International travel is coming back to life as travel restrictions are lifted, and people can finally head out into the world again. Before you plan a trip, remember that travel restrictions may still apply in some places, and it’s always a good idea to check with the State Department and CDC and consider their warnings before booking your trip.
With that said, here are the best places to travel this year.
1. Mexico City, Mexico
Head to Mexico City for its vibrant nightlife, art, and food scenes. Check out the Xochimilco floating gardens tour for a ride through the canals and floating gardens, or take a hot air balloon ride over the pyramids at Teotihuacan.
Belize, on the northeastern coast of Central America, is home to many ancient Mayan sites and is one of the most biodiverse countries in the region. You’ll find tropical jungles and wildlife preserves teeming with local flora and fauna. New hotels are popping up in the region, and the country’s tourism board is building pathways for travelers to support the local indigenous communities. There’s a lot to do here, from snorkeling and diving along the second-largest coral reef system in the world to visiting charming, laid-back seaside villages like Hopkins and Dangriga.
3. Huacachina, Peru
When most people hear Peru, they think of Machu Picchu. But just outside the busy city of Ica, about 200 miles south of Lima, is a coastal desert town called Huachchina. It’s an oasis in the desert and home to the second-highest sand dune in the world. This place is great for thrill seekers interested in Jeep rides, sand boarding, and dune buggying through the desert. It’s best to get to the dune early to catch the sunrise and beat the crowds.
Whether you want to paddle a kayak in a crystal-clear lagoon or indulge in delicious local chocolate, Grenada is the place to be. This three-island country in the Caribbean has five chocolate factories and is known for its local seafood and fresh, aromatic spices. Foodies should try Grenadian specialties like lambie and oildown, a stew featuring breadfruit and coconut milk. Hang out on the beach or take the ferry to Petit Martinique and Carriacou, and don’t miss the first underwater sculpture park in the world, where you can snorkel or dive among the 82 life-size sculptures.
The South Coast of the Caribbean island country has seen a spike in luxurious hotel options, and you can stop by the Barbados Boardwalk for a swim with a stunning ocean view. This area has also developed a buzzing foodie scene. Whether you’re looking for something light or want to dine waterside, there are plenty of options to choose from. And don’t miss the open-air Worthing Square Food Garden, where you’ll find live music and twenty pop-up restaurants serving global cuisine.
6. Alberta, Canada
Alberta has a wide range of museums, festivals, parks, and urban areas to explore, and with the Badlands and the Canadian Rockies, it’s an excellent place for outdoor lovers, too. Learn about the indigenous culture at Metis Crossing, take a train ride through the cities and mountains, enjoy a river boat tour and glamping experience on the secluded islands of the North Saskatchewan River, or enjoy the awe of the Dark Sky Festival every fall.
7. Barcelona, Spain
In another city with a stellar foodie scene, Barcelona, you can enjoy delicious local dishes like paella or tapas, then find a local spot or touristy bar and enjoy a drink on the roof terrace. Head to the Gothic Quarter for a walk down the historic cobblestone streets, then head to the main beach for relaxing waterfront views.
Head to Uganda for a truly life-changing experience at Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, where you can take a cruise down the Kaziga Channel River and spy elephants, hippos, alligators, and buffalo or go on a trek with a family of 32 chimpanzees. For a change of scenery, heat to Wildwaters Lodge, a resort on a private island on the Nile River where you can go whitewater rafting, kayaking, fishing, ziplining, and horseback riding.
If you were ever curious about traveling to the Middle East, Jordan is a popular destination. The country has been investing in repaving highways and improving access to popular tourist sites. Start in Amman, then head to the Dead Sea to float in the water at the lowest point on the planet. Hear out into the desert to Wadi Rum and camp under the stars, then head to the Petra, om of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World.
10. Victoria, Australia
Australia is open to tourists again, and Victoria is an excellent destination if you want to see what the country has to offer without the crowds. Victoria is home to Melbourne, where you’ll find stunning new resorts and hotels. Take the Hidden Secrets Tour to learn more about the insider spots you can’t miss, take a day trip to Phillip Island to catch the Penguin Parade, or spend a few days in the Yarra Valley wine country.
If you’re itching to get back out there, these ten destinations offer exciting adventures, breathtaking views, and life-changing meals that will help you make up for lost time. Remember to check with the State Department and CDC for any warnings and travel restrictions, then start booking your next big adventure.
Any opinions are those of Thomas Fleishel and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Every investor’s situation is unique and you should consider your investment goals, risk tolerance and time horizon before making any investment. Prior to making an investment decision, please consult with your financial advisor about your individual situation.