The world is a big, wide-open place and it can be hard to decide. Here are top destinations that are calling out to us for trips next year.
Delicate plum blossoms dancing in the breeze, the whoosh of a bullet train leaving the station, the smoky scent of yakitori on an open fire, and the steamy heat of an onsen. Many people have missed Japan for more than two years and those how recently visited have amazing reports about the destination.
While you’re visiting, you might step into traditional culture in Kyoto with a kimono-wearing class and a visit to the geisha district, or revel in the neon-soaked streets of Tokyo on a street-food tour.
This classic route across Japan takes advantage of Japan’s remarkable rail network and includes time in Tokyo and Kyoto, as well Hakone National Park, to soak in the hot springs.
When you think of the American Southwest, it’s likely you picture a red-rock desert, its stones sculpted by wind and sand into striking shapes — if so, you’re probably picturing Bryce Canyon National Park. Less well-known than the likes of Yellowstone, it’s nonetheless one of the most striking landscapes in a country that’s renowned for them.
The park will be celebrating its centennial in 2023, making it the ideal time to visit and to explore its eerie hoodoos, which look like a forest of stone pillars.
If deserts aren’t to your taste, consider a visit to California instead, where Disney Studios are also celebrating their 100-year anniversary. You can include a visit to Disneyland on any visit to Los Angeles.
To the east, 2023 marks 250 years since the Boston Tea Party — explore the historic protest as part of a guided tour along the city’s Freedom Trail, which examines the sights of the American Revolution.
You can visit Bryce, as well as the other national parks that complete the Mighty Five, on a 2023 trip to explore national parks.
Just emerging from a two-year shutdown, Australia seems entirely refreshed. The devastating wildfires of 2019 are a distant memory and there’s a sense of renewed energy across the country. That’s especially true of hotels — many have been refurbished over the past two years and many others have just opened up.
If you’d like to encounter Australia’s singular wildlife, there are tour operators who would arrange a safari on Kangaroo Island or snorkelling amid the teeming sea life of the Great Barrier Reef.
For food and wine, there are tour operators who would send you to the vineyards of the Yarra Valley or the trendy eateries of Sydney. Gain insights into Aboriginal cultures in Kakadu National Park, or hike through the rainforest of the Blue Mountains.
An eco-friendly exploration of Australia’s coast, Outback, and Great Barrier Reef, this tour offers a comprehensive look at the continent’s varied landscapes.
Few countries pack as much into their borders as South Africa, making it one of our best-loved destinations. Thanks to the venerable Kruger National Park and the private reserves that border it, it’s well-known as a safari destination, but you can also see the Big Five elsewhere, including the Madikwe Game Reserve.
There’s so much more to South Africa, too — you can indulge in history and culture in cool, cosmopolitan Cape Town. (In 2023, nearby Robben Island will mark ten years since the death of its most famous prisoner, President Nelson Mandela.)
On a driving tour of the Winelands, you can sip local vintages while admiring the landscape of expansive vineyards against a backdrop of mountains. And, along the windswept Garden Route, you can soak up the coastal views and keep your eyes peeled for migrating whales.
Journey by rail as part of a trip that takes you from Kruger to Cape Town, including a guided tour of Robben Island and a visit to the Winelands.
Beaches covered in rose-gold sand, serene walks among leafy tea estates, great temple complexes, birdwatching, and elephants… Sri Lanka is beguiling in its variety. The compact nature of the island also allows you to pack a lot into one trip.
Additionally, after a challenging 2022, the island is eager to greet new visitors and we work hard to be sure that all our visits here are responsible, thoughtful, and help to burgeon the nation.
If you’re interested in safari, you might visit the green jungles of Yala National Park to spot elusive leopards, as well as hummingbirds, crocodiles, and elephants. For sea life, consider a whale-watching cruise off Galle.
And, for the best views, you can climb Sigiriya Rock or stay at a luxe cottage nestled among the tea estates in the misty green highlands.