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Travel buzz

12 places to visit last-minute in 2021

Jul 01, 2021 by The Go Ahead Tours Team

After a long year of sticking close to home, it’s finally time to get out there again. The world is beginning to open up, and we’re beyond ready to explore it. So, we’ve rounded up the best places to travel in 2021.

Each of these 2021 travel destinations is open to travelers right now, and we have select summer departures available for all of them. So, if you’re itching for last-minute travel, or planning a trip for the fall, this list is for you.



Greece is known for its rich history, rugged ruins, and remarkable beauty. Between the Mediterranean beaches bathed in sunlight, ancient ruins teeming with legends, and villas bursting with local charm, it’s no wonder that Greece lands at the top of our list of where to travel in 2021.

You can explore the pristine beaches and traditional, whitewashed architecture of the Greek Islands, stare out at the ocean-blue roofs of Santorini, discover the heart of Europe’s oldest city in Athens, or walk cobblestone roads steeped in mythology in Delphi. Check out these traveler reviews and photos from Greece for 2021 travel inspiration. Opa!

Visit Greece on tour >



Nine million acres of rolling green hills should give you all the freedom you need to explore the world again. Get to know this beautiful island on a tour of its leading cities and natural wonders, from the rocky Burren to the mesmerizing Cliffs of Moher and the charming coastal city of Galway. You can even explore the farm-to-table food scene on our tour of Ireland’s culinary flavors and local traditions.

Ireland is one of the top 2021 travel destinations because the country is accepting vaccinated travelers. Most places are open and many attractions are outdoors, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. In fact, it’s even a great place for last-minute travel on your own. Check out the solo traveler’s guide to Ireland for tips on how to make the most of it.

Take a trip to Ireland >


U.S. national parks

Sometimes, the greatest trips are the ones in your own backyard. If you choose the national parks for your summer travel in 2021, the color, the wonder, and wildlife will make you see the U.S. in a whole new way.

The U.S. national parks are some of the best places to travel in 2021 because they’re so vast and, of course, they’re outdoors. As you gaze into the depths of the Grand Canyon, take in the beauty of untamed wilderness in Alaska, or stand in the shadows of the soaring peaks of the Rocky Mountains, you’ll get the fresh air you’ve craved over the past year while experiencing something completely new. Vaccinations aren’t required.

Explore our national parks tours >



10,000 waterfalls. 80,000 wild horses. 23 hours of summer sun. It all adds up to one incredible escape from the ordinary—something we could all benefit from right now.

Inhale fresh Icelandic air, tap into the country’s natural restorative powers, and discover geysers and waterfalls. There truly is nothing more refreshing, and no place more otherworldly. And if you choose Iceland for your summer travel in 2021, you’re in for warmer temperatures and sunshine that lasts (almost) all night. Find out more in our Iceland Travel Guide.

See Iceland on tour >


Costa Rica

There are so many reasons to love Costa Rica, and even more reasons to visit. You can snorkel with sea turtles, spot baby sloths, cruise for wild caiman, zipline, birdwatch, and eat all kinds of incredible foods—all in one day.

The country’s name translates as “Rich Coast”—and it’s no surprise, considering it’s home to over 500,000 different species of plants and animals! If you’re feeling weighed down with wanderlust, be sure to add this magical rainforest destination to your list of 2021 travel destinations. Check out the Go Ahead Travel Guide to Costa Rica for more ideas on what you can do.

Learn more about our Costa Rica trips >



Kenya’s vast landscapes are teeming with animals, from speedy cheetahs to majestic herds of zebra. So, if you’re wondering where to travel this summer, be sure you add this thrilling trip to your short list.

Travel from towering Mount Kenya to the wild expanses of the Maasai Mara National Reserve to witness the drama of the bush unfold around you. Tour a former coffee plantation, feed giraffes by hand, and watch for the famous Big Five of African safaris: leopards, rhinos, Cape buffalo, lions, and elephants. Check out our Kenya Travel Guide as you explore places to visit in 2021.

Experience our Kenya tours >



Say hola to travel once again! Spain is a true showcase of Andalusian mosques, Gothic churches, and Moorish castles. If you’re vaccinated, this architectural hot spot should be on your list of where to travel for 2021.

Barcelona and Madrid compete for the title of cultural capital, both boasting incredible art and building design. And don’t even get us started on the scrumptious Spanish cuisine! Read a Q&A with a Tour Director to dive deep into all the Spanish flavor.

See Spain on tour >



Croatia may not have been on your list of places to visit in 2021, but it should be. Sapphire waves, world-renowned wines, and centuries of rich history along the Adriatic Sea make it a trip for the ages.

While on tour in Croatia, see Dubrovnik’s storied city walls overlooking the pristine blue waters. Step back in time as you explore the impressive Diocletian’s Palace complex in seaside Split. Wander past emerald scenery and tranquil waterscapes in the famous Plitvice Lakes National Park. Check out our Croatia Travel Guide to learn what else you can experience on your trip.

Take a trip to Croatia >



Nestled along the Caribbean Sea in the northeastern corner of Central America sits a country that beckons beachgoers, history buffs, and nature lovers alike. Belize is home to one of the world’s healthiest barrier reefs, archaeological sites once at the center of Mayan civilization, and a lush rainforest just begging to be explored.

The country is accepting tourists without vaccinations, and spots are filling up fast.

Learn more about our trip to Belize >


New England

There’s no better time to visit New England than in the summer and fall. In the summer, you can slurp up clam chowder and feast on lobster rolls as you explore the coasts of Maine and Massachusetts. And just picture all the vibrant leaves you can peep on tour in the fall!

Take in New England’s scenic landscapes, quaint towns, and iconic cities as you make your way from the mountains to the coast. If you live west of the Mississippi, it’ll seem like a whole different world.

Explore New England >



Find paradise on Earth on Oahu, the Big Island & Maui. From the pristine beaches to the towering volcanoes and even rainforests with hidden waterfalls, Hawaii’s natural beauty is absolutely spellbinding.

Sip local coffee near historic craters in Kona, pay tribute to those lost in Pearl Harbor in Oahu, discover Maui’s colorful aquatic life, learn about the Polynesian heritage, or explore lush forests bursting with wildlife. Cue the ukulele music.

Experience Hawaii on tour >



Bring on the Merlot, the châteaux, and the glittering Eiffel Tower lights. This is your chance to eat, drink, and (finally) feel très magnifique.

Whether you’re drawn to the grandiose palace of Versailles, the incredible museums of Paris, or the expansive lavender fields in Provence, it’s hard to deny that France is something special. And as of recently, the country is accepting vaccinated travelers. Explore the history, the fabulous flavors, the fashion, the sights, and the sounds of this phenomenal country for a long-awaited breath of French air. Allons-y!

Visit France on our tours >

Don't forget to check out our list of trips with summer departures for the latest updates! What are your travel plans for summer 2021? Share with us on our Facebook page.

Travel trends
About the author | The Go Ahead Tours Team
We’re a team of passionate travel experts, dedicated to helping people explore the world. From inspiring stories to tips for an amazing trip, the topics we cover are all about getting you out there and making discoveries.

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