Illinois Tourism & Travel

Crazy About Travel

22 Places TravelAwaits Writers Want To Visit In 2022

Travel is what makes our writers’ worlds go round, so to say that they are chomping at the bit to get back out there is an understatement. Their travel plans for the year sound nothing short of ah-mazing! We really hope they get to go to all of their 2022 dream destinations so that we can read all about their experiences. In the meantime, let’s live vicariously through their plans.

Some TravelAwaits writers shared the countries they will visit, while others shared specific locations within a country. Others had to tell us about a few (or quite a few) trips they have planned. Starting with the most far-flung journeys, we’ll work our way back toward the states as we go. If their ideas spark inspiration, check out the related articles we included with each destination.

1. Vietnam

“Vietnam has been on my list of places to visit for several years, and now tops that list. This has been the result of many influences. Since the country reunified, my interest in Vietnam has only grown.

“My dream trip would start in Hanoi, venture south through the country, and end up in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Along the way, I’d like to meet the people, explore the caves, float along Hạ Long Bay, seek out French architecture, see the rice terraces, and heavily indulge in the Vietnamese cuisine beyond phỏ.” — Stan Thomas

Sharjah City Skyline at Sunset & Sharjah Lighting Festival (Photo Credit: Asifgraphy / Shutterstock.com)

2. Al Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

“I am always drawn to the Middle East and my next destination is Sharjah. It’s the third largest of the UAE, right next door to Dubai. In fact, you can cross the border without any formality. Sharjah was declared Capital of Culture of the UAE and World Book Capital in 2019. As you can see, the emphasis in Sharjah is on culture and the preservation of Arabic lifestyle and heritage, something which is the foremost aim of Sharjah’s ruler. Therefore there are traditional souks, museums, and cultural institutions galore, which I want to visit.

“Sharjah is located on the Persian Gulf, which means it’s also ideal for a beach vacation. Moreover, in 2022, two new luxury resorts run by LUX resorts will be opened in Sharjah. There is also a great Indian community in Sharjah which makes for interesting cuisine. The combination of history, culture, great food, and luxury resorts made me put Sharjah on my preferred destination list of 2022.” — Inka Piegsa-Quischotte

A herd of wild elephants walk through the savanna of Tarangire National Park in Tanzania, East Africa
Tarangire National Park in Tanzania, East Africa (Photo Credit: MPH Photos / Shutterstock.com)

3. Tanzania

“My daughter and I travel for our birthdays and in early 2022, I’m looking forward to a trip of a lifetime: a Tanzania safari! It’s estimated that one million animals cross the Serengeti this time of year and we’ll have 10 days during peak migration season. We’ll start with three days in the heart of the Serengeti, Tanzania’s most famous national park.

“Next, we travel to the Ngorongoro Crater — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — for a chance to drive into the crater itself (an erupted volcano) and spot the elusive black rhinos that live there along with lions, cape buffalo, elephants, hyena, ostrich, hippo, and some of the most amazing birds. We’ll overnight on the crater rim for awesome morning views. Finally, we’ll visit the Tarangire National Park — the land of the elephants, where we’ll camp within the park gates. I can hardly wait!” — Gail Clifford

European Brown Bear at the Arcturos Bear Sanctuary, Nymphaio, Greece
European Brown Bear at the Arcturos Bear Sanctuary, Nymphaio, Greece (Photo Credit: ARCTUROS: Od Chloridis)

4. ARCTOUROS Bear And Wolf Sanctuary Greece

“Many people think of Greece and sandy island vacations come to mind. As a resident here, through first-hand experience I know there’s so much more to the country — and the Arcturos Bear and Wolf Sanctuary in central Greece is one such place.

“Surrounded by 24 acres of fenced gorgeous forest in the UNESCO town of Nymphaio — rated as one of Europe’s 10 most picturesque villages for its traditional stone houses — the Sanctuary rescues bears separated from their mothers due to infrastructure development and human encroachment.

“Their Wolf Sanctuary a few miles down the road rescues wolves who have been hunted. The center runs an educational program, and bear and wolf numbers are on the rise as local governments take ecological habitats and wildlife corridors into consideration.

