At the beginning of 2020, we all had high hopes for the new decade. These hopes were quickly crushed as a pandemic spread across the globe. The beginning of 2021 didn’t bring the tide of change we all wished for either.
However, the world is gradually starting to look more positive. With the increasing availability of vaccines against COVID-19, international travel may soon become a reality again. You may be wondering where you should head first. On a planet as abundant and diverse as the one we live on, that may be a difficult choice to make, so here are a few ideas to spark some travel inspiration for 2021.
1. Road Trip
You can’t go wrong with a classic road trip. There’s nothing like the type of travel that involves hopping in a car and setting off on the open road. You may want to take a U.S. road trip driving from coast to coast, or exploring a number of the country’s exquisite national parks.
If you’re interested in a road trip, there is no reason you have to stick to the U.S., though. Drive through the mountainous Balkan region or along South Africa’s spectacular Garden Route, abundant in the coastline and lush forests. If you’re feeling brave, you may even want to ride a motorcycle across the long stretch of Vietnam.
2. Camping Excursion
After a year of largely being stuck inside, dedicate a trip to the great outdoors. Plan a camping or hiking excursion that takes you into the heart of nature. This type of trip is perfect for the quintessential man, testing his survival and nature-savvy skills while exploring the wild.
The West Coast of the United States is abundant in hiking, camping, and backpacking opportunities. From Mt. Rainier and the Olympic National Forest in Washington state to the Oregon Coast or the Redwoods of California, pick a spot to explore the mountains, forests, and majestic coasts of the West Coast.
You may decide to embark on an international nature adventure as well. The Himalayas in Nepal and the Patagonian region in Argentina are both phenomenal for backpacking trips. Keep in mind that traveling to a foreign country will require a COVID-19 test and may involve other restrictions, such as self-quarantine upon arrival.
3. Beach Vacation
Following a stressful year, maybe all you want is a simple beach vacation. Relaxing on a sunny island beneath the shade of palm trees whilst sipping on a coconut sounds pretty idyllic. Spend your days reading on the beach and swimming in the sea. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, you may want to snorkel, scuba dive, or try other water sports like kite surfing. Hawaii is a perfect America-based beach holiday, while the Caribbean islands, the Bahamas, or even the Maldives are great options if you want to adventure a bit further.
4. Food and Wine Tour
If you’re a food and wine (or whiskey or craft beer) lover, then you might want to plan a food and drink-inspired trip. Food tells a lot about the history and culture of a region. You may be interested in tasting the street foods of Bombay and Bangkok, eating your way through the pastries and pizzerias of Italy, or digging into the Mayan-influenced cuisine of Mexico.
Imbibe enthusiasts may want to take a whiskey tour of the Scottish isles or Japan or dive into the wineries of France and South Africa. By revolving your trip around food and drink, you’ll not only indulge in tasty new dishes, but you’ll also get the opportunity to become more deeply immersed in the local history and culture.
5. Wildlife Travel
A wildlife-inspired trip is the perfect trip for 2021, as it gets you away from crowds and into nature. Although nature has had the opportunity to recover during the pause in travel over the past year, many national parks are struggling to maintain conservation efforts to protect endangered wildlife without tourism money.
Trek with mountain gorillas in the rainforests of Uganda or Rwanda, explore the forests of Nepal or India for rhinos and tigers, search for grizzly bears in the Alaskan wilderness, or take a safari in Kenya or Botswana and look for giraffe, lions, and leopards lurking in the savannah. By taking a trip to experience wildlife in 2021, you’ll not only witness incredible creatures in their natural habitat, but you’ll also contribute to the protection of vulnerable species.
No matter where you go, don’t forget that COVID-19 still exists. Look for travel advisories, follow CDC guidelines, check on travel advisories for foreign countries on travel.state.gov, and take necessary precautions. Most importantly, remember to have fun experiencing the world again!