Many of us in the UK are feeling a little more positive around the potential for holidays since BoJo shared his roadmap out of lockdown and are thinking about where to travel in 2021. Let’s be clear – we’re far from out of the woods when it comes to the end of the pandemic, but we can finally see some sunlight peeking down through the trees.
Some people felt brave enough to book a plane ticket within hours of his announcement on Febuary 22nd, while others are still cautious about where to holiday or if they should even book anything yet. But wherever you are the scale – and there’s no right or wrong – we can all still dream about where we’d like to visit when we do eventually get that long overdue break.
We’ve been doing just that, and since the start of the year have been compiling a wish list of destinations and travel experiences that have something special to share this year, from new openings to historic anniversaries. So, here’s our guide to six of the best places to visit in 2021, and why!
Relive the Klondike Gold Rush in Canada
Did you know that 2021 is the 125th anniversary of the Yukon Gold Rush? There’s lots going on to celebrate the occasion this year across the Yukon, making it a great time to visit the wilds of Canada.
Why not check out the gold rush town of Dawson City, which looks like an old movie set and is home to the Jack London Museum and Cabin or go on a tour of the Klondike Gold Fields and pan for gold?
Those feeling adventurous could have a go at the Chilkoot Trail hike, which traces the gold prospectors’ path from Skagway, Alaska, through the Yukon to Bennett Lake in BC. But for those wanted a more relaxed trip, there’s the White Pass and Yukon Route railway or the scenic highway winds through the coastal mountains to the charming village of Carcross.
Even without the celebrations the Yukon as a lot to offer – 80 percent remains pristine wilderness with mountains, forests, valleys, lakes and untamed wildlife making it a great place to get back to nature. Perhaps you’ll bump into one of its 160,000 caribou, 70,000 moose or – eek – 7,000 grizzly bears?!
It’s a true winter wonderland too – from November to March you can go snowmobiling, look for the Northern Lights or even dog sledge on the frozen Yukon River. I adored my winter experience in Iceland, so this makes me want to visit the Yukon even more!
See a solar eclipse in Antarctica
Yes, you read that right, we’re talking about a trip to Antarctica! This year is a good one to visit because on December 4th you’ll be able to see a solar eclipse – the last until 2039.
I appreciate it’s a long way to go though, so why not make a real blowout trip of it and book yourself on an epic Antarctic tour? Many trips start in Argentina with a chance to hike the Tierra del Fuego National Park, such as that offered by Wild Frontiers, or you could even take an Antarctic cruise, put on by companies such as Silversea.
Go inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
With so much of the world already touched by tourism, don’t you want to visit somewhere new, that few others have been to? Well, you can with a trip to Saudi Arabia, as the kingdom only really began to open up to tourists before the pandemic began.
On a visit to the birthplace of Islam you could take in Jeddah’s Ottoman houses, visit World Heritage sits like Nabatean Mada’in Saleh, traverse some of the world’s finest desert scenery, marvel at the mountain and desert landscapes and even walk across the Al Waba volcanic crater. I dare you to visit and not feel like an intrepid explorer…
Immerse yourself in Music City
This January saw the opening of the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville, giving you yet another reason to visit Music City (as if you needed one). 50 genres and subgenres are covered in the museum’s galleries, paying tribute to the innovative ways that African Americans have shaped the American soundtrack.
While there you’ve got to check outThe Gulch, a newly revitalised neighbourhood that’s become a go-to destination for music lovers, shoppers and business travellers alike. Here you’ll find the newly opened W Nashville, which as well as being a lush hotel (we stayed in the San Francisco and LOVED it!) is a live music venue for up-and-coming musicians.
Take the Rocky Mountaineer through the American southwest
If the US is your thang, then you’ll also want to check out The Rocky Mountaineer’s new two-day US rail route. The Rockies to the Red Rocks route (what a mouthful!) goes from Denver, Colorado to Moab, Utah and passengers can take in jaw-dropping views of the Colorado River alongside rock formations and desert cliffs from the glass domed rail carriages. Doesn’t it sound magical?
I took its classic cross-Canada train main moons ago and it was one of my most memorable travel experiences to date. One of the top providers of rail-related affordable luxury experiences, this train journey is definitely one to add to the bucket list.
Celebrate Peru’s independence
This year Peru celebrates 200 years since it declared independence from Spanish rule. Celebrations are expected to take place throughout the year with various events planned to commemorate this anniversary.
What better excuse do you need for a trip to Cusco and Machu Picchu? Create your own itinerary if you prefer, or let someone else do all the hard work and book yourself on a tour! Pura Aventura offers one that takes you to the Sacred Valley, where you’ll get to visit the hilltop citadel of Pisac and the fortress of Pumamarca, and also a trip to Peru’s lesser-visited north coast.
Here you’ll find the pre-Incan ruins of Chan Chan, the world’s largest adobe city, as well as the Moche pyramids and the archaeological site of El Brujo.
Stay closer to home with new experiences in Devon
Perhaps you don’t feel ready to head overseas just yet? Well that’s ok, as the UK itself has so much to offer! Why not head down to beautiful Devon, which has a host of new and exciting experiences for visitors to enjoy this year.
In and around Salcombe for example, you could try out one of the six new e-bike routes which guide visitors along lanes and back roads to some of the area’s most stunning and iconic locations.
Foodies might prefer taking on the Salcombe Food and Drink Trail, which is launching this year. This includes a visit to Salcombe Gin School, where you can craft your very own gin and Salcombe Dairy Ice Cream, where you can indulge in award-winning sorbets, ice creams and chocolate. Sign us up!
Where to travel in 2021
This is only a taste of the new travel experiences that’ll be on offer this year as the world slowly starts to open up. Do any of these take your fancy?
We’d love to hear your thoughts on travel in 2021 – why not share them in the comments section below?