impresses. Dozens of species of butterflies, marmots, bobcats and mule deer are just some of the animals that call Yosemite home. And keep your eyes peeled for black bears; some 300-500 roam the park . 

What to Know Before You Go to Yosemite

Yosemite National Park

Where to stay:  The Ahwahnee

Hot tip: Summer can get really busy here, so if you want to camp, be sure to book a spot early. Want to beat Yosemite’s notoriously bad traffic? Ditch the car and take advantage of the park’s extensive free bus system.

Fun fact: This is one of the only places in the country where you can catch a moonbow — like a rainbow, but created by the light of the moon instead of the sun. 

20. St. Lucia

St. Lucia Les Pitons

Whether you’re visiting on a cruise ship or just relaxing at an all-inclusive resort or boutique hotel, stunning St. Lucia is a clear winner. This Caribbean island offers diverse terrain for vacationers, from its pristine beaches to its lush rainforests to its volcanic peaks, the Pitons, that loom over the landscape. 

Adrenaline-junkies love hiking, climbing and zip-lining, while newlyweds (and soon-to-be-married couples) enjoy the romantic mix of fine dining, adults-only resorts and exotic activities. 

What to Know Before You Go to St. Lucia

St. Lucia boats

Where to stay: Rabot Hotel From Hotel Chocolat

Hot tip: Visit when temperatures are moderate, which is typically in May and June.

Fun fact: St. Lucia is the only country named after a woman: Christian martyr Saint Lucia of Syracuse.

19. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai skyscrappers

Everything is bigger and better in Dubai, home to one of the world’s largest shopping malls, the world’s tallest tower, one of the world’s largest man-made marinas — and the list goes on. 

This Las Vegas-like urban center in the United Arab Emirates has an eclectic mix of activities for visitors to enjoy, including beaches, waterparks, tons of shopping and even an indoor ski resort. Outside the skyscraper-filled city, the vast desert awaits, best enjoyed via quad-biking or sandboarding.

What to Know Before You Go to Dubai

Dubai beach

Where to stay:  Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai

Hot tip: Though you’re likely to pay a pretty penny for a trip to Dubai no matter when you visit, you can save a little cash by visiting during the scalding-hot summer months and by booking your hotel room two to three months in advance.

Fun fact: Dubai’s man-made Palm Islands were constructed using enough imported sand to fill up 2.5 Empire State Buildings . 

18. Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

Many travelers describe their visit to Machu Picchu as life-changing. Why? It’s an archaeological wonder, the remains of an ancient Incan city dating back more than 600 years. No wonder this is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most-visited attraction in all of Peru. 

Be sure to visit significant sites like Funerary Rock, where it’s believed Incan nobility were mummified, and Temple of the Condor, a rock temple sculpted to look like the impressive bird in its name.  

What to Know Before You Go to Machu Picchu

Llamas in Machu Picchu

Where to stay: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Hot tip: If you’re planning a trip, be sure to get your ticket in advance, as only 2,500 people can visit Machu Picchu each day. (And a lot of people have this destination on their bucket list.)

Fun fact: The site contains more than 100 separate flights of stairs . 

17. Sydney, Australia

Sydney Harbor with boats

With its iconic Opera House and lively Bondi Beach, Sydney is the perfect spot to vacation if you’re looking for a blend of culture, arts, nightlife and relaxation. 

Spend the day on the water at Darling Harbour, then head to the Royal Botanic garden for even more fresh air. Want to travel like a local? Get a ticket to a rugby match and order a Tim Tam, a popular chocolate-covered cookie that pairs well with coffee. 

What to Know Before You Go to Sydney

Sydney Opera House in the evening

Where to stay: Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

Hot tip: You can make your trip more affordable by visiting during Sydney’s shoulder seasons, which are typically September through November and March through May.

Fun fact: In 2007, Bondi Beach was the site of the largest ever swimsuit photoshoot ; 1,010 bikini-clad women participated, enough to earn it a spot in the Guinness World Records book.

16. Grand Canyon, Arizona

Grand Canyon from observation point

The Grand Canyon is truly massive (277 river miles long and up to 18 miles wide!), which helps explain why so many people feel the urge to see it in person. 

Last year, 6.4 million people visited, making the Grand Canyon the second-most popular national park in the country (behind Great Smoky Mountain Nationals Park). Established in 1919, the park offers activities for all ability levels, whether you want to do an intense hike down into the canyon and sleep under the stars (with a backcountry permit, of course) or simply want to saunter along the South Rim Trail, an easy walking path with views that wow.

What to Know Before You Go to the Grand Canyon

Family in the Grand Canyon

Where to stay:  The Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon

Hot tip: If you’ve wanted to visit the Grand Canyon for a while now, this is the year to do it. The park is celebrating its 100th birthday with musical performances, lectures, screenings and other special events.

Fun fact: The most remote community in the continental U.S. can be found in the Grand Canyon. At the base of the canyon, Supai Village — part of the Havasupi Indian Reservation — has a population of 208. It’s inaccessible by road, and mail is delivered by pack mule. Want to see it for yourself? The village houses a collection of campsites , accessible via a hiking trail.

15. Bali, Indonesia

Landmark Temple Gates in Bali

In recent years, Bali has become a popular expat destination, where groups of "digital nomads" work and play. 

But the island hasn't lost its original charm to this added tourism and continues to be an incredible destination. Divide your time between swimming in the beach, hiking active volcanoes, visiting temples and enjoying views of tiered rice terraces.

What to Know Before You Go to Bali

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple in Bali

Where to stay: Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach

Hot tip:  Though shoulder season (January to April and October to November) means fewer crowds and cheaper prices, it also means rain. Tons of it. We'd recommend avoiding the rainy season if possible.

Fun fact: On the Saka New Year, Balinese people celebrate Nyepi. This Hindu celebration is a day of silence when everything on the island shuts down and no noise is allowed.

14. New York, New York

New York City Manhattan

As the saying goes, New York City is “the city that never sleeps” — and you won’t want to either when you visit, lest you run out of time to take it all in. 

Be sure to check out newer attractions, like the High Line (an elevated park) and Hudson Yards (a mega-mall along the Hudson River), but also make time for some New York City classics, like catching a Broadway show or standing under the lights of Times Square. 

Foodies will have a hard time choosing where to eat (the city is home to 93 Michelin stars !), which is why an extended trip is always a good idea.

What to Know Before You Go to New York City

New York City Broadway

Where to stay: The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel

Hot tip: Yes, January and February get cold here, but this is also the best time to lock in relatively reasonable hotel rates. You can spend your time eating in the city’s restaurants, exploring its fabulous museums and catching its world-class theater shows, without needing to spend much time in the chilly outdoors. 

Fun fact: There’s a birth in New York City every 4.4 minutes — and a death every 9.1 minutes. 

13. Banff National Park, Canada

Banff Lake Louise

Some of the world’s most stunning mountain scenery and vistas are located in Banff, the tiny Canadian town located at 4,537 feet above sea level inside the national park by the same name. Banff is the highest town in Canada, and Banff National Park was Canada’s first, established in 1885.

Shred some powder at Banff’s three ski resorts in the winter, then come back in the summer for activities like hiking, biking, fishing and scrambling (scaling steep terrain using nothing but your hands).

What to Know Before You Go to Banff

Kayaking in Banff National Park

Where to stay: Fairmont Banff Springs

Hot tip: June to August and December to March are the best times to visit if you want to take advantage of summer and winter activities. 

Fun fact: Banff National Park has more than 1,000 glaciers .

12. Maldives

Sunset in the Maldives

You can look at picture after picture, but you still really need to visit the Maldives to believe its beauty. If rich sunsets, flour-like beaches and vibrant blue waters are your style, this is the destination for you. 

Though it’s somewhat difficult to get to this small island nation southwest of Sri Lanka, that also means it’s incredibly private and secluded, which makes it the perfect spot for a honeymoon or romantic beach getaway. 

And don’t worry about getting bored, either — explore the water by snorkeling or scuba diving, relax in the spa or wander around the bustling Male’ Fish Market.

What to Know Before You Go to Maldives

Maldives overwater bungalows

Where to stay: Velassaru Maldives

Hot tip: May to October is the island-nation’s rainy season — but that also means it’s the best time to go for fewer crowds and better rates.

Fun fact: In 1153 AD, the nation’s people converted to Islam. Today, the Maldives remains the most heavily Muslim country on earth.

11. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Sagrada Familia

Soccer, architecture, shopping, nightlife, world-class food and wine, arts and culture — is there anything Barcelona doesn’t have? If there is, we honestly can't think what it would be. 

