Looking for the best dream vacations to soothe your wanderlust? You’ve come to the right place. As an avid world traveler, I’ve put together this guide on the most breathtaking destinations to visit this year.
These dream vacation ideas span all the seven continents of the world and cover all kinds of interests, from cultural experiences to outdoor adventures. You’ll also find tons of insider tips for visiting each of these places.
Since there are over 50 destinations in this guide, you’ll also find a summary of the top 10 dream vacations to take at the end of this article. So, without further ado, let’s go on a little virtual trip around the world!
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🌎 50+ Best Dream Vacations to Take in 2023
🇺🇸 Best Dream Vacation Spots in North America
58. Arizona, USA
☀️ Why vacation here: Home to America’s most famous canyon, Arizona is bursting with natural wonders. From red-rock deserts to colorful towns cradled in the mountains, there are so many outdoor activities and bucket list experiences to enjoy on a vacation in Arizona.
🧘🏻♀️ Top things to do in Arizona: Stare over the precipice edge in awe at the expansive Grand Canyon. Enjoy a peaceful yoga class amidst the sacred rock formations of Sedona. Climb atop Horseshoe Bend and be amazed by the Colorado River’s tight curve.
🔥 Insider Tip: Arizona experiences an arid, hot desert climate year-round. Exercise caution when partaking in outdoor activities, especially during the summer months. Reapply sunblock every couple of hours. Get outside earlier in the morning or after the sun sets.
57. Yosemite National Park (California), USA
☀️ Why vacation here: A vacation to Yosemite National Park in the US will reveal scenic landscapes you’ll never forget. Pristine forests of towering redwoods, roaring waterfalls, and epic hikes along granite-faced peaks will have nature lovers falling in love with Yosemite.
🧗🏻 Top things to do in Yosemite: Take in the epic views of the El Capitan rock formation from El Capitan Meadow. Experience the roaring waters of Yosemite Falls or Bridalveil Fall. Admire the sublime Half Dome from Mirror Lake as the sun sets on its sheer face.
🔥 Insider Tip: Yosemite has a fascinating hidden history of its original occupants. The sublime Yosemite Valley was once occupied by indigenous tribes who revered it as sacred land. Learn more about this history at the Yosemite Museum and Indian Village.
56. Florida, USA
☀️ Why vacation here: Florida is one of the USA’s ultimate beach vacation spots. With vibrant cities perched along more than 8,400 miles of coastline, magical theme parks, and unique subtropical wildlife, Florida is an exciting dream vacation that won’t break the bank.
🏖 Top things to do in Florida: Snorkel with colorful tropical fish or soak up the sun in Key West. Go dancing all night and have cocktails on a rooftop bar in Miami. Ignite your imagination at one of Orlando’s many theme parks. See many alligators in the Everglades.
🔥 Insider Tip: Keep Florida’s hurricane season in mind when planning your trip. This season lasts from June through November, and peaks from mid-August to late October. While there’s no guarantee that a hurricane will form, don’t be blindsided if it does.
55. Alaska, USA
☀️ Why vacation here: Vast and unspoiled mountain landscapes, long sun-filled days for national park exploring, and front row seats to the Northern Lights — this is just a bit of what an Alaska vacation looks like. Get ready for the wilderness adventure of a lifetime.
🐳 Top things to do in Alaska: Take an epic hike in the pristine, mountainous wilderness of Denali National Park or Tongass Forest. Soak in the 24/7 sunlight during Midnight Sun Season in Fairbanks. See large humpback whales almost everywhere along the coast in the summer.
🔥 Insider Tip: Don’t miss spotting the Northern Lights on a clear night in Fairbanks. Keep in mind that the Midnight Sun interferes with Northern Lights viewing, though. To get the best aurora borealis sighting, visit Alaska between August and April.
54. Hawaii, USA
☀️ Why vacation here: Hawaii is America’s most exotic and tropical vacation destination. Its lush rainforests and volcanoes are perfect for adventurers, while the sandy beaches beside warm waters will please anyone looking to relax, swim, or surf. Hawaii’s activities and nature can be enjoyed by just about anyone.
🏝 Top things to do in Hawaii: Take a breathtaking hike up volcanic Mount Haleakalā in Maui. Explore Diamond Crater or snorkel among tropical fish in Oahu. Surf some epic waves off Hanalei Bay’s crescent beach in Kauai. Stroll the green and black beaches on Big Island.
🔥 Insider Tip: Oahu and Maui have solid public bus transit for cities and major attractions, but traveling around elsewhere in Hawaii will require a car, so budget in for car rentals.
53. Las Vegas (Nevada), USA
☀️ Why vacation here: A bright and vibrant larger-than-life wonderland awaits you in Vegas. This city is the ultimate vacation for groups of friends looking for fun and celebration. The flashy casinos, plethora of entertainers, and international-inspired hotels are a feast for the senses.
🃏 Top things to do in Vegas: Test your poker face with extravagant gambling at the Bellagio Casino. Ride an Italian gondola during a stay at the Venetian Hotel. Remember to hit the Las Vegas Strip for some world-class entertainment, like Cirque Du Soleil.
🔥 Insider Tip: Visiting Las Vegas in the summer? Be prepared for scorching heat. This city is in the Mojave Desert, making summer temps average around 106°F (41°C). Stay hydrated throughout the day, and account for dehydration caused by drinking alcohol.
Read more: 60+ Best Vacation Spots in the USA
☀️ Why vacation here: The natural gems of Canada – from dramatic mountains and dense forests to glacial landscapes dotted with crystal lakes – might just be the world’s best-kept secret. A vacation here offers Europeanesque cities, tons of serenity, and a basecamp for outdoor exploration.
🏞 Top things to do in Canada: Adventure through the majestic mountains and teal lakes of Banff National Park. Hike the Canadian Rockies, then explore the nearby city of Calgary. Experience the French lifestyle by visiting the galleries and cafes of Montreal or Quebec City.
