As we leave 2020 behind, there are many reasons to be optimistic and, dare I say it, start thinking about travel. If 2020 has taught us one thing, it must be that time is precious.

If you love to travel, you’ll be keen to make up for what you have missed. Indeed, there’s a growing trend towards the bucket list travel destinations for 2021 to shake off the shackles of travel restrictions. Need some inspiration? Here are five destinations for an exceptional vacation this year.

Tahiti

If you feel like getting away from it all, you can’t get much further away than Tahiti. Officially known as French Polynesia, this group of islands offers the quintessential island getaway. The beaches are idyllic, and you could spend your time relaxing and drinking in the view.

If you love marine life, there are whales and dolphins. Snorkelers and scuba divers will be rewarded with some of the ocean’s richest waters. For dryland exploration, there are many trails to explore by foot or horseback. For pure island escapism, you can’t get much better.

You can also do a virtual tour before you decide Tahiti is for you.

South Africa

South Africa is a country of contrasts. Game parks and animal sanctuaries offer wildlife lovers a lot to explore. The county’s tumultuous struggles can be explored at Robben Island and District Six.

Table Mountain is the backdrop for Cape Town, and whether you stand on top or admire it from afar, you can’t deny it makes Cape Town one of the most memorable cities you’ll visit.

The country’s coastline offers some dramatic scenery; the 12 Apostles are part of the Table Mountain range and the views are incredible. Further to the east, The Garden Route is a 200km stretch of coastline that begs to be driven.

Winelands, whales, penguins, fresh oysters, indigenous forest, lakes, beaches, wildlife and so much more await you.

Maldives

To make you feel like a true castaway, there’s nothing quite like relaxing on a sun-drenched island that you can walk around in minutes. The Maldives consists of over 1000 tiny islands and the holiday islands are mostly home to just one resort.

With just a handful of rooms, the islands are never crowded and the resorts’ reputations for luxurious excellence are renowned. Water bungalows stretch out into the ocean allowing you to swim from your balcony, and the marine life is second to none.

If you like swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, relaxing by the ocean, superb service, excellent food, and stunning weather, then there is no better place to go. Try out this virtual tour if you like to explore more.

Thailand

Thailand’s cultural locations are show-stopping. Bangkok’s Royal Palace and its many wats and buddhas speak to a unique history. Its Center is also packed with shopping malls: whether you’re looking for clothes, electronics, or Thai silk or gems, it’s available.

Traditional floating markets and frenetic night markets are as much an experience as a shopping opportunity. You can explore the city by tuk-tuk (a sometimes hair-raising 3-wheeled vehicle) or river or take one of the cities many cycling tours exploring hidden Bangkok or street food.

A few days in Bangkok is often enough. Combine Bangkok with a trip north for a more laid-back rural life experience in addition to visiting ancient capitals and cooler climes. Then, you can choose one of Thailand’s palm-fringed islands or beaches to relax. Enjoy fresh coconuts, sparkling waters, and an island pace of life to refresh you before you head home.

Antarctica

The frozen beauty of the most southern point of the globe is breath-taking. Expeditions and adventure cruises get you in amongst it. When you make land, you can wander through flocks of penguins and snoozing seals and hike to lookout points on immense glaciers.

Nimble zodiac trips will offer a different perspective of glaciers and icebergs and get you closer to seals and whales. Some cruises offer the opportunity to kayak or paddleboard too.

Remember, whatever is on your bucket list, it’s worth contacting a travel agent to help you make your selection. We can help you select the best choice for you. For more information, check out our antarctica and other travel guides.

Have you been adding to your bucket list in 2020? Which destinations have you visited virtually? Have you been to any of the locations listed in this article? Please share your best stories!

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