“I can’t wait to see this unique place in Greece, immerse myself in nature, and learn a thing or two about the lesser-known wildlife in this country.” — Rebecca Hall

From Megalith to Monks on Gozo. The stone walls of Ggantija, a Megalithic Temple in the foreground and The Church of St. John the Baptist in the distance.
The stone walls of Ggantija, a Megalithic Temple in the foreground, and The Church of St. John the Baptist in the distance. (Photo Credit: Mary Charlebois / Shutterstock.com)

5. Gozo, Malta

“Gozo, Malta, will be my home for 20-days in March of 2022. I’ll be living like a local in a small harbor-front apartment, complete with everything I’ll need to work, shop, cook, and do laundry on the rooftop patio.

“Over centuries many powers have conquered and occupied Malta, including Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Greeks, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Sicilians, Spanish, Knights of St. John, French, and British. Each new conqueror left a mark on the country’s way of life. The Maltese proudly embrace them all. Today Malta is a fascinating mélange of cultures that you taste in food and wine; you see in architecture and art or hear in music, language, and celebrations.

“I’m returning to Gozo to scout out evidence of the 12 conquerors. Not in the museums, but in everyday life. I’ll discover 12-points of the Maltese compass in the language, food, art, music, architecture, government, and spiritual life.” — Mary Charlebois

Landscape with Atrani town at famous amalfi coast, Italy
Balate Dorin / Shutterstock.com

6. Italy

“We are planning an Italian road trip for October. Rome is one of our favorite cities; where sumptuous culinary creations and fascinating history create a tantalizing sensory extravaganza. Enjoying a delicious dinner at Renato e Luisa’s taverna and exploring ancient ruins are itinerary staples.

“We are driving from Rome down Italy’s southwest coast to Naples and then on to Salerno where we will pick up the Amalfi coastal route to Sorrento. Along the way, glorious sunkissed beaches, towering cliffs, and plenty of Limoncello will brighten our drive.

“From Sorrento, we will be aimed at a coastal exploration of Scilly. Our adventure will take us through stunning coastal cities like Palermo, Tropea, Cefalu, San Vito lo Capo, Marsala, Noto, Mount Etna, and many more charming villages and ancient towns. Finally, we will end our journey in Catania where we will sadly fly home to plan our next adventure.” — Sandi Barrett

Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral at night
Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral (Photo Credit: f11photo / Shutterstock.com)

7. Paris, France

“I am looking forward to going to Paris, France. I know, I know — not exactly a hidden gem. It’s one of the most visited cities in the world! But this popular destination has been eluding me for years. I was days away from taking an epic, month-long trip to the City of Lights in 2020 when COVID-19 changed my plans — and just about everything else. So now I’m looking forward to making up for some lost travel time and, I have to admit, there have been some silver linings to this situation.

“Turns out that there are just about more travel books about Paris than any other destination and I’ve been digesting tomes on Paris for writers, the small museums of Paris, the unusual sites of Paris … and many more. I’m really looking forward to getting to know the city on a deeper level and I’m equally excited to take in some quick and easy day trips and weekend trips. Luxembourg, Reims, Rouen, and Orleans are all on my travel list.” — Vanessa Chiasson

Edinburgh Castle in Scotland.
Edinburgh Castle (Photo Credit: MarcAndreLeTourneux / Shutterstock.com)

8. Edinburgh, Scotland

“Now that Covid restrictions for international travelers to the U.K. have been loosened, I am looking forward to traveling to Edinburgh, Scotland next year should my travel plans fall into place. I visited Edinburgh for the first time in 1990, then in 2001. Yes, it has been way too long. I was utterly captivated and pleasantly surprised by the volcanic topography of the city, as well as how grand and majestic it was. Its buildings, such as the Scott Monument and, of course, iconic and magnificent Edinburgh Castle, each told a story of its rich history. I can’t forget having afternoon tea at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh. And this writer needs to get to the Writer’s Museum, which, believe it or not, I haven’t been to. Edinburgh made for very special and memorable visits, which I hope to repeat in the coming year.” — Chris Chagaris

Ireland’s Cliffs of Moher (Photo Credit: MNStudio / Shuttertock.com)

9. Ireland And Italy

“Ireland has been calling to me from across the sea for some time, and I really want to make 2022 the year I finally venture further than Dublin! I want to sit in on a trad session in an old pub, drink Guinness, and marvel at the rugged landscape.

