Most likely, the majority of your travel plans for 2020 were canceled. This year has been one of many challenges and few rewards. However, while you may have been hibernating, the outside world has had much time to rest and recover in the wake of people’s absence and the halt in tourism. With the world slowly starting to open up for travel again, here are a few places to give you some travel inspiration for 2021. Meanwhile, draft your dream itinerary, and stock up the latest travel gear, such as a smart photo device, where you can sync and store your photos from your trips on one device. This way, you can make sure your travel memories are backed up and easy to share!
The Algarve, Portugal
The southernmost region of Portugal, the Algarve is distinguished by sweeping Atlantic beaches, sandy coves, steep cliffs, and fishing villages. Whether you want a relaxing vacation on the coast or a trip filled with adventures, the Algarve offers something for everyone. You may want to hop between towns or stay at a resort in a centrally located town such as Vilamoura, from which you can take day trips. You can go surfing, take a walk along the cliffs through whitewashed villages, and dig into a seafood feast.
If you want to experience Portugal in style, look into renting a charter boat with boat hire Vilamoura. You can kayak and snorkel in Lagos, explore the Benagil caves from Portimao, or sail around islands in Ria Formosa National Park. Experience the incredible coastline, search for dolphins, and watch the sunset over statuesque rock formations while you sip on your favorite beverage from the comfort of your boat.
Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky
Although Kentucky may not be the first place that comes to mind for a vacation, don’t underestimate the natural offerings of this southern US state. About 90 miles south of Louisville, you’ll find Mammoth Cave National Park, which is tucked among the rolling green hills of Kentucky’s peaceful countryside. Mammoth Cave is the longest tunnel cave system in the world, formed over 10 million years ago, though only established as a national park in 1941.
In the park, you can explore the vast underground system of tunnels, caverns, and passageways, or take a guided tour if you prefer. Above ground, you can hike, horseback ride, or canoe. If you want to stay longer, you may want to camp overnight at numerous campsites dotted along the expansive landscape. If you’re feeling thirsty, the park is just a short drive away from distilleries, where you can spend a day tasting some of Kentucky’s famed whiskey.
A lush, landlocked country in Central Africa, Rwanda is defined by endless green hills, volcanoes, and dense rainforest. Visitors are drawn to this tiny nation to trek with the mountain gorillas that live within the depths of Volcanoes National Park. However, Rwanda has much more to offer and is perfect for adventure enthusiasts.
Safe, clean, and easy to navigate, you can start by exploring the history and budding music and art scene in the capital city, Kigali. Next, head to Nyungwe Forest to search for chimpanzees. Fill the coming days by biking along the Congo Nile trail, searching for lions, zebras, and rhinos in the expansive plains of Akagera National Park, and relax on the shores of Lake Kivu. Finally, end your time in the mountainous Northern Province, where you can spend a day with gorillas or hike up Mt. Bisoke, an active volcano offering spectacular lake views at the top.
Whether you come for the ancient wine or the staggering mountains, this South Caucus nation is sure to charm you either way. Start your time by wandering down the winding, narrow streets of Tbilisi and observing the capital’s eclectic architecture, which reflects the collision of classic tradition with modernity. If you’re a history enthusiast, you might want to visit historic towns like Kutaisi and Mtskheta, both of which are home to UNESCO world heritage sites.
If you’re a nature lover, you can spend your time hiking through Georgia’s landscapes. Whether you go on day hikes or multi-day treks, you’ll be spoiled for options. Lagodekhi National Park is abundant in lakes, waterfalls, and hiking trails. The Tusheti region offers expansive valleys and peaks, where you can stop off in local villages and stay for the night. A must during your time in Georgia is a trip to the Kakheti wine region, which boasts some of the oldest wines in the world.
A vast region encompassing the southernmost tip of South America, Patagonia spans across both Argentina and Chile. From glaciers and snow-capped mountains and temperate rainforests to windy coasts and deserts, Patagonia is a culturally rich and ecologically diverse region that’s perfect for adventure seekers.
On the Argentinian side, you can search for whales on the northern Atlantic coast and then head to the southern coast in search of sea lions, elephant seals, and penguin colonies. Next, head inland to Desecho Pass and explore the arid steppes and gaucho culture of Argentinian Patagonia. Spend time on a family-owned ranch, where you can learn about the tough work of the gauchos and take horseback rides through pastures and up mountains, experiencing the best of Patagonia.
This South Asian island nation offers the laidback energy of island life mixed with the vibrancy, food culture, and history to rival India. Its compact size makes Sri Lanka easy to navigate, and within a relatively short span of time, you can go from sandy beaches to the historic, bustling Colombo, to ancient Buddhist relics, to cool mountains and tea plantations.
Relax on the tropical southern coast, and then catch some waves in Arugam Bay on the iconic east coast. Search for elephants in the vibrant jungle of Kadulla National Park before you head up to the hill country. Observe ceremonies at Buddhist temples in Kandy, and head to Ella to hike through the clouds in Horton’s Plain and Adam’s Peak. Stop to taste tea at a local plantation, and then continue north to visit ruins at Sigiriya Rock and Anuradhapura. Wherever you go, be sure and make 2021 a year of adventures and memories that you won’t soon forget.