🔥 Insider Tip: While it’s no secret that Niagara Falls is one of the best places to visit in Canada, the best way to see it is with the Voyage to the Falls Boat Tour. This tour lets you get as close as possible to the Horseshoe Falls, giving you an out-of-this-world view.
🏝 Best Dream Holiday Spots in Central America
☀️ Why vacation here: Cuba’s cultural heritage, energetic people, and white-sand beaches are second to none. Every type of vacationer will find what fits their tastes here. One side of Cuba feels beautifully frozen in time, while the other is built for luxurious beach-resort fun.
🚙 Top things to do in Cuba: Cruise the city of Havana in a vintage Cuban car or learn to salsa dance. Witness history throughout Trinidad’s cobblestoned streets and colonial architecture. Lay in the sand and swim in the turquoise waters of Varadero Beach or Playa Paraiso.
🔥 Insider Tip: To discover the slower-paced heritage of Cuba, journey to the Vinales Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Center where Trinidad is located. Here, you’ll see the unique mogote hills and locals practicing traditional farming techniques.
50. Saint Lucia
☀️ Why vacation here: The Caribbean island of Saint Lucia is an excellent place for anyone looking for a luxurious beach vacation or the perfect honeymoon getaway. Its golden sandy beaches are cradled by spa resorts, and its rainforests and volcanic peaks are the only things that might convince you to leave the seaside.
🏝 Top things to do in Saint Lucia: Pamper yourself with a spa treatment in a rainforest treehouse at Sugar Beach. Sip on mimosas as you watch sailboats float into Marigot Bay. Embark up the stunning Gros Piton volcanic peak. Swim underneath the Toraille Waterfall.
🔥 Insider Tip: Saint Lucia belongs to the British Commonwealth. Travelers are generally required to present a valid passport when entering by air. Make sure your passport is up-to-date, and that you also have proof of eventual departure.
☀️ Why vacation here: The Mexican culture and way of life are warm, active, and electric. This country enjoys a rich history, mouth-watering cuisine, and sunny beaches. Resort loungers and thrill-seekers alike will find plenty of things to do and explore on a vacation to Mexico.
🏝 Top things to do in Mexico: Sample every flavor and musical note of Mexican culture in Mexico City. Journey back in time with a cobblestoned stroll through the city of Guanajuato. Wade into the Caribbean Sea at Isla Mujeres, and enjoy epic surfing in Puerto Vallarta.
🔥 Insider Tip: No trip to Mexico is complete without exploring some of the cenotes on the Yucatan peninsula. Cenotes are natural sinkholes you can swim in, and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Don’t miss Cenote Dos Ojos, Cenote Azul, and Cenote Sac Actun.
48. Dominican Republic
☀️ Why vacation here: Home to a wide variety of tropical wildlife and landscapes, the Dominican Republic is chock-full of Caribbean outdoor adventures. Its unique blend of biodiversity and Spanish colonial influences make this island a treasure trove for exploring.
🏄🏻♀️ Top things to do in the Dominican Republic: Venture up Pico Duarte, the Caribbean’s tallest mountain. Unveil a complex Spanish colonial history in the city of Santo Domingo. Pick up a new water sport or sip on cocktails on Punta Cana’s luxurious Coconut Coast.
🔥 Insider Tip: The Dominican Republic is one of the top golfing destinations in the world. There are 24 designer golf courses across the country, so golfing is accessible almost anywhere. While in Santo Domingo, visit the Cayacoa Golf Club.
☀️ Why vacation here: Tropical animals, clear skies, and unique beach watersports are a few reasons Aruba is hard to beat. This safe Caribbean island is a very active place to visit on vacation. Come with an appetite for international cuisines, windswept beaches, and a lot of sunshine.
🐠 Top things to do in Aruba: Take up windsurfing or kiteboarding in the winds of Hadicurari Beach. Dive into the turquoise seas at Palm Beach. Come face-to-face with goats, rare birds, and reptiles at Arikok National Park. Explore mystical gold mine ruins in Bushiribana.
🔥 Insider Tip: If you’ve ever wanted to see flamingos in person, Aruba is the right place for it. Visit a colony of flamingos at Flamingo Beach. For a far less touristy flamingo-spotting opportunity, head over to De Palm Island.
46. Costa Rica
☀️ Why vacation here: There is no limit to the rare wildlife, plant life, and varied landscapes packed into Costa Rica. Over 25% of the country consists of national parks and reserves with biodiverse rainforests, cloud forests, mangroves, and beaches. Costa Rica is perfect for adventurers and thrill-seekers.
🦜 Top things to do in Costa Rica: Mount an epic volcano at Rincon de la Vieja or Arenal. Spot sloths and zipline over the canopy in Manuel Antonio National Park. Wander the lush, biodiverse trails of Monteverde Cloud Forest. Enjoy white water rafting in the Pacuare River.
🔥 Insider Tip: Looking for an off-the-beaten-path journey? Trek into the jungles of Costa Rica’s Southern Zone to find the Diamante Verde (Green Diamond), a set of 10 waterfalls. Walk behind them, swim in the base pools, and enjoy their secluded majesty.
🗿 Best Dream Vacation Places in South America
☀️ Why vacation here: Chile is a remote country with an amazing amount of geographical diversity. Its pristine and dramatic natural wonders, archeological sites, and intimate cities make it the perfect vacation for those who want a less crowded South American destination.
🐧 Top things to do in Chile: Get your blood pumping with a scenic hike to Torres del Paine in Chilean Patagonia. See adorable penguins at Magdalena Island. Travel to Easter Island to explore the ancient Moai statues. Get a taste of Chilean culture in the city of Santiago.
🔥 Insider Tip: Many don’t realize this, but Chile produces some of the best wine in the world. Head to the Colchagua Valley to discover a myriad of vineyards. Make sure to try the Carmenere, Chile’s most esteemed varietal.
