Planning is part of the fun of taking a trip, and it turns out more people are actually planning travel for 2022 than actually traveled in 2019.
But Covid-19 case counts, safety protocols, quarantine restrictions, and cleanliness are all key factors in travel decision making in 2022, according to a January survey by TripAdvisor and Ipsos Mori. In the survey, 71% of Americans said they are likely to travel for leisure in 2022.
But these days, travel might be for those with the most patience and determination. In early April, more than 3,500 U.S. flights were canceled and thousands more delayed over a weekend, thanks to storms in Florida and other issues, affecting at least 37,000 travelers, the Associated Press reported. These kinds of snags are more common as major airlines deal with increasing demand and staffing shortages, travel magazine Afar reports. To complicate your plans further, U.S. passport renewals can take up to 11 weeks.
But the ever-optimistic travel industry continues to leap brightly forward, seeking new marketing opportunities in what the Tripadvisor survey found to be travelers’ increased appetite for seeing new places, having authentic local experiences, and learning about history and culture.
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So whether you’re planning a trip for real, or still just toying with the idea, here are Tripadvisor’s best-of-the-best world destinations, with something for everyone—beaches, history, local culture and even a couple of places where you won’t need a passport.
1. Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
This island in the Mediterranean Sea just off the south-east coast of Spain has beaches, mountains, fishing villages and, of course, delicious food.
The Majorca Cathedral, a Gothic cathedral with additional work by the architect Antonio Gaudi in the early 20th century, is built over the city walls of Palma de Mallorca’s old town.
The ancient city of Cairo is teeming with life and rich with history and culture.
Cairo is your jumping-off point to the Giza pyramids and the Great Sphinx, which is at least 4,500 years old.
Other top sights in Cairo are the Egyptian Museum and the Khan el-Khalili, a famous bazaar in the center of the city.
3. Rhodes, Greece
With everything from beach resorts to ancient ruins, Rhodes is one of the most popular destinations in Greece. It’s the largest of 12 Dodecanese islands and close to Turkey. The city of Rhodes is a well-preserved medieval city.
Don’t miss the The Acropolis of Lindos on Rhodes, pictured here.
4. Tulum, Mexico
The formerly walled city of Tulum on the Yucatan peninsula was one of the last to be built by the Mayans, and its archaeological sites are well preserved, with the ancient castle built on a cliff looming over the town. There are beaches and a nature reserve, too.
The reef off the coast of Tulum is considered to be the second largest reef system in the world, after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Pictured is the gate to the Ahau Tulum hotel.
5. Dubrovnik, Croatia
The city in southern Croatia sits on the turquoise Adriatic Sea and the historic, pedestrian-only old town is enclosed by a 16th-century wall.
You may also recognize Dubrovnik as one of the filming locations for the fictional city Kings Landing in “Game of Thrones.”
6. Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain
Ibiza has more than 100 miles of coastline and around 50 beaches to choose from. The old town is a Unesco heritage site. Ibiza is known for its nightlife.
7. Natal, Brazil
Natal sits on the coast of Brazil and is known for its coastal sand dunes and a 16th-century Portuguese fortress at the mouth of the Potengi River.
The 30-foot sand dunes near Natal are vast and constantly changing and visitors can go sand-boarding, take a dune buggy ride or a camel ride tour. Don’t miss the star-shaped fortress, constructed in 1598, pictured here.
8. Arusha, Tanzania
Arusha is located in the Great Rift Valley, and a good jumping-off point for taking a safari or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
From Arusha you can book a tour to Serengeti National Park and Tarangire National Park, and see the massive wildebeest migration and other extraordinary wildlife.
9. Goreme, Turkey
Goreme is the gateway to the Goreme National Park and Cappadocia, a Unesco World Heritage Site. Stay in a cave hotel, eat in a cave restaurant, and see cave churches dating to the 10th and 11th centuries.
You can even take a hot-air balloon ride over the Cappadocian valley.
10. Santorini, Greece
The pictures say it all—Santorini is the beautiful Greek island with whitewashed buildings and blue domes that match the azure waters of the Aegean Sea. Much of its landscape is formed by a volcanic eruption about 3,600 years ago. Water from the Aegean Sea rushed in, filling the void and forming what is now the 7.5-mile lagoon.
11. Paraty, Brazil
Paraty is another coastal city in Brazil, this one about 125 miles south of Rio de Janeiro. According to TripAdvisor, the small colonial town’s center is a national historic monument with well-preserved buildings and pedestrian-only cobblestone streets with the occasional monkey roaming about.
The Caribbean island has ideal weather and beautiful beaches and is a popular vacation destination with ample resorts, restaurants and activities to suit anyone, whether it’s hiking, water sports, or just chillin’ with a beer on the beach. Check out the pristine Eagle Beach, Aruba’s widest beach, where sea turtles nest.
13. Split, Croatia
Split sits on Croatia’s Adriatic coast in the Dalmatia region. Its history is a tapestry of being under Roman, Venetian, Austrian, French, Italian and Yugoslav control. Check out the Klis Fortress, a centuries-old fortress with epic views. Some scenes from “Game of Thrones” were filmed here, too, so if you’re a fan, look for a tour.
14. Playa del Carmen, Mexico
In Mexico’s state of Quintana Roo on the Caribbean, Playa del Carmen beach features white sand, swimming and water sports, with plenty of tourist amenities and resorts. There are underwater caves and plentiful sea life, making this a top destination for divers. It’s also a good jumping-off point to visit the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza.
15. Hawaii’s Big Island
Hawaii’s biggest island is home to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where you can sometimes see lava bubbling off the cliff-edge into the sea. There’s a rainy side and a dry side to the island, and plentiful beaches and resorts.
16. Luxor, Egypt
One of the oldest cities in the world, Luxor, in the famous Valley of the Kings, sits on the Nile River on the site of ancient Thebes, the pharaohs’ capital at the peak of their power during the 16th–11th centuries B.C. There are many ancient ruins to see here, including the Temple of Karnak, the tomb of Queen Nefertari, and the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut.
17. Dominican Republic
The diverse Caribbean island is two hours from Miami and less than four hours from New York. It’s a lush tropical island paradise with nearly 1,000 miles of coastline, and ample beaches, nightlife, resorts and opportunities for dining, recreation and eco-tourism.
18. Charleston, South Carolina
There’s good reason Charleston makes all the lists for best cities. The historic Southern city has friendly locals, beautiful architecture, and great shopping and dining.
19. St Martin / St Maarten
The Dutch side of the Caribbean island is called Sint Maarten and the French side Saint Martin. The binational island offers a multicultural experience and much more that beautiful beaches.
20. North Malé Atoll
This chain of about 50 palm-shaded, white sand islands in the Maldives are remote enough to give you that “Robinson Crusoe” experience, according to TripAdvisor, but there are increasingly more stylish, upscale accommodations here.
21. Zanzibar Island, Tanzania
There’s evidence of trade with Zanzibar going back over 4,000 years ago, and likely people lived here 20,000 years ago. Traders from Arabia came to Zanzibar as early as the 1st century AD. Today, many visit the island for its five-star resorts. Stone Town is the historical capital, and a Unesco world heritage site, and there are several other historical sites to visit.
22. La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
This small town in Costa Rica is a gateway to Arenal Volcano National Park where there are two volcanoes, one of them, Arenal, is still quite active. The spas in La Fortuna are fed by natural hot springs, and for the more adventurous, there’s opportunities for hiking, waterfall rappelling and whitewater rafting.
Read more about these travel destinations at Tripadvisor.