Sitting at home and thinking about the best dream vacation spots? I know we sure are. Every day we wake up thinking about far-flung dream destinations in the South Pacific, heading back to Africa for a safari, or even just going on a road trip to Alaska.
If we could travel anywhere tomorrow, here are the fantastic dream places we would visit. Some we have visited before, and some still dream travel destinations to check off the bucket list. Either way, I hope it inspires you to do some travel planning to these dream places to go on vacation!
As Samantha Brown, travel TV host, said, “A little fact I love is that simply the act of planning travel puts us in the same psychologically happy place as being at a destination.”
Epic Dream Vacation Spots
This East African island packs a lot of punch for things to do and experience. It’s safe to say that excitement and relaxation can be had on every corner of the island as there are so many wonderful places to visit in Zanzibar. At the same time, you can still easily relax on a beautiful beach and dive into the warm, clear water. At the end of the day, eat at an affordable Zanzibar restaurant!
To me, Zanzibar is the ultimate dream destination in Africa. It has clear turquoise water, white sand beaches, and unique culture. If you want a dream beach destination that isn’t just resorts and rich people, go to Zanzibar as it has a unique vibe I haven’t seen anywhere else in Africa, or the world, for that matter.
Zanzibar is also one of the best cheap honeymoon destinations you can find with warm blue Indian Ocean water. Honestly, Zanzibar really can’t be beaten. There is a price range here for every budget from backpacker to luxury.
We went into the country uncertain of travel there and left with a strong desire to return immediately. Do you want to swim with whale sharks on your honeymoon? Do you want to sit on a beach without anyone else around? Then head to Mozambique!
Vilanculos, for example, is the gateway to the stunning Bazaruto Archipelago. It is here that some of the last dugongs reside (and you may even get lucky and see one). Bazaruto Island is an isolated white sand island offering incredible views of the bright blue Indian Ocean. See the photo above? This is the Bazaruto Archipelago! I bet you never thought of Mozambique as a dream destination, have you?
Tofo Beach is where you yourself can swim among whale sharks. And not at one of those over touristy animal exploited places either. Here it is truly wild.
The best part about Mozambique? Once you get to where you’re going, you’ll find $1 beers, $4 crab curries, and heavenlike beaches. You can also find very affordable beach-chic lodges like Trevessia Beach Resort, one of the most exclusive romantic experiences ever.
I’m sure having The Maldives on this dream destinations list is no surprise. The coral atolls spread across the Indian Ocean are an enticing getaway with white sand beaches, turquoise water, and tropical weather.
The water is home to an abundance of marine life so diverse, and snorkelers can rejoice in close encounters with rays, sharks, whales, and a dizzying number of fishes. To make it only better, some of the world’s most luxurious resorts in the world sit on top of these atolls with indulgent water villas and beach bungalows.
If you’ve ever dreamed of staying in an overwater bungalow in the middle of the Indian Ocean, head to the Maldives. It doesn’t get much better than here.
Italy may be our favorite country in Europe and one of our favorites in the world. The iconic countryside, fantastic wine, rich history, and strong culture keeps us coming back year after year.
Each time we have a new reason for visiting Italy. Last time it was to drive a moped along the Amalfi Coast. From Sorrento to Amalfi the entire coastline is jagged and completely surreal.
It is home to vast swaths of wilderness teeming with wildlife like bears, moose, caribou, and wolves. We enjoyed a road trip there last summer, and it blew us away — we know we’ll return soon as it’s my dream destination relatively close to home.
If you’ve ever wanted to see Gold Rush towns in the middle of nowhere and jaw-dropping landscapes, the Yukon is for you. You can even consider driving into Alaska via the scenic Top of the World Highway.
If your idea of a dream destination is mountains, wilderness, and traveling without anyone else around, head to northern Canada.
Many North Americans turn to the Caribbean or Europe, given the proximity to North America. Australians may turn to Southeast Asia for the perfect getaway for similar reasons. These continents are fantastic!
Although, honestly, if I were to pick where our dream destination experience would be, it would be on an African safari. Africa is often an overshadowed continent, but it is undoubtedly a place to have an unforgettable experience. After traveling around Africa for over a year, we have a great appreciation for the African safari.
There’s nothing like watching a huge male lion walk across the savannah or fall asleep to the sound of wild dogs howling in the night.
You could invite me back to Greece over and over again, any time, anywhere, and I will happily accept. Greece has well over a hundred inhabited islands to explore. There is an island in Greece for everybody and every budget, and they are all dream destinations to someone.
