Taking a vacation is the highlight of many tourists’ year. It’s a chance to get away from the norm, break out into some location-specific fun, and take on a world of new sites and experiences. But despite all the perks that can come from a vacation, the planning can cause stress far before the vacation begins. There are travel arrangements, accommodations, and perhaps the most important aspect of all – finding the perfect location.
To help eliminate the travel stress before it even begins, put on your vacation hat and start planning. From sunny beaches to snowy mountaintops, there’s a destination for everyone. And if you still need a little help getting steered in the right direction, check out this list of best travel spots for a stay that trumps all others.
10. Las Vegas
There’s an overly used saying that what happens in Vegas stays there, but for those who aren’t interested in hiding their vacation, that motto couldn’t be more wrong. A town full of bright lights, entertainment, and grandeur, the town only half lives up to its reputation. Spend your days gambling and earning free drinks, or take a more lighthearted approach to the town – hit the pools, check out the shows (both free and paid), visit Hoover Dam, chat with the street performers, and tour the casinos. Unlike most hotels, in Vegas you don’t have to be a guest to ooh and aah at the unbelievable décor. And best of all, almost everyone is a tourist, so take those fanny packs and cameras and click away – after all, you’ll want pictures to share just how amazing this town is.
9. Cozumel, Mexico
Located just off the coast of Cancun, Cozumel is an island destination with views and tropical climates most vacationers strive for. The town is home to plenty of tourist activity, such as scenic Jeep tours, boating rides, fishing trips, or laying out by the ocean. The area is known for its white sandy beaches and clear blue waters, and there are plenty of resorts that offer exclusive space. As a tourist community, the town is also home to many shopping areas that include both manufactured and handmade items. For a relaxing, beautiful beach vacation, try Cozumel for a trip off the beaten path.
One of the world’s top vacation destinations, Paris has long since been thought of as a romantic or elegant city. And while some of those previous values still hold true, it’s certainly not the only attraction it has to offer. From landmarks like the Eifel Tower to authentic French wines, breads, and cheeses, to everyday street shopping, the town is more than just an overrated travel stop. With a beautiful lake view, and one of the most unique and progressive cities in the world, Paris is sure to offer a delicious and scenic stay to anyone who ventures into its borders.
Another beach-filled wonderland is Hawaii. The capital of Honolulu provides more than just a place to hang out and wear a swimsuit. Thick with Hawaiian culture, Honolulu visitors aren’t just on a vacation, they’re part of an experience. Visitors are encouraged to check out all aspects of the city, including world-class shopping, monuments, and a growing art scene. And for the geography lovers, Honolulu is home to unique topography that few get to experience. From the stereotyped hula girl luau to ancient landmarks and traditions, this is one visit you’re sure to remember.
There are far more islands than just Oahu to choose from though. Another popular destination with holidaymakers is Maui, especially with so many great places to say in Wailea. There is so much to see and do here, you might need a few days in Maui to truly make the most of it. From volcanoes and turtles to small yet epic road trips, this island has it all.
But why stop there. You can also throw in a little island hopping and spend some time on the lesser-known Kauai or Molokai, but of course, you will need a little more time for that!
6. Montego Bay, Jamaica
Just like the Beach Boys sang, Jamaica is a great place to getaway. They offer tours – mountain, country, tropical, etc. – safaris, tubing, zip-lining, historic landmarks, and more. Check out Jamaica from a resort (such as Sandals, which has a famous Montego Bay location), or opt for a more authentic experience and stay in a local hotel. There’s even a praised animal farm for visitors to check out the local animals in a safe environment. For an authentic look at Central America, Montego Bay is a hotspot for families and vacationers of all ages.
5. San Francisco
Known for its steep topography and streetcars, San Francisco offers a bright and historical look at California. Visitors can check out the city’s unique style of architecture, take in a baseball game, head to a walking trail, or take part in the city’s vast arts and music scene. There are multiple museums to visit, symphonies to hear, botanical gardens to visit, and more. Considered one of the country’s most beautiful cities, San Francisco is a great place to awaken the senses while experiencing a relaxing break. The only challenge for most visitors is that San Francisco is not the cheapest of US cities to visit, so if money is an issue while you are traveling, check out this San Fransisco budget guide for some great ideas on how to save money while here.
4. Washington, D.C.
The nation’s capital and home to more monuments and museums than can be visited in a single trip, D.C. has long since been a vacation favorite. History buffs will love the historic buildings and scenery, while those of all interests can take in the city life and mesmerizing views. From its fish market to the Potomac River, Washington, D.C. is a blend of history and vacation appeal all in one city.
Most remember it as the city with the wall – err former wall – but Berlin is home to far more than political antics. (Though Germany’s old operations make a great tourist destination.) Check out the graffiti, or see what the museums have to tell you about important events. And what’s visiting Germany without having a beer and brat? Known for their cuisine, any Berlin visitor should order a pils and Berliner for a true German experience.
When traveling to Japan, there are plenty of experiences to be had – sushi, shopping, trying to communicate with the locals. But Tokyo also offers a city feel that the rest of the country doesn’t possess. Head to their world-famous fish market, shop electronics, or visit their famous landscape gardens. No matter which path you choose to take through Tokyo, the city will offer a fabulous experience into the Eastern world.
1. New York City
Finally, we make it to number one, a city that sits atop many travel lists – New York. One of the world’s most populous city, it’s not hard to see why so many flock to this amazing metropolis. Within its five boroughs, the Big Apple is home to an array of one-of-a-kind markets, street buskers, city life, and top-ranking performances. Broadway hosts some of the world’s most famous shows and all on a single street. Times Square is full of bright lights and shopping – and that’s just a small percentage of what it has to offer. Add in NY strips, pizza, busy city streets, and other tourist hot spots and it’s a vacation like no other. Consider NYC for a dose of city life like it can’t be seen anywhere else.