☀️ Why vacation here: Home to the iconic Machu Picchu and the highest lake in the world, Peru offers endless natural and historical wonders. The locals are very friendly, and cities like Cusco are brimming with culture and tradition. Plus, there’s no better place to taste ceviche.
🦙 Top things to do in Peru: Hike the breathtaking Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Explore the Uros floating islands of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. Taste the freshest ceviche in Lima, browse the local markets in Cusco, and go white water rafting in Arequipa.
🔥 Insider Tip: Spend at least a few days in Cusco before hiking to Machu Picchu to avoid getting altitude sickness during your hike. Acclimate yourself to the altitude in Cusco first — eat light meals, drink the local coca leaf tea (it helps), and take altitude pills before flying!
☀️ Why vacation here: With unique natural wonders, outdoor activities, and exotic Amazonian wildlife, a vacation to Bolivia offers special opportunities. Adrenaline junkies will fawn over the winding cliff-side bike paths, and those with a sense of wonder will enjoy exploring the salt flats.
🚴🏼♀️ Top things to do in Bolivia: Visit the Salar de Uyuni salt flat during the rainy season to catch its jaw-dropping mirror effect. Bike along the twisty North Yungas Road (aka “Death Road”). Count the flamingos lounging in the red salt lake of Laguna Colorada.
🔥 Insider Tip: Nature’s best magic trick happens at Salar de Uyuni. When this salt flat is wet, it perfectly mirrors everything above. This creates the illusion that you are standing in the sky. Visit during the rainy season of December through March.
☀️ Why vacation here: Colorful seaside cities, fast-paced urban energy, and unique coastal landscapes are just a few highlights of a vacation to Brazil. This South American country is culturally and artistically diverse. Its iconic landmarks, sandy beaches, and bustling cities offer something for everyone.
🎉 Top things to do in Brazil: Party it up at the epic Carnaval Festival in Salvador. Enjoy the blue waters of Copacabana Beach and the magnificent views from Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. Take an enchanting boat tour into the heart of the Amazon Rainforest.
🔥 Insider Tip: Brazilian Carnaval is the world’s largest Carnival and takes place across multiple cities in Brazil. This is a time to get dressed up and celebrate. Popular costume themes include pirates, unicorns, sailors, and Wonder Woman, but feel free to get creative!
☀️ Why vacation here: Argentina offers the best of both worlds: fun multicultural cities for entertainment and biodiverse scenery for outdoor adventures. From its jungles and rugged Patagonia to the food and culture of its cities, Argentina offers an unforgettable vacation.
🏞 Top things to do in Argentina: Wander the flea markets and bars of the historic San Telmo neighborhood in Buenos Aires. Cross a walkway over the Devil’s Throat at the stunning Iguazu Falls. Witness the Perito Moreno Glacier, an ever-growing glacier in Patagonia.
🔥 Insider Tip: Argentinian Patagonia is full of breathtaking vistas. Don’t miss Northern Patagonia in particular for its many idyllic towns and scenic hikes. You’ll find stunning nature walks especially in Nahuel Huapi National Park.
☀️ Why vacation here: The historical sites, Caribbean beaches, and snow-capped peaks of Colombia make for a balanced, exciting vacation. The mountains and rainforests alone are plenty to keep visitors captivated, but friendly locals and delicious food will steal your heart.
🌿 Top things to do in Colombia: Climb a unique granitic rock and explore the Andes Mountains in Guatape. Visit Cartagena, where beach luxury meets historical cobblestoned streets and colonial architecture. Trek the stunning cloud forest of Cocora Valley.
🔥 Insider Tip: If you want a one-of-a-kind experience, Colombia has just the thing. Take a mud bath inside Totumo, a 2,300 meter-deep mud volcano. You’ll need to tip the people who will wash and massage you, so bring some small change and not your best swimsuit. 😉
🍝 Best Dream Vacation Destinations in Europe
☀️ Why vacation here: Iceland is one of the top dream vacation spots for dramatic sceneries and outdoor adventures. From geothermal pools and waterfalls to glaciers and ice caves, this island’s natural wonders are endless. If you’re lucky, you can even catch the Northern Lights!
🐳 Top things to do in Iceland: Drive the scenic Golden Circle and stop at the spectacular waterfalls and geysers. Go whale watching in Húsavík and explore the Skaftafell Ice Cave. Catch the Northern Lights in Kirkjufellsfoss and see the dreamy glaciers in Jökulsárlón.
🔥 Insider Tip: Northern Lights can be visible in Iceland from September to April. With that said, nights are the darkest between November and January, so visit between these months for the best chance of seeing them. Use the aurora forecast to predict activity.
☀️ Why vacation here: From rugged mountains to picturesque medieval towns, Montenegro is a true Balkan gem. This dream vacation getaway offers sun-kissed beaches, postcard-worthy views, and a refreshingly varied cuisine. It’s also a dream yachting destination!
🚤 Top things to do in Montenegro: Admire the breathtaking view from the Bay of Kotor and stroll its UNESCO Old Town. Take a boat tour in Lake Skadar to see traditional fishing villages. Enjoy whitewater rafting at the Tara River Canyon and hiking at Durmitor National Park.
🔥 Insider Tip: While buses link all the major towns in Montenegro, renting a car and going on a self-drive road trip is the best way to explore the hidden gems and scenic backroads.
☀️ Why vacation here: There’s so much more to France than just Paris — made very clear by its stunning lavender fields in the summer, the endless sandy beaches on its southern coast, and its many unique natural wonders. Plus, there’s no doubt your taste buds will be satisfied.
⛱ Top things to do in France: See the Eiffel Tower from a river cruise on the Seine. Stroll the blooming lavender fields of Valensole. Sunbathe on the beaches of the French Riviera. Take a boat down the unique Verdon Gorge, and don’t miss the mystical island of Mont Saint-Michel.
