So many places to go and things to see. In a post-COVID world, it seems like everyone's travel bucket lists have expanded, with dreams of Italian beaches and Antarctica cruises filling our minds.
But alas, most of us only have a measly few weeks of vacation time, if that, so you've got to pick and choose carefully where to jet off to next.
To make the decision process a bit easier, we've compiled our Travel Team's favourite vacation destinations from around the world. From adventurous treks around Iceland to oceanside retreats and more — we've got a little something for everyone.
Our team members are well-versed when it comes to travel (especially thanks to our remote work set-up), so you can trust our curated list of dreamy destinations.
Grab your passport, stuff your carry-on to the brim, and get ready — because this list of our favourite places that we've travelled to so far is bound to give you wanderlust. And, knowing us, there will be much more to come!
It's the kind of place that after you go, you can conjure it in your mind in seconds. Eyes closed, I'm right back on the sandy shores of this small town in Sicily, slurping back limoncello with a belly full of arancini.
I visited Cefalù last summer with two of my girlfriends on a whim, after a quick Google search and with no real plan in mind.
As soon as we got off the train from Palermo (the main city that you have to fly into to get there), and stepped onto the cobblestone streets — I knew we had chosen right. The town is tiny but has rows of boutiques that are filled with artfully crafted garments, and streets lined with picturesque apartments.
Locals sit out on their balconies, stacked on top of each other and filling the streets with their music and laughter. Although there were other tourists, it was far from being overrun, making it feel like we were in a little bubble of peace.
Then you have the food....oh my god the food. Restaurants are tucked into alleyways and street corners, creating an ambiance that matches the incredible food.
I can't pick a favourite meal from the trip, let alone a dish. There was pasta, fresh vegetables, cheese, and wine. So much wine.
I also had some of the best service that I've ever experienced while here, with friendly waitstaff who were passionate about sharing the local flavours and who would sit and chat with us at length.
All of this magic sits along the sparkling ocean — creating an atmosphere that you'd think only existed in books or movies. In this tiny seaside town though, it comes to life.
Udawalawe National Park, Sri Lanka
Senior Editor Helena Hanson spent a good chunk of her 20s far away from her U.K. home.
Committed to seeing as many corners of the world as possible, her and her partner explored countless bustling cities, small communities, and remote areas. The result is a plethora of travel knowledge and a sharpened sense of what makes a destination great.
Top of her list sits Sri Lanka, "a beautiful country that often goes under the radar."
Helena loves this country for its "golden beaches, tasty cuisine, beautiful culture and incredible wildlife." She recommends visiting Udawalawe National Park, where you can take in all of that and more.
"With everything from elephants and water buffalo to leopards and primates, it's a much cheaper way to safari than other, more well-known wildlife destinations," she added.
Our Associate Editor Madeline is no stranger to travel, as a former flight attendant.
After taking flight to countless destinations though, Porto still holds a place in her heart. She says that it's a little hidden gem of a destination, which she fell head over heels in love with.
"The architecture is breathtaking and took me back in time. It's also very inexpensive, making it the ideal spot to travel to on a budget," Madeline said.
If you're planning a visit she recommends dining at one of the restaurants with a beautiful view of the water. "One of the highlights of my trip was visiting the Livraria Lello, a whimsical bookstore that is said to have inspired the scenery in Harry Potter," she added.
If you want to make some furry friends while away, go visit the cat cafe here, which Madeline said put her "in kitty heaven!"
Golden Circle, Iceland
Our Editor-in-Chief, Alison Millington, is a certified globe-trotter, who moved from her home in Ontario to become a full-time Londoner.
While it might not be a fun-in-the-sun type of trip, Iceland offers up unparalleled beauty.
Ali recommends renting a car and driving Iceland's Golden Circle route, where you can hopefully catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
"The must-visit stops along the route include Thingvellir National Park and its stunning Öxarárfoss waterfall, as well as the lesser-known hot springs at Secret Lagoon," she added.
If that doesn't sound like a photographer's dream trip, we don't know what does.
Another spot that made the list of Helena's faves is this breathtaking island in Southeast Asia’s Malay Archipelago,
This special spot is an island divided between the states of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei, and Helena says that it's "an often-overlooked travel stop, but it offers wonder seldom found anywhere else in the world."
"Whether you spend your trip seeking out rare wildlife like proboscis monkeys, majestic orangutans or fluffy young sun bears, or hiking mountains to watch golden sunrises, this biodiverse haven is perfect for nature enthusiasts," she added.
The exploration is made easier, thanks to the region's cheap rental cars. Hop in one and drive to all the unique corners of this region, but first, do some research.
"While you're there, don't forget to get educated on the rapid and devastating deforestation happening in Borneo for the production of palm oil -- it will make you rethink your consumption and stick with you for life," Helena said.
Deià, Majorca, Spain
Samantha Peska, Narcity's Managing Editor, also isn't a stranger to getting her passport stamped, and this small village managed to catch her attention amid her travels.
"Deià is a magical little village in Mallorca surrounded by mountains that feels so secluded and has turquoise water and the most phenomenal views," Sam said.
