Searching for the best places to travel? We’ve got your list right here! We combined the top destinations to visit with the best places to travel each month to bring you the ultimate twelve-country travel guide for 2021 and 2022.
Bask in the sun of a warm winter getaway
Looking to get away in January? We get that. Beat the chilly weather with a mid-winter jaunt to balmy Australia to start the year off right. Golden beaches and winter sun make Australia a top place to travel in 2021 and 2022, but these are just two enticing aspects of a trip to the Land Down Under. Sydney dazzles with its world-famous sights, but make sure you leave time to get to the beach! In our travel guide to Sydney, staffer Chloe recommends walking from Coogee to Bondi Beach. “It’s a super popular walk and so beautiful!” she said.
World-class snorkeling awaits further up the northeast coast at the Great Barrier Reef. Plus, the extraordinary vistas in the national parks will inspire you when you visit on our New Year’s Eve in Australia and New Zealand tour.
Soak up the Carnival atmosphere in Italy
Italy is always a must-see travel destination in Europe and our Rome, Florence & Venice Carnival tour in February provides the quintessential Italian experience. First, you can buff up on your history in Rome and admire the famous architecture. Then, head to Florence to soak up the city’s artsy vibes and top-tier shopping scene. Anna traveled on tour with us to Italy and said “Florence was my favorite city—it had so much character and so many markets and shops.”
After that, it’s off to Venice. Explore the picturesque canals and historic stone bridges. You also get to see the sophisticated city loosen up as they celebrate the days leading up to Lent during the annual Carnival.
Experience Saint Patrick’s Day in the Emerald Isle
With soaring coastal cliffs and lush green landscapes, Ireland is undoubtedly one of the world’s must-see places in any season. Visit in March, however, and become a part of Ireland’s beloved national holiday, St. Patrick’s Day. Explore historic Dublin and witness the legendary St. Patrick’s Day Parade before heading to the breathtaking southern countryside on the St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland: Traditions of the Emerald Isle tour.
Beat the high-season hustle with an off-season tour
Ever-popular Spain sees a dip in tourists in early spring which makes it one of the best places to travel in the off-season. On the Barcelona, Madrid & Seville Tour, hit famous landmarks like the Sagrada Família, Royal Palace, and historic city of Córdoba—all boasting smaller crowds than the bustling high season. Or, you can really take advantage of the low season with a Grand Tour of Spain, traversing over a half-dozen cities while dipping into the country’s rich culture, impressive history, and tasty cuisines.
Lounge on quiet beaches and feast on fresh local food
There’s definitely something to be said for the healthy Mediterranean diet of locally grown fruit, fresh seafood, and homemade olive oil. A visit to Greece in harvest season does not disappoint, especially if you’re looking forward to the freshest in-season produce. This makes May a prime time for the Food & Wine: A Taste of Greece tour, starting in the culinary capital of Thessaloniki and finishing up with the seasonal flavors of Crete.
If blazing sun, azure seas, and sparsely populated beaches are calling your name, then Mykonos, Santorini & Crete are also must-visit places in 2021. Island hop around the Aegean Sea and balance your time between sunbathing and discovering some of the world’s most significant historical sites.
Get in on the action of the Tour de France
One of the must-see travel destinations in 2021, France shines under a whole new light in June when it hosts one of the biggest sporting events in Europe. Experience the electric buzz that comes with hosting the Tour de France while you take a Grand Tour of France yourself. Lounge in luxury on the Riviera, taste your favorite red wine in Bordeaux, and marvel at the various UNESCO-listed and architectural wonders along the way. But if Paris is your one true love, settle in the City of Light and experience the romantic charm and artistic mastery that made this city famous.
Witness the world’s biggest sporting event
Imagine yourself in the middle of a global celebration as you cheer on world-class athletes in Tokyo. A visit to Japan this summer includes the chance to experience all the gold medal moments up close and personal as part of the Japan 2021 tour. Attend sporting events, tour the EF Village, and experience a worldwide event that few travelers ever attend.
Japan is also a great destination to visit if you like to participate in local traditions, like a guided Zen meditation or a tea ceremony in Tokyo. For more inspiration, check out all the best things to do in Tokyo in 48 hours.
Enjoy an iconic Scottish Military Tattoo
Full of outdoor attractions, Scotland is a top place to travel in 2021. An August tour offers the best chance for warm weather, which is ideal for soaking up the glorious countryside, trekking in the Highlands, and wandering around ancient castles.
For an iconic Scottish experience, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is a must-see event, hosted annually in August. Witnessing the world’s best martial bands and dancers as they perform under the glow of the lights at Edinburgh Castle is a definite highlight of the Scotland & Edinburgh Military Tattoo tour.
Clink glasses with beer-lovers
September travel means joining the world’s only original Oktoberfest. These Special Events Tours take you through some of the most scenic and must-see travel destinations in Europe. Raise your stein and toast with the locals in Munich at the biggest folk and beer celebration in the world. Factor in Swiss mountains, Bavarian forests, and medieval castles and you’ll soon agree that the Oktoberfest: Germany, Switzerland & Austria tour is a total bucket-lister.
Speaking of bucket list experiences, how does attending a once-in-a-decade performance in the Bavarian Alps sound? The Oberammergau 2022 Tour grants you access to attend the world-renowned Passion Play, which dates back to 1623. The townspeople act in the play as they tell stories from the Old and New Testament. After that, hop from castle, to palace, to cathedral as you make your way up the center of Germany and finish in Berlin.
Hunt for truffles in Turin
Northern Italy is one of the best places to travel in 2021 if your goal is to indulge in regional culinary delights. On the Food & Wine: Piedmont & Tuscany tour, peruse lively markets, taste wine at secluded vineyards, and try your hand as a chocolatier in the chocolate capital of the world, Turin. The cherry on top is a visit to the Alba White Truffle Fair, where the truffle search gets underway with an expert hunter and keen-smelling canine. After the hunt, it’s time to refuel with local goodies at the fair.
Catch the northern lights in a winter wonderland
Iceland is a top place to travel in 2021 for any nature lover, and luckily, it’s just a quick flight across the Atlantic. Iceland offers a unique winter getaway filled with stunning landscapes, active volcanoes, geothermal wonders, and world-class views of the northern lights. November is an ideal time for the Iceland: Reykjavik & Northern Lights tour. The dark winter months provide the best backdrop to view the Aurora Borealis, the mystical natural phenomena that lights up the sky with an array of colors. Hear from Tour Director Fiffi about how to spot and take a photo of the northern lights in this live, interactive Online Escape.
While on tour, you also have a chance to explore the bustling Icelandic capital. In our Iceland Travel Guide, staffer Paula said, “Reykjavik is a small city, which makes it super easy to explore. There are tons of great restaurants and shops, especially on Laugavegur Street.”
Get into the spirit with Europe’s world-famous Christmas Markets
Nothing defines the holiday season like sparkling lights, mulled wine, seasonal handicrafts, and bustling Christmas markets. Put Europe on your list as one of the best places to travel in December 2021 or 2022, and prepare to get swept away in holiday spirit. Whether you choose to market hop through historic Germany or crisscross through Eastern Europe, our Christmas Market tours are all about spreading holiday cheer… and buying souvenirs. Our Tour Consultant, Emily, goes in depth on all the goodies she collected while on tour in Eastern Europe.