Where are the best vacation spots?

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Where is my favourite place in the world?

Along with where are the best vacation spots in the world, I get these two questions all the time?  These are the type of questions that are very hard for a seasoned traveller to answer. I’ve been travelling for 20 years and have visited almost 100 countries. I’ve loved them all!

I understand why I get asked it. Ask an expert who’s been all these places and has a lot of different places to compare it to but I really do not have an answer to the question.

I find countries a bit like books. The first thing that attracts you is the cover or a recommendation from someone or a photo you see on Instagram. But then as you read the book you delve a little deeper and find out more about the plot or the history and culture and food of the country.

best vacation spots

But I also find that with countries and book recommendations its all about where you are at personally at that time. If you have been stressed and you’re wanting to unwind I wouldn’t recommend places with sensory overload such as India or the medinas of Morocco. Same with the fact that you’re a bit bored with your everyday life and looking for excitement I wouldn’t recommend going to a lot of the islands.  These are all things I take into account when planning a trip.

What’s the season, what am I up for, what truly speaks to me at the time? Even though I do not like crowds I went to India in the middle of winter with an open mind. I was there to experience it all.  It is one of my favourite countries but also because every area of India is different and it has a lot to offer. Here’s how to choose the perfect holiday destination.

There are also a couple of places I just would not go to right now. Its not because they are dangerous but because I feel they are overexposed. Iceland is one of those places. I swear if I see one more Instagram photo of the Blue Lagoon. Ugh! I went there in 1999 and it was amazing. I connected with so many locals and had a wonderful experience there. I just do not think I could do it with all of the tourists today. I also wonder how the locals feel about it. Of course it is good for the economy but I feel there we have reached a tipping point.  I’ve heard the government may limit the number of tourists which I think is a good idea.

I’m actually at the point where I would rather go to a place that is more off the beaten path. I think my trip to the Central Pacific Islands is an example of that. Nauru is a country that receives less than 200 visitors a year. It’s raw and untouched and absolutely beautiful.


I leave next month on a trip around South America. And even though I will be visiting places all over Instagram such as Rio de Janeiro, Machu Picchu, and Buenos Aires, I will also visit places better off the beaten path. When I visit a country I want to see everything has to offer and visit this much of it as possible.  That’s why I am spending six months in South America to explore and I still think that that is not enough time.

So to answer the question here are some of the best vacation spots and why.  This is more of an off the beaten path list of best vacation spots.  Yes, you have heard of these places but I haven’t included places like Paris as everyone has heard of Paris.  So here we go.

Maldives – I love the Maldives, who wouldn’t?  I love the ocean and I think the Maldives has the best underwater playground in the world.  Its stunning.

best vacation spot Maldives

Ethiopia – Ethiopia has something for everyone.  Food, culture, history, wildlife!  I’ve written quite a bit about Ethiopia.  I say go now as this country is just starting to get on the radar.

Tanzania – Between the Serengeti and Ngorongoro safaris there is so much wildlife in Tanzania.  And just when you think you’ve seen enough wildlife you go check out the beaches of Zanzibar.  Seriously stunning.  Don’t forget your binoculars for your safari!

best vacation spots tanzania

Norway – stunning landscapes and beautiful fjords I just loved Norway.  The colours are simply beautiful and the people are amazing as well.

India – as I mentioned has so much to offer.  I’ve been three times and each time is a completely different experience.  Oh and the food.  Amazing.  I loved everything India has to offer.

So where are the best vacation spots?  I’m keeping some of my top destinations to myself!  And of course this list changes as you experience more places and try new things.  Over to you.  What are your favourite destinations right now?

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27 thoughts on “Where are the best vacation spots?

  1. I love your suggestions! I am in Turkey now and enjoying it a lot because there are almost no tourists. I´ve been spending all the winter here and it´s been an amazing experience! As you, I wouldn´t go to the places everyone loves so much because well, everyone is there. Iceland looks lovely on the photos, but I won´t be heading there as I think it must be really crowded!

  2. I so feel you with your comment on Iceland! Seriously every second person is talking about it right now!! Have a ball in South America, you are absolutely right- 6 months seems like a long time but you’ll be wishing you had longer!

  3. My favorite place is Japan. No doubt about it, I love it so much, I want to move there. If I could live in Tokyo, I would probably never need to travel another day, because they have everything I need and more.

  4. Our world is so big. It’s hard to pinpoint one favorite. Every place I have been has its pros and cons. Overall, I must say Rome is my favorite, but it is still by no means perfect. Thanks for sharing this! It offers a unique perspective.

