We know a lot of you have had really important rites of passage disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic—graduations, birthdays, study abroad trips and so on. While travel is still on hold for now, it’s a great time to start planning for the future: including awesome belated graduation trips to make up for the graduation ceremony you didn’t get (or had to postpone).
Here’s some of our best ideas for graduation trips—no matter the time of year:
Heading to the Land Down Under takes a fair amount of advance planning and saving, so why not use this time in quarantine to start planning for an epic trip? If you’ve missed out on some big celebrations, now is the time to treat yoself. Snag a ticket to Sydney for next winter (if you want to visit during Australia’s summer) or for next summer if you want some cooler weather while you’re traveling. There’s plenty to do just within Sydney—the Sydney Opera house, Bondi Beach and more—but you can also venture outside of the city to see the Blue Mountains, explore the Northern Territory or take an epic road trip down some of Australia’s scenic coastline.
2. Costa Rica
Costa Rica has long been a much-loved destination for adventure lovers, so if you’re ready to dive headfirst into a really adventurous trip after this is over, celebrate with a trip to Costa Rica! Go waterfall rappelling, horseback riding, skydiving, white-water rafting, surfing or sandboarding—there’s definitely something for everyone. Plus, it’s a large producer of chocolate and coffee, so if you can top off your celebrations with a tour of some of your favorite foods.
The Caribbean is not *just* for spring break! Save your graduation trips for next winter or even next summer—the Caribbean is pretty ideal year-round. With dozens of islands, you’ve got plenty of options! From places like Saint Martin or Saint Kitts to Antigua and Barbados, there’s endless white-sand beaches, beachfront restaurants and snorkeling to be had. And what better way is there to celebrate than with a weekend (or a week) off in paradise?
4. Banff National Park
Want to plan a more socially-distanced celebration, even after social distancing is over? Banff National Park—or other National Parks in the area—are a good place to start. Banff is one of the most beautiful destinations in Canada due to the amazing mountain views, crystal-clear blue lakes and stunning drives. There’s tons of hiking and kayaking (and perfect photo ops) in that park which covers more than 2,500 square miles. Rent a car and get ready for a road trip that’ll be worth the wait!
Japan is one of the best places for graduation trips and, even better, it’s beautiful almost any time of year! In the winter, you can avoid crowds and see how enchanting the cities are in the snow; in spring or fall, the beautiful foliage or cherry blossoms make for some stunning scenery too. Head to Tokyo, for sure. Then, don’t miss the opportunity to visit some smaller cities like Osaka and Kyoto that offer a lot on their own.
If you’re ready for a really celebratory graduation trip, Spain definitely knows how to party! Head to Barcelona or Madrid and experience these beautiful Spanish cities. From museums and art (especially in Madrid) to beaches (Barcelona) and amazing paella, tapas and churros con chocolate, there’s no shortage of ways to soak up the amazing Spanish culture. Spain also tends to keep the party going late into the night, with dinner restaurants getting crowded around 9pm and plenty of nightlife after that as well.
Bring the whole group together for an unforgettable trip to Bali. Even though it’s pretty far away, it’s the perfect place for a group trip because there are so many incredible villas and retreats in Bali you can stay in for cheap, whether it’s just you and your bestie or the whole friend group. Plus, Bali can be pretty cheap to explore. Between the beaches, tropical rainforests, waterfalls and more, you’ll find lots to do with scenery that’s pretty unreal.
For some of the best (and most underrated) beaches in Europe, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Croatia. Sail around the coastline or go for a road trip or check out Old Town centers in cities like Split and Dubrovnik. You’ll get views for days no matter where you go. Wanna head away from the coast? Plitvice Lakes National Park and Krka National Park are both worth the trip.
Ready to start looking for tickets? Start keeping an eye on what cheap flights you can find for future trips.