All the travel destinations we dream of visiting – and you will want to travel to – if the world opens back up in 2021 after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Let’s be honest, it’s been a weird year. It’s impossible to look around and see something that hasn’t been impacted by the coronavirus. Restaurants, sports, bars, and the list goes on and on. One of the industries that have felt the effects the most has been, the one closest and most dear to my heart, the travel industry.
It’s not a secret, traveling is my first love. The thing that I discovered in my early 20s that made me feel fully alive for the first time. I know I’m not alone in my love affair with travel. With everything else going on in the world, not being able to travel doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but it has made 2020 hard for those of us who are used to always being on the go. It almost feels like a part of us is missing.
But there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel and if you’re anything like me, you’re adding ideas to your bucket list and counting down the days until COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted and you’re free to go somewhere again.
With that hopeful thought in mind, I decided to put together my list of the top dream destinations for when we are allowed to travel again. Everyone has their ways of picking places and evaluating destinations. The biggest things I considered when putting together my list of the top 10 post coronavirus travel destinations were:
The Travel Community
The more you travel the more people you meet. The more people you meet the more you hear first-hand experiences about different locations (both good and bad) that you store away for your next trip. Each top 10 destination is a place that either I’ve been to, loved, and want to go back (a rarity for me) or has come highly rated from a traveler I know and trust.
Once the quarantine ends, I want to do all the things I haven’t been allowed to do for the past 10+ weeks. Each destination has something for everyone, but each offers quite a few ‘adventure activities’ which if you ask me, is just what the doctor ordered after over 2 months of being shut-in.
I don’t care what people say, the weather is important. No one wants to go somewhere where you have to sit inside all day because it’s too cold, too wet, or so hot and going outside feels like stepping into an oven. The last thing I’m trying to do on my post coronavirus vacation is quarantine myself because of mother nature and poor planning.
Simply put, I’m not made of money. When I pick a place I’m always aware of how expensive things will be once I get there. If two places are equal and my dollar will go further in one place over the other that’s usually the one I choose. It’s tough to not enjoy a place when each time you see the bill you just laugh, shake your head, and can’t give them your money fast enough.
North Coast, Egypt
When Egyptians go on holiday they go to the North Coast and for good reason. It’s incredible and not a place many non-Egyptians know about. I was lucky enough to go last year with some of my Egyptian friends and simply put, it’s a white sand beach paradise.
It’s an area of Egypt made of multiple cities and resorts on the Mediterranean Sea. Along with great weather, it offers all the water sports and beach activities you can dream of. When you pair that with the beach clubs and top-notch nightlife it’s exactly the kind of place to flee to once the quarantine ends.
While it may be expensive, by Egyptian standards, it’s still a super affordable option to any Western and is truly a hidden gem that you have to see for yourself.
La Fortuna, Costa Rica
You could go anywhere in Costa Rica and have the time of your life. The country is beautiful, the people are welcoming, and the biodiversity is second to none.
By staying in La Fortuna you have easy access to the things that make Costa Rica so special: Tenorio Volcano National Park – Rio Celeste (the brilliant blue waterfall and great hiking), Arenal Volcano, Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve, and the Hanging Bridges.
It’s okay If hiking to a crystal blue waterfall through a national forest isn’t your thing, because Costa Rica offers even more. It is one of the best places for white water rafting in the world, has some of the best coffee plantations (and tours), and a top rate jungle cruise where you’ll see crocodiles, sloths, and monkeys. When you finally decide it’s time to ‘relax’ you’re a short drive to the Pacific Ocean where you can sit on the beach and do nothing but listen to the waves.
If you enjoy animals and being surrounded by nature you may not find a better place to break out of your quarantine than La Fortuna, Costa Rica.
Ella, Sri Lanka
Ella is a laid back town in Sri Lanka’s highlands and away from the country’s famous beaches, known for its mountain forests, tea plantations, and cool climate. The Ella area is home to caves, cascades, and secluded temples, but Ella offers so much more. Ella is an outdoor lovers paradise and a perfect place to go after being quarantined for the past few months.
You’ll find the Sri Lankan people amongst the kindest and most genuine in the world and as a Sri Lanka backpackers mainstay, you’ll be sure to meet like-minded travelers as well.
From scaling the heady heights of Ella Rock, seeing the famous Nine Arch Bridge; standing on the edge of the roaring Diyaluma Falls (the second tallest in the country), winding through the tea plantations and mountains passes on the famous Kandy to Ella train; many of the top things to do in Sri Lanka are all found in or around Ella which make it the perfect place to check out.
Cape Town, South Africa
South Africa – a land of stark contrasts. And nowhere are those contrasts more noticeable than in what is known as the ‘Mother City’ – Cape Town. Nestled between the folds of the iconic Table Mountain and the icy waters of the Atlantic ocean, this picturesque city was once a trading point for the Dutch East India company.
Today, Cape Town has become a vibrant city, with a large variety of cultures that have been crossed with others and adapted to create its own ‘Ubuntu’ style. Traveling around the city and its outlying areas, you will feel strangely at home, but also very much like a foreigner in a foreign land. You will feel it on every corner – that buzz of something coming.
Whether you hear it in the echo of drums from street musicians, taste it in the delicious unique foods, smell it in the salty air along the Waterfront, or see it in the warm smiles and friendly welcoming of the people, you will know that – although the past is never far here, the future is something to look forward to.
