Wondering where you should travel this year? Well, break out your bucket lists and your calendars, because we’ve got a list. We rounded up our team of travel experts to pick out 22 of the best places to visit in 2022. These destinations made the list for their amazing scenery, great options for things to do, and—for many of them—some special festival or unique attraction happening in 2022. All of them are open for international travelers, and all of them have their own unique charm or flair. Whether you’re ready for adventure in 2022 or looking for a relaxing retreat, want to stay in the US or get off-the-beaten-path with an international trip, we guarantee you can find a destination to suit you on this list.
So, ready to go? Here’s 22 of the best destinations to travel to in 2022:
No matter when you’re hoping to go on a vacation, Norway is one of the best places to visit in 2022. Summer vacation? Head north to experience the midnight sun in Norway, where the sun doesn’t set for weeks (or months, depending on how far north you go!). Thinking of a winter trip? Norway’s a winter wonderland, complete with plenty of places to see the northern lights. In the fall, head to the fjords, where you can catch both waterfalls and northern lights (if you’re lucky!). In the spring, Oslo (Norway’s capital) is the perfect place to learn about Norwegian history, explore the architecture, peruse the art museums or catch an opera.
As Thailand begins to reopen to international travelers, 2022 could be a good time to visit and experience the local culture without the crowds (provided you’re careful to abide by all local precautions and be a responsible traveler!). From enormous and beautiful temples to stunning beaches, bustling cities to quiet mountain villages, Thailand has loads of culture and scenery to explore and something for every kind of traveler. Visit for a full moon festival or head to a bustling city like Bangkok if you’re looking for an energetic trip, or head out to some quieter islands like Koh Yao Noi or Koh Kradan for a bit of peace and quiet.
Calling all adventure-lovers: Costa Rica is one of the best places for adventure-lovers to visit in 2022! From ziplining to horseback riding, surfing to snorkeling, canyoning to waterfall rappelling, volcano trekking to—ok, ok, you get the idea. If there’s an adventure to be had, it’s almost certain that you can do it in Costa Rica. Amid jungles and rainforests, volcanoes and mountains and beaches, Costa Rica offers stunning scenery too. It’s also easy on the budget—which makes it a great student destination.
Where better to have a once-in-a-lifetime vacation than South Africa? South Africa is known for its stunning scenery and plentiful outdoor adventures. Want to go on a safari? Check. Climb Table Mountain? Go for it. Spot penguins on Boulders Beach? You got it. Go hiking, surfing, rock climbing or parasailing? It’s all available in South Africa! If you’re more of a city person, Cape Town has an amazing food scene, historical neighborhoods, sunset cruises and more to make your trip unforgettable.
For anyone who needs a reset in 2022, or a trip where you can just get back in touch with yourself, Sedona, Arizona is a great place to plan your next vacay. Long known as a mecca for wellness, yoga and spirituality, Sedona is a great place to go to unwind and connect with yourself and nature. The numerous spas around town give you plenty of options for relaxing. There’s also plenty of (free) options to relax outdoors in nature as well. The amazing views and calm, down-to-earth vibes throughout Sedona will be just what you need to reset.
There’s no bad time for a trip to Dublin, but there is one very good time—and that’s in mid-March, for St. Patrick’s Day. In 2022, Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and celebrations are (scheduled to be) back in action. Visit old Irish pubs, try some corned beef or potato patties, and explore Dublin Castle and St. Patrick’s cathedral. The emerald isle has plenty of charm (and a lot of fun!) and whether you stay in the city or branch out into some of Ireland’s beautiful natural scenery, you’re sure to leave feeling refreshed and with tons of mems.
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Looking to get off the beaten path and connect with nature or explore something new? Then add the Galapagos Islands to your list! These famous islands off the coast of Ecuador are home to dozens of endangered or rare species of plants and animals—from giant tortoises to penguins, iguanas to giant daisy trees, there’s bound to be lots on the Galapagos to discover. Not to mention that the volcanic islands have some pretty stunning scenery too. Join a study abroad trip to the Galapagos, book a tour to meet other young travelers, or head there on your own. Either way, it’ll be a trip you’ll never forget.