This cosmopolitan Spanish city is home to some awe-inspiring architecture, including several buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi, so be sure to book tours of his whimsical creations like Park Guell and the yet-to-be-finished Church of the Sacred Family (La Sagrada Familia). 

For nightlife and shopping, Las Ramblas is always bustling; for an enriching arts experience, follow the progression of famed artist Pablo Picasso at Museo Picasso.

What to Know Before You Go to Barcelona

Barcelona Park Guell

Where to stay:  Hotel Bagues

Hot tip: It can get really humid here, so U.S. News suggests planning your trip in May and June, before things really heat up.

Fun fact: In preparation for its 1992 hosting of the Olympics, the city flew in sand from as far afield as Egypt to make Barceloneta Beach a place where people would want to go. Though largely man-made, the beach remains a wonderful spot for seaside R&R. 

10. Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park in the winter

The crown jewel of beautiful Montana, Glacier National Park is every outdoors traveler's dream.

Of course, the most defining natural feature of the park are its glaciers, which provide spectacular views as well as a number of pristine lakes. There are hundreds of trails that will take you up peaks, down through valleys and across some of the most beautiful landscapes you'll ever see.

What to Know Before You Go to Glacier National Park

Mountain goats at Glacier National Park

Where to stay: Firebrand Hotel

Hot tip:  Plan to spend a day or two in the nearby town of Whitefish. This gateway to Glacier National Park is one of the best small towns in America and a destination in its own right. 

Fun fact: During your visit, you're very likely to run into mountain goats, which are the official symbols of the park.

9. Tokyo, Japan

Akihabara Tokyo

The Japanese capital is one of the most exciting cities on the entire planet. It is notoriously fast-paced, with neon lights illuminating the multitudes that are constantly rushing to their next destination. 

But Tokyo is also a city of temples, of taking time to picnic under the cherry blossoms and of making sure you enjoy the abundance of delicious food that can be found on basically every corner.

What to Know Before You Go to Tokyo

Sensoji temple , Tokyo

Where to stay: The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, a Luxury Collection Hotel

Hot tip: Visit between the months of March and April or September and November for more comfortable temperatures. Of course, spring is when the city's cherry blossoms are famously in full bloom.

Fun fact: Tokyo happens to be the largest metropolitan area in the world, with more than 36 million people calling it home.

8. Phuket, Thailand

Phuket boats

If you’re looking for a vacation destination that feels luxurious but won’t break the bank, start searching for flights to Phuket now. 

This island in southern Thailand, which is just an hour flight from Bangkok, is surrounded by the Andaman Sea, so white sandy beaches abound. If a stunning sunset is what you’re after, head to Promthep Cape, the southernmost point on the island and a popular spot for photo-ops. For views of the island and beyond, climb to the top of the massive alabaster statue called Big Buddha.

You can even learn something during your vacation by visiting the Soi Dog Foundation, an innovative animal shelter that’s fighting the meat trade and taking care of the thousands of stray cats and dogs in the area.

What to Know Before You Go to Phuket

Phuket temple

Where to stay: InterContinental Phuket Resort

Hot tip: Visit between November and April for the best weather — and ideal conditions for beach activities like swimming and boating. 

Fun fact: The island is not pronounced in the rather colorful way it appears to be. The correct way to say it is “poo-ket” or “poo-get.”

7. Rome, Italy

Rome, Colosseum

Though Rome’s historic significance cannot be overstated, don’t assume that this Italian city is stuck in the past. On the contrary, you’ll find posh storefronts and luxurious hotels not far from iconic structures like the Pantheon (built in 120 AD) and the Colosseum (built in 80 AD).

And then, of course, there’s the city’s art. Stroll through Rome, and you’ll stumble upon some of the greatest treasures the world has ever seen — an astonishing collection of frescoes, paintings, ceilings and fountains created by icons like Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Raphael and Bernini.

After all that exploration, take advantage of ample opportunities to eat and drink, including at several Michelin-starred restaurants. City staples include suppli (deep-fried balls of risotto, mozzarella and ragu meat sauce) and cacio e pepe (a deceptively simple mix of al-dente pasta, pecorino romano and fresh black pepper). 

What to Know Before You Go to Rome

Rome Spanish Plaza at dawn

Where to stay: Radisson Blu Ghr Hotel

Hot tip: Tourists congregate here in the summer when temperatures are also sweltering. Go instead between October and April, when there are thinner crowds, better rates and cooler temps. Just make sure to bring a light jacket.

Fun fact: Each year, travelers throw about $1.5 million worth of coins into the Trevi Fountain. The money is donated to Caritas, a Catholic nonprofit that supports charities focused on health, disaster relief, poverty and migration.

6. London, England

Modern bridge London

U.S. News quotes English writer Samual Johnson when making the case for London as one of the best places to visit in the world: “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” 

From live performances of Shakespeare to truly world-class (and free!) museums like the National Gallery, London will enrich your mind and enliven your senses. Of course, no visit would be complete without a stop at Buckingham Palace to see the famous stone-faced guards outside and the 19 lavish State Rooms inside (though, unfortunately, you can’t see the queen’s private quarters). Another must-see landmark is the Tower of London, the historic castle on the north side of the River Thames.

What to Know Before You Go to London

London in the spring

Where to stay: Vintry & Mercer

Hot tip: Many U.S. cities now offer direct flights to London, so set a price alert and act fast when you see fares drop.

Fun fact: London’s pubs are worth a visit for their names alone; fanciful monikers include The Case is Altered, The Pyrotechnists Arms, John the Unicorn and The Job Centre. 

5. Tahiti, French Polynesia

Tahiti, French Polynesia

Flavorful French cuisine, top-notch resorts, warm waters — need we say more? Though Tahiti can be pricey, travelers say it’s so worth it. 

The largest of the 118 French Polynesian islands, Tahiti is split into two main regions (connected by a land bridge). Tahiti Nui, the larger region, is home to the island’s capital Papeete and surfing hotspot Papenoo Beach, while Tahiti Iti, the smaller region, offers more seclusion and the bright white sands of La Plage de Maui.

What to Know Before You Go to Tahiti

Tahiti bungalows during sunset

Where to stay: Hilton Hotel Tahiti

Hot tip: Visit between May and October, Tahiti’s winter, when there are less humidity and rain. 

Fun fact: Overcrowding is not a concern here; Hawaii gets more visitors in 10 days than all of French Polynesia does in a year.

4. Maui, Hawaii

Rocky beach in Maui

If you’re short on time or you just can’t decide which Hawaiian island to visit, Maui is right in the sweet spot: not too big, not too small, but just right.

There are five regions to explore on Maui, including the popular West Maui and South Maui, home to some of the island’s best-known attractions and beaches (Wailea Beach is in South Maui, for example). But don’t overlook East Maui, where you can travel along the Road to Hana, or the Upcountry, where you can explore the world’s largest dormant volcano, Haleakala. 

What to Know Before You Go to Maui

Maui cave

Where to stay:  Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

Hot tip: This is Hawaii we’re talking about, so your trip will be on the pricey side. Be sure to budget for add-ons if you need them (think gym access and WiFi at your hotel), and do some research on insurance before you head to the car-rental counter.

Fun fact: How’s this for a selling point? Maui has more beach than any other Hawaiian island — 60 miles of it , with red, white and black sand.

3. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora overwater bungalows

Don’t write off the French Polynesian island of Bora Bora just because of its size. Though it’s a little more than 2 miles wide and just 6 miles long, Bora Bora packs in an abundance of natural beauty. To start, you won’t be able to take your eyes off the island’s turquoise lagoon surrounded by lush jungle.

If you’re looking for more than relaxation on your trip, consider hiking or booking a 4X4 tour of Mount Otemanu, part of an extinct volcano that rises 2,400 feet above the lagoon. You can also snorkel among the coral reef of Coral Gardens, where you might catch a glimpse of reef sharks, eels and stingrays.

Because of its remoteness, flying into Bora Bora Airport will be quite a journey, no matter where you're departing from. But you'll forget everything as soon as you see this Polynesian paradise that is beautiful beyond words.

What to Know Before You Go to Bora Bora

Bora Bora Island

Where to stay: Conrad Bora Bora Nui

Hot tip: Though Bora Bora can be wildly expensive to visit, you can cut costs by visiting between December and March (though you should avoid the Christmas holiday) and by bringing your own alcohol and sunscreen with you.

Fun fact: Bora Bora is one of the countries that no longer exists . The Kingdom of Bora Bora was an independent state until it was forcefully overtaken and annexed by France in 1888.

