Do Americans just love to work or are they shortchanging themselves? Because half bail on their vacation days each year to the tune of 662 million unused vacation days!
That’s a lot of vacationing being missed. And for some, the effects show with symptoms including fatigue, forgetfulness, irritation, and lack of motivation. Sound like you?
Truth be told, we all need a vacation, especially those of us that love to travel! But where to go? You ask, especially if you’ve been too busy working to think about it. There are so many options.
To help, we’ve put together a list of seven top vacation destinations. Keep reading to see which spot jumps out at you and then get ready to go.
1. The City of Lights — Paris
Chosen as a top destination by so many travel reviews and bloggers, Paris offers the whole shebang of culture, history, sights, tours, food, fun day trips outside the city, and relaxation.
Must-sees include the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and D’Orsay museums, Montmartre, and Notredame. Stroll along the Seine or hop on a sightseeing boat. Shop along the Champs-Elysees or in boutiques along windy cobblestone streets. Dine in Michelin-starred bistros or sit in a cafe on the Left Bank.
Feeling adventurous? Ride the Metro around the city or take a car and visit Château de Fontainebleau or the Palace of Versailles.
2. The Big Apple — New York
Ah, the energy of this fabulous metropolis — you can’t go wrong here, especially if you love to be on the go. Must-sees include the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center (where they shot 40 Rock!), or NYC One World for the view and some history. The National 9/11 Memorial and Museum is near One World.
The Statue of Liberty is great for the view and history. While you’re there, your boat can take you to Ellis Island if you like.
See shows on or off Broadway. Take a tour of the United Nations (book ahead online). Eat foods from the melting pot that is America.
Feel like relaxing after all that running around? Head over to Central Park.
3. The Wild South West — Grand Canyon Road Trip
Your jaw will drop when you see this colorful rock gorge that runs along 277 miles of river. Rent a car and drive through the desert for the full-on wild west experience. Hike down the North Rim.
Ride a mule down Bright Angel Trail. Raft through the center on the Colorado River!
Enjoy the magnificent sunsets! Stay around the Canyon or lodge in the Canyon. Roam the prairie by motorcar to take in other South West sights, including Sedona and Monument Valley.
For movie lovers, check out Forest Gump Point, 20 miles north of Monument Valley. It’s where Forest Gump decided he was done with the run!
4. Sinatra’s Pick — Las Vegas
Include this in your South West trek or fly or drive in for a more relaxed or party vacation. Must-dos include the shows, the pools, and the all-you-can-eat hotel brunches. You know about the slots so no need to talk about that.
Almost all hotels have a great pool, so take advantage. Also, many amazing artists have residency shows in the Entertainment Capital of the World. Dress up like a movie star and see some of your favorites.
Need a break from the glitter and glamour? Rent a motorcar and tour Hoover Dam or hike Red Rock Canyon. The Grand Canyon is a four-hour drive.
5. The South Atlantic Coast — South Carolina
Enjoy the picturesque South, relaxation, and fresh air with a vacation off the beaten path of vacations in South Carolina, where time stands still and you are one with nature–in comfort and style.
You can drive to Kiawah Island and stay in luxury at the Kiawah Island Sanctuary. Must-dos include motoring along 10 miles of pristine wild beaches and nature preserves. Look out for the sea turtles.
Bring your swimsuit and lunch and take a dip. Feeling sporty? Take in a round of golf!
Head over to Myrtle Beach for more Southern-style relaxation. Must-dos include the boardwalk and ride on the iconic Sky Wheel, snorkeling off the coast, and biking along the water. Feeling active?
Grab a surfboard and take a lesson or take a day trip. This list has some of our favorites, including Charleston and Little River.
6. The Beach — The Maldives
Then there are those that want to do nothing on vacation. In fact, three-quarters of Americans say their number-one thing to do on vacation is relax. For that, we suggest the beach.
Where you can sit, eat, and sleep if nothing else.
Be prepared to sit on the beach or at the blue lagoon. In other words, bring your swimsuit, hat, and eye mask. This nation of coral islands in the Indian Ocean is a tropical dream of luxurious napping and leisure.
If you get a spurt of energy or find yourself sleepwalking, try the underwater restaurant. But you might be more inclined to enjoy more repose at the underwater spa. Stay in an over-water bungalow and rest your eyes on this scenic paradise of turquoise waters and pristine white sand beaches.
7. The Ancients — Greece
For a mix of ancient history, timeless cuisine, and relaxing beaches, take a trip to the Mediterranean paradise that is the Greek islands.
Ancient history must-sees include the Acropolis, Oracle of Delphi, Meteora, Delphi, Stadium of Olympia, and Temple of Poseidon on the mainland around Athens, the Palace of Knossos on Crete, and Akrotiri on Santorini.
Adventure to the islands and relax on stunning beaches, including Kapari, Mykonos, Voidokilia, Peloponnese, pink-sanded Elafonisi on Crete, black-sanded Perissa on Perivolos and Agios on Georgios, Myrtos on Kefalonia, and Navagio Bay, Zakynthos.
Let your mouth go on a souvlaki, moussaka, feta, olive, dolmades, spanikopita, tzatziki, gyro adventure.
Vacation Destinations Await
Now that you have a taste of what could be yours, you’re ready to voyage afield.
Did any of these vacation destinations jump out at you? Do some more investigating and start planning your trip.
Need some more ideas? Check out five more dream destinations.