At this point, you might be so desperate to go somewhere, anywhere, that the destination itself is almost an afterthought. We completely understand, and we’re always up for a new place to explore or an old favorite to revisit and see what’s changed. We’re still, of course, navigating the unique circumstances that the COVID-19 pandemic has ushered into our lives. With those factors in mind, these destinations stand out for 2022.
After a lost summer season in 2020, the wild frontiers of Alaska were able to salvage a partial season last year, with great success. If not back to “normal,” this year at least figures to offer a full summer of adventure — although you don’t have to limit your Alaska explorations to the warmer months. Alaska’s autumn colors are just as spectacular as any you’ll see in the Lower 48, and the longer nights increase your chances of spotting Northern Lights. Cruising is the most common way people get around, and the Inside Passage does indeed showcase the state’s spectacular landscapes and wildlife, but it’s not the only way. Boutique lodges can be a fabulous way to explore Alaska’s interior and less-trafficked waterways.
The British Isles
The UK and Ireland have both recently done away with the requirement for pre-departure testing for fully vaccinated travelers, making for one less barrier between you and a great vacation. Visitors to the UK do still need to present a negative test on Day 2 in the country, but those can now be rapid antigen tests rather than PCR. That makes cities such as London, Edinburgh and Dublin, as well as the lovely countryside you’ll find throughout England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland more easily accessible for your international getaway this year.
As a small, island state, Hawaii has understandably been careful with COVID restrictions through the pandemic. The governor has invited travelers back, and recent relaxations make it easier to get in. Domestic travelers who are fully vaccinated no longer need a negative test, and unvaccinated domestic travelers can enter with a negative test. Going between counties no longer requires any testing, so a multi-island itinerary is once again a breeze that shows off all Hawaii has to offer. Hawaii has long provided a tropical paradise you don’t need a passport to go to; now it’s a haven from onerous entry protocols.
In recent years, after the fallout from the 2011 revolution, Egypt has re-emerged as a popular destination. Open throughout most of the pandemic, it’s been one of the go-to international spots for travelers, who have had all those antiquities largely to themselves. Few sights are as imposing and awe-inspiring as the pyramids and Sphinx towering above you against the desert backdrop. But the hits don’t stop there. At Sakkara you can view an even older pyramid, the Step Pyramid of Djoser and at Memphis, the ruins of the Old Kingdom capital. At Luxor you’ll find more than 400,000 square feet of well-preserved temples on the banks of the Nile.
It’s ski season, and the slopes of Park City, Jackson Hole and the resorts that stretch up and down Colorado are calling. It’s outdoors and it’s exercise during a season when we spend much of our time shut up indoors to get away from the miserable weather. Add mountains, though, and we can’t get enough of winter. The Rockies have plenty going on in all seasons, with summer bringing food and music festivals and the general pleasantness of being in the great outdoors with great weather and beautiful scenery.