2. Paris, France

Paris from the Arc de Triumph

Paris has it all — incredible cuisine, legendary landmarks and centuries of history. Those are just some of the reasons it’s the second-best place to visit in the world.

Though you’ll want to spend your time hitting up popular tourist spots like the Eiffel Tower and the Musee d’Orsay, you should also carve out time to explore other parts of Paris — the city’s 20 diverse neighborhoods, called arrondissements, for instance. Standouts include the 2nd arrondissement, which touts covered passages and some of the city’s hippest restaurants, and the romantic 18th arrondissement, with charming squares, cafes and bars, set apart from the city’s more tourist-packed areas.

What to Know Before You Go to Paris

Paris Montmartre at dawn

Where to stay: Grand Hotel Du Palais Royal

Hot tip: Yes, summer in Paris is busy, but the weather is also ideal — average highs are in the 70s.

Fun fact: Built for the 1889 World Fair, the Eiffel Tower was originally meant to be temporary , and was almost torn down in 1909. Luckily, local officials saw its value as a radiotelegraph station, preserving the future tourist icon for generations to come. 

1. South Island, New Zealand

Milford Sound

Instead of choosing just one city or region, U.S. News selected an entire island for the coveted top spot. South Island, the larger but less populated of the two islands that make up New Zealand, earned the honor for its “breathtaking scenery, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and affordable activities."

They really weren’t kidding about those once-in-a-lifetime activities, either. The 33.5-mile hike on Milford Sound, which is limited to 90 people at a time, is considered one of the world’s best treks, with stops at Lake Te Anau, suspension bridges, a mountain pass and the tallest waterfall in the country, Sutherland Falls.

For a heart-pumping experience, you can jump out of a helicopter while flying over the Harris Mountains with skis on your feet. Still not satisfied? Roam Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage area, and explore the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, two of the most accessible glaciers in the world.

What to Know Before You Go to New Zealand

South Island, New Zealand

Where to stay: QT Queenstown

Hot tip: Book your trip for the fall, when South Island is temperate, not overcrowded and offers great rates. Bonus: This is also when the island is at its most stunning.

Fun fact: New Zealand natives, called Kiwis, are among the most hospitable you’ll ever meet. The local saying “He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata” translates , appropriately, to “What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people.”

Honorable Mention: British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands beach

Sadly, we can't include every destination in the world here. But to make the ruling a bit fairer, we've included two places that were included in previous U.S. News & World Report lists. They may not be in the top 30, but they're incredible destinations everyone should plan to visit at least once.

The British Caribbean is one of the most enjoyable and exclusive vacation destinations in the world. With some 60 islands and cays to explore, the British Virgin Islands offer a little something for everyone — granite boulders, mountainous cliffs and, of course, the gorgeous Caribbean Sea. 

What to Know Before You Go to the British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands cave

Where to stay:  Sugar Mill Hotel

Hot tip: Because of the warm weather, travelers tend to flock to the islands around the holidays, so plan your visit in the fall to avoid large crowds. Looking to save a few bucks? U.S. News suggests staying on Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands, then making a day trip to the British Virgin Islands.

Fun fact: BVI’s Norman Island was the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel, “Treasure Island.”

Honorable Mention: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam with tulips

Sometimes, Amsterdam gets a bad rap for its Red Light District and marijuana-peddling coffee shops , but there’s so much more to this European city than those two sound bites. 

Amsterdam offers plenty of opportunities to delve into history and culture, too, from the home where Anne Frank wrote her journal during the Holocaust to the world’s largest collection of Van Gogh paintings and drawings at the Van Gogh Museum. 

It’s also a surprisingly kid-friendly destination, with spots like the NEMO Science Museum and the spacious Vondelpark for little ones to explore.

What to Know Before You Go to Amsterdam

Amsterdam sign

Where to stay: citizenM Amsterdam South

Hot tip: Avoid the high tourist season by planning your visit for just before summer (between April and May) or just after it (between September and November).

Fun fact: Amsterdam is home to what is surely one of the only cat-focused houseboats in the world: a floating feline sanctuary aptly named Catboat .

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The 40 Most Anticipated Tours of 2023: Taylor Swift, Doja Cat, Bob Dylan, and More

By Madison Bloom , Nina Corcoran , Allison Hussey , Hattie Lindert , Evan Minsker , Jazz Monroe , and Matthew Ismael Ruiz

Taylor Swift Madonna Doja Cat and more

As festival fields clear out and nights draw in, the fall tour calendar is keeping the party rolling. Tinashe & Shygirl take what promises to be a lethally salacious stage show on the road; Bob Dylan does just the opposite with yet more Rough & Rowdy Ways dates; and, hip-hip hooray, Raphael Saadiq is reforming Tony! Toni! Toné! Elsewhere, Christine and the Queens transforms his recent albums into a theatrical tour-de-force; Noname embarks on her biggest ever run; and Lana Del Rey is sashaying into the southern states. Turn up early for Doja Cat (Doechii and Ice Spice support) and late for Ms. Lauryn Hill, who is taking her all-timer, Miseducation , on yet another anniversary tour. And, though no spring chickens, Brian Eno and Jai Paul are marking fall with their first-ever solo tours. Plus, after his five-year break from North American shores, you can finally hear “Inspector Norse” as Todd “The God” Terje intended: not stuffed into an ill-considered summer-banger playlist, but bringing down the house as the Norwegian maestro’s indefatigable set closer.

After a four-month, 34-show residency that brought more than 100,000 Adele fans to Las Vegas, the Tottenham superstar added a new batch of dates in early June—and promised to film the shows for all who couldn’t make it. “I came back, and as usual I smashed it,” she told the crowd upon making the announcement. “I always smash it.” –Jazz Monroe

All products featured on Pitchfork are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Adele: Weekends With Adele

Armand Hammer

The Brooklyn-based duo billy woods and Elucid will head out in support of their new Armand Hammer album, We Buy Diabetic Test Strips , this fall, hitting cities in North America and Europe into early 2024. The duo’s follow-up to Haram features production from Jpegmafia, El-P, Kenny Segal, Black Noi$e, Steel Tipped Dove, and more. Per Elucid, the recording process was nothing less than “a clear and obvious magical moment.” –Hattie Lindert

the world best tour

It’s been eight years since Tom DeLonge parted ways with Blink-182 for a second time, but he’s back again and ready for more proudly juvenile hijinks with his friends. Blink-182’s classic lineup—DeLonge, Mark Hoppus, and Travis Barker—have  reunited for what’s shaping up to be their biggest comeback yet. The pop-punk trio began a massive  2023 world tour in May for a tour that will last nearly the entire year, with dozens of shows in North America and Europe. Turnstile, Rise Against, the Story So Far, and Wallows will open select dates. Blink-182 will then take a short break around the holidays before flying to Oceania for more concerts in early 2024, too. –Nina Corcoran

Blink-182: World Tour 2023/2024

The WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes mean we’ll have to wait longer to hear more about the Timothée Chalamet–starring Bob Dylan biopic , but the man himself is appearing live and in person across a handful of dates spanning the months of October and November. Now 82 years old, Dylan has continued to evade retirement, and he’s yet again extended his touring in support of his 2020 album, Rough and Rowdy Ways . Having covered much of the United States since he kicked off the tour in 2021, the singer-songwriter is scheduled for multi-night stands in Milwaukee, Chicago, Kansas City, and Toronto, plus stops in Rochester, St. Louis, Akron, and more. –Allison Hussey

Bob Dylan Tour poster

The Breeders

Last month, the Breeders’ alt-rock classic Last Splash turned 30. In addition to announcing a special reissue that comes with two unearthed archival songs, they’re also celebrating the anniversary by playing the record in full on tour —great news for anyone who’s never gotten to hear one of the best albums of the 1990s live. The Breeders’ tour just started in the Midwest and will snake its way across the United States until the end of October, with concerts in major cities and a few smaller locations alike. Joining them for select dates are Belly, Screaming Females, and Horsegirl, all three of whom are continuing the band’s spirit in their own music. –Nina Corcoran

The Breeders: Last Splash 30th Anniversary Tour

Brian Eno is taking a live solo show on the road for the first time ever. He’ll tour Europe this fall with a concert program called Ships, built around 2016 album The Ship and featuring various compositions from his catalog. He will play with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic (Kristjan Järvi conducts), the actor Peter Serafinowicz, and Eno’s longtime collaborators Leo Abrahams and Peter Chilvers. “I wanted an orchestra which played music the way I would like to play music: from the heart rather than just from the score,” Eno said in press materials. “I wanted the players to be young and fresh and enthusiastic.” –Jazz Monroe

the world best tour

Broken Social Scene

If you slept on tickets to see Broken Social Scene perform their 2002 album, You Forgot It in People , last year, then you’re in luck. Thanks to a bonus leg of the band’s 20th anniversary tour , the indie-rock staple is getting an extra moment in the live spotlight. Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning, and co. will stop in cities they weren’t able to visit on the first go-around. Kicking off on September 16, that list includes Austin, New Orleans, Asheville, Boston, Detroit, St. Louis, and more. Maybe Meryl Streep will show up to sing along to “Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl” again, too. –Nina Corcoran