‘I’m also longing to go back to Italy after my one and only visit 25 years ago! (I know, how have I not gone back before?) I’d like to wander winding Italian streets, eat gelato, and drink authentic Vermouth! I feel like I’ve only dipped my toe in both of these countries and I’d love to explore them more, as the little I’ve seen of them was so stunning. I’m looking forward to it!” — Samantha Priestley

Livraria Lello Bookstore in Porto (Photo Credit: Fotokon / Shutterstock.com)

10. Porto, Portugal

“Is it because of Hogwarts or the deep, red fortified wine called port? Whatever the reason, Porto, Portugal tops my list for travel plans in 2022. Porto, which spans the Douro River, has a historical center that is a UNESCO site. I’ll visit the ancient Porto Cathedral standing guard over the city, the Sao Bento Railway station with its stunning blue and white tiles, and the Dom Luis 1 Bridge.

“But, number one on the list is the Livraria Lello Bookstore which apparently inspired J.K. Rowling’s creation of Hogwarts. I want to sweep up the elegant twisting staircase, imagining I am wearing my Gryffindor robes! Alternately, I will browse the shelves and tuck a book of poetry in my back pocket. And the port? On my first visit to Portugal, I was greeted at my hotel by a rich, sweet glass of port. That was the beginning of my love affair with Portugal. It’s time to return.” — Alison Browne

Aerial view of the Sandals Royal Curacao opening April 2022.
Sandals Royal Curaçao opening April 2022 (Photo Credit: Sandals Resorts)

11. Curaçao

“With COVID-19 still affecting travel, I plan to go to an all-inclusive resort in Curaçao. The island’s Dutch history gives it a European feel. I plan to stay at the new Sandals Royal Curaçao which opens in April 2022 due to the Sandals Vacation Assurance program. It includes travel insurance, a voucher for a replacement vacation if your trip is interrupted and so much more. The big one for me is it allows you to quarantine in a designated area on the resort if you come up positive for COVID-19. Peace of mind in these times is priceless.” — Peggy Cleveland

View of the reservoir in Guatape from La Piedra
View of the reservoir in Guatape from La Piedra (Photo Credit: Sage Scott)

12. Colombia

“It’s easy to understand why travelers aged 50-plus might maintain outdated stereotypes about the northernmost country in South America. After all, we are certainly old enough to remember when Pablo Escobar and his drug trafficking empire contributed to Medellin being named one of the most dangerous and murderous cities on the planet. But a lot has changed in the past two decades, and my recent first visit to Colombia was so amazing that I’m already planning my return trip. From Medellin, the City of Eternal Spring with pleasant year-round temperatures in the low 70s Fahrenheit, to nearby Guatapé, the most colorful place in Colombia, I cannot wait to replace a few weeks of Kansas City’s bone-chilling winter with more time in Colombia in early 2022.” — Sage Scott

Pier at Virginia Beach
Pier at Virginia Beach (Photo Credit: Jay Yuan / Shutterstock.com)

13. Virginia Beach

“I’ll be in Virginia Beach in mid-February and these are some of the places I will visit. Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment tells why Edgar Cayce was the most documented and accurate psychic of the 20th Century. I’ll have a session with a dream interpreter.

“Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center for an aquatic journey from the Atlantic Ocean to watery habitats around the world. Military Aviation Museum is home to one of the largest private collections of World War I and World War II-era military aircraft in the world.