🔥 Insider Tip: To see the famous lavender fields in Provence, visit between mid-June and mid-July. Harvesters may start cutting the fields before August to extract lavender oil.
☀️ Why vacation here: Portugal offers a wide variety of dreamy experiences, from stunning hikes and large waves to surf to fairytale castles and ancient architecture. A vacation here can never be boring, especially if you’re seeking a mix of adventure and relaxation.
🌊 Top things to do in Portugal: Surf epic waves in Algarve and hike breathtaking trails in Madeira. Spot giant blue whales in the Azores and wander a fairytale castle in Sintra. Admire gorgeous tilework in Porto and feast on pastel de nata, the most delicious local treat.
🔥 Insider Tip: There are plenty of stunning hidden gems in Portugal, such as the colorful beach of Costa Nova in Aveiro and the unique Casa do Penedo, an extraordinary ‘boulder house’ that houses a museum.
☀️ Why vacation here: Colossal history, heavenly views, mouthwatering food, and sunkissed beaches — what more could you need from a vacation in Italy? This country offers an endless list of must-see destinations and vacations of every kind, whether you’re into medieval towns, beaches, or mountains.
🍕 Top things to do in Italy: Take a mountainous road trip in the Dolomites. Take in thousands of years of history in the Eternal City of Rome. Sunbathe on a beach in Sardinia or Sicily, and admire the unique trulli houses in Puglia. For the best coastal views, don’t miss Cinque Terre.
🔥 Insider Tip: The popular cities of Rome, Florence, and Venice are thriving with highly-skilled pickpockets. Use a good anti-theft backpack and always keep an eye on your stuff.
Read more: 36 Famous Landmarks in Italy to Visit
☀️ Why vacation here: Georgia is a true hidden gem in the Caucasus region spanning Europe and Asia. This country is known for its exquisite cuisine, hospitable people, and its UNESCO-recognized winemaking. There’s also endless natural beauty and history to uncover.
🍷 Top things to do in Georgia: Wander the picturesque Old Town of Tbilisi. Trek the soaring peaks of the Caucasian Mountains. Go on a wine tour and try khachapuri, a traditional local delicacy. Don’t leave without exploring the unique cave towns of Davit Gareja and Vardzia.
🔥 Insider Tip: Experience Georgia hospitability by staying in a guesthouse whenever you can. These family-run establishments offer an insightful glimpse into local life as well as delicious homemade meals. They can also help with travel logistics such as booking taxis and tours.
☀️ Why vacation here: Home to endless fjords, waterfalls, and snowcapped mountains, Norway is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and photography lovers. This peninsula has some of the most dramatic landscapes in the world and offers unforgettable activities year-round.
🏞 Top things to do in Norway: Enjoy the breathtaking hikes of Pulpit Rock, Trolltunga, and Kjeragbolten. Catch the magical Northern Lights in Tromsø. Marvel at Lofoten’s picturesque fishing villages. Drive the scenic Atlantic Ocean Road and taste fresh seafood in Bergen.
🔥 Insider Tip: On a trip to Norway, spend more time in the breathtaking nature than in the big cities, which offer a lot less in comparison. If you want to experience some urban life, skip Oslo and head to the more picturesque Bergen, Stavanger, or Ålesund.
☀️ Why vacation here: Spain offers an explosion of artistic, cultural, and outdoorsy experiences. There’s something there for everyone, whether you’re looking to lounge on a beach, dive deep into history, or get lost in art. Not to mention, the local food and wine alone are enough reasons for visiting.
💃🏻 Top things to do in Spain: Marvel at the Moorish architecture in Andalucia and admire Gaudí’s art in Barcelona. Sunbathe in Majorca and see volcanoes in the Canary Islands. Catch a flamenco performance in Seville, and of course, enjoy traditional tapas and local wine.
🔥 Insider Tip: The absolute best place to taste paella in Spain is Valencia, the city it originates from. Authentic paella is always made to order, so expect at least 30 mins of wait time in restaurants. To avoid this, call the restaurant and pre-order it before you get there!
☀️ Why vacation here: If you’re looking for a dream vacation with splendid nature, fairytale castles, historic old towns, and fun on the beach, then don’t overlook Romania. This underrated destination will mesmerize history lovers, photographers, and adventure junkies.
🏰 Top things to do in Romania: Learn about Dracula in his colorful birthtown of Sighisoara. Feel the adrenaline while driving the winding Transfagarasan Highway. Spot houses with eyes in Sibiu. Explore Salina Turda, an enchanting salt mine, and feast on papanasi for dessert.
🔥 Insider Tip: Dracula piques the interest of many, but to learn about his real story, avoid the tourist trap of Vlad Dracul House in Sighisoara. Instead, turn the corner and head to Mystical Transylvania, a museum that actually provides insightful facts about his life.
☀️ Why vacation here: Greece is one of the best dream vacations thanks to its ancient archeological sites, delicious Mediterranean food, and sunbleached seaside towns. Head to the Greek islands to enjoy beach luxury, dine on fresh seafood, and wander ancient ruins.
🏝 Top things to do in Greece: Savor breakfast from a rooftop terrace overlooking the ocean in Santorini. Uncover Greek roots in the old streets and ancient sites of Athens. Lavishly lounge on the relaxed beaches of Corfu Island, and hit the saucier beach party scene in Mykonos.
🔥 Insider Tip: Boating is a really popular activity in Greece due to the various islands that belong to the country. Sail out to the Aegean Islands, a collection of some of the most pristine and historically significant islands in Greece.
☀️ Why vacation here: Croatia is a dream vacation for anyone who enjoys fun on the beach, fairytale medieval towns, and endless waterfalls. Its historic seaside cities offer jaw-dropping sunsets and views for days, and its natural treasures are some of the best in Europe.
