All of our international trips have been canceled for the year and there’s a good chance it could take up to a year for international travel to be possible again depending on the types of travel bans in place and where you are going to and coming from.
But in the meantime, I have been daydreaming about future trips anyways. I tend to lean towards more off the beaten path sorts of destinations in general, but now more than ever I feel like less crowded and popular places are my jam. I get the feeling when travel fully comes back there will be a bit of a mad dash to the big tourist destinations and I want no part of that mess and overcrowding. I want someplace beautiful and relaxing to get away to.
Here are my top picks for places to go post-pandemic:
Koh Tao, Thailand
The smallest of the Thai Islands in the Bay of Thailand, Koh Tao has beautiful beaches, tons of scuba diving (it’s one of the best places in the world to learn), and a laid back vibe. It’s not as fancy and developed as Koh Samui, although they have modernized quite a bit since I was last there, I hear they have paved roads now! It’s also not as much of a party scene as Koh Phangan or Koh Phi Phi, giving it that perfect balance of fun but chill.
Nova Scotia, Canada
Get that maritime vibe in Nova Scotia, with their rugged coastline, lighthouses, and tons out outdoor adventures like hiking and kayaking it’s the perfect destination for summer or fall. The coastline along the Northumberland Strait actually has warm water in the summer, getting up in the 60s! If you’ve never thought of Canada as a beach vacation destination maybe its time to.
This small Balkan country is on the Adriatic Sea right across from Italy. On the coast you get the Mediterranean vibes, but if you go inland you’ll find lush forests and dramatic mountains. Montenegro has all the old world vibes of Europe but it’s not on the usual backpackers or “summer in Europe” type routes so it’s nowhere near as crowded as many other European destinations.
I know, Santorini and Mykonos are super popular and touristy, but I’m not suggesting those right now. There are 29 islands and in the Cyclades island group, and several other islands groups with tons of islands as well. Islands like Milos, Hydra, Paxos, and Crete would probably be better options for getting off the beaten path. I think Milos is one of the best islands in Greece, we found uncrowded and beautiful beaches even in the middle of summer.
Music festivals are pretty much the opposite of what we can do right now, and it will probably take quite a while for big events like Coachella to come back. But I think(hope) that some of the smaller festivals might reemerge sooner rather than later. The idea of having fewer people around and being able to lay out a blanket on the grass and listen to live music sounds like an amazing time to me. Festivals like Hangtown and High Sierra have less than 10,000 people, so maybe there’s a chance?
Who needs Paris? Get out to the French countryside in the Champagne region and drink some champagne while you’re at it. Reims is one of two main cities in the Champagne region, it’s a cute walkable town surrounded by rolling hills and vineyards. Meander around town from tasting room to tasting room or go for a hike through the vineyards. Everything about Reims has a laid back and mellow kind of vibe.
If you are looking for a Mediterranean getaway, Hvar is the spot. Just off the coast from mainland Croatia, it is just a one-hour ferry ride from Split. Enjoy the beaches and the slower pace of island life for a little bit. Up in the hills, you can smell the lavender fields and get amazing views of the islands and sea.
Big Sur, CA
I will admit, Big Sur is probably one of the most popular places in California to visit, but the fact that it has never been built up keeps it feeling fairly remote. From five-star hotel villas to camping in the redwoods, there is just about every kind of accommodation, the thing is there just isn’t tons of accommodations so booking in advance is usually the key. Escape into nature by hiking in the redwoods or along the rugged coast, then relax at the spa and have an amazing meal at one of the many excellent restaurants.
Ansel Adams Wilderness, CA
If you’ve been wanting to get out into the backcountry but have dashed your plans of a long through-hike this year the Ansel Adams Wilderness is perfect. Just northwest of Mammoth Lakes off Highway 395 you’ll find tons of trails for backpacking as well as high alpine lakes, wildflowers, and snowy peaks. It is some of the most scenic areas in the Sierras, no wonder Ansel Adams kept coming back here to photograph it.
Palm Springs, CA
I would just like to say, I love Palm Springs. I love the desert heat and the mid-century architecture, I also like just hanging out floating in the pool, so Palm Springs is always a win for me.
How to Travel Responsibly
California Camping Options
A Hipster’s Guide to Koh Tao
5 Outdoor Adventures to have in Nova Scotia
5 Outdoor Adventures to have in Montenegro
Explore Hvar By Scooter
The 10 Best Fall Trips
The 10 Best Winter Destinations
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