  5. It’s such a hard question!! But love your list! I always wanted to save the Maldives for a honeymoon, but screw it i need to go before the islands are gone! Ohh and I loved Tanzania to death. The wildlife there was like a dream.

  6. I love your thinking! I can totally understand, why you can’t really answer the question! Although I have not been to as many places like you, I couldn’t exactly say, which one is my favorite or which one I would recommend. Most places have their pros and cons.

  7. I still have a craving to visit Iceland but I can definitely feel for the overexposed and plethora of Blue Lagoon photos. Nevertheless, I’d probably still be taking photos there! Personally, our favorite country is Japan and we’re heading back in 2018 for a 3-4 month Asia trip. Asia has our hearts! 🙂

  8. I really appreciate the book analogy. So many great places that you cover, I think I am most attracted to crystal clear water and beaches. Beautiful photos 🙂

  9. I cannot make a definite answer yet on where will be the best vacation spot for me. I agree with all your list. India has been one of the countries I would like to visit just after I finished visiting tourist visa countries. Maldives as what they said is a very romantic place. South America is another continent that I hope I can visit someday.

  10. Like you, I don’t have an absolute favourite country. I prefer those that are quite different culturally from my own. Essentially, I enjoy each country for different reasons. I like your point that we should really consider where we are at and what we want/need from a holiday before we book a trip if we want to enjoy it. All too often, people don’t stop and take stock beforehand and end up not enjoying themselves as much as they’d hoped.

  11. Have fun in South America. We just got back (and go every winter). It is such a wonderful, unexplored part of the world. Let me know if you need any help as I’d be happy to give you tips!

  12. Wow – 100 countries? That’s amazing! I just got back from a trip to India and I totally agree – what an amazing country! I only wish I had more time there. Going on a safari in Africa is one of my bucket list items, and I would also love to spend 6 months traveling around South America. Have a great trip!

  13. Impossible question for me to answer as well and I get that question too. Every country has something special. First Iran comes up, then Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, India, Peru and before I know I have mentioned every country I have been too. I also prefer the more off the beaten path places. And I agree about India. India is huge and there is so much to see. It keeps drawing me back even after 4 visits.

  14. Same thing with me, answering that questions is really difficult. Every place has its own beauty and uniqueness. Each has own stories to tell and treasures to be discovered. I haven’t been to any of those places you’ve mentioned above but definitely they’re all worth to visit. 🙂

  15. I feel the same way about Iceland and I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one. It’s like everyone went there last year and everyone has that mandatory shot of the Blue LAgoon, I found it beautiful at first but then after soooo many photos of it, I got sick and tired of it. :p

    You’re right about being at the right place at the right time, if you’re bored don’t go to laidback islands and if you’re stressed avoid busy cities. 🙂

  16. Such great suggestions. It’s so hard with the world of social media to find places that are undiscovered and off the beaten path!! Kudos to you for keeping it authentic.

  17. 100 countries? You are very lucky! Wow! We haven’t been outside our own country! LOL! 😀

    Tanzania is among the places we dream to visit. Looking at those lions, giraffes, elephants, and other safari-dwelling animals would probably be an awesome experience for us.

  18. I really like your book analogy. I agree that travelling a place allows you to see it more in depth and gain a better understanding of the society’s culture. That’s why I prefer travelling either to less touristy areas or staying longer in a place because if you just go on day trips and travel with a tour group then you’re experiencing a very censored experience of that country. This was a great read! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  19. First of all, I love your analogy of countries and books. I once read a quote that read, “the world is your book and you should read every page”. Thought you would enjoy that 🙂 You have listed some amazing countries and I am so jealous you have been to the Maldives! I hope to go there for a solid wedding anniversary – maybe for our 5th 🙂

  20. These sound like great places to vacation. It’s always great to hear about people’s top spots because everyone likes something different. We heard that India is a lot of fun to explore and we really enjoyed our short time in Norway. The rest of the top spots look fantastic as well.

  21. I loved this post and totally agree about destinations which are over exposed! Iceland is certainly one of them now, along with most of South East Asia too.

  22. You definitely mentioned some of the places that are at the top of my list. I’ve always wanted to go to Tanzania and the Maldives! I went to Iceland last year, and I definitely agree that we’re at a tipping point. I spent most of my trip in more remote parts of the country, and found that I was really able to connect with locals like you mentioned, but it was SO touristy in Reykjavik. I would definitely support the Icelandic government putting a cap on it to preserve that beautiful country.

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