🏛 Top things to do in Croatia: Catch a breathtaking sunset in Dubrovnik, one of the most well-preserved medieval cities in the world. Go rafting on the Cetina River and take a relaxing swim underneath the Krka waterfalls. Walk among ancient Roman ruins in Split and Pula.
🔥 Insider Tip: Avoid the uncomfortably hot and busy months of July and August; instead, visit in June or September, when the weather is still really warm and the crowds are minimal.
🐫 Best Dream Vacation Ideas in the Middle East
☀️ Why vacation here: Iran might not be the first place to come to mind when picturing a dream vacation, but this incredibly underrated destination is home to very friendly locals, the most jaw-dropping architecture, and layers and layers of history. It’s an absolute must-see.
🏜 Top things to do in Iran: Watch a rainbow light show in Shiraz. Learn about Zoroastrian culture in the desert of Yazd. Walk among the ancient ruins of Persepolis, and marvel at the detailed mosques of Esfahan. Don’t miss the ethereal clay-rock formations in Dasht-e Lut.
🔥 Insider Tip: Iran is super safe to visit, even for solo female travelers. Note that women are required by law to wear a headscarf at all times in public, so be sure to bring one with you on the plane so that you can put it on before stepping onto Iranian soil.
☀️ Why vacation here: Oman is one of Middle East’s best-kept secrets. From stunning wadi pools, hiking trails, and lush waterfalls to ancient forts, majestic mosques, and desert dunes, this diverse country truly has something for everyone. It’s also incredibly safe to visit.
🐪 Top things to do in Oman: Admire stunning modern architecture in Muscat. Explore an ancient fortress in Nizwa. Watch turtles dig their nest in Ras Al Jinz. Ride a camel at the Wahiba Sands Desert, and take a dip in the many wadis and sinkholes around the country.
🔥 Insider Tip: The best way to get around Oman is to rent a car and go on a self-drive road trip. To venture into the Wahiba Sands Desert or the Jebel Akhdar mountains, you’re required to have a 4WD for safety reasons. Be sure to book the right car!
☀️ Why vacation here: Delicious cuisine, luxury spas, and culturally tolerant cities — Turkey has it all. Bazaars and mosques maintain tradition, while modern luxury and a melting pot of beliefs keep things progressive. If you are a culture seeker, Turkey is the perfect vacation spot.
🎈 Top things to do in Turkey: Feast on kebab or shop at the Grand Bazaar in the cultural mecca of Istanbul. Unwind in a Turkish hammam bath or the thermal pools of Pamukkale. Don’t leave without soaring over the magical landscapes of Cappadocia in a hot air balloon.
🔥 Insider Tip: Turkey is home to some important archeological sites; remnants of ancient civilizations that once occupied the land. Visit the Ruins of Ephesus, which was once the most important city in Ancient Greece.
☀️ Why vacation here: The rich historical and religious roots of Jordan make it a special country to vacation in. With a thriving arts and nightlife city scene, generous Jordanians, and one-of-a-kind archeological sites, Jordan will soothe your appetite for adventure and delectable food.
🏜 Top things to do in Jordan: Camp overnight in the Wadi Rum desert with nomadic Bedouins. Visit art museums and dine on mouthwatering mansaf in Amman. Take in the sublime ancient ruins of Petra, carved into the pink desert cliffs. Drive down the scenic King’s Highway.
🔥 Insider Tip: While Jordan is in the Middle East, some of the world’s best-preserved Roman Empire sites are found here. The top sites include the Ruins of Jerash and the Citadel and Roman Theater in Amman.
24. United Arab Emirates
☀️ Why vacation here: The United Arab Emirates is a complex blend of prosperous, futuristic cities and traditional Arabic culture, all built into a desert landscape. A vacation to the UAE offers a delightfully diverse array of people, architecture, markets, and mosques.
🕌 Top things to do in the UAE: Appreciate the sacredness of the gorgeous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Crane your neck beneath Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Then, peruse Dubai’s gold and spice markets, or venture camelback into the Rub al Khali Desert.
🔥 Insider Tip: In the UAE, eating and drinking are completely banned on all forms of public transport and their stations, from metros and buses. If you’re caught consuming food and beverages, you can be fined $30 USD.
🦓 Best Dream Getaway Vacations in Africa
☀️ Why vacation here: Historic medinas, beautiful beaches, and unique architecture – Morocco is a vibrant, diverse vacation getaway. Its proximity to the Sahara Desert provides Morocco with a varied landscape. The country also enjoys an open-minded culture, where people of every ethnicity and religion are welcomed.
🧿 Top things to do in Morocco: Let performers ignite your spirit at the bustling Jemaa el-Fna Square in Marrakech. Wander through the historical blue-washed workshops of Chefchaouen. Go shopping for fresh food or handmade goods at the world’s largest medina in Fes.
🔥 Insider Tip: If possible, avoid traveling to Morocco in the summer months. Morocco is in the Sahara Desert and gets scorching hot during the summertime. Exploring the open-air markets in winter will be far more tolerable.
☀️ Why vacation here: Wildlife adventures, safari tours, and sun-soaked islands – did you realize Tanzania offers a vacation like this? Luxury hotels are cropping up around Tanzania because travelers are finally catching on to the natural beauty and thrilling outdoor activities of this African country.
🦓 Top things to do in Tanzania: Soak up the sun and learn about spice trade history on the island of Zanzibar. Explore the lakes, coffee plantations, and trails of Mount Kilimanjaro. Join an epic safari through Serengeti National Park or Tarangire National Park to see elephants.
🔥 Insider Tip: A safari in the national parks of Tanzania is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But keep in mind, the fees for safari and national park entry are quite costly. Expect to spend nearly $400 USD for just one day of safari in Serengeti.
☀️ Why vacation here: Home to other-worldly landscapes and rare desert creatures, Namibia is one of the most underrated dream vacations on earth. The white clay pans and red dunes there will make you believe you’ve flown to Mars. This country is a photographer’s dream.