Broken Social Scene: 2023 United States Tour

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band’s expansive 2023 tour wound through the United States with a final U.S. date in Newark, New Jersey, on April 14. From there, the Boss headed to Europe with a stint that stretches from May through July. In the  fall and winter , Springsteen and the band, when healthy , are back in North America. –Madison Bloom

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band 2023 Tour

Christine and the Queens

After launching his Redcar alias last year, Chris is bringing his latest album as Christine and the Queens, Paranoïa, Angels, True Love , to North America. While more conventionally structured than the Redcar shows, the current setup is an artistic tour-de-force. Expect theatrical stagings full of spoken interludes, intense audience interaction, and a devastating showcase of Chris’ operatic range. –Jazz Monroe

Christine and the Queens tour poster

Dave Matthews Band

During an early September show at the Gorge Amphitheatre, Dave Matthews Band paid tribute to the late Jimmy Buffett with a cover of “A Pirate Looks at Forty.” It was a fitting tribute to another artist with a massive and fervent fanbase. In November, Dave Matthews Band head back out on the road for a series of U.S. arena shows culminating in a two-night run at Madison Square Garden. –Evan Minsker

Dave Matthews Band: Tour 2023

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Sunbather , which guitarist Kerry McCoy calls “the record that turned us into a real band,” Deafheaven are reissuing a remixed and remastered version of the album and heading out on a North American tour. Touché Amoré will join the group for 10 shows celebrating the big 10. Deafheaven are also currently supporting Coheed and Cambria on the Neverender: No World for a Waking Mind Tour. –Hattie Lindert

Deafheaven: Sunbather 10th Anniversary Shows

The questions are simple. Do you want to go to a concert where you can breathe the same air as Keanu Reeves? Do you want to watch Keanu Reeves slap or even just pluck a bass? Are you a little bit curious about what the other two guys who play in a band with Keanu Reeves are like? If the answer to any of those questions is yes , you should consider catching Dogstar at one of their upcoming shows across the United States in December. As a bonus, there’s a chance the actor and bassist might play a bizarrely giant instrument . –Evan Minsker

Dogstar tour poster

The Scarlet Tour gives fans an opportunity to witness the latest era from Doja Cat. Following the forthcoming album Scarlet , which is out September 22, the tour takes place across the United States (plus one show in Toronto) starting October 31 and ending December 13. It’s a huge bill, too, with Doechii and Ice Spice supporting at various shows. Expect to hear new singles like “ Paint the Town Red ” and “ Demons .” She will likely not be performing any Chaver covers . –Evan Minsker

Doja Cat: The Scarlet Tour

Downtown Boys

Cost of Living was the last album from Downtown Boys, and it arrived six years ago. Aside from their live shows’ dependably exciting nature, the promise of new music is the key reason to check out one of their upcoming sets. Following a show in Brooklyn on September 12, they head across Europe in September. “The past few years have been extremely difficult, and while many artists were still able to write through it all, we were not in a place to work on new music,” the band said in a statement. “Finally getting back into it now feels freeing and thrilling, though. We hope some of that pain and joy comes through as we get to share these live.” –Evan Minsker

Downtown Boys: 2023 September Tour of Europe

Fever Ray is set to embark on a fall tour in North America behind the new album Radical Romantics . Karin Dreijer and their band’s stops include two nights at the Wiltern in Los Angeles, plus venues in Austin, Texas (Emo’s), Denver, Colorado (Fillmore Auditorium), Portland, Oregon (Roseland Theater), and Seattle, Washington (Showbox SoDo). Christeene will open the new U.S. dates, which culminate with Fever Ray’s appearance at Mexico City’s Corona Capital Festival. –Evan Minsker

Fever Ray tour poster

Flo Milli’s next album, Fine Ho, Stay , completes a trilogy from the upstart Alabama rapper, who titled her previous two records Ho, Why Is You Here ? and You Still Here, Ho? The forthcoming album’s lead single, July’s “ Fruit Loop ,” is a hard-driving track where Flo Milli leverages ferocious wordplay alongside a buzzing beat by Young Fyre, and she tops it all off by boasting, “I’m the shit,” several dozen times. If the energetic blast of “Fruit Loop” is any indication of the attitude and precision Flo Milli is bringing to stages later this fall, fans won’t need any further solicitations to stick around. Maiya the Don opens all dates. –Allison Hussey

the world best tour

After the early makings of his planned debut album were leaked in 2013, the shrouded pop auteur Jai Paul didn’t perform live or release music for nearly a decade. In 2023, he finally took the stage for the first time, performing at Coachella and in Brooklyn and London. Clearly catching his stride, Paul has now scheduled shows this fall in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and more. –Hattie Lindert

Janelle Monáe

Janelle Monáe goes big with everything she creates, and that extends to her upcoming tour behind The Age of Pleasure . To ring in her first album in five years, the pop creative and multi-hyphenate is embarking on a lengthy North American tour that’s already underway. With concerts scheduled in Minneapolis, Birmingham, Phoenix, Montreal, and more cities in between, it’s clear she believes the age of pleasure is for everyone, everywhere, even if it keeps her on the road until mid-October. –Nina Corcoran

Janelle Monáe tour poster

About a month after Kesha released her Rick Rubin–produced album Gag Order , she settled a nearly decade-old defamation suit with the producer Dr. Luke, whom Kesha accused in 2014 of sexually assaulting her in 2005. In a statement, Kesha said she is “looking forward to closing the door on this chapter of my life and beginning a new one.” Audiences across the country will get multiple chances to join that chapter when the Gag Order Tour begins this October in Dallas, Texas. –Hattie Lindert

Kesha: The Gag Order Tour

Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey’s live show has evolved from a simple, captivating vocal showcase to a major theatrical production with an air of performance art. She strikes magisterial poses, surrounds herself with slutdropping dancers, gets pampered by assistants, and wafts between swings and other elegant stage props while elaborate ballet routines unspool around her. Her September and October shows behind Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd will take in a host of slightly lesser-visited American cities, including multiple dates in Texas and Florida. –Jazz Monroe

Lana Del Rey Tour Dates

Lauren Mayberry

When Chvrches’ Lauren Mayberry announced a solo tour without the assistance of her bandmates, it was unclear exactly what fans might expect. Since then, she’s released her inaugural solo single, “ Are You Awake? ,” a piano-driven co-write with Tobias Jesso Jr. At dates across North America in September, followed by shows in the United Kingdom and Europe the following month, fans will get to witness what else Mayberry has in store as a solo artist. –Evan Minsker

Lauren Mayberry Tour Dates

A serious bacterial infection and hospitalization temporarily derailed Madonna’s world tour plans. Thankfully, the pop icon has recovered and the Celebration Tour is back on. She’s set dates across the world every month from October to April. The tour was first announced with a star-studded launch video featuring Lil Wayne, Eric André, Jack Black, Judd Apatow, Diplo, Kate Berlant, and more. –Evan Minsker

Madonna: The Celebration Tour

After receiving the coveted Stranger Things bump last summer, Metallica are in especially high demand. The metal legends have some new singles, an album on the way, and they’ll hit the road for a massive tour kicking off this spring. Metallica will wind through Europe and the United States for the next two years, with their final Mexico City dates landing in September of 2024. The gigantic trek will include support from Pantera, Greta Van Fleet, Five Finger Death Punch, Mammoth WVH, Architects, Ice Nine Kills, and Volbeat. –Madison Bloom

Metallica: M72 World Tour 2023-2024

If Mitski’s brief hiatus didn’t make it clear enough, never take your favorite musician going on tour for granted. She’s set to play some acoustic shows in support of her new album, The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We . She’s played one concert already in Mexico City, and more shows are to come in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Scotland, England, Germany, France, and the Netherlands. –Nina Corcoran

Mitski tour poster


Model/Actriz have come a long way since playing their first show in a Boston basement in 2016. The group, known now for its live shows, are touring across North America and Europe in support of Dogsbody . –Hattie Lindert