There’s always plenty of fun things to do in the Netherlands, and Amsterdam has long been one of our favorite student destinations, but if you’re looking for something really unique to do this year, Almere is one of the best places to visit in 2022. Almere is hosting an international exhibition, Floriade, that only happens once every ten years! The theme for this year’s event is “growing green cities,” and there will be dozens of pavilions, arboretums, greenhouse complexes, flowers and plants galore. Known as the world’s ultimate flower show, this is the perfect event for any plant mom, nature lover, or ecology student.
It’s tough to go wrong with a trip to Barcelona any year, but there’s a few reasons why Barcelona is one of the best places to visit in 2022. One: Primavera Sound. One of Barcelona’s biggest music festivals, with a seriously long lineup, is back for 2022 and happens at the beginning of June. If you’re not going for Primavera, there’s plenty of other music festivals and events to choose from. Barcelona is known for its chill summer vibes that last basically all year. Whether you visit in August or March, there’s bound to be sunshine, good food and amazing beaches—what more could you ask for from a vacation in 2022?
Looking for a quieter getaway for 2022? Nova Scotia—Canada’s easternmost (and smallest!) providence—is the perfect place for a getaway. With multiple national parks and only small cities, the pace is unhurried, the summer evenings are long and not too hot, and there’s plenty of ways to slow down and breathe after some hectic years. Fly into Halifax, but then make time to visit Cape Brenton or Prince Edward Island. Take a stroll on the beach, plan a road trip, stay up late stargazing or just enjoy the delicious lobster and seafood around every bend.
Staying stateside for now? Explore one of the most unique up-and-coming cities in the US in Austin, Texas. Music lovers in particular will love Austin: it’s home to music festivals and concerts galore, plus tons of live music any day of the week. Plus, there’s tons of museums downtown, amazing BBQ and other restaurants and nature too. Don’t miss out on our favorite thing to do in Austin—the Barton Springs Pool is a 3-mile long swimming pool right in the middle of Zilker Park.
Munich is one of the best places to visit in 2022—home to its famous “Old Town” center, though the entire city is full of historical and beautiful Bavarian architecture and plenty to explore. History and music lovers will find plenty to do in Munich, but food lovers will too! Try one of Munich’s five-star restaurants or stop in at one of the many local markets. Something worth crossing your fingers for? Oktoberfest—which was cancelled in 2020 and 2021—is back on the schedule for 2022. Though it’s still not definite, it IS definitely an event that needs to be on your bucket list.
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants? Mamma Mia? The amazing baklava you once had at a party? Whatever first sparked your dream to visit Greece, 2022 is a great year to make your dream a reality. With incredible beaches and nearly unending island destinations to choose from, island hopping in Greece is basically a must for 2022. Of course, Greece is home to some ancient history, myths, architecture and ruins too—start your trip in Athens before heading out to the islands to dive into Greek history.
Although Colombia has had some negative press in the past, Medellin is generally a safe city for travelers, even if you’re traveling solo. This colorful city, surrounded by greenery, is beautiful, under-touristed, and generally overlooked—which is great news for travelers looking for somewhere off-the-beaten-path to explore. Even better news? With super-cheap flights to Colombia right now, Medellin is the perfect destination for budget travelers in 2022. Known as the “City of Eternal Spring,” Medellin’s ecological preserves and botanical gardens are a treat for nature lovers, while the colorful city, free walking tours and art museums are a must for artists.
Need some major R&R? There’s almost no better place to get it than Fiji—and now that Fiji is reopened again to international travelers, you can bump it up to the top of your bucket list. Fiji has plenty of quiet for travelers who just need a break this year—a small country in the South Pacific, it’s known for its tranquil beaches, stunning scenery, lush tropical landscapes and coral reefs. Head out snorkeling every day, explore the scenery on some hikes, or just catch a nap in the sun. What better place to unwind in 2022?