📸 Top things to do in Namibia: Travel back millions of years by stepping into the dune landscape of Namib, the world’s oldest desert. Explore the lunar-like “nothingness” of the Skeleton Coast. Capture photos of Sossusvlei, a stark white salt and clay pan surrounded by bright red dunes and dead trees.
🔥 Insider Tip: The best way to explore the beauty of Namibia is to rent a car and do a self-drive itinerary. It’s a very popular choice among tourists and the only way to reach many sites. The roads are large and open, though some are pretty rough, so be sure to have a spare tire!
20. South Africa
☀️ Why vacation here: South Africa is home to savannahs, rare wildlife, and scenic coastal cities that make for an action-packed adventure vacation. This country is one of the best safari destinations, making it perfect for thrill-seekers hoping to spot the king of the jungle.
🐧 Top things to do in South Africa: Enjoy oceanside shopping, local wines, and scenic hikes in Cape Town. Hang out with a colony of land penguins on the Cape Peninsula. Embark on a wild safari to see the ‘Big 5’, including lions and elephants, in Kruger National Park.
🔥 Insider Tip: Cape Town sits in the shadow of the uniquely shaped Table Mountain. To get the best views of Cape Town from above, take a cable car or hike to the summit of Table Mountain via the Platteklip Gorge trail.
☀️ Why vacation here: Filled with archeological wonders, surreal deserts, and underwater adventures, Egypt is a haven for history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts. Any vacationer can appreciate a glimpse into Ancient Egypt mixed with some unique outdoor adventures.
🐪 Top things to do in Egypt: Take a dive in the Red Sea to see beautiful coral reefs. Explore the astonishing underwater ruins of Heracleion, a 12-century city. Take a camel ride at the Pyramids of Giza. Admire Luxor Temple and the stunning rock-cut Abu Simbel Temples.
🔥 Insider Tip: Don’t leave Egypt without stopping by the fascinating White Desert. This hidden gem has an absolutely surreal landscape dotted with chalk mountains and white boulders. It looks like a winter wonderland in the middle of arid sand.
🍜 Best Dream Holiday Travel Spots in Asia
☀️ Why vacation here: Home to some of the most welcoming people on earth, Uzbekistan is made of architectural wonders — from glittering minarets to majestic mosques. A vacation here is both exotic and incredibly safe; not to mention — filled with mouthwatering cuisine.
🏜 Top things to do in Uzbekistan: Admire some of the richest tilework in the Muslim world in Samarkand. Enjoy a traditional hammam in the open-air museum of Bukhara. Wander the unique sandcastle town of Khiva, and explore the abandoned Khorezm desert castles.
🔥 Insider Tip: You absolutely don’t need a tour guide to travel in Uzbekistan. It is very easy to get around the country using their fast-speed trains, which connect all the main tourist sites.
☀️ Why vacation here: Lush with turquoise waters, exotic marine life, and luxurious villas, the Maldives is a gorgeous country made for every kind of beach activity. This island offers a plethora of watersports, breathtaking bioluminescent beaches, and intimate resort stays for romance and excitement.
🦈 Top things to do in the Maldives: Swim with whale sharks at Alifu Dhaalu Atoll or go snorkeling in the colorful Banana Reef. See the glowing bioluminescent water under the stars at Mudhdhoo Island. Relax in an intimate oceanside bungalow on Murree Island.
🔥 Insider Tip: Maldives tourism is built around all-inclusive resorts. Opt for one of these during your stay to save money. Purchasing extras of anything outside an all-inclusive resort, even coffee, comes with a high price tag.
☀️ Why vacation here: Only in Japan can you find heated subway seats, on-street vending machines, and ramen noodle baths. Japan is pure fascination. It is one of the most orderly and cleanest countries in the world, with the politest people and the most exquisite food.
🍣 Top things to do in Japan: Experience a maid café in Tokyo. Transport yourself to a whole new world at the dense bamboo forest in Kyoto. See adorable snow monkeys in Jigokudani and deer in Nara. Don’t leave without paying a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Museum.
🔥 Insider Tip: While feasting on sushi and sashimi is a must in Japan, don’t miss out on the many other local specialties! Try okonomiyaki (a savory pancake with various toppings), yakitori (meat in skewers), takoyaki (octopus dumplings), and yakiniku (DIY barbecue).
☀️ Why vacation here: Home to rugged mountains and sand dunes, wide-open blue skies, and nomadic locals, Mongolia is made for reconnecting with the land. Its slow pace of life is still deeply rooted in tradition and the natural world, making a vacation here truly unique.
🦅 Top things to do in Mongolia: Let animals lead the way on a horseback or camel ride in the Gobi Desert. Shop for handmade clothing in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. Don’t miss the chance to camp out in a yurt with a nomadic Mongolian family and fall in love with simplicity.
🔥 Insider Tip: Nomadic Mongolian tribes are still plentiful today, often residing in gers, or yurts. Many of these nomadic families love hosting visitors. The most convenient spot to stay in a gers is right outside of Ulaanbaatar in Terelj National Park.
☀️ Why vacation here: Massive cities buzzing with life, dramatic mountains and rainforests, and friendly locals — is there anything more to want on vacation? Vietnam has a lot to offer adventure travelers. From rainforest hikes to heart-racing motorbike rides through bustling cities, this is an electric destination.
🚤 Top things to do in Vietnam: Sip on a Vietnamese coffee and enjoy French architecture in the cultural hub of Hanoi. Sunbathe on My Khe Beach then watch the Dragon Bridge light show in the city of Da Nang. Float through the naturally stunning Ha Long Bay by boat.
🔥 Insider Tip: To escape the jam-packed cities of Vietnam, head out into nature. Ban Gioc Waterfall is a gorgeous hidden gem found near the border of northern Vietnam and China.
☀️ Why vacation here: A vacation in Laos offers total immersion in natural, intimate villages untouched by time and spectacular scenery. Its ancient cities, Buddhist temples, dramatic limestone mountains, and roaring waterfalls are for anyone looking for a peaceful escape.