The historic Greek islands are full of epic beaches, charming seaside towns, delicious food, and rich culture. Speaking of that culture, it’s tough to find a more hospitable or proud bunch than the Greeks. Romance is alive and well all around this beautiful country.
Aside from Mykonos and Santorini, Greece is also an affordable dream vacation for travelers. We particularly loved our time on Corfu, Ithaka, Milos, Paros, and Naxos! What other dream destination can you find seaside accommodation for under $60 a night, and eat all the olives and tzatziki you want for cheap!
One of the most fantastic dream places to travel to is Peru. This crazy biodiverse country has it all: the hot and humid rainforest of the Amazon, the soaring peaks and enigmatic history of the Andes, bustling cities, and a surfer-friendly coastline.
Then there’s also Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail, and learning about ancient civilizations. I don’t think there are many other destinations as popular as Peru right now, and that’s for a good reason – they have a lot to offer travelers.
Banff National Park
I need to mention a few North American dream destinations on this list. So may as well be our beautiful backyard of Banff National Park.
If you want that wilderness vacation you’ve always been dreaming of, the Canadian Rockies are the perfect place to head. There’s nothing quite like Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies. You’ve probably seen the mountains, but I’ve bet they’ve never been as in your face as they are here in Alberta. Seriously, every time we walk out our door, we know we are one of those dream places to travel.
Banff is the absolute dream destination for those after adventure, mountains, bears, and hiking.
Traveling to the Faroe Islands may not be on your typical list of dream places to travel. However, if you were to ask us what the most beautiful islands in Europe are, you wouldn’t get the answer you would expect. Well, maybe you have an idea from the heading above, but we would say the Faroe Islands! Yes, the group of 18 windswept islands between Norway and Iceland certainly win a spot on our favorite dream destinations list.
In many ways, they remind me of why we love the African bush – they are raw. The cliff faces and the bleak landscape are inhospitable, but they will humble you with beauty.
I can’t think of when I had a more enormous grin on my face than when I stood on top of a mountain in near hurricane-force winds. It felt dangerous, it felt right, and I felt tiny. The best thing to do is rent a car here and explore this out-of-the-world travel destination yourself.
Bhutan is one of those dream destinations in the world we have yet to visit. It’s always been on the bucket list, but we’ve never been able to make it happen, but we are hoping to check this dream vacation spot off in 2023.
Bhutan, officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked country in South Asia in the middle of the Himalayas. It’s a country known for its drop-dead gorgeous landscapes and diverse wildlife.
Bhutan is the last remaining Buddhist Kingdom in the world and is unique in that it measures its citizens’ “Gross National Happiness” instead of GDP.
Bhutan has also done a great job maintaining its unique culture and heritage by being a relatively closed-off country. It’s costly to visit as every visitor must pay $250 per day of visit for a Bhutanese visa, but I suppose that’s what makes one of those top dream travel destinations.
The Philippines are a dream beach destination in Asia. There’s a vibrant culture to discover on its hundreds of islands like Siargao, with huge cities and beaches comprising the places you should be exploring in this Southeast Asian nation.
We heard nothing but amazing things from people who had traveled the Philippines, so we knew we finally had to see the dream-worthy destination for ourselves.
After two weeks of soaking up the sunshine on white-sand beaches and scuba diving in Moalboal, while spending a fraction of what we had spent in places like the Maldives, we can’t recommend visiting enough.
The Seychelles – we can think of worse places to visit. This archipelago of over a hundred islands is a paradise. It’s a must-visit dream destination with uncountable beaches to discover, a cocktail of different cultures to experience, and some extraordinary marine life to see.
This paradise comprises sparkling granite, crystal waters, and lush green jungles, unlike anything we had ever seen previously.
So, where are the Seychelles, and what are they? The islands lie off the coast of East Africa in the warm Indian Ocean north of both Madagascar and Mauritius and just about parallel with parts of Kenya. There are 115 islands, but the three main ones frequented by tourists are Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue.
There is no country more stirring than Namibia for dream desert landscapes. Its name even comes from the world’s oldest desert that covers much of the country. No nation on earth can compete for the type of natural beauty that awaits travelers in Namibia.
You can find towering red sand dunes, dead tree valleys preserved in time, and utterly unique wildlife. There are too many things to do in Namibia for one trip.
Elsewhere you can find massive canyons and rock formations at Fish River Canyon, Damaraland, and Spitzkoppe as the Naukluft Mountains rise out of the desert dunes. Namibia does not end there as the East stretches into the endless plains of the Kalahari and the Caprivi Strip turns into an oasis of floodplains and rivers teaming with wildlife.
