The year 2020 has taken a toll on all of us! It was undoubtedly the bad one, but the near-total shutdown of international travel was unquestionably a bummer. Many countries closed their borders. Perpetually changing travel restrictions made planning impossible. Nobody was sure how safe it was to travel or stay in a hotel. And in any case, local outbreaks and health measures made travel in many parts of the world feel either precarious or…. well, just not fun enough to risk your well-being.

But hey! there’s a silver lining as the worldwide vaccine rollout promises to reopen borders, relax rules and calm at least some of our anxieties. Honestly, you’re probably desperate to get out there again. So, presuming things do return to something like normal, there’s just one question that pops in our minds: where to travel first?

Here are some suggestions: a list of stunning destinations that deserve to feature heavily in your 2021 bucket list. Maybe you’re looking for a trip to make up for all the time that you couldn’t travel in 2020 or thinking about dipping a toe back into city breaks. Perhaps, you’re desperate for adventure and unknown lands after being cooped up at home or want to get as far away from humans as possible, somewhere you could feel alive and satisfy your wanderlust.

Places that should be on your 2021 Travel Bucket-list

Tallinn

Located in the north of Europe, between Latvia and Russia, the Baltic region of Estonia remains undiscovered by many to this day. Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is one of the most amazing cities in the region. This place is jampacked with medieval walls, cobblestone streets, tall church towers, and picturesque squares; there are a bunch of reasons to visit Tallinn. This mind-blowing piece of land features Scandinavian, Eastern European and Russian influences and is the perfect European getaway.

Norway

If 2020 was the Year of the Cabin, when every city-dweller wanted a country bolt hole, then Norway is way ahead of the curve. The Scandinavian country has a vast and well-established cabin culture, with about half the population having access to a hytte of some kind. There are plenty for visitants to rent, too, with profoundly beautiful natural settings a given. If you’re not up for the traditional back-to-basics experience, then check out some of the intelligent new openings dotting the country. From mountaintop ‘birdboxes’ to treehouses peering over fjords, they’re adding a dose of luxury to the age-old feeling of hyttekos, that sense of happiness you only get when you’re tucked up in a cabin, miles away from pretty much all the mundaneness.

New Zealand

New Zealand is for sure is on most people’s bucket list; New Zealand is also one of the countries that have amazingly dealt with Covid-19, says Swasbrook, who has discovered that many travellers are not checking off their bucket lists right now. They’re basing their travels on some purpose, which also includes sustainable travel and being socially distant. If you think about it, there’s a reason why New Zealand is such a popular travel spot right now. It has a dazzling wealth of breathtaking scenery, friendly and lovely people, plenty of things to see and do, mouthwatering food and wine and a vibe that is so unique from anywhere else in the world. It will be amiss if you don’t put New Zealand on your list.

Tulsa

The coolest park in the USA is not in San Francisco or New York; it’s off the beaten track in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The 100-acre gathering place has been awe-striking visitors with a three-acre lake, multiple playgrounds that rival any amusement park in the country, year-round events and dedicated spaces for every sport that you can think of! Plus, it’s all free too! While the park had to rotate to drive-in programming last year, 2021 is when The Gathering Place transforms Tulsa from a fly-over-city into a national destination. Add in the new buzz from a wave of tech workers moving to town, and you want to get in while you still can.

Salento

Yes, we all know Italy had a tough time in 2020, so it’s safe to say that the entire country will need our love when it’s safe to travel again. If you’ve already been there, you need to know about southern Salento; it’s the heel of Italy’s boot. Spend a few nights in pearly-white hill town Ostuni, with its cool bars, ancient cathedral, and caves carved out of the rock, or snooze at Masuria Moro seta, a mega-stylish farm stay on the outskirts. Then, head further south into the dry, hot region. You’ll find elegant towns like Otranto and Lecce plus miles of lesser-travelled countryside, edged with golden sandy beaches climactic rock formations.

Slovenia

Slovenia is located right next to Italy and was overlooked by tourists until now, says Swasbrook. But it’s a top destination for 2021, thanks to leading by example in areas like sustainable tourism: National Geographic recently named it the world’s most sustainable country and its capital, Ljubljana, is known as Europe’s Green Capital. This small country on the sunny side of the Alps is very rich in culture and offers something for everyone. In its small geographic enclave, Slovenia exhibits a vast diversity of nature. The country has numerous and hills that are suitable for all levels of hiking.

Maldives

Wide-ranging white sandy beaches flanking the turquoise blue Indian Ocean, stilted waterside villas, a romantic candlelit dinner with a glass of champagne at the gazebo on the water, Maldives is all about luxury and tryst with nature. The Maldives is also known as the Manhattan of the Indian Ocean; the metropolis charm of the Hulhule Island is blended perfectly with the tropical treat. With more than a thousand stunning islands and the coral atolls brimming with marine life, a dive into the enigmatic sea or sprawling across the sun-lounger on the powdery sand, the reasons to visit this absolute beauty of land are unending.

Ireland

When you think of Ireland, it may conjure up a depiction of green rolling hills, windswept rock formations and rugged seaside cliffs. When you visit this Celtic country, you will be amazed by all that and more! When you put your feet on this breath-taking land, you’d be able to hike the high mountains of Wicklow and McGillycuddy’s Reeks, take in the views over the Atlantic Ocean from the west coast cliffs. Walk or sail along the majestic lakes such as Lugh Erne and Lough Leane. Traverse the islands where you could learn more about the Gaelic culture and language. The Irish are famous worldwide for their festive celebration, and the country hosts many events and festivals. With a rich heritage, delicious food and lively cities, Ireland have to be on your 2021 travel list! Plus, if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, visit the Mourne Mountains, doubled as Winterfell territory!

Bodrum, Turkey

If you follow many traveller bloggers on Instagram, you must have seen a ton of Bodrum pictures on your feed. If you’re longing for great weather, budget-friendly luxury hotels, coastal resorts, and scenic views, you must visit Bodrum. Once you land there, the cosmopolitan lifestyle rushes over you in waves, and it is better to take advantage of that. Bodrum has many beaches, bays and coves to offer, and they’re buzzing with life throughout the summer, so this time forget about the beach bods and relax with a martini on one of the Bodrum beaches.

Greece

The Greek cuisine alone is sufficient for someone to visit Greece! Greek cuisine has a strong base in the Mediterranean diet, which many nutritionists promote as healthy nutrients. Also, they believe that the Mediterranean diet is the key to a happy and content life. So, if you want to devour authentic Greek cuisine, then you’re in for a treat! Once you’re in Greece, great food is not what you should expect from this great place. It also has a remarkable history, beautiful beaches, a bunch of budget-friendly destinations, and awesome drinks. To cut it short, Greece has everything your isolated soul is yearning for right now.

Islands of Tahiti

A place with sights so overwhelmingly alluring views, Tahiti and the Islands is an ideal spot for your next vacay. Tahiti is far-stretched than the small peek of it you get on your Insta feed. Albeit the location is often referred to as just Tahiti, it is five groups of islands known as French Polynesia, and Tahiti is the largest of the islands. Exploring this incredible place will allow you to experience both relaxation and adventure in a way that most places never will. A tread towards these stunning islands doesn’t come without a rush of gratitude. Once you reach there, it’s hard not to want to kick back, relax and take in all the majestic views.

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