If you’ve ever wished you could step out of real life for a bit and into a storybook, book yourself a flight to Colmar, France. Colmar is a small storybook town in Eastern France filled with charming historic houses and buildings, river canals winding through the city, and yes, Christmas markets. Visit local castles and museums, eat at the delicious restaurants, and generally enjoy stepping back in time for a bit. The nearest airport is in Basel, Switzerland, which just gives you an excuse to explore two countries in one trip.
Machu Picchu, Peru
For an adventurous getaway, Machu Picchu is one of the best places to visit in 2022. Even better, it offers options for seeing it for all skill and adventure levels. Take the (scenic!) train for a day-trip if you want to see it without too much hiking. You can also spend a few days (or longer!) exploring the nearby city of Cusco. For more adventure, hike in along the Inca Trail. Hire a guide to show you the way, or do your own planning for a DIY adventure (just be sure to prepare carefully! Altitude sickness is no joke in Peru.) Whichever way you go, the experience of visiting Machu Picchu is the perfect way to feel inspired again in 2022.
Budapest is a stunning and historic city that gets far less attention than it deserves. From iconic architecture to historic markets, ancient castles and cathedrals to famous baths and spas, Budapest is the perfect European city to visit in 2022. It just has a bit of everything! Visit the Central Market (one of the largest and oldest!), definitely make time to visit one of the famous baths, see an opera, and generally soak up the arts, culture and history Budapest has to offer. If you want to see an amazing destination in Europe that hasn’t already been all over everyone’s Instagram feeds, Budapest is the place for you.
Iceland skyrocketed into popularity years ago, but with the turbulence of Covid-19 travel, it’s become a (slightly) quieter destination once again, making 2022 a great time to visit. Chase the northern lights, if you’re visiting during the fall or winter, or head out on a road trip during the summer. Ring Road loops all the way around Iceland and is one of the best road trips. Or, just hang out near Reykjavik and explore waterfalls, glaciers and relax in the famous Blue Lagoon. On a budget? Don’t worry, there’s plenty of free things to do in Iceland too.
Vancouver is the perfect city escape for 2022—with a bustling and thriving downtown, hip and energetic arts, theater and food cultures, and nearby mountains that offer plenty of outdoor activities, there’s tons to do in Vancouver. Check out one of Vancouver’s many art festivals or concerts, go skiing in Whistler, or take a road trip along the Sea-to-Sky Highway in the summer. As Canada has reopened (with precautions), 2022 is a great time to visit our Northern neighbors.
If you’ve never been to (or heard of) Oaxaca, Mexico, you’re missing out. Oaxaca de Juárez, or Oaxaca City (or usually, just Oaxaca) is a thriving arts city in Southern Mexico. The food? Incredible. The local arts scene is one-of-a-kind. The charming city and small, boutique hotels are perfect for anyone who loves to travel off-the-beaten-path. Plus, with local artisan workshops on culture and sustainability and bustling marketplaces and long-time local restaurants, it’s a great place to immerse yourself in a new culture. It’s also one of the best cities in Mexico to learn about and celebrate Mexico’s Dia de las Muertos at the end of October. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead, just add Oaxaca to your bucket list.
For a lesser-known destination that has fewer tourists but still plenty to explore, head to Tunisia. It’s blend of culture and things to do make it one of the best places to visit in 2022. This small country in northern Africa is home to Mediterranean beaches, ancient history and museums, preserved Roman ruins, sprawling mosques and more. The architecture is incredible, the history is complex, and there’s a diverse culture to immerse yourself in and learn about. Plus, the warm weather makes it the perfect destination to visit year-round.
So where are you off to in 2022? Search for cheap student flights to one of these cities or anywhere around the world—the sky’s the limit!