We drove into Southern Namibia from South Africa and were greeted by looming rock formations and empty roads. The path before us wound through an arid canyon and came up to a plateau. As we ascended out of the canyon, the sun began to set. The change in weather created gusts of fiery red sand that lit on fire from the descending sun.
This all came within our first hour in the country. We had yet to make it to a single sight on our journey, but we had already concluded that Namibia was a dream destination.
Saint Lucia is a Caribbean island famous for its beaches, carnivals, and vibrant culture. There’s plenty of nature to explore here, a plethora of great dive sites, and some extraordinary resorts where you can spend your days lazing around.
We’ve never seen anything as beautiful as The Pitons, though. The Pitons are two mountainous volcanic plugs and spires. Gros Piton and Petit Piton are 798 m high and 743 m high, respectively. You could easily stare at them all day while visiting Saint Lucia.
French Polynesia is another dream place to go that I have not traveled to yet but is high on the list. This collection of over 100 islands in the South Pacific has a lot of things going for them. It’s where you can enjoy crystal clear water, lush forests, and epic sunsets.
It’s a popular honeymoon spot, and it’s no wonder why. It’s one of those dream places to go people fantasize about.
Few destinations in the world attract as many people as Hawaii, and they are always at the top of a dream trip list. Every Hawaiian Island offers something very special to visitors. Our personal favorite is Kauai, and our second favorite is Maui.
Kauai has become more popular in recent years, enough to the point that it was the main island we wanted to visit on our trip to Hawaii. It’s known for being one of the prettiest islands and has the most laid-back vibe of the four main islands.
The main points of interest are Waimea Canyon, Hanalei Bay, and the Na Pali Coast. We also found it to be the cheapest of the islands. If you’re in search of hiking and jagged Jurassic Park landscapes, Kauai is your dream destination.
Sadly, we haven’t traveled much of Mexico, but the state of Oaxaca is one I’ve heard many great things about. Oaxaca has a ton of diversity; this area accounts for over 70% of Mexico’s bird species! There is also epic hiking in the mountain regions and plenty of cultural sites to see.
Places like Puerto Escondido claim to have some of the best surfing in the world. This is where you find epic waves and golden sand beaches. If that sounds like your idea of heaven, there’s no other place you should be.
Antarctica. I don’t need to say much more than that. Of course, this continent is a dream destination in the world. Not many people get to say they’ve been to the other end of the world and back.
To see one of the driest, windiest, but also most beautiful places on earth is a dream. However, it seems more possible every year with tour operators running there. After honeymooning to Antarctica and making this dream vacation happen this past year, we can confidently say Antarctica is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
As long as you can stomach a potentially rough Drake Passage crossing and coughing up $10,000 per person for the trip, you won’t regret traveling to Antarctica.
Traveling to South Africa is an excellent decision as it’s one of the best places to visit in Africa. It’s one of the easiest countries to travel on the African continent yet still offers creature comforts Westerners might be used to. Even though South Africa is the most modern country in Africa, it still provides visitors with that “Africa” experience and has an exciting culture.
Before our long dream vacation in South Africa, the nation was one I knew little about. Like any little girl addicted to The Disney Channel, I watched the Color of Friendship and was introduced to apartheid. I watched nature documentaries showcasing the beautiful visuals of the Cape and the effects of the two colliding ocean currents.
And, of course, I knew of the inspirational Nelson Mandela. After 90 days and getting banned from the country, we fell utterly in love. After visiting the country three times, I still consider it a dream destination in the world. You get beaches, you get wine, you get safari, you get mountains. Seriously – if that’s not a dream, I don’t know what is.
Besides the fact that Malawi is one of the smallest countries in Africa, and directly on our overland route through Africa, Malawi was a country I knew little about. I’ve met people that had traveled to Tanzania, South Africa, Namibia, and all the other “popular” African nations – but never had I met anyone that had been to Malawi.
I knew that I had to visit Malawi while venturing around Africa. We crossed over the Chitipa Border Post from Zambia with minimal expectations, and what we found shouldn’t be missed by anyone traveling around Southern and Eastern Africa.
Malawi is dubbed the “warm heart of Africa.” Once you arrive, you will see why. The people here are known for being the friendliest in Africa. No one is pushy, most areas are safe, and locals walk around with a smile on their faces.
There’s also a big lake called Lake Malawi, where you’ll want to take a drip or go for a kayak. You may not consider this a dream destination, but once you see Lake Malawi for the first time, you will certainly change your mind.
