First, I’ll say that I do not take this list lightly. We’re talking about trips you’d spend your last Booking.com reservation on. This is the last Airbnb you ever rest your head in. Not to be dark, but those are the stakes here!
These countries have earned their reputations as world-class travel destinations. I don’t care if you have to spend your kid’s college fund or take out high-interest loans (partially kidding). See these places before it’s too late!
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The Thais are a famously cheery people, and why wouldn’t they be? With idyllic scenery (bamboo and rice fields for days), beaches fit for the gods, ancient ruins, and freaking elephants. There’s so much to love about Thailand.
Just the name Fiji sounds exotic. It turns out the name matches the country. A former British colony, this island in the South Pacific lies East of Australia. Fiji is so remote that you’ll take some time getting there. Once you arrive, you won’t ever forget the crystal-blue waters, white-sand beaches, friendly locals, and unrivaled sense of escape.
All those screen savers you see on your Macbook? That’s Fiji. And all those benefits come even before you taste the bottled water.
Like some other countries on this list, much of Australia’s value lies in its versatility. You can get a tropical experience in Northeastern cities like Cairns and a completely different experience in Sydney and Melbourne.
You can hold koalas, stare at kangaroos (don’t fight them, you’ll lose), and even walk into the rugged badlands of Western Australia if you want to really test your mettle.
4. Costa Rica
Costa Rica isn’t just a tropical oasis with some of the most scenic beaches you’ll ever tan your buns on. Costa Rica is also comparatively affordable and accessible, making it a realistic and legendary vacation spot for even those on a modest travel budget.
Italy is a nation that offers more than its food, though it offers mouthwatering cuisine in abundance. You could take a dip in Lake Como, sip wine in Tuscany, scale the Dolomites, or make your way to countless other worthwhile destinations throughout Italy.
Carpe diem, go to Italy.
6. New Zealand
You’ve seen The Lord of the Rings. You know what you’re missing if you don’t make it to New Zealand in your lifetime. Sheep, beaches with massive caves and rock formations, thermal springs, various terrains, and sights, and did I mention the sheep?
Game of Thrones fans will have a deep reverence for Dubrovnik, or as Throners know it, King’s Landing. While Dubrovnik is a must-see stop on your Croatian journey, this Eastern European gem with a substantial coastline on the Adriatic Sea is so much more than King’s Landing.
A remarkably topographically diverse country, travelers recommend the waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes National Park, the ritzy parties in Hvar Town, and the bustling culture in Zagreb. Croatia is truly something special, and you’ve never seen water so blue.
You may have heard about Turkey’s increasingly restrictive cultural mores. Despite some pitfalls, Turkey’s natural beauty and mouthwatering cuisine are too much to miss.
From the mineral waters of Pamukkale to the historic Gallipoli Peninsula, the stunning beauty of the Turquoise Coast, and so much more, Turkey is a handful of bucket-list experiences.
More like Niche-mibia, right?
While most Americans haven’t even heard of Namibia, if you decide to travel to Africa, it should be top of your list. Towns that retain their German architecture, culture, and language (quite an oddity in Africa), eye-popping oceanside sand dunes (and other postcard-level scenery), and a uniquely friendly native population make Namibia a destination the most experienced world travelers rave about.
Looking to scale peaks that surpass the clouds, then ski back down them in some of the world’s most pristine powder? Perhaps you want to clack your shoes on the cobbled, medieval streets of Bern. Or, you could head to Zermatt, Lausanne, or any of the other world-class locales in Switzerland.
If you need to hide some money in a bank that’s more secure than Gringotts, you’re in the right country.
A melting pot of European cultures, Switzerland has achieved the impossible of extracting the best of each culture and crystallizing it into a single nation. When you’re with the Swiss, you can’t miss. Do you have a country to add to this list?
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This article was produced by Our Woven Journey. Credit: Reddit.