There are very few places in the world where you would be able to wake up in the morning in time for an early morning surf, have breakfast and a stroll through one of the largest shopping malls in the southern hemisphere, spend your afternoon tasting some of the finest wines that the world has to offer in the heart of the mountains, and have dinner while on safari looking for the big five.
Cape Town has that and much more on offer. You should see it for yourself.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
It’s easily the most popular and “grammable” travel destination for millennials these days and for good reason. The Amalfi Coast comprises several quaint and charming coastal towns stacked along the edge of Italy’s Sorrentine peninsula. Aside from the breathtaking beauty of this tucked-away gem, one of the most unique characteristics of the coast is the vertical farming of, easily, the most lemons you have ever seen.
From hiking The Path of Gods in Ravello to enjoying an afternoon tasting all the gelato you can handle while boutique shopping in Positano, the coast holds something for everyone. You can easily bounce around the various coastal towns (traveled by ferry or bus).
Grab a ferry or book a private boat to Capri and enjoy a view of instant serenity as you jet along the Tyrrhenian Sea. Filled with majestic yachts and the most magnificent grottos, there won’t be a dull moment. If you’re traveling on a budget, the towns encase a range of pricing in accommodation and shopping.
Once the quarantine ends and you’re free to travel – take it from me, the Amalfi Coast is one place you’ll never forget!
Do not wait longer: Here’s how to travel to Italy without leaving your home
Grand Tetons/ Jackson Hole, USA
Sometimes you want to get away by really getting away. The Grand Tetons offer people who fell in love with isolation a more adventurous way to keep up their new way of life. They are part of the Rocky Mountains and run about 40 miles through Wyoming (the nearest town being Jackson Hole) and is one of my favorite places to go in the United States.
I’ve gone a few times over the years and always leave enjoying it more and more. The Tetons are a hiker and camper’s dream. You can spend your days hiking through the forest scenery and up the mountain range, on Jenny or Jackson Lake fishing, paddleboarding or kayaking, or enjoying a wild & scenic rafting tour on Snake River.
It’s one of the best places to get away from it all and reconnect with yourself through mother nature.
Denarau Island, Fiji
The ultimate beach bum destination. Nestled among the palm trees and sandy beaches, you’ll find world-class resorts, restaurants, and plenty of things to do if laying on the beach isn’t your thing. Port Denarau may be a little island, but it’s larger than life and a perfect place to soak up the sun and relax.
You’ll find amazing resorts whose entire mission is to pamper you and ensure you are having the time of your life. They mix and match their amenities allowing a wide range of choices in activities, swimming pools, and cuisine.
On Denarau Island, you’ll have easy access to scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, parasailing, and Fiji’s best golf courses. Denarau Island, Fiji is a great place to go if you want to focus more on relaxing than being constantly on the go.
Cartagena is a blend of old Colombia and new. Traditional Castellano and new world. It has world-renowned restaurants, while still having homemade Colombian specialties which allow you to get an authentic feel for the Colombian culture.
The walled city is a world-class place with amazing architecture and beautiful churches, hotels, and private residences. It’s a place you can wander around the streets for hours just taking in and appreciating the buildings and the vibe of the city. It’s the best place in Colombia for amazing events set across picturesque backdrops, chiva tours, and salsa dancing until the sun comes up.
While the city itself is incredible, if you want a quick escape, it is close to numerous beaches and many islands only an hour trip by boat. Truly an amazing place.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
When most people think of Thailand they think of tropical beaches, ornate temples, and the Full Moon Party. But Chiang Mai is pretty much the opposite of that. Tucked away in Northern Thailand, it’s a charming place known for its stunning jungle.
While I love a good beach, Chiang Mai is just special. If I had to live in Thailand, I would choose to live in Chiang Mai. Everything about the place is authentic and makes you feel like you’re in Thailand. It’s not an overwhelming city that’s easy to get lost in and has started to follow the Western culture.
It’s mostly been unchanged by time and offers unique ways to fill your days. The cooking classes are top-notch and the jungle allows plenty of space to explore.
Related: My Bucket List and Ideas for Yours
Canguu Bali, Indonesia
It’s no secret how much I love and adore Bali.
Bali is made up of friendly people (both local and expats), a thriving culture, and a diverse and wonderful cuisine (with lots of vegan options) it’s hard to run out of things to do, it’s chock full of adventure from volcano trekking to quad biking and snorkeling to world-class surfing and so much more.
It’s filled with yoga studios and funky cafes, it has crystalline beaches & iconic rice fields. There are ultra-hip stores to go shopping at or places to wind down and get pampered. The options are truly endless.
Bali is an experience of feelings, feelings you get from little everyday things, everyday sights, sounds, and smells that leave a lasting impression making you never want to leave. It’s the little things that count, that create the journey and for that reason, you need to go there to experience the true Bali. Bali is raw beauty. It has a certain magic to it that makes it feel like home.
That’s my list of the top 10 post Coronavirus dream destinations. As the quarantine and shelter restrictions are lifted it’s important to get back to the things which make each of us feel whole and happy. Regardless of which destination you chose, I guarantee you will have an amazing trip and make some incredible memories.
Stay Gold and, meanwhile, make the most out of your home country!