Model/Actriz on Tour 2023

Ms. Lauryn Hill

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill just turned 25 last month, and Ms. Lauryn Hill is ringing in the anniversary with a tour . Following a string of Australian shows with Koffee, Hill will spend October performing her landmark debut solo album in select North American cities. Co-headlining those dates are the reunited Fugees, which means Hill will pull double duty each night. –Nina Corcoran

Ms. Lauryn Hill tour poster

Noname upped the ante on her latest album, Sundial , taking to task knotty politics, cultural fetishization, and even Beyoncé with technical brilliance. It’s all the more reason to see her live on tour this October and November, when she’ll bring Sundial to North American cities. While Noname has lately shifted her focus toward her book club and activist work, recent sets at MIKE’s Young World Festival in Brooklyn and her own Sundial Block Party in Chicago marked welcome returns to live performance. –Hattie Lindert

Noname: Sundial Tour

Olivia Rodrigo

Olivia Rodrigo is taking Guts on the road for a lengthy jaunt across North America and Europe. After channeling the greats of ’90s alt-rock on singles like “ Bad Idea Right? ,” she’s returning the favor by inviting the Breeders to support in New York and Los Angeles, while other dates feature PinkPantheress, Chappell Roan, or Remi Wolf. Catch a preview by checking out her performances of “ Vampire ” and “Get Him Back!” at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards . –Jazz Monroe

Olivia Rodrigo: Guts World Tour

PJ Harvey is taking the “ sonic netherworld ” of I Inside the Old Year Dying on the road with a batch of European dates. She eased into the album—which situates poetry from her book Orlam in rustic folk that blends the spectral and pastoral—with a handful of UK dates last year. Aside from those, this is Harvey’s first full tour in six years. –Jazz Monroe

PJ Harvey Tour 2023

Porno for Pyros

Perry Farrell’s post–Jane’s Addiction band Porno for Pyros haven’t toured in 25 years. This year, that changes, as the band (Farrell, Stephen Perkins, Peter DiStefano, and Martyn LeNoble) hits venues across October and November. The tour announcement also came with a promise that the band is working on new music that’s expected to arrive this year. –Evan Minsker

Porno for Pyros: Horns, Thorns en Halos Tour

Sexyy Red broke through in the summer with hits from Hood Hottest Princess , and the fall will now bring the St. Louis rapper’s first headlining dates. After initial shows quickly sold out, Sexyy Red added more dates and upgraded venues “so more of y’all can come turn up wit me.” –Hattie Lindert

Sexyy Red: Hood Hottest Princess Tour

On the heels of their new album, Everything Is Alive , shoegaze mainstays Slowdive are closing out 2023 with shows in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and South America. Their first run of theater shows kicks off September 23 in Toronto and culminates with an October 14 set in Los Angeles. They head to Glasgow on October 30 for a run that ends on November 6 in Dublin. They close out the year with dates in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Colombia. And they’ve already got shows lined up in the United Kingdom next year. –Evan Minsker

Slowdive Tour Dates

Taylor Swift

The last Taylor Swift tour took place nearly five years ago. As a result, she planned something extra special for her long-awaited return to the stage:  the Eras Tour . Billed as a journey across her various musical eras, it will mark Swift’s sixth headlining concert tour and her first since releasing the albums  Lover ,  Folklore ,  Evermore , and  Midnights . The Eras Tour kicked off in March after making waves for Ticketmaster’s  infamous handling of presale tickets. Guests on the tour have included Phoebe Bridgers, Haim, Paramore, Beabadoobee, Gayle, Girl in Red, Gracie Abrams, Muna, and Owenn. –Nina Corcoran

Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour

Tinashe / Shygirl

Shygirl and Tinashe linked up earlier this year for “ Heaven ,” and they will spend more time together on a co-headlining tour featuring support from Uniiqu3. The tour follows the recent release of Tinashe’s BB/Ang3l and Shygirl’s Nymph in the Wild EP . –Hattie Lindert

Tinashe & Shygirl Tour Dates

Todd Terje is yet to follow up his modern classic It’s Album Time , but nearly a decade after its release, the DJ/producer will head back to North America to end a five-year drought of shows across the continent. The Norwegian maestro will play festivals in California and Mexico, as well as headline dates in New York and Los Angeles. His last release was the one-off 2017 single “ Maskindans .” Could second album time be around the corner? –Jazz Monroe

Todd Terje DJ’s Across the Pond 2023

Tony! Toni! Toné!

Tony! Toni! Toné! co-founder Raphael Saadiq has long wished to “put [his] family back together,” as he put it upon announcing the neo-soul godfathers’ reunion. On a North American tour this fall, he is doing just that. Alongside his brother D’Wayne Wiggins and Timothy Christian Riley, Saadiq will revisit the new jack swing era that preceded his work with D’Angelo and Beyonce and solo albums like 2002’s Instant Vintage . Before the trio’s set, Saadiq will play solo sets comprising his own hits for himself and others. –Jazz Monroe

Tony! Toni! Toné tour poster

Tool haven’t released new music since 2019’s Fear Inoculum , but that won’t stop them from heading out on a North American tour this fall. They’ll headline arenas across the United States and Canada, with festival dates in Kentucky (Louder than Life) and California (Aftershock and Power Trip) tossed in. No word yet if singer Maynard James Keenan will revisit the blonde wig, red lipstick, and prosthetic breasts he wore for the band’s headlining set at Welcome to Rockville in Daytona Beach. –Matthew Ismael Ruiz

Tool in Concert

Travis Scott

Two years after a crowd surge at Travis Scott’s Astroworld festival left 10 people dead and many more injured, the glossy rage rapper is headed out on a North American tour in support of Utopia . Scott first performed cuts from the album at a special performance at Rome’s Circus Maximus , during which he brought out Kanye West to earth-shaking applause. Notably, the Utopia tour will not stop in Houston, Texas, Scott’s hometown and the city where Astroworld was held. –Hattie Lindert

Travis Scott: Utopia - Circus Maximus Tour

During a Super Bowl musically dominated by the long-awaited return of Rihanna, U2 shared a commercial featuring a baby’s face in an orb. That mystical child heralded the band’s Las Vegas shows, where they’ll perform their 1991 album  Achtung Baby from September to November. U2:UV Achtung Baby Live at the Sphere marks the opening of the MSG Sphere at the Venetian, which seats 17,500. With Larry Mullen Jr. taking time away from the band to recover from surgery, Bram van den Berg will play drums at the shows. In a statement accompanying the announcement, the Edge used the phrase “the beauty of the Sphere” (speaking of the venue and not the baby from the Super Bowl spot). –Evan Minsker

U2:UV Achtung Baby Live at Sphere

Wilco’s new, Cate Le Bon–produced album arrives in late September, and you can hear them bring Cousin to life on a sprawling tour that kicks off around the same time. My Brightest Diamond and Nina Nastasia will support the dates, before Wilco end the year with their Sky Blue Sky festival in Mexico . –Jazz Monroe

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Around the World Itinerary: 13 Months & 35 Countries

Julie Last updated: August 1, 2023 Itinerary , RTW 95 Comments

Our Around the World Itinerary Pin

In 2014 and 2015, we spent 13 months traveling around the world. If you are considering long-term travel and need some inspiration, or just want to find out what we did, here is our around the world itinerary.

An Overview of Our Around the World Trip

Duration: 13 months, 396 days Countries visited: 35 Continents: 5 Distance traveled: 87,314 miles

Our Around the World Itinerary Map

Nine of the 13 months were spent in Asia. We had several reasons for doing this. Asia is one of the cheaper places to travel through, so our money could go farther here, helping us stick to our budget. Second, it takes a long time to travel to Asia from the east coast of the USA, so we wanted to explore this region thoroughly while we had the luxury of time. And finally, there is SO MUCH to see in Asia, a continent that was brand new to us before starting this around the world trip.

We spent less time in more expensive countries, such as Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Japan did not even make it on our original itinerary simply because it can be so expensive, but we did end up adding it in, anyway. It was a great decision; Japan is now one of our favorite countries.

We did not visit South America on this itinerary. For one thing, we ran out of time. Plus, it’s fairly easy to fly from the US to South America, so we could visit this continent once we were home again.

Our Around the World Itinerary

New york city – june 29, 2014.

From Maryland, we took the Bolt Bus to New York City. In Times Square, we snapped a family photo and then boarded our flight to Europe. Hello world, here we come!

Copenhagen, Denmark – June 30

We landed in Copenhagen and had a six hour layover before our flight to Rome, Italy. This was just enough time for lunch in Nyhavn and before we knew it, we were on our way to Rome.

