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Note: All travel is subject to frequently changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state and local advisories before scheduling trips. This article was updated November 2020.

These past few months, avid travelers around the world have had to cancel trips and get comfortable in the confines of their own homes. We’ve missed spring breaks, graduations and getting to see our friends and family face-to-face. But tough times don’t last; tough travelers do, and many of our top travel bloggers are already planning their next escapes. For now, the world can wait, but here’s where we’re headed as soon as it’s safe to pack up again. Plus, let us know in the comments the places you’re most looking forward to traveling next, and why!

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Eastern Europe by rail

St Sava`s temple in Belgrade

I have a pretty epic Eastern European rail and bus journey planned for fall that I’m crossing my fingers will still happen. It begins in Belgrade, Serbia and ends in Lviv, Ukraine and includes overnights in Budapest, Bratislava, Prague, Krakow and other cities along the way. Meanwhile, from my home in Los Angeles, I’ve been California dreaming like crazy and am chomping at the bit to take a sun-drenched and solo road trip or two to regional places I love like Palm Springs, Las Vegas, the Mojave Desert, and Joshua Tree National Park, to name just a few.—Jason Heidemann

St. Pete Beach, FL

St. Petersburg in Florida

Since the virus has changed life as we know it, I’ve rearranged my fall travel plans from Italy’s Amalfi Coast to a more familiar spot, Florida’s St. Pete Beach. It’s drivable and there’s a great little old-school beachfront resort there called The Tahitian where I’ve stayed a few times already. It’s nothing fancy but it oozes nostalgic, mid-century charm that reminds me of simpler times, with a shuffleboard court, a heated pool and grills on its beachfront patio—Old Florida at its finest. It’s a comfy, familiar and affordable spot, drenched in sunshine year-round, which makes it a great post-quarantine destination to return to.—Martina Sheehan

Barcelona, Spain

First place I’m heading back to is Barcelona. I’m one  to usually make it a point to travel somewhere new, but during lockdown I find myself reminiscing about this quirky and whimsical city. Visiting a quiet Park Güell first thing in the morning (when it’s free) and listening to a local musician play Spanish guitar always moves me. It reminds me to slow down and enjoy the moment. It’s a perfect city to walk around aimlessly and then take a break in a plaza and order tapas. Also, the rooftop of Casa Mila never gets old for a photographer. I’ve spent hours up there and always find a new shape or angle.—Monica Pedraja

Sedona, AZ

Cathedral Rock, Sedona, Arizona.

As soon as it’s considered safe to travel again, I’m heading to Sedona, Arizona … alone. As much as I love my husband and our dog, we’ve been cooped up in our urban home together 24/7. I crave wide open spaces and some solitary “me” time. Revisiting the red rock landscape of this mystical corner of the Southwest always rejuvenates and restores. I look forward to taking hikes to vortex sites and indulging in spa treatments like chakra balancing and Integrated Energy Therapy. After Sedona, perhaps my husband and I can finally take that trip to Santorini—together—for some R&R along its caldera, where azure-blue waters, pink-hued sunsets and white-washed buildings absolutely kiss the eyes. We’ve been researching and discussing our ideal itinerary as a fun project while we shelter in place … even as I plan my solo getaway to Sedona.—Erica Bray

Australian wine country

Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia

Top of my list is Australia’s Victoria Pinot country. I’ve never been more sure in my life that all I want to do at the end of the year is drink wine in (what will be) the Australian summer. I’ve also got active plans to revisit Tokyo, which over the last few years has become my happy place. Strolling in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, sitting elbow-to-elbow at my favorite ramen spot, people watching Akihabara—it’s all been appearing nightly in my dreams. I’ve even started battling daily with the Duolingo owl, just so I’ll have a fighting chance at reading the chip packets at FamilyMart when I finally return.—Laura Studarus

The Aloha State

hawaii

My best friend recently moved to Hawaii for work. My husband and I are eager to visit her in Honolulu (it would be our first trip to Hawaii, and we’d have a free place to crash), but we’d previously been dreading the prospect of a long plane ride with our two young children. Now, after being cooped up with them 24/7 during COVID-19, what’s another 13 hours? Hawaii, here we come.—Dalia Colon

Copenhagen, Denmark

copenhagen

Two weeks before social-distancing started in Boston, my boyfriend and I moved into a new apartment together. After dating for a little over a year, we were excited for the new adventure of cohabitation—and well, we have had a crash course over the last month. On April 1, we had a two-week trip planned to his hometown of Copenhagen, to spend Easter with friends and family. Though we’ve been there together a few times already, this trip was special, since it was our first holiday with his side of the family. Plus, we had somehow scored hard-to-get reservations at The Alchemist, a 50-course tasting menu that recently earned two Michelin stars. Denmark in the spring also has a certain charm about it: After months of gray skies and short days, the sunshine surprises everyone with its warmth, and locals often have picnics in the park to celebrate the arrival of a new season. We hope to make it this fall, where at the very least, we can try and make our new restaurant reservation—and have a much-delayed (and needed!) celebration with our loved ones.—Lindsay Tigar

