After so long at home, it’s no surprise that many people’s goal for the New Year is to get out and see the world again. And while you’ll surely need to take some extra precautions, 2022 is looking like it’ll finally be the year to pack up your suitcases and jet off to far-flung destinations.
If you’re ready to jump on the next plane out, check out our 2022 list of destinations from across the world that are sure to scratch your travel itch.
While Minnesota might not scream “bucket-list destination” to many, the northern part of the state offers travelers a unique opportunity to experience nature, so unique that Northern Minnesota was featured in National Geographic’s 2022 travel destination list.
Why you need to visit: Close to the Ontario border, the northern region of Minnesota has little to no light pollution, and it’s likely to stay that way thanks to local residents and efforts to create the largest dark-sky destination. Travelers can visit areas like Voyageurs National Park for a once-in-a-lifetime stargazing experience.
Compared to tourist hotspots like Tuscany, the region of Abruzzo is an often overlooked travel destination. Randing from the Apennine mountains to the Adriatic Sea, Abruzzo is rich with stunning natural landscapes, not to mention the perfectly preserved villages and unique gastronomy.
Why you need to visit: No longer the Italian underdog, Abruzzo continues to rise as a must-visit destination for those that favor slow traveling. Visitors can lounge at the region’s eco-lodge, situated within Majella National Park, or indulge themselves at one of the many world-class restaurants famous for their innovative yet sustainable approach to local cuisine.
Though only an hour away from Sicily, Italy by boat or plane, Malta offers visitors an entirely different world. The island nation is home to a one-of-a-kind mix of cultural influences, Arabic, Italian, French, British, and Norman, and as a result, is filled with architecture, food, and traditions unlike anywhere else.
Why you need to visit: Surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, Malta is the perfect destination for an island getaway full of swimming, scuba diving, and sunbathing. When you’re not trying out the local cuisine, crystal waters, limestone cliffs, and over 80 dive-worthy shipwrecks await you.
If you prefer your island trips more tropical than the Mediterranean, Costa Rica is the place to be in 2022. But more than just beautiful beaches, Costa Rica is the perfect destination for anyone looking to beat the tourist crowds and enjoy a more genuine Costa Rican experience.
Why you need to visit: A 174-mile-long stretch from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean, El Camino de Costa Rica offers visitors a glimpse into the Costa Rica you won’t see on the typical tourist itinerary. Designed to promote economic activity in rural areas, this hiking path is broken up into 16 stages and takes hikers through remote villages and protected natural areas.
New Orleans, Louisiana
If you haven’t been there yet, make sure to add New Orleans, one of those must-see bucket-list destinations, to your 2022 travel list. Filled with good food, good music, and great people, it’s a city experience that’s unlike any other. Bonus: No passport is required to experience the city’s unique culture and charm.
Why you need to visit: It doesn’t need to be Mardi Gras for you to have the time of your life. Known as the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans is live-music heaven, and when you’re not soaking up the local sounds, you’ll never be short on architecture to tour and mouth-watering food to try.
Tucked within the skirt of the Black Forest mountain region, the medieval town of Freiburg attracts tourists and university students from all over the world. Considered Germany’s warmest city, with over 2,000 hours of annual sunlight, Freiburg is the perfect place for a quaint European getaway.
Why you need to visit: In addition to being the “gateway” to the Black Forest region, Freiburg is known for its story-book-like facade. Dating back to 1120, the town is filled with colorful, well-preserved medieval buildings that rival any fairytale.
Stewart Island (Rakiura), New Zealand
South of New Zealand’s South Island lies a hidden gem that awaits adventure and nature lovers. Stewart Island (or Rakiura, its Maori name), is home to endless opportunities for outdoor adventure, from trail running surrounded by untouched natural beauty to diving within underwater kelp forests.
Why you need to visit: Rakiura translates to “glowing skies,” which you’re sure to see abundance of when you visit. As the southernmost dark-sky destination, Rakiura is one of the top places to admire the Milky Way and Southern Lights. Tip: Plan your trip for June or July, whose moonless skies make for top-notch stargazing.
Gyeongju, South Korea
Looking to immerse yourself in history? Add Gyeongju to your list. Often referred to as the “museum without walls,” This South Korean city gives visitors a chance to step back in time around every corner.
Why you need to visit: The area that is now Gyeongju was once the capital of the ancient Korean kingdom of Silla. Today, the city’s historic areas are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites and are home to countless temple and palace ruins, all of which are just a short high-speed train ride away from the country’s capital, Seoul.
While most jet off to the Caribbean islands for their tropical escapes, make a trip to Mauritius your next getaway. Just east of Madagascar, Mauritius is the ultimate destination if you’re looking for peace, tranquility, and a beautiful mixture of different cultures to experience.
Why you need to visit: Set against the background of turquoise blue waters, Mauritius has everything you could want in an island getaway. When visitors aren’t hiking the island interior or soaking up the sun, they can be found scoping out the local markets and festivals or experiencing some of the most diverse cuisines that there are.Before you jet off, make sure to pack your favorite Panama Jack sun care products. Our 3 oz Sport sunscreen tubes are conveniently sized within TSA guidelines, making them the perfect addition to carry-on or checked bag.