🧘🏻♀️ Top things to do in Laos: Meditate at a gilded Buddhist temple in the ancient city of Luang Prabang. Explore the timeless monasteries, blue lagoons, and sublime limestone mountains surrounding Vang Vieng. Take a dip in the pools of the picturesque Kuang Si Waterfall.
🔥 Insider Tip: Laotian people revere their traditional values and Buddhist practices. If you stay in Luang Prabang, you will spot orange-robed monks collecting alms early in the morning. Be respectful and do not directly speak to the monks.
☀️ Why vacation here: Electric, bustling cities with delectable street food, ancient Buddhist temples, and tropical forests — how could a destination offer more than Thailand? This country, with its stunning mountain and beach landscapes, is a favorite for backpackers and spiritual seekers.
🍢 Top things to do in Thailand: Join the high-energy bustle of Bangkok and sample Thai street food from local vendors. Explore the vast caves and waterfalls of Khao Sok National Park. Wander Buddhist temples and enjoy parasailing, surfing, and island-hopping in Phuket.
🔥 Insider Tip: Are you a solo traveler or backpacker wanting to connect with other travelers? Khao San Road in Bangkok is riddled with people from all around the world. It’s a high-energy strip with plenty of nightlife fun and socializing.
☀️ Why vacation here: Indonesia is definitely one of the best dream trip ideas for beach loungers and culture enthusiasts. Made of several islands, this country is dotted with spiritual temples, unique landscapes, turquoise waters, rugged mountains, and pink beaches.
🧘🏻♀️ Top things to do in Indonesia: Enjoy a spectacular sunrise at Borobudur Temple and another one at the picturesque Mount Bromo. Take a dive in the tropical paradise of Raja Ampat and catch traditional dance shows in Bali. Swim with manta rays on Komodo Island.
🔥 Insider Tip: Komodo Island offers some of the best snorkeling, hiking, and beaches in Indonesia. Take a multiday Komodo boat tour from Labuan Bajo to see the highlights of this island. For the best prices, don’t book the tour online. Instead, arrange it at one of the local tour offices in Labuan Bajo!
☀️ Why vacation here: Pakistan is an incredibly underrated dream vacation spot. It is immensely rich in history, culture, and culinary delights. It’s also home to some of the most stunning landscapes in the world — its mountain ranges are a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.
🕌 Top things to do in Pakistan: Hike the Fairy Meadows for epic mountain views. Explore the mountains, lakes, and villages of the Hunza Valley. Marvel at the majestic mosques and forts of Lahore, and taste the best local food there. Trek to incredible glaciers in Shimshal Valley.
🔥 Insider Tip: If you plan to stop by cities such as Lahore, be sure to hire a local tour guide or driver. One easy way is to ask a taxi driver to drive you around for a whole day. It’s difficult to get around on your own since Ubers and Careems (the local Uber) can be pretty unreliable.
Read more: 11 Best Places to Visit in Lahore, Pakistan
9. Sri Lanka
☀️ Why vacation here: Sri Lanka is home to the perfect tropical climate, gorgeous beaches, and rare wildlife, making for a balanced vacation. This country offers scenic bucket list adventures, seaside lounging, and epic watersports that will satisfy nature lovers, families, and backpackers alike.
🚂 Top things to do in Sri Lanka: Spot rare birds and leopards on safari in Yala National Park. Take the Kandy to Ella train, one of the most scenic train rides on earth. Marvel at the details of the historic Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Taste some delicious kottu roti.
🔥 Insider Tips: Getting around Sri Lanka by car can be difficult and time-consuming. Buses aren’t the best option either and can be chaotic. If you can, travel by train as much as possible. Spend at least 10 days in Sri Lanka to see the main highlights!
☀️ Why vacation here: China has so much more to offer than just Buddhist temples and futuristic skyscrapers. As one of the most ancient civilizations, it has an abundance of history, culture, and nature to uncover. The local cuisine is also incredibly diverse and exquisite.
🍜 Top things to do in China: Enjoy the dreamy mountainscape of Guilin. Walk on the world’s highest glass bridge in the Zhangjiajie Mountains. Hike the iconic Great Wall and uncover ancient history at the Forbidden City. Don’t leave without having at least one hot pot meal.
🔥 Insider Tip: To access western sites and social media in China, download a VPN before you get there in order to bypass the ‘Great Firewall’. The most reliable one by far is ExpressVPN.
☀️ Why vacation here: The Philippines is home to the most breathtaking beaches, special underwater rivers, and dense forests. The warm, sunny energy and lush natural beauty of this country offer a variety of outdoor adventures. This is a perfect vacation for exploring the mountains, beaches, and oceans.
🍲 Top things to do in the Philippines: Lay amongst the palm trees on the beaches of Boracay. Swim or scuba with a wealth of marine life at Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park. Float through the caves along Palawan Island’s underwater river. Try the deliciously sour sinigang soup.
🔥 Insider Tip: Experience local life by taking a moped or motorbike ride in the cities. They’re very fun and cheaper than taxis!
☀️ Why vacation here: Expansive monuments, rich spiritual traditions, dynamic cities — India has so much to offer on vacation. This country is as large as it is diverse, with beach towns, packed cities, rural landscapes, and more. India is a sensory explosion, in the best way.
🕌 Top things to do in India: Feel shocked by the grandeur of the Taj Mahal. Get turned into a rainbow during the Holi Festival. Explore the magnificent palaces of Jaipur, and channel your inner hippie on the beaches of Goa. See the incredibly striking dusty village of Abhaneri.
🔥 Insider Tip: Bring some Loperamide, a good diarrhea medication. The “Delhi Belly” is unfortunately a common experience among travelers in India. Even if you’re very careful, your body just might not be able to adjust well. Also, only drink bottled water.