Minocqua, Wisconsin

The last few weeks have given me a unique chance to slow down and look back at my most memorable trips—Slovenia, Peru, and Wisconsin are top of my list of places to revisit.  As soon as it’s safe to travel again, I’m looking to book a weekend in Minocqua, Wisconsin. Minocqua is one of those special places that’s straight out of a postcard. The quaint downtown area is full of charming shops, local eateries, and some of the best fudge you’ll ever try. No matter where you wander you’re never more than a couple blocks away from the shores of Lake Minocqua. Best of all, it’s driving distance from my hometown, Chicago. I visited two years ago and can’t wait to go back and spend some quality time outside.—Sarah Mack

Turks and Caicos

turks and caicos

We usually try to take an end of winter/early spring trip somewhere tropical, to escape the cold and soak up the vitamin D. Since that wasn’t possible this year, we’ve moved our warm weather vacation to fall (fingers crossed) and booked some ultra cheap flights to Turks and Caicos. It’s been years since we visited and the memory of the stunning white sand beaches, cerulean waters, and delicious fresh seafood is luring us back big time.—Lindsay from Compass + Twine

Marrakesh

Marrakesh

Marrakesh has been on our bucket list for years and all this quarantine-ing is just exacerbating our wanderlust. Exploring someplace brand new, with a totally different culture and an exciting food scene is just what the doctor ordered for us once we’re able to travel again. At the top of our Morrocan to-do list? Visiting Le Jardin Secret, wandering the medinas, shopping for beautiful rugs at Galerie Le Pacha, and eating all the tagine we can find!—Sarah from Compass + Twine

Yamagata, Japan

Okama Crater

I go to Japan half a dozen times per year for my Japan travel blog, and one of those trips always takes place in spring for the sakura. This year was to have been my most comprehensive cherry blossom trip ever but, alas, it was not meant to be. I plan to go back as soon as Japan’s borders open back up. And I mean literally day-of: I live in Taiwan, so I can fly in easily. If this takes place in fall, I’ll head to the Tohoku region’s Yamagata prefecture (which I’ve previously only visited in winter) and hike down to the colorful volcanic lake of Okama Crater, or up 1,000 steps to mysterious Yamadera temple. Or, there’s a chance I’ll return on my annual autumn color trip, if I can.—Robert Schrader

Montana

After being stuck between the same four walls for weeks, I want to go somewhere rural, somewhere expansive, hence Montana. I’ve always wanted to visit a dude ranch, but now I want to go there more than ever. I’m envisioning days spent horseback riding through mountainous landscapes, white water rafting with my family and the fanciest glamping experience I can find.—Danielle Braff

New York City’s 5 Boroughs

My home base of New York City has been hurting a lot lately but we’ve also been seeing the good in people—we’re tough but helpful. While the city may look a little different when visitors start trickling back in, many of New York’s great attractions won’t have changed, and fortunately, many of them are out in the fresh air, so I’ll be able to start exploring again fairly soon. Of course, there’s Central Park but I also look forward to revisiting the High Line in Chelsea, the waterfront aligned Hudson River Park and heading uptown to Fort Tryon Park. Other great walks include a more leisurely stroll along the Brooklyn Bridge and the George Washington Bridge, where you can view the Little Red Lighthouse. For meals, I prefer to skip the chains and spend money at locally-owned restaurants. I’ve missed the city’s delis, bagels and pizza, and cuisines from around the globe that make dining in New York such a treat.—Michele Herrmann

Tagged: City, Destinations, International, Seasonal, Top 10 list, Types of Travel

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CheapTickets Blog Editors

CheapTickets Blog Editors

CheapTickets editors are a diverse group of writers and bloggers who live and work all over the world and who have a passion for student-friendly budget travel coursing through their veins. Whether it's finding the most Instagrammable yurt in the Coachella Valley or uncovering dirt cheap eats in expensive cities like Tokyo and Paris, our writers take the road less traveled to uncover the world's best deals and destinations.
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It’s “wave season.” That means from January-March every year, cruise lines and cruise distributors offer their cheapest rates in an effort to get people to book their cruises early in the year. Cheap cruises—we’ll take it! Here are some cruise ports that will take your breath away from the deck of the ship as you glide into port.

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Port of Venice, Italy

Venice's grand canal at night. Courtesy of Kosala Bandara.

Venice’s grand canal at night. Courtesy of Kosala Bandara.

By land or sea, Venice is one of the most beautiful cities you’ll ever see. People visit Venice to see the canals, to eat the food, to experience the culture and learn some history, before it all sinks beneath the Adriatic Sea. But what visitors don’t necessarily expect is how the water weaving between each and every block plays with the light. In the daytime, the blue of the canals contrasts the color of the architecture, making its orange hue even more vibrant. At night, the lights play on the water, dancing and illuminating the canals to the point that almost becomes a second light source. The best time of day, though, is twilight. That time of day when the sun has dipped below the horizon but it’s not quite dark yet. A purple hue falls over the city and envelopes everything in a way you can’t experience anywhere else. Plan a cruise that docks just as the sun sets to experience the magic.

