Santorini, Greece

The 2022 outlook for travel abroad is rosier than ever, especially for Americans booking trips into 2022, but you should expect to do more advance planning and remain flexible. Since March 2020, there hasn’t been a time as promising as it is now.

After almost two years of pent-up wanderlust, more than two-thirds of American travelers plan to “go big” on their next getaway, according to a recent report from the World Travel & Tourism Council.

Warm-weather hotspots close to the U.S. such as the Riviera Maya, Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Punta Cana have been most popular overall for American tourists traveling this past year and remain big for 2022.

According to a recent travel report, people were looking to make up for canceled and postponed vacations by splurging on their next trip.

Travelers are also looking to make their vacations more meaningful in 2022, whether through immersion in a destination or culture that’s completely different from their own (19%) or searching for a sense of contentment and mental well-being (36%). They’re even willing to take longer trips (27%) to achieve their travel goals and fully experience all their chosen destination has to offer.

Here’s where we are seeing people book their vacations in 2022:

Iceland has been a focal point of wanderlust for the better part of two years. Iceland has quickly become a leading European travel destination. This Nordic nation is sought after, thanks to its dramatic natural landscape featuring interesting geologic formations including volcanoes, hot springs and geysers as well as its beautiful glaciers and waterfalls. Winter nights may be long, but this provides an excellent opportunity to stargaze. In contrast, summer days can seem endless, with many sundrenched hours to tour some of Iceland’s natural wonders.

Ireland -- While Ireland’s lush scenery and craggy coastline are world renowned, it’s the wit and wisdom of the people that makes a visit to Ireland so special.

In Northern Ireland, you can explore Game of Thrones Territory and even become a Stark for the day! You can find great pubs everywhere, from scenic stretches of the Wild Atlantic Way to vibrant cities. One thing unites them – that sense of community, tradition and a love of storytelling. For the perfect blend of opulence and nature, try the five-star Ashford Castle in County Mayo. Watersports lovers will adore an overnight stay at the vacation cottages on the Crom Castle estate, located on Lough Erne at the heart of Fermanagh’s Lakelands.

Greece -- Little know fact: Greece has around 6,000 islands, islets and rocky islets. Greece is the third largest producer of olive oil in the world? Greeks have cultivated olive trees since antiquity. Some of the olive trees that are still producing olives date back to the 13th century. Greece has one of the richest varieties of wildlife in Europe. Greece has historically engaged in wine making. Take for example Dionysus, the son of Zeus, the God of the grape-harvest, winemaking and wine. His face is seen today on the sommelier’s pin, which is a symbol of respect to wine’s contribution throughout history.

Athens is one of the few coastal cities worldwide that is surrounded by mountains. Did you know that most days of the year are sunny in Greece? Greece has more archaeological museums than any other country in the world. In-fact there are around 196! The thing I like the most about Greece is the feeling you have that you are part of a big happy family.

Cruises -- There’s lots for cruise goers to look forward to in 2022, including 17 brand new ocean-going cruise ships that run the gamut from big to small, and include a number of highly-anticipated first-in-class ships.

Practically every category of the cruise industry will see the entry of at least one new ship, so there will be a wide range of new choices to offer people. Just remember with taking a cruise, each cruise lines had a different flavor.

Barbara May is the owner of Travel Leaders. Travel Leaders has been in the travel industry for over 35 years and the agency is specialized in all types of travel! Please call for an appointment! For the Memphis office, call 901-377-6600. Our Memphis office is located at 2765 Wolf Creek Pkwy., Ste. 104, Memphis, TN 38133, next door to David’s Bridal. Or if you are in Collierville, the number is 901-853-6200. The Collierville office is located at 155 N. Main Street, Ste. 104, Collierville, TN.

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