☀️ Why vacation here: World-famous monuments and cultural gems make Cambodia one of the best dream vacations. This country’s lush landscape is full of national parks and islands to explore. It’s also home to magnificent Buddhist temples and exquisite street food.
🧘🏻♀️ Top things to do in Cambodia: Wander through the world-famous Buddhist temple complex of Angkor Wat. Head there at sunrise for a surreal sight. Experience Cambodian culture at the Tuol Sleng Museum in Phnom Penh. Sample delicious street food in Siem Reap.
🔥 Insider Tip: Cambodia is full of sacred temples, so be sure to bring clothes that cover both your knees and shoulders. Alternatively, a small scarf makes covering up very easy!
🦘 Best Dream Travel Vacations in Oceania
4. Bora Bora
☀️ Why vacation here: The unspoiled island paradise that is Bora Bora offers a serene vacation away from crowds. This French Polynesian island has bright turquoise waters, unspoiled sandy beaches, and coral reefs for scuba diving that will delight anyone wanting a luxurious, peaceful getaway.
🏝 Top things to do in Bora Bora: Take a boat out on the blue lagoon beside the stunning peak of Mount Otemanu. Snorkel in the clear, warm waters of Coral Gardens. Lay in the white sands of Matira Beach, and bike the entire 20-mile loop road around Bora Bora.
🔥 Insider Tip: Visiting Bora Bora on a romantic getaway? The Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort (⭐️ 9.2) was made for you. Visit their ‘secret garden of love’, which is filled with coconut trees that have engraved locks hanging from them.
☀️ Why vacation here: Australia is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts looking for an adventurous and relaxing getaway. From mystical gorges and white sand beaches to the world’s largest coral reef, the fantastic landscapes of this country are infinite.
🦘 Top things to do in Australia: Surf at the white sand beaches of the Gold Coast and snorkel in the magnificent Great Barrier Reef. Dine under the stars at Uluru rock. Catch a performance at the iconic Sydney Opera House and drive down the scenic Great Ocean Road by the coast.
🔥 Insider Tip: Be sure to try some Tim Tams, the country’s much-loved chocolate biscuit. This delicious snack can get quite addictive, so be sure to take some home with you — trust me, you will miss them.
2. New Zealand
☀️ Why vacation here: If you love outdoor adventures, jaw-dropping landscapes, and cultural discoveries, then New Zealand would be a perfect dream vacation. This country is dotted with stunning mountain ranges, geothermal treasures, indigenous cultural villages, and more.
🏞 Top things to do in New Zealand: Hike up to Roys Peak for some of the most breathtaking views. Learn about Maori culture and soak in the geothermal pools of Rotorua. Stargaze at Lake Tekapo and swim with dolphins in Kaikoura. Enjoy a helicopter ride in Mount Cook.
🔥 Insider Tip: Customs in New Zealand are very strict. You cannot bring any fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, or honey products into the country. While you can bring other foods like packaged goods, snacks, and sweets, you must declare them at the border.
🐧 Best Dream Trips in Antarctica
☀️ Why vacation here: Antarctica is home to some of the earth’s most extreme and remote landscapes, making it a great vacation for those wanting to experience something completely off the grid. From icebergs and curious wildlife to mind-blowing scenery, Antarctica is a one-of-a-kind trip.
🐧 Top things to do in Antarctica: Hang out with a colony of Emperor Penguins on Snow Hill Island. Kayak alongside humpback whales in Wilhelmina Bay. See the cool work conducted at the science research stations. Climb up Antarctica’s tallest mountain, Mount Vinson.
🔥 Insider Tip: Antarctica’s wilderness is harsh and unforgiving. In addition, it is important that the wildlife here be protected. You should do most of your exploring safely with the guidance of a scientist, expert, or tour guide during your visit.
🌟 Recap: Top 10 Dream Vacations in the World
Since this dream vacations list covers more than 50 destinations, here’s a quick summary of the 10 best vacations in the world. This ranking is of course very subjective and based on my own personal experience, but I provide many reasons why these destinations stand out.
- Peru — A paradise for cultural experiences, outdoor adventures, and scenic views 📸
- Norway — Home to some of the most breathtaking hiking trails on earth 🏞
- Uzbekistan — For the most stunning architecture and the friendliest locals 💛
- Japan — Experience a whole world of awesome quirkiness and equisite food 🍣
- Romania — A hidden gem dotted with fairytale castles and unique landscapes 🏰
- Italy — The country with endless destinations for history, culture, food, and beach 🏝
- Oman — Incredibly underrated; see stunning wadis, ancient forts & magical deserts 🏜
- New Zealand — Home to jaw-dropping landscapes and unique cultural experiences 🌿
- Tanzania — One of the best destinations for wildlife, hiking, beaches, and culture 🦓
- Chile — The Chilean Patagonia is one of the most breathtaking places on earth 🗿
✈️ Dream Vacation Planner: Top Planning Tips
- ✈️ Find the best flights around the US with Skyscanner or Kiwi.com
- 💸 Get reliable travel insurance from World Nomads
- 🚖 Book your private transfer from the airport to your hotel with Expedia
- 🏨 Find the best accommodations on Booking.com or Expedia
- 🧔🏻 Get the best tour guides via Get Your Guide, Tiqets, or Viator
- 🚗 To rent a car for road trips, get the best deals on Rentalcars.com
- 🎒 Pack a universal travel adapter, a water-proof phone case, and sturdy hiking boots
- 📚 Read Lonely Planet: The Travel Book and some dreamy travel quotes for more inspo
- 📸 Bring the best photography gear (including these must-have Sony lenses!)
🌸 Recap of These Marvelous Dream Vacations
I hope this guide has helped you plan your dream vacation, and that you’ve gotten tons of inspiration for the perfect trip. Whether you’re into hiking, lounging on the beach, exploring ancient ruins, or tasting new dishes, there’s an exciting destination waiting for you.