Our route through Europe

Europe Itinerary Map

Italy and The Vatican – July 1 to July 25

          Rome           Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi Coast, Pompeii           Florence           Siena and Tuscany           Pisa           Cinque Terre           Milan           Venice           Dolomites

Since we traveled as a family, we had to adjust to being with each other every moment of the day. We wanted to get into this new groove of traveling in a place that felt somewhat familiar to us. For us, this “familiar” place was Europe. We did not want to deal with culture shock, exotic locales, and a new style of traveling all at once, so Italy made it as our first destination of the trip.


Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein – July 25 to August 6

          Berchtesgaden, Germany           Salzburg, Austria           Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany           Innsbruck, Austria           Rothenburg, Germany           Munich, Germany

After spending several days in Berchtesgaden, Germany, we made Garmisch-Partenkirchen our home base. From here we explored Liechtenstein (with a very brief visit to the unexciting town of Buchs, Switzerland), Innsbruck, Austria, and Rothenburg, Germany. From Munich we flew to Africa, to a brand new continent for us.


Our route through Southern Africa

Southern Africa Itinerary Map

Southern Africa – August 7 to September 17

          Johannesburg, South Africa           Francistown, Botswana           Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Zambia           Chobe National Park, Botswana           Mlilwane Animal Sanctuary, Swaziland           Blyde River Canyon, South Africa           Kruger National Park, South Africa           St. Lucia and iSimangaliso National Park, South Africa           Drakensburg, South Africa           The Sani Pass & Lesotho           Addo Elephant Park, South Africa           Garden Route: Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Oudtshoorn, Hermanus           Cape Town

For six weeks, we toured southern Africa on one epic road trip. We logged thousands of miles, driving through Botswana and a huge portion of South Africa.

Chobe Elephant

United Arab Emirates – September 17 to September 21

        Abu Dhabi         Dubai

Our flight from Johannesburg, South Africa to Kathmandu, Nepal had a layover in Abu Dhabi. We changed this layover into a stopover, spending just three days here, just enough time to climb the world’s tallest building and drink cappuccinos sprinkled with gold, before entering Asia.

Our route through Nepal, Bhutan, and India

Subcontinent Map

Nepal – September 21 to October 17

          Kathmandu           Everest Base Camp Trek           Patan & Bhaktapur           Pokhara

We planned our around the world itinerary so that we would be in Nepal at the end of September, the start of the trekking season to Everest Base Camp. Most people make the trek in early to mid-October. We took our chances, starting a week earlier, to minimize the number of people on the trail. We got lucky that monsoon season did not run late and we had a fabulous experience.

While in Nepal, we also toured Kathmandu, Patan, Bhaktapur, and Pokhara.

Durbar Square Kathmandu

Bhutan – October 17 to October 23

          Thimpu           Punakha           Paro and the Tiger’s Nest

With a daily tariff of $250 per person (about half that cost for kids) Bhutan was a budget breaker. We almost did not include this into our around the world itinerary because of the high daily cost. But because we had Nepal and India in our itinerary, we were so close to Bhutan that it seemed a shame to skip over it.

It was an awesome decision to include Bhutan in our around the world itinerary. Bhutan is now one of our favorite spots in the world…it’s exotic, tranquil, incredibly beautiful, and a unique destination that we were very lucky to visit.

We spent just a week here, just long enough to see the highlights and fall in love with Bhutan. I have a feeling we will be back again someday…

Tigers Nest

India – October 23 to November 28

        Siliguri         Darjeeling         Mumbai         Udaipur         Jodhpur         Jaisalmer         Jaipur         Agra & the Taj Mahal         Delhi         Varanasi         Khajuraho         Kolkata

Our grand tour of India started in Siliguri on Diwali. Immediately, we were thrust into the amazingly colorful, intriguing culture of this country. After a few days in the cool, misty hill town of Darjeeling, we flew to Mumbai, where we hopped to Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Agra, Delhi, Varanasi, Khajuraho, and Kolkatta.

It was in India that I got sick with dengue fever and Kara dealt with homesickness. It is no secret that we were not big fans of India during our five week visit here. In fact, we considered skipping the last several weeks, shortening our around the world itinerary and traveling to Myanmar or Thailand early. But our time in India changed us in so many ways…how we travel, who we are as a family, and how we think about our place in the world.

Earth Trekkers Taj Mahal

Our route through Southeast Asia

Our Southeast Asia Route

Myanmar – November 28 to December 11

        Yangon         Bagan         Mandalay

In Myanmar, our first week was spent in Yangon, getting visas for Thailand, doing a little sightseeing, and getting get caught up on things like homeschooling and future trip planning. Then we took a bus north to visit the temples of Bagan. From Mandalay we flew to Bangkok, Thailand.

Overlooking Bagan

Thailand – December 11 to January 11

          Bangkok           Krabi           Ayutthaya           Sukhothai           Chiang Mai           Chiang Rai

Bangkok is an amazing city and a great launching point for exploring Southeast Asia. We spent several days here before flying to Krabi, Thailand. We wanted to be somewhere extra special for Christmas, and with beautiful beaches, rock climbing, and snorkeling, Krabi was perfect.

After nine days in Krabi, we flew back to Bangkok, and then hopped to Ayutthaya, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, and Chiang Rai using public transportation. For our most memorable New Year’s Eve yet, we spent the night launching paper lanterns into the sky, a unique and unforgettable Thai experience.

New Years Eve Lanterns

Laos – January 11 to January 18

          Pakbeng           Luang Prabang

We spent just one week in Laos and this was not enough time. Laos blew away our expectations, and I wish we spent more time here.

Leaving Thailand behind, we drifted down the Mekong River for two days, our journey ending in Luang Prabang. This small, French city in the Laos jungle was a joy to explore. From Luang Prabang, things kept getting better with a flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Cambodia – January 18 to January 31

          Siem Reap           Phnom Penh           Kampot

We spent two weeks in Cambodia. Our first week was spent exploring the temples around Siem Reap. From Siem Reap we spent several days in Phnom Penh, visiting the Killing Fields, and ending in wonderful little Kampot.

Angkor Wat with Kids

Vietnam – January 31 to February 25

          Phu Quoc Island           Mekong Delta (Can Tho)           Ho Chi Minh City           Hoi An & Da Nang           Hue           Hanoi           Halong Bay

We explored Vietnam from bottom to top, starting on Phu Quoc Island and slowly hopping northward, ending in Hanoi. From Hanoi, we traveled overland into China, taking a series of buses to get to Nanning.

Our route through China and Taiwan

China Itinerary Map

China, Hong Kong, & Macau – February 25 to March 25

          Nanning           Yangshuo           Changsha           Zhangjiajie           Beijing           Shanghai           Hong Kong           Macau

From walking on the Great Wall, visiting the Forbidden City, cycling among the fantastic scenery in Yangshuo, to visiting Zhangjiajie, our time in China was extraordinary. Hong Kong was just as amazing, although our side trip to Macau was a bit of a letdown.

Cycling Li River Valley

Taiwan – March 25 to April 8

        Taipei         Keelung & Teapot Mountain         Haulien & Taroko National Park         Taitung         Kenting National Park         Kaohsiung         Tainan

With two weeks, we toured the most popular spots of Taiwan, the highlights being the city of Taipei, hiking Teapot Mountain, exploring Taroko National Park, and eating at the night markets.

Taiwan Bridge

Fiji – April 9 to April 17

        Nadi         Mamanuca Islands

Again, we turned a layover into a stopover. Our flight from Taiwan to New Zealand flew through Fiji, so we plopped ourselves down in paradise for one wonderful week.


New Zealand – April 17 to May 11

          Te Anau & the Milford Sound           Queenstown           Wanaka           Mt Cook/Aoraki NP           Christchurch           Motueka & Abel Tasman NP           Blenheim & Marlborough Wine Region           Wellington           Turangi & the Tongariro Alpine Crossing           Taupo           Hamilton, Matamata, & Hobbiton           Auckland

New Zealand was our favorite country on our around the world itinerary. It’s gorgeous, it’s adventurous, it’s clean and quiet, and it’s a joy to explore.

Key Summit Hike

Australia – May 11 to June 11

          Hobart, Tasmania           Adelaide and the wine regions           Great Ocean Road           Melbourne           Uluru           Sydney           Town of 1770, Great Barrier Reef           Brisbane

Australia was one of our most expensive countries on the list, but that’s OK, we thoroughly enjoyed our time here. Tasmania was our favorite spot, but Melbourne, the Great Barrier Reef, and Uluru were also pretty awesome.

Kings Canyon

Bali – June 11 to June 23

        Ubud         Seminyak

For some much needed chill time, we relaxed in the cultural heart of Bali, Ubud, followed by surfing and beach time in Seminyak.