Oman is a country that has staggering natural beauty, secular government and has managed to hold on to its historical, and cultural roots while its neighbors blast forward into the modern world.
With marine life off the southern coast in Dhofar Province, a rich history to discover in Muscat, mountains, and deserts, it’s perfect for the intrepid traveler.
From the deserts to the mountains, it’s easy to find yourself away from the crowds in Oman. There are fantastic hiking opportunities, luxury resorts to lounge at, and scuba operations that will take you to see some of the richest marine life. It’s undoubtedly one of those dream destinations many don’t think about often, but we promise you it’s worth exploring.
Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye probably has the best scenery in the whole of Scotland! Easily added onto a North Coast 500 trip and only a few hour drive from Glasgow airport, the Isle of Skye should be added to everyone’s dream bucket list!
The Isle of Skye is connected to Scotland’s mainland bridge. It’s known for its staggering beauty, rugged landscape, endless green views, and medieval castles. Although it’s not a huge island, it is the largest in the Inner Hebrides archipelago at 50 miles long.
Highlights on the Isle of Skye include Portree, the Old Man of Storr, the Quiraing, and Fairy Glen.
There are few places we love in the world as much as we love the Swiss Alps. The Swiss Alps comprise all the highest mountains of the Alps and the highest peaks in Western Europe.
They are a popular hiking destination in the summer and a world-renowned ski destination in the winter. Towns like Lauterbrunnen stun visitors with beautiful Swiss waterfalls, while The Matterhorn is always a world wonder in Zermatt. It’s one of the best dream places to go in the world; just make sure to save some money for this trip. Switzerland is far from cheap!
Bali is a beautiful enigma, from its beaches, beach parties, and surf credentials to its emerald rice paddies, yoga classes, and unique culture. Its Hindu shrines, dances, traditions, and even its calendar are like nothing else in Indonesia, rooted in something entirely different and, it seems, ancient.
Bali is a paradise, especially for backpackers on a budget. It’s easy to get by here very well on less than $50 a day. Some of the best things to do include waterfall hopping in Ubud, or enjoy the “T-Rex Beach” on Nusa Penida.
Divers will fall in love with the crystal clear water and sightings of large marine life like manta rays, and those after some hidden gems will enjoy the quintessential village life in Sidemen.
Ha Long Bay
Halong Bay is one of Vietnam’s most well-known tourist attractions, but not many have heard of it outside the country.
Hạ Long Bay is located in northeast Vietnam and is known for jaw-dropping limestone islands surrounded by beautiful emerald water. Heading here feels like stepping onto a dream-like movie set, which is probably why many movies have been filmed here.
One of the most popular things to do is take a Ha Long Bay cruise to get up and close to the mammoth jungle-like islands. It’s also a popular place to scuba dive, kayak, and rock climb. If you are into caving, there are plenty of caves to explore.
Located in central Turkey’s Anatolia region, Cappadocia consists of a towering plateau studded with dramatic volcanic peaks, of which Mount Erciyes is the tallest at nearly 13,000 feet. Thanks to its inland location and elevation, the region receives little rain and is considered semi-arid. It’s also subject to sweltering summers and cold winters.
With its magnificent natural rock formations, fascinating history, and unmistakably unique architecture, Cappadocia makes for a memorable and exciting place to visit in Turkey.
Enjoy staying in a one-of-a-kind cave hotel here or waking up well before sunrise to set out on a hot air balloon ride. Cappadocia is a fabulous place to get active and go hiking in the Rose Valley or sit back and do nothing with a cup of Turkish tea.
Mont St Michel
Mont-Saint-Michel is a highlight for any trip to France, and all of Europe for that matter. The historical abbey-top island sits in a picturesque bay and feels more at home in a fairytale than reality.
The abbey was founded in 966 and claims that the archangel Michel has a role in its founding. This is a tidal island, and while it may not be the best beach in Europe for sunbathing, it’s one of the best beaches in Europe for soaking up the culture and views.
The island is about 1 km off the northwest coast of France and is connected via a bridge. It’s a fantastic day trip if you are already in Paris. Still, we highly recommend venturing out to Normandy instead and spending a few beautiful days in the French Countryside instead.
It is hard to hate on Thailand, a country with the friendliest people, a gorgeous coast, and ancient temples. All these combined keep us returning to check off new destinations in the country.
Cities like Chiang Mai are a wonderful place to temple hop, while it’s easy to go scuba diving and to snorkel around Phuket and Koh Tao. Everyone loves Thailand for different reasons, from backpackers to foodies to luxury travelers. It’s what likely makes this country one of the most visited in the entire world.
