If you’re like us, you’ve probably manically scanned Google Flights and Instagram waiting for international travel to return enough to the point where it makes sense to start seriously thinking about making plans. Now that some destinations are reopening (without multi-week quarantine) it feels like that time is coming back.
In an effort to help you narrow down your list, we’ve put together 10 of the destinations we’ve been waiting for – whether old favorites or new ones that have been on our list for some time. Each brings something a little different to the conversation and would surely be a fine choice for an excursion in the coming year.
If you like to travel to eat, Bologna has to be a top priority in the new year. The main city in northern Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region is a bounty of fresh produce, great pasta, cheeses and so much. It’s easy to get lost in the city’s porticos (recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and even easier to get lost in the rolling hills outside city limits (perhaps en route to Ferrari or Lamborghini HQ).
Colombia has some of the easier travel requirements right now, and it’s spurring a reignition of interest in the South American destination. Whether you’re considering the city life of Bogota or the historical lore of Medellin and Cali, there’s something for everyone and it’s often a reasonably-priced flight away.
It often feels like Ireland gets overshadowed by England, but we’re here to tell you to make your plans to visit in the new year. There’s plenty of wide open space outside one or two main cities and there’s so much to explore. Plus, Aer Lingus has expanded service in the US, making Dublin and Shannon within practical reach.
We’re being a bit aspirational, but we expect travel to resume to Australia some time in the new year. We can’t wait because places like Melbourne and Brisbane have been on our list for years and we love the distance because it forces you to spend a couple of weeks and really sink your teeth into the culture and spirit of the country.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico has seen its fair share of natural disasters over the past decade, but the culture and vibrancy of the country still reigns. San Juan is a great place to start with a taste of Caribbean history (and no passport needed!) Outside the capitol is the El Yunque National Forest, an expansive tropical rainforest waiting to be explored.
Here’s the thing about Israel: it’s not for the faint of heart. Tel Aviv, its capital, has an electric nightlife among a decidedly younger population and the rolling desert outside of the large cities begs to be explored. Jerusalem is also an essential visit as one of those places where the history reels you in.
Our country’s natural wonders have only grown in popularity over the last two years, and there are few better places to experience them than in Maine. Whether you choose an exploration of Acadia National Park or a fall visit around the stunning color changes, there are no shortage of photogenic options here to fill up your feed in a hurry.
Marseille is French, by definition, but has been a landing spot for immigrants from throughout the region for hundreds of years. The result is a melting pot of African, Arabic and European culture that gets a welcome glow from the Mediterranean sun. The streets are a bit crooked and the city is a bit rougher around the edges from those centuries of international trade, but that’s what makes it so compelling – there’s much to explore beneath the surface.
We’re fans of a great travel deal and Copa Airlines’ Panama Stopover is reason enough to plan a visit. You essentially get a free add-on of 1-7 days to your total itinerary with free rein to explore all of the country has to offer. We plan on starting in Panama City, then heading out to one of the many protected natural areas within its borders.
We’d be remiss not to mention one of our favorite getaways from our Los Angeles team. About 90 minutes north of the city, this peaceful enclave provides that respite and serenity for a weekend (or a week). It’s an excellent add-on to an LA visit, especially for those who only see the edge of the Los Padres National Forest from afar and never actually get to dive in.