Port Vell, Barcelona, Spain

A view of Port Vell in Barcelona from Montjuïc. Courtesy of David Merrett.

A view of Port Vell in Barcelona from Montjuïc. Courtesy of David Merrett.

Continuing around from Italy and through the Mediterranean, is Barcelona, the capital of the autonomous region of Catalonia. Barcelona is steeped in history that remains visible today and is evident as soon as your cruise ship begins making its approach toward Barcelona’s Port Vell (that means “old port” in Catalan). If you can peel your eyes away from the beautifully blue Mediterranean waters and palm trees gently blowing in the sea breeze (and maybe a few topless women on a beach nearby, because, well, this is Europe), you’ll be taken aback by Barcelona’s architecture. To your right as you approach the port, you’ll see the outlines of Antoin Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia, the famed yet unfinished church that’s been under construction for decades. To your left, you’ll see the ancient fort perched atop Montjuïc, which served as a lookout for invaders from the sea. The ship will dock at the base of La Rambla, one of the most vibrant and well-known boulevards in the city. When you step onto that Barcelona soil, your adventure really begins.

Port Santorini, Greece

Santorini port. Courtesy of Shane Gorski.

Santorini port. Courtesy of Shane Gorski.

The whitewashed buildings stand out starkly against the vibrant blue of the sky and sea as you approach the Grecian island by way of the Aegean Sea. Tales of Greek monsters are nowhere near your mind as you sail toward Santorini, but you wonder if maybe this is Mt. Olympus because only the gods could tread somewhere this beautiful. The crescent-shaped island is southeast of Greece’s mainland and is the remnants of a volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest dwellers. As you approach the island’s main port, Athinias, you’ll see the remnants of the centuries-old eruption in the dark, steep cliffs holding up the white towns and villages.

Papeete port, Tahiti, French Polynesia

Tahitian palm with the island of Moorea in the background. Courtesy of Lori Branham.

Tahitian palm with the island of Moorea in the background. Courtesy of Lori Branham.

You may feel as though you’re a castaway finally washing ashore in Tahiti after the hundreds of remote miles you traveled through the South Pacific to arrive. But at least you’ve arrived to paradise. The largest in the Windward group of French Polynesian islands, Tahiti is an explosion of green among the vast blue, with mountains jutting upward and palm trees framing the port. Tiki huts line long docks jutting out into the pristine waters. The island is centered on volcanic mountains, and is famous for its black sand beaches, formed with bits of lava fragments. Much of Tahiti’s beauty also lies beneath its waters. Farming for the Tahitian black pearl is a huge part of the countries economy, and coral reefs surrounding the island teem with colorful wildlife.

Misty Fjords port of call, Alaska

Misty Fjords, Alaska. Courtesy of Andrew Malone.

Misty Fjords, Alaska. Courtesy of Andrew Malone.

Although there are dozens of ports of call in Alaska (and most Alaskan cruises hit several per trip), Misty Fjords is not to be missed. The cruise ship is dwarfed by the rising, snow-capped mountains seemingly enveloping the fjord on all sides. A fjord is a narrow inlet lined with steep cliffs that was formed by a glacier. And this one will take your breath away. There are 1,000-foot waterfalls, sheer granite cliffs, pristine lakes and low-hanging mist in this remote section of the Alaskan panhandle. While you are awe-inspired from the landscape, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife such as bald eagles, grizzly bears and moose peeking out toward the ship.

Kona Port, Kailua Kona, Hawaii

Kailua-Kona after sunset, with volcanic rocks on the beach in the foreground. Courtesy of Steve Dunleavy.

Kailua-Kona after sunset, with volcanic rocks on the beach in the foreground. Courtesy of Steve Dunleavy.

There are about 150 distinct ecosystems throughout the Hawaiian islands, and you’ll be able to see a slew of them as you cruise into the port in Kona. Ships use the port at Kailua Kona, on the western side of the Hawaiian island. The Kona Coast has been distinguished by recent lava flows that continue to build on top of each other. Lush vegetation grows in over the flows as time goes by, making it possible to go from lush vegetation to a landscape of barren, hardened lava just by turning a corner. Some beaches also feature black sand. Whales are likely to be seen on cruises traveling now through April.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Downtown Reykjavik, Iceland. Courtesy of O Palsson.

Downtown Reykjavik, Iceland. Courtesy of O Palsson.

For being the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik offers some surprising small town charm. Nordic settlers founded the town that has grown up along the pristine Atlantic coastline in 874. Iceland seems to have a little bit of everything, as far as geologic formations go, and cruising into Reykjavik will give you an introductory taste. There are inlets and peninsulas, straits and islands, mountains and glaciers. There are volcanoes and hot springs, ice fields and thermal pools, all engulfed in a bubbling yet sophisticated culture gathered around fresh seafood. Iceland offers snapshots of landscapes that can’t be seen anywhere else in the world, and Reykjavik is the beautiful gateway. Make sure you look up at night for a potential glimpse of the Aurora Borealis.

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Tagged: Cruise, Family, Hawaii, International

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.