So far, the year 2020 was a perfect illustration of the old saying “Man proposes, but God disposes.” Not even halfway to 2021, the planet has already been shaken by the raging fires in Australia, Brexit, global pandemic, and #BlackLivesMatter protests all around the world. And it’s hardly a full list of everything that happened since January 1. It seems impossible to find a person whose hopes for 2020 weren’t affected in one way or another, especially when it comes to one’s travel plans.
Right now, uncertainty is floating in the air, and it seems like the joy of fearless international travel might have to wait for some indefinite time. But, as J. R. R. Tolkien wisely said, “But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it’ll shine out the clearer.” So, instead of mourning this year’s failed vacation, why not start planning your next year’s grand adventure? Traveling locally is always a good option right now, or you can plan several months ahead.
After all, the world is full of wonders waiting to be explored, and it’s a bad taste to keep anyone waiting. And if the question of “when” is unclear for now, you can at least deal with the pressing matter of where to go after the skies are open again.
Yes, this option is hardly a revelation and might even seem a bit surprising in the light of recent events. But the incredible country is considered to be a classic setting for a perfect vacation not for nothing. The cradle of the world’s culture, breathtaking Italy offers everything to fulfill the expectations of the most fastidious travelers. The country is like a window to the past with its ancient cities, cobbled streets, and one-of-a-kind historical and religious sights, but Italy is far from being stuck in the past. It honors its history but never stops to move forward, so nowadays the country boasts some of the most impressive examples of modern architecture, several world-class museums of modern art, and a dream of every petrolhead aka the first world’s supercar capital – lovely Modena.
Without a doubt, starting your post-coronavirus travel with Italy is a great plan. For example, you can travel to Rome and dive into exploring the unparalleled historical heritage of the city by touring its numerous sights and visiting the core of the Catholic religion, awe-inspiring Vatican. Even if you have been to the Eternal City before, this time, you might get a chance to explore the best the Italian capital has to offer with fewer people around, as a lot of travelers might opt for less renowned and thus less crowded travel spots at first.
Sicily is another great place to consider for your getaway. At first glance, the scenic region is a paradise for any nature lover and a beach holiday enthusiast, but there is so much more than meets the eye. If you happen to get tired of enjoying the golden sandy beaches and the warm embrace of the Mediterranean Sea, feel free to take a break and explore Sicily’s famously rich history and delicious cuisine. The birthplace of Archimedes and home of the world-famous Valley of Temples has a lot to offer for anyone willing to look.
The Cinque Terre would also make a spectacular starting point for your 2021 adventure. Can you really think of anyone who is not interested in seeing the incredible sight of charming fishing villages, nestled on seemingly inaccessible (and often fully vertical) cliffs descending into the crystal-clear waters of the nearby sea?
With so many possibilities, planning is key to an unforgettable vacation. What should you keep in mind while looking for the best Italy tours? Well, it’s probably better to make sure that all offered accommodations are located somewhere in the city centers or near the main landmarks of the area and not across the town line, as no one wants to waste 2 hours daily on public transport to get to where the life is. Plus, connections in Italy might be quite tricky to plan, so it’s wise to choose a company that is ready to take care of all the transportation for you.
If you don’t feel like going to Italy just yet, but you love the idea of the ancient civilizations, rich cultural heritage, delicious food, and quite a few interesting things to see and try, have a close look at magical Greece.
It’s hardly necessary to mention Athens as a great travel destination. It would be almost like saying that corgis are adorable or that the grass is green. The place, known as the cradle of Western civilization, the birthplace of democracy, and home of the main gods and goddesses of the past can’t be anything but amazing. Visiting the city alone promises a bunch of lifelong memories, but the country has a couple of more aces up its sleeve.
Have you seen the amazing “Mamma Mia” movie? The one boasting an almost ridiculously famous cast, singing, and dancing under the accompaniment of the best ABBA’s hits and absolutely breathtaking views that can put even renowned Goa to shame? Well, that’s the Greek islands for you. Although the first things that come to mind when people think of Greece travel are usually ancient temples and Mount Olympus, the crystal clear waters of the seas, sheer cliffs, small isolated islands with unexplored paths, and authentic villages where you can try the best Mediterranean cuisine (real authentic foods of the region and not the modified restaurant versions) are just as an essential part of the country’s image.
If all of the above sounds great, but not exactly what you are looking for this time, Scotland might be exactly what you need. Of course, if you look at the big picture, all of these countries have something in common, like plenty of interesting tourist attractions, rich cultural heritage, and authentic cuisine. But if you look closely, you will see that Scotland stands out as something completely different but equally amazing.
While the streets of Rome and Athens are breathing history and awe, fairy-tale Edinburgh is shrouded in the atmosphere of serenity and glory. Walking its old cobbled streets feels like suddenly jumping into one of those old books, telling the tales of noble knights, bravery, and maybe even magic. The majestic Edinburgh Castle, towering over the city, only enhances this feeling.
If you decide to extend your trip beyond the borders of the Scottish capital, you have a wide list of possibilities. After all, the land is famous for its majestic castles and breathtaking lakes (including the world-famous Loch Ness), and you absolutely have to put Fingal’s Cave on your travel bucket list, so the main trick here is figuring out how to see everything there is to see during the holiday.
Another promising destination worthy of considering is Russia, the biggest and one of the most stereotyped countries in the world. There is a lot to know about it, and first things first, you won’t see any bears if you are not planning to go to the zoo, ushankas are not a mandatory headdress, and Russians are not always depressed. The rest stereotypes are up to you to break or confirm.
Visiting this amazing country is a bit like going into another world, where everything is as you expect it to be and completely different at the same time. Regardless of the first impression, you will find out that locals are incredibly kind people and are always happy to help. Russian cuisine is not plain at all, it might seem that way due to the lack of spices in the traditional recipes, but it compensates this flaw by offering some truly bold combinations of flavors. Vodka is still very much a national Russian drink, but now it yields to wine and beer in terms of popularity. Comparing the expectations with reality while traveling is always exciting, and Russia is a treasury of opportunities for that.
And the options on how to tour Russia are countless! You can go with a fully customizable private tour and enjoy the program tailored personally for your interests. Or join a small group of travelers from all over the world and share your Russian experience with them. Another really great idea for a holiday is a railway tour along the world-famous Trans-Siberian railway. As a rule, such programs take about two weeks, and it’s probably the most authentic way to explore the country. And don’t forget about the river cruises along the Volga River. There are so many great choices when it comes to Russian vacation, that planning can be rather challenging and the sooner you start organizing your holiday, the better (a little hint: you can find some interesting Russia travel ideas as well as plenty of useful information, including a travel guide on https://www.travelallrussia.com/).
Today, it might seem way too optimistic to plan for something so far away as the next year. But that’s exactly why now is a good time to do that. Dwelling on today’s worries does nothing but increasing anxiety levels while having something exciting to look forward to can give a much-needed strength to keep your chin up and move forward to the better tomorrow. And the better tomorrow is coming. So let’s enjoy the delicious feeling of anticipation and start preparing for the amazing things to come while we are waiting.
Bryan has visited exactly one more country than his wife, and she won’t let him forget it! Also an avid photographer, he enjoys entrenching himself within the local culture in order to learn more about the people of a place. He is the co-founder of Budget Your Trip and loves a good adventure, an exotic meal, or a passionate conversation about global events.