Ubud Bali

Singapore – June 23 to June 28

As the end of our trip loomed out in the distance, we began hopping from country to country, trying to see as much as possible before this amazing adventure came to an end. For a quick five days, we toured the highlights of Singapore, then hopped over to Kuala Lumpur.

Singapore Gardens

Kuala Lumpur – June 28 to July 1

Tim found a series of cheap flights linking Singapore to Japan, and Kuala Lumpur was on the list. We were here just long enough to see the Petronas Towers and to learn that Kuala Lumpur was much more interesting than we expected it to be.

South Korea – July 1 to July 7

          Seoul         Jeju Island

We were in South Korea during the MERS epidemic. Unfortunately, because of MERS, the DMZ was “closed,” so we missed seeing it, a huge bummer. With just a week, we spent a few days in Seoul and then spent a little time exploring Jeju Island.


Japan – July 7 to July 23

        Osaka         Kyoto         Hiroshima         Himeji         Tokyo

Japan is amazing. It’s also extremely hot and uncomfortable during the mid-summer months. The food, the culture, the temples, the history…Japan is a place we cannot wait to explore again…just not during the summer.

In Nara Japan

USA – July 23 to July 29

          Los Angeles          New York City          Bus to Maryland

From Tokyo, we flew to Los Angeles. How strange it felt to back in the good ole USA. By this point in our travels, we were exhausted and actually looking forward to being “home.” The thing is, we had no house, since we sold it to take this trip, but still it felt wonderful to be heading back to our hometown.

We spent a few days in the stupor of jet lag, touring LA, before flying to New York City. It felt great to connect the dots on the map, getting back to the starting point of our trip around the globe. From NYC, it was one final 4 hour bus ride back to Maryland.

Life After a Trip Around the World

Just because our trip around the world came to an end, our travels did not have to end, also. Now we are home owners, work full time jobs, and have two kids in public school. Still, we find the time to travel. In fact, we make it a priority.

For us, an around the world trip did not extinguish our wanderlust. It’s still there, burning as brightly as before that first flight to Copenhagen. Now, we travel every chance we get, traveling to new countries, and exploring parts of the US that are still brand new to us.

Who knows, maybe someday, we will circle the globe again…

Are you Considering a Trip Around the World?

Visit our Around the World page , where we offer information about all phases of long-term travel, including the planning phase, what it’s really like to be on the road, and what it is like to come home.

How to Travel Around the World

If you have any questions about planning your around the world itinerary, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information about Around the World Travel

PLANNING A TRIP AROUND THE WORLD: If you are planning a trip around the world, there are a lot of things to consider before you go: how much does it cost to travel around the world , where should you go , how to book your plane tickets , and what should you pack.

AROUND THE WORLD TRAVEL: Learn what a typical day on the road is like when traveling around the world. We also have a round up of our worst travel experiences and a recap of the trip in 100 beautiful photos.

DESTINATIONS AROUND THE WORLD: For more places to visit around the world, check out our Destinations page.

All of the maps of this around the world itinerary were made on . It is a free service offered on their website. They also provide other travel planning advice.

Our Around the World Itinerary Pin

All rights reserved © Earth Trekkers. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (text, photography, etc.), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited.

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One Year Around the World

Comments 95

Avatar for John Anthony Faraone ll

This is all so interesting – and I myself would like to plan a very similar trip – may I ask how much at the end of it all did it cost you per person – I feel like that is the hardest thing I am having trouble with is coming up with a grand total of sorts of what to put away in saving to ensure I can sufficiently enjoy and take care of myself – and also did you get travelers checks before you left for every country or did you just use cards or cash? What’s safest? Congratulations and sounds amazing – I look forward to learning more form you!

Avatar for Julie

If you haven’t seen it yet, we have a section of our website dedicated to Around the World Travel , plus a post on how much it costs . On average, people spend between $25,000 and $35,000 USD per person for one year for budget to low mid-range travel. Our cost was right in line with that, but we went for 13 months so it was slightly more expensive (but absolutely worth it for us). We used credit cards and local currency to pay for everything. To withdraw cash, we simply went to the ATM’s in each country. We got a SIM card in each country as well, so we could stay connected. Airalo is a new eSIM provider and we’ve used them a lot in the past 2 years, so I recommend them for cellular service, since they have been reliable and you don’t have to visit a store to pick up a SIM card. If you have any other questions please let me know! Cheers, Julie

Avatar for Gary Cook

What program do you use to create your maps to show your routing that you use on your website? They are easy to follow and very clean and uncluttered.

All of the maps in this post were made on . Cheers, Julie

Avatar for Sarah

Nice post!!

Avatar for Murray

Hi, my wife and I are intending to travel from the uk to New Zealand in the Autumn of 2024. Both taking a 3 to 6 months sabbatical. We definitely want to include Japan as well. This is the first proper day of my research so this site is a great find😄. Just starting to work out which way to travel – probably East to West and whether to RTW or separate one way tickets. Very excited!!

That’s so exciting that you are planning a long term trip. You picked two amazing countries to visit (New Zealand and Japan are two of our favorites!). Tim and I spent 5 weeks in New Zealand several months ago and we will be publishing lots of new content about this country, so keep checking back (later today or tomorrow I’ll be publishing an article about the best things to do in Auckland). We went west to east on our RTW trip but have found that traveling east to west is easier…we seem to have less jet lag in that direction and recover from longer flights quicker. Let me know if you have any questions as you plan your trip! Cheers, Julie

Avatar for piyush kumar

I am very much interested in the world tour for 13 months. Please send me the details

We don’t run tours or work as a tour operator.

Avatar for SK

Being an Indian, it saddens me that you did not initially enjoy your stay in India. Would you elaborate on the reasons more? Asking so that I can relay it back to improve on as much as it is in my capacity. Would also like to know about any positive experiences you had. Hope you don’t mind Thanks 🙂

We had a tough time in India for multiple reasons. I got Dengue Fever and Kara suffered a lot from homesickness. I don’t think that we were prepared for the amount of poverty that we saw in India (and prior to that in Nepal), which can be overwhelming when in one place over a month. However, we have gotten lots of suggestions over the years from Indians about where to go next (northern Indian and Goa and Kerala seem to be the most highly recommended places). I now look back on our time in India with great fondness. We found it to be challenging at times but India touched our lives in way that the other 34 countries we visited this year did not. India is high on the list of countries we would like to return to. We’ve been considering returning next year, along with Nepal and Bhutan. If it doesn’t happen next year, we will be back at some point and I am really looking forward to it.   Highlights for us were the food (particularly the food tour in Mumbai), meeting the very friendly people (although the massive photo sessions got to be a little frustrating), Varanasi at sunrise, being in Darjeeling during Diwali, walking through Old Delhi, seeing the temples and the Taj Mahal, and Jaisalmer.   Thank you for writing in and I hope this sheds some light on our experiences. If you have any other questions, please let me know. Cheers, Julie

Thank you for so being honest and open. Yes I agree with you that the shift in the economy does take a while to adjust. Being from Mumbai myself cannot stress more about exploring the food options all over India. Hope you get to enjoy more if you happen to visit the second time. Also want to thank you for your blogs, have followed many for the National parks in USA and looking forward to the upcoming ones too!

Avatar for Jason

We are considering doing the same type of year long trip. I am interested in how you packed and how much luggage you brought.

That’s very exciting that you are considering doing a long trip. Take a look at our Around The World Travel Guide, which has links to all of our articles about Around the World travel, including our packing list. Cheers, Julie

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A very professional and valid site

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Really liked reading your post. Surely a thing to do with my family!!

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Around the World Cruise

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Embark on a Princess World Cruise and experience the globe’s marquis ports and hidden gems. With carefully crafted itineraries to the most sought-after destinations, there’s no better escort to guide you through your travel bucket list than Princess Cruises.

2024 World Cruise From Los Angeles or Ft. Lauderdale

Take a roundtrip 111-day world cruise from Fort Lauderdale or Los Angeles on Island Princess and experience the journey of a lifetime. With 51 destinations in 27 countries across six continents there is so much to explore. Enjoy More Ashore Late-Night stays in 11 ports and an overnight stay in Dubai. We've added 12 new ports including popular Bali (Benoa), Naples (for Capri & Pompeii), Genoa (for Milan), and Lisbon to expand the adventure.