I’m sure you need no introduction to Egypt. Pyramids, Pharaohs, temples, and mummies? Yes, those all existed in ancient Egypt and can still be seen today (besides a Pharoah of course).
It’s easy to see why over 10 million visitors flock to Egypt yearly for a fantastic trip full of culture. Egypt has a gorgeous coast and is home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world, making for some fascinating history.
You could spend months here and still not scratch the surface of all the exciting sights here. From the Temple of Karnak to the Valley of the Kings and Queens, no history buff will get bored. When you have finished up on a Nile River Cruise, head to the mesmerizing coast for some affordable diving in the Red Sea.
The American Southwest is generally referred to as New Mexico and Arizona but also includes adjacent portions of California, Colorado, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah. The area has endless national parks, monuments, and other scenic landscapes.
Some of the most beautiful hikes in the United States are located here, as well as natural wonders. I’m talking death-defying hikes such as Angels Landing in Zion National Park or hoodoo walks in Bryce National Park.
The slot canyons in Arizona will surely make your jaw drop to the floor, while towns such as Sedona are almost too beautiful to be real. It’s one of the best places in the US to rent a car and road trip for weeks on end.
The Dolomites are a mountain range located in northeastern Italy. In 2009, they were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are well-known for their exceptional beauty and dramatic mountain peaks. The Dolomites span many regions in Northern Italy including Veneto, Trentino, Sudtirol, and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
Any visitor to the area will be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things to do in the Dolomites, and adventure lovers will keep returning year after year (we sure do!). Here in the Dolomites are brilliant blue lakes, dramatic mountain peaks, thrilling via ferratas, mountain rifugios, and of course plenty of delicious Italian and Austrian food.
Head to towns like Cortina in the summer, enjoy a hike through Tre Cime National Park, or base yourself in beautiful Madonna Di Campiglio to ski and drink endless cappuccinos.
Jordan is a land of earth-shattering landscapes, ancient history, tantalizing food, exciting experiences, and hospitable locals. Jordan, by all means, is a total package for tourists and deserves a place on every traveler’s dream bucket list.
If you love to travel for adventure, history, beaches, or culture Jordan has something for you! From exploring Wadi Mujib to floating in the Dead Sea, there is something for all types of tourists here.
Petra, of course, is a must-visit in Jordan. This was once the capital of the ancient Nabataean Kingdom and sheltered nomadic Arabs for many centuries. Eventually, the city was conquered by various superpowers, including the Romans and Saracens. Over the years, Petra was forgotten and remained hidden until the western world rediscovered in the 19th century. Now it is one of the great wonders in the world as a whole.
Of course, you can’t stop there when you visit Jordan; next, you’ll have to head to Wadi Rum! Wadi Rum is a wild desert that is home to nomadic Bedouins who have lived here for centuries, if not millennia.
It is a place of extremes with scorching hot summers and biting winters. Unlike the previous deserts we visited in Namibia and Morocco, Wadi Rum contains towering monoliths, mountains, and canyons.
Ready to get to a few of these dream destinations?
To Recap on These Dream Vacation Spots
- Mozambique Coast
- Amalfi Coast
- The Yukon
- African Safari
- Greek Islands
- Faroe Islands
- The Philippines
- The Seychelles
- Saint Lucia
- French Polynesia
- South Africa
- Isle Of Skye
- Swiss Alps
- Ha Long Bay
- Mont St Michel
- American Southwest
- The Dolomites
Plan For Your Trip
- Protect Your Trip: We don’t travel without travel insurance, nor should you. You never know what can happen while traveling, so it’s best to be prepared. HeyMondo provides excellent short-term and long-term travel insurance plans.
- Find Cheap Flights: Sign up for Going (formerly Scotts Cheap Flights) to get notified when prices get low.
- Book a Rental Car: We use Discover Car to book all our rental cars! You can also read our top tips for renting a car abroad here.
- Travel Adapter: Make sure you find a good adapter to keep your personal electronics charged. Otherwise, you may be paying for a cheap one once you land. Purchase one here.
- Travel Backpack: We like the Nomatic Travel Backpack for our travels. Check the price here.
- Our Favorite Travel Shoes: Our answer to this question is always ALLBIRDS! Check them out on their site!
- Get a Travel Credit Card: We travel worldwide for free because we have leveraged our spending into points. See why you should get a travel credit card and how you can do the same with our favorite travel credit cards.