Whether you’re planning an indulgent escape to make up for lost time or a long-awaited celebratory trip to mark important milestones, we can help you pick the best destination for your trip next year. Here — in no particular order — we’ve listed nine places that spark our interest for 2022. You might want to escape the crowds to lounge on a remote Thai beach fringed with dense jungle, or explore a new skill in Japan, where everything has been updated for last summer’s Olympics. If you’re looking for a trip to remember, you can see the Big Five in Tanzania or marine iguanas in the Galapagos.
See the country at its best
Fresh from Olympic and Paralympic success, Japan is set to shine in 2022. Hotels were revamped, attractions refurbished, and new English signage created in preparation for the athletes’ arrival — and you can make the most of seeing Japan at its best by visiting in their wake. Our Japan specialists can help you pick the destinations that best suit your interests, from futuristic Tokyo and Kyoto’s grand palaces to Okinawa’s white-sand beaches or the gardens of Kanazawa. You could hike the Nakasendo Highway, a former samurai trail, take a street-food tour, or learn traditional Japanese crafts, including calligraphy, origami, and ikebana flower arranging.
Get me there: Travel by train on this classic route across Japan. It includes stays in Tokyo and Kyoto, as well as time bathing in the hot springs of Hakone National Park.
Wide open roads and room to roam
Be one of the first to return to Australia when it reopens to visitors in 2022. Most likely, you won’t see many other people no matter where you go — be it the wide-open Outback, where the deep blue sky meets the red-sand horizon, snorkeling past vivid orange and shocking pink corals on the Great Barrier Reef, or sipping wines among the vineyards of Yarra Valley. We can arrange guided safaris on Kangaroo Island, get you behind the scenes at the Sydney Opera House, and share the best viewpoints along the Great Ocean Road. You might learn about Aboriginal cultures in the Flinders Ranges, hike among the rainforests of the Blue Mountains, or kayak among dolphins in Byron Bay.
Get me there: An eco-friendly look at Australia’s coast, Outback and Great Barrier Reef, this tour offers a comprehensive look at the continent’s varied landscapes.
3. The Galapagos Islands
Support conservation, snorkel with a sea turtle
A repository of endemic wildlife that has no fear of humans, visiting the Galapagos Islands is a lifetime ambition for many nature enthusiasts. And, like many important conservation areas that depend upon tourism for revenue, the archipelago suffered during the pandemic. We can make it happen for you in 2022, helping you to see the species that most intrigue you, in the way you want to travel. Adventure cruising is a thrilling yet efficient way of exploring the archipelago’s far-flung islands — like Genovesa, where red-footed and masked boobies throng the cliffs. Or, base yourself on one island while paying visits to several others. Guided walks with expert bird guides, snorkeling alongside marine iguanas, and standing among giant tortoises — the possibilities are manifold.
Get me there: Observe wildlife on coral-sand beaches, and in mangroves and remote coves, on this extensive Galapagos adventure cruise.
4. The USA
Visit Yellowstone for its 150th anniversary
Whether you’ve been craving the excitement of fast-paced city life or yearning for vast, open landscapes and big skies, the USA can scratch your travel itch. Stay at a ranch in the Rockies and learn to lasso like a cowboy or enjoy rustic luxury at our new glamping lodge in Maine. Hike with a guide through the world’s first national park on Yellowstone’s 150th birthday. Zip along California’s glamorous coastline in a convertible. Or, hop between islands in Hawaii, where you can soar over volcanoes by helicopter and snorkel with manta rays at night
Get me there: Celebrate 150 years of national parks with a 2022 trip to Yellowstone, which includes a ranch stay.
Be one of the first to visit the Grand Egyptian Museum
For Egypt, 2022 is a banner year. After years of delay, the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza is expected to open in November. The largest archeological museum in the world, its collection includes all of the funerary objects found in Tutankhamun’s tomb — and 2022 marks the 100th anniversary of this monumental discovery. It’s also the 100th anniversary of Egyptian independence from Britain, and the 200th anniversary of the breakthrough with the Rosetta Stone, which gave us the key to decipher hieroglyphs. Whether you want to travel over land or cruise along the Nile (as the pharaohs did), we can arrange for you to visit the major sites, like the Great Pyramid and the Valley of the Kings, but also the lesser-known discoveries like Edfu and Kom Ombo.
Get me there: See all the highlights on this seven-day tour, which includes a three-night cruise on the Nile.
Beach relaxation with a touch of exploration
Secluded coves that lead into coral-rich waters, long stretches of sand dotted with cafes serving freshly grilled fish, private islands fringed with jungle… Thailand has a beach to suit every taste. If you’ve been hankering for a tropical retreat, we can find the patch of sand to suit you. However, there’s far more to Thailand than its palm-bordered sands. You can combine relaxation with time among the street-food stalls of Bangkok, the UNESCO-protected ancient capital at Sukhothai, or the markets of Chiang Mai. Or, if you’re looking for more escapism, head to the forests and jungles of the country’s national parks.
Get me there: Dip into the bustle of Bangkok before staying on a floating lodge on Khao Sok National Park, and relaxing on Khao Lak’s beach, with this Thailand beach and rainforest trip idea.
Get reacquainted with the good life
We could all use a little sweetness right now and Italy really is the land of la dolce vita. This is where you can take time to sip prosecco at a canal-side baccaro, feast on cacio e pepe in a boisterous Roman trattoria, and tromp through an oak forest to look for elusive truffles. Our specialists can point you to the best gelaterias and recommend exceptional vineyard hotels, of course. But more than that, they can introduce you to the people who embody this way of life – nonnas in their kitchen who’ll teach you to roll out pasta by hand, art historians who can unlock the treasures of the Uffizzi, and farmers who can introduce you to their heirloom sheep. You might visit the porticoes of Bologna, which were just named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2021.
Get me there: Get a taste of the sweet life on this leisurely tour through Rome, Venice, Florence, and Tuscany.
8. New Zealand
Cosmopolitan cities and untamed wilderness
White-tipped mountains. Glaciers bordered by rainforest. Tropical beaches, caves glittering with glow-worms, and a whole gamut of geothermal theatrics, from bubbling mud pools to geysers. If you want to immerse yourself in unspoiled landscapes and natural spectacles, New Zealand is calling. Scenery aside, the country has many other draws, too. Wildlife lovers, rejoice: you can watch breaching humpback whales in Kaikoura, or go in search of kiwis and other endemic birds after dark in Zealandia, an eco-sanctuary just outside Wellington. Then, delve into the many-faceted Māori culture, touring Auckland with a Māori guide who’ll help you explore sites of spiritual and historical significance.
Get me there: Along with the highlights mentioned above, this tour of New Zealand includes stargazing in a Dark Sky Reserve and a cruise of Doubtful Sound.
Search for the Big Five in 2022
Cheetah surveying the open plains from a termite mound. Hippo yawning noisily in the Rufiji River. Chimps chomping in the branches as you hike among the Mahale Mountains. A pink spill of flamingoes flooding the waters of Lake Manyara… Tanzania’s mix of habitats is what draws such diversity of life. We can help you explore by game vehicle, boat, on foot, or even from a hot-air balloon as you tick off the species you’ve waited a lifetime to see. Our specialists can suggest the best time to go, whether you want to witness the Great Migration herds thrash their way across the Mara River or relax on Zanzibar’s dazzling shores.
Get me there: Combine a safari with beach time on this 12-day trip.