2024 World Cruise From Sydney, Brisbane, and Auckland

Sail aboard the Coral Princess for our longest-ever Australia-based World Cruise! This six-continent and 110-day world adventure visits popular destinations including Scandinavia & Baltic, Iceland, South America and transits the historic Panama Canal. Make seven maiden calls including Aarhus, Crete (Heraklion) and Edinburgh (South Queensferry, visit 47 destinations in 32 countries including overnight stays in New York and Lima (Callao), and spend more time ashore with eight late night stays including Barcelona, Berlin (Warnemunde), Boston, Copenhagen and Tahiti (Papeete).

2025 World Cruise From Los Angeles or Ft. Lauderdale

Our longest voyage ever sets sails in January 2025 as Island Princess embarks on an epic 116-day roundtrip World Cruise from both Ft. Lauderdale and Los Angeles, visiting 51 destinations in 26 countries across 6 continents. This adventure includes our first ever visits to historic Bar, Montenegro, and Taranto, Italy. Also maiden for our North American World Cruises are stops to the idyllic Greek islands of Patmos and Volos – for the Monasteries of Meteora.

2025 World Cruise From Auckland, Brisbane and Sydney

Crown Princess® – our largest ship to ever host a World Cruise – will be your escort on a wondrous 113-day adventure, visiting 49 destinations in 28 countries across six continents. Explore Asia, Indonesia, the Mediterranean and Northern Europe – including two ports in Greenland – the Americas and South Pacific. The 2025 itinerary travels over 33,500 miles and features countless UNESCO World Heritage sites plus other bucket-list attractions.

Why Take a World Cruise?

Collect a world of countless stories as you sail from continent to continent

Adventure of a lifetime

Nothing can beat the experience of a World Cruise. The camaraderie among guests, the shared experiences in fascinating ports across the globe, and the parties and celebrations on board and ashore all make this a true adventure that everyone should embark on at least once in their lifetime.

Exclusive experiences

Enjoy special activities unique to this epic voyage. Over 50 international guest entertainers keep you smiling; attend cocktail parties and themed deck parties, watch local folkloric shows, savor special officer dinners, commemorative take-home menus, cooking classes with Princess Cruises Chefs and much more.

Fresh flavors & global tastes

Cuisine is designed for fresh — prepared from scratch, using regionally sourced ingredients. In addition to the delicious signature dishes that Princess® is known for, you'll be treated to flavors and influences from the traditional cuisines of the destinations you are visiting, bringing a bit of the tantalizing tastes of the world on board.

Unforgettable ports of call

Not only will you encounter some of the world’s most revered sites and cities from Dubai to Sydney, you’ll have the opportunity to step ashore in lesser-frequented by ship ports, including Venice, and Mindelo, Cape Verde.

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World Cruise Travel Articles

Imagine yourself on a world cruise vacation to six continents, 25 countries, and 34 cruise destinations, making this the journey of a lifetime.

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If you are planning a cruise around the world, make sure you stop in Mumbai and Cochin, Indian and explore and experience the unique culture.

3 Cruise Activities That Give You an Up-close View of Dubai

Dubai — a city of the future with strong roots in its past — can best be experienced through cruise activities on world vacations with Princess Cruises.

Plan a Cruise Around the World and Discover 3 Exotic New Ports

Ready to take your most meaningful vacation yet? Plan a cruise around the world, and visit ports you may not know even existed.

A Beer Lover's Guide to a World Cruise

If you're a beer lover, you're in good company. On your next world cruise, you can sample the beer of cultures ranging from Sydney to London.

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Round the World Specialists

We create world tours, what would you do if you were to win the lottery” the most common response is:  “travel around the world”.

Taking a Round the World Tour is becoming easier and more convenient than ever before! Whether it’s for a Honeymoon, a Gap Year, a Career Break or that well deserved Trip of a Lifetime, our Team will plan the perfect experience for you .

WE DESIGN ITINERARIES AROUND THE WORLD AND COMPARE THE BEST RTW TICKETS, providing the perfect solution for your  Trip of a Lifetime!

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When I met you it was like putting wings to my dream.Perfect in helping me planning my RTWalways ready to give advices and listen to my 1000 questions.I suggest everyone to consult Matteo because your life will never be the same from the moment you start planning your RTW Stephan
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Dream Theater Announce 2022 Top of the World Tour Dates

dream theater GETTY 2020 live, Jordi Vidal/Redferns

Hot on the heels of their 15th studio album, October's A View From the Top of the World , prog-metal juggernaut Dream Theater have announced the rescheduled dates for their recently postponed Top of the World Tour. The dates — which will be opened, on U.S. stops, by Arch Echo and, on Canada stops, by Falset — will now kick off in Mesa, Arizona, on February 2nd and wrap in Austin, Texas, seven weeks later, on March 21st, after making major stops in L.A. and NYC, among other cities. The trek will mark the first live performances of music off A View From the Top of the World . Information on tickets for all upcoming shows (see the full itinerary below), as well as VIP packages, can be found at .

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Why Epcot is a must-visit park at Disney World during the holidays, according to travel experts

  • You might think the only highlight of Christmas at Disney World is Magic Kingdom.
  • But travel experts said visitors shouldn't miss out on Epcot Center.
  • It's home to magical events such as the Candlelight Processional and the cookie stroll.

Insider Today

You might think Magic Kingdom is the be-all and end-all of the Christmas season at Disney World, with highlights including Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, holiday parades, holiday fireworks, and snow raining down on Main Street USA.

But it's not the only park you should make time for during a vacation to Disney World during the holidays.

Three travel experts told Insider their favorite park during the holidays is actually Epcot , even calling it "the hidden gem" of the Disney World holiday season.

Here's why they love it.

The Festival of the Holidays brings together holidays from all over the world

The World Showcase at Epcot is known year-round for illustrating different nations' culture and heritage through architecture, decorations, food, arts, and entertainment. The 11 nations included are the US, the UK, France, Canada, Morocco, Mexico, Italy, Japan, Germany, China, and Norway.

During the Christmas season, the newly named Festival of Holidays allows guests to experience the "sights, sounds, and flavors" of holidays around the world, according to Disney Parks .

"It keeps getting bigger every year, and it's a time when the World Showcase really shines in terms of getting to learn about the various countries that are represented, and it gives you the warm fuzzies about holidays all over the world, as well as brings everybody together," Jill Knonenborg, a travel agent who specializes in Disney destinations, told Insider.

The Candlelight Processional is a once-in-a-lifetime experience

In terms of entertainment, you can't leave without experiencing the beauty of the Candlelight Processional, said Rachael Saldana, a Disney travel-planning expert at Allonsy Travel . It is one of the best-kept secrets of Disney World during the holidays, she added.

The Candlelight Processional is a retelling of the story of Jesus, so while the story will not be for everyone, the event does include a full orchestra, a full choir, and the chance to listen to a celebrity narrator.

The event, which is free with park admission, is held three times a night at the America Gardens Theatre, and this year, it will feature celebrity narrators including John Stamos, Eva Longoria, Audra McDonald, and Neil Patrick Harris, among others.

The holiday storytellers highlight each country's holiday season

The Candlelight Processional isn't the only entertainment at Epcot, according to Knonenborg, who shares her park advice with her 78,000 followers on TikTok .

Whether it's Father Christmas representing traditions in the UK, or the telling of La Befana, the good-natured witch who delivers gifts to children on the Eve of the Epiphany in Italy, holiday storytellers give short performances you can catch throughout the park.

"Each of the countries represented has a performer, an actor who is telling the story of that country's holiday tradition. It's just a really great way for families to do a little bit of 'funducation' on your holiday trip," she said.

The holiday cookie stroll is a scrumptious introduction to different countries

At more than 15 "Holiday Kitchens" throughout the park, Epcot makes treats to go along with visitors' holiday fun.

"There's something like 250,000 cookies they're going to be making for people to try from all different kinds of countries," Amber Travis, a Missouri-based Disney travel agent with Mickey Travels , told Insider.

There are official "cookie stroll" locations that guests can visit in the Festival Passport, which is a free pamphlet. After you purchase five cookies from any of the locations — for which you receive a corresponding stamp to go with each cookie — you can bring the complete passport to the Holiday Sweets & Treats Holiday Kitchen for a specialty cookie.

'Luminous: The Symphony of Us' is a new way to celebrate the holidays at Disney World

A new addition to Epcot's many holiday offerings is "Luminous: The Symphony of Us," a nighttime fireworks and laser show starting December 5, Travis said. It also corresponds with the Walt Disney 100th anniversary.

Ultimately, the experts told Insider, Epcot advertises a well-rounded holiday experience you can't get at Magic Kingdom and that you shouldn't miss out on if you're going for the ultimate holiday vacation at Disney World.

"Disney during the holidays just has a different feel," Saldana said, but at Epcot, "it's simply Christmas magic."

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