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Panorama skyline view of Cairo, Egypt
AlexAnton | Adobe Stock

10 of the Best Destinations to Travel to in 2022

SmarterTravel

Travel in 2021 has been characterized by a focus on domestic trips and some (limited) international excursions. As we look to 2022 with the pandemic (hopefully) fading into the distance, many popular tourism destinations are starting to reopen, offering intrepid travelers a great opportunity to explore them before mass tourism returns. Here are the 10 best destinations to visit in 2022. 

All of the destinations in this list are either already open, or expected to open in 2022, to fully vaccinated tourists from the US. However, given the fast-changing dynamic of the pandemic, it is recommended that you check official sources for information on entry requirements both when booking and closer to your departure date.

Australia & New Zealand

The Sydney Opera House (left) and Queenstown, New Zealand (right)
lhboucault | Adobe Stock & FreezeFrames | Adobe Stock

These two far-flung countries have been closed to foreign travelers for almost two years. Now that they have abandoned their ‘COVID-zero approach’ to the pandemic, they will soon be welcoming to their shores tourists from abroad.

Australia, being almost the same size as the 48 contiguous U.S. states, offers an array of travel experiences, from cosmopolitan city stays in Sydney and Melbourne, to yachting out to the Great Barrier Reef, and excursions through the vast outback.

If you are visiting between April and October, it’s best to focus your adventures on the northern part of the country (Queensland and the Northern Territory), which enjoy warm temperatures but little rain at this time of year. Conversely, if you’re heading there during southern summer months (broadly November through March), then New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania are the best places to be.

New Zealand is only a three-hour flight from the east coast of Australia, and so can be combined on the same trip. Wellington, the capital, is an underrated tourist destination, with world-class food and museums.

Then head south to one of the adventure capitals of the world, Queenstown. And tack on a visit to Wanaka, located one hour north of Queenstown, less busy, and full of beautiful nature and snowfields. 

Singapore

Singapore skyline
whitcomberd | Adobe Stock

Singapore is a mecca for tourists, offering incredible food from many different cultures (be sure to check out the world-famous hawker centers), as well as shop-till-you-drop adventures on Orchard Road, the city’s busiest commercial street.

Bucket list items: a visit to Gardens By The Bay (Singapore’s top-rated activity on TripAdvisor), a drink by the rooftop pool at the unique Marina Bay Sands Hotel, and a visit to Sentosa Island.

It’s easy to get around Singapore on public transport. Plus, English is widely spoken and public safety is high.

United Kingdom

London bus in front of Big Ben Clock Tower in London, England
lunamarina | Adobe Stock

There is a lot of pent-up travel demand from both Americans wanting to visit the U.K. and Brits wanting to visit us too.

Get in early and beat the crowds with a visit to London, one of the most dynamic cities on this planet. Be sure to catch a show on the West End, and take a daytrip to Bath to visit the old Roman baths and ruins (it’s only 90 mins away by train).

If you’re looking to get out of the metropolis, then Manchester is a good bet, famous for its free museums, extensive sporting history, and fun nightlife. 

Then why not head further north to Edinburgh, visiting the famed Edinburgh Castle, and perhaps even enjoying a hike in the Scottish Highlands?

Georgia & Armenia

Tblisi, Georgia (left) and Yerevan, Armenia (right)
vvvita | Adobe Stock & efesenko | Adobe Stock

For those who like up-and-coming travel destinations, look no further. Georgia offers delicious food, beautiful mountain towns, gorgeous hiking in the Caucasus Mountains, and wine country to rival Napa and Sonoma (dry red wine is the most popular variety here).

Neighboring Armenia is known for its early Christian history, pristine nature, and hospitable locals, and is somewhat still unspoiled by mass tourism.

These two neighboring countries sit east of the Black Sea, wedged between Turkey and Russia. You can visit both on the same trip, with a suggestion to spend 7-10 days in each country.

Chile

Skyline of Santiago, Chile
Mariana Ianovska | Adobe Stock

The Lakes District (to the south of Santiago) features towering volcanoes, pristine lakes, and lush greenery. It’s an awe-inspiring place and a great option during the (southern) summer.

Heading further south, you’ll reach Puerto Montt, the jumpoff point for excursions to Patagonia. It’s best to come here between December and February, when there is less snow cover and you can enjoy more open hiking trails.

Greece

Oia village on Santorini island, Greece
Patryk Kosmider | Adobe Stock

This land of ancient ruins and beautiful islands was a popular destination in the summer of 2021, and 2022 is set be similar—but on a larger scale.

This country sells itself—with idyllic coasts, food to make you salivate, and a whole lot of nightlife and dancing.

If you’re interested in visiting in 2022, book flights and accommodation early. You might want to consider traveling in June or September, when the weather and sea temperatures are warm but crowds thinner.

Egypt

The frontage of Al-Qalawun Complex in Cairo, Egypt
efesenko | Adobe Stock

Speaking of ancient wonders, there are few destinations in the world like Egypt. Built around the mighty Nile River, the most populous country in the Arab world is home to one of the world’s earliest and greatest civilizations, offering travelers a rich history, majestic monuments, and golden sand beaches.

The best times to visit Egypt are during the shoulder months of April-May and October-November, when you’ll get a reprieve from the scorching summer temperatures.

Oman

Aerial view of city in Oman
fabrizia | Adobe Stock

This sultanate, located on the far eastern side of the Arabian Peninsula, has been creeping onto travelers’ radars over the past few years.

Known for its ecotourism, travelers to Oman can take excursions through its many wadis (river valleys), palm-fringed oases, and white sandy beaches. The most comfortable months to visit  weatherwise are between November and March.

Fiji

Hammock between palm trees in Fiji
Martin Valigursky | Adobe Stock

This South Pacific island nation is at the top of many travelers’ bucket lists, offering miles of palm-lined beaches, luxurious private resorts and spas, and warm hospitality thrown in for good measure. Families will be happy as Fijians are known for their love of children.

Nonstop flights are available from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Honolulu, making this heavenly destination a top choice for those on the West Coast.

Thailand

Grand Palace of Bangkok, Thailand with city skyline in the background
tawanlubfah | Adobe Stock

There’s a reason the Land of Smiles is the most visited country in Southeast Asia. It combines warm hospitality, mouth-watering food, and stunning beaches and mountains.

Be sure to carve out some time to visit bustling Bangkok, with unrivaled shopping and nightlife, and Chiang Mai in the north, offering a contrast with its lush mountains and popular nature attractions.

The country reopened to fully-vaccinated tourists on November 1. Best to get there before tourists swarm its pristine beaches again.

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