Although she advised people to prepare for a pricey trip here, if you can swing it, it's worth the cost. Follow Sam's mini-itinerary and you won't be disappointed.
"You can stay a Sa Pedrissa, a boutique hotel with amazing food, or splurge on Belmond La Residencia where all the celebs stay. If you book a room at the latter, they have a complimentary sunset cruise you can take out of Soller, where you can sip on Cava and swim with the fishes while you sail around the island."
"The resort is an art lover's paradise with sculpting lessons on-site, a museum, and art shops scattered throughout the village. Or their shuttle will drive you down to Cala Deiá to go for a swim and enjoy lunch by the sea."
After her years of travelling concluded, Helena settled down in Wales and now sings it's praises to all that can hear – for good reason.
She says that the country "is usually left behind when it comes to U.K. must-visit destinations, often overshadowed by the likes of England, Scotland and Ireland."
"The tiny-but-mighty nation should be on every bucket list though. It promises everything from green rolling hills and historic castles to bustling cities, snow-capped mountains and some of the U.K.'s best-rated beaches," she added.
If images of rugged coastlines and lush landscapes didn't sell you, then her next point just might.
"The people -- who refer to their land as 'God's country,' are also among the warmest and most welcoming you'll come across, and the Welsh are more than happy to share their homeland with any visitors lucky enough to explore there," Helena said.
There's nothing better than going somewhere unencumbered by flocks of other tourists, and feeling like you've gotten a glimpse into something special and undervalued — and it seems like going to Wales will do just that.
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
I've explored a lot of Canada, moving from the East Coast to the West Coast, but Newfoundland stands out as one of the most unique spots I've been to. Luckily, I've been able to make the trip often thanks to some of my family living there.
It's an unassuming place, not visited by flocks of tourists, but it's full of vibrant colour — both in terms of the people that live there and the iconic rainbow homes dotting the streets.
The sense of pride that locals have for their home is immediately clear when you land, from cab drivers who spill on all the best places to go, to friendly people at restaurants ready to tell you some tidbit of local lore. They make it easy to see why this place is special.
Then there are the sites. Take in the picturesque Jellybean Row, or have a beer in the idyllic Quidi Vidi. Then have one of the best meals of your life at the charming Mallard Cottage, which remains my favourite restaurant ever.
Although St. John's is a lively place to base your trip out of, I definitely encourage people to drive around the province too, taking in the natural beauty of places like Gros Morne National Park.
Travel Creator Katherine Caspersz is fresh off the plane from an Iceland trip, but Melbourne remains one of her favourite destinations to date.
She said that the city is "such a cool place to visit, especially as a Canadian," since "it's almost like Canada — but better!"
Hear that Canadians? Time to book a trip!
"Expect dreamy white sand beaches and gorgeous weather in the summer, as well as the perfect cityscape with lots of things to do like art galleries, restaurants and cafes, and shops," Katherine said.
Even though it's a big city, you get a little bit of everything here. Katherine said that "you'll also be able to see lots of wildlife like kangaroos (they were everywhere!) and penguins -- who knew!"
"Not far from the city, you'll definitely want to check out Great Ocean Road, which is known as one of the country's most scenic road trips and takes you to some of the most stunning beaches and coastal views," she added.
Although it's a long journey from Canada, it's one that won't disappoint!
You get all the beauty, flavours, and culture of a Greek Island here, without having to pay Santorini prices.
Naxos was the last stop on my Europe trip last summer and it made my vacation end on the highest note. The bright white of the buildings next to the Aegean Sea gave that postcard look that you expect from Greece. There was so much beyond the views here, though.
Driving around the island, you'll happen upon small villages brimming with life and friendly people (willing to share homemade desserts, if you play your cards right!). Bright flowers climb up buildings, and the ocean breeze passes through the island, creating a dreamy atmosphere.
Visiting the beaches, exploring the coastlines, and tasting dishes like fried feta for the first time has seared this spot into my memory forever.
As a Canadian, you can't forget about all of the beauty in our neighbouring country.
Madeline gave Sedona a shoutout, recommending it to all the adventure-seekers out there.
"I visited this charming city during the fall and the weather was perfect. I was in awe at the gorgeous red canyon walls and it was unlike any place I'd ever been. I went on so many beautiful hikes through the canyons and felt so connected to nature," she said.
"The Tlaquepaque village was one of my favourite parts of the city and it transported me to Europe. Sedona is just a road trip away from the Grand Canyon, so you can even check out this natural wonder during your trip," Madeline added.
If you're in Canada, this might be the perfect winter escape for you to look into this year.
If you have Instagram, you probably know just how many people went to Italy last summer. Photos of packed beaches and plates of pasta filled our feeds — many with Positano as the location, cementing it as the place to go.
Ali has some advice for all those looking to live their best Italian summer life this year. "Skip packed Positano — or visit just for a day — and instead stay in the nearby town of Praiano on the Amalfi coast of Italy."
You won't miss out on the beautiful views, as it "sits on top of the cliff and has the same stunning vistas," but you will save some money by opting for this more low-key destination.
"Be sure to stop at Cafe Mirante for a sunset cocktail, and spend a day at the beach breaking for a spaghetti vongole lunch at one of the waterfront restaurants," Ali suggested.