“Cape Henry Lighthouse is the fourth oldest lighthouse in the country, authorized by President George Washington in 1792. A second historical lighthouse was constructed 350 feet from the original in1881. Both are on the National Register of Historic Places. Ferry Plantation for the history and ghost stories. Plus, there is so much more.” — Kathleen Walls

Living room in Elvis Presley’s Graceland Mansion (jejim / Shutterstock.com)

15. Memphis, Tennessee

“Several spots in the southern United States have been on my travel list for years, and I am hoping to take a trip in the spring of 2022 that would get me to two or three of my main bucket-list destinations: Memphis, Tennessee; the Outer Banks, North Carolina; and Savannah, Georgia. In Memphis, I would love to explore Beale Street and the rich musical heritage of the blues. And of course, Elvis Presley’s Graceland.”Cindy Barks

Wild horse rolling in soft sand on Corolla Beach in North Carolina.
Wild horse rolling in soft sand on Corolla Beach in North Carolina (LEVAI / Shutterstock.com)

16. The Outer Banks Of North Carolina

“The Outer Banks of North Carolina have been beckoning to me for over a decade as I’ve listened to friends rave about their summers spent there as children. The 2008 movie Nights in Rodanthe also helped to fuel my interest in the beautiful wild horses of the Outer Banks.” — Cindy Barks

Forsyth Fountain in Savannah, Georgia.
Forsyth Fountain in Savannah, Georgia (f11photo / Shutterstock.com)

17. Savannah, Georgia

It was another movie, 1997’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil that first piqued my interest in Savannah, Georgia, and my fascination has grown through the years. I would love nothing more than to spend several days wandering through Savannah’s iconic squares. I’m not sure if I can make it to all three of my wish-list destinations in one trip, but I plan to give it my best shot!” — Cindy Barks

The famous Cana Island lighthouse located next to lake Michigan in Door County Wisconsin with a drone.
Cana Island lighthouse on Lake Michigan in Door County, WI (Photo Credit: Keith Homan / Shutterstock.com)

18. Door County, Wisconsin

“Over the last couple of years, I’ve heard friends and colleagues talk about their visit to Door County, Wisconsin. In 2022, it will be my turn to visit this exciting Mid-Western destination.

“Eager to add 11 more lighthouses to my collection, three spooky lighthouses particularly call for my inspection. Couple this search with ferry rides and exploring the Lake Michigan shoreline, water-related experiences round out my itinerary.

“Unforgettable breakfasts, supper clubs, and one-of-a-kind fish boils will undoubtedly put me into Foodie Heaven.

“Where you are drinking beer makes a difference in Door County. I intend to explore the differences. A deep dive into the wine culture on the Wine Trail, and cideries visits will introduce me to the popular drink, a unique alternative to beer or wine.

“Exploring the arts and culture in the region, I may even find time for live performances.” — Julie Diebolt Price

Mountain abyss at night in Peñas Cargadas Hidalgo - El Chico National Park Mexico (Photo Credit: Nailotl / Shutterstock.com)
Rock Formation at Chico National Park in Hidalgo, Mexico

20. Mineral Del Chico, Mexico

“I love mountain towns, and at over 7,800 feet, Mineral del Chico, one of Mexico’s pueblos mágicos (magic towns), in the state of Hidalgo, certainly counts. Said to be a picturesque town with colorful, tiled buildings, Mineral was founded more than 400 years ago by miners, some of whom emigrated all the way from Cornwall, England. They left the tradition of pasties, a Mexican version of the Cornish pasty, but filled with potatoes, ground beef, apples, pineapple, sweetened rice, or mole.

“Mineral del Chico borders Mexico’s first national park, El Chico, a protected natural area, filled with pine, oaks, and other trees spared from deforestation. It also boasts trails, waterfalls, rivers, and whimsically named crags (“The Monks” and “The Friars”). If we’re feeling adventurous, we might try ziplining and hiking technical Via Ferrata routes.

‘Mineral del Chico appeals to me because it’s the closest town to the park, but while we’re in the state of Hidalgo, we’ll visit other nearby former mining towns, now pueblos mágicos, like Real de Monte (even higher, at 8,800 feet, and graced with an English cemetery) and Huasca de Ocampo, famous for its pottery and outcropping of basaltic prisms. I can’t wait to spend a week in Mineral del Chico and its neighboring towns.” — Louisa Rogers

The Silverton Steam Train (Photo Credit: Janie Pace)

21. Durango, Colorado

“My first love is visiting small towns in my home state of Texas, but I have a second love and that’s Colorado. My family had spent many summers there when I was young, and I continue to visit every chance I get. So, in March 2022, I will spend my vacation in Durango, Colorado, during my grandson’s spring break from school.

When my husband and grandson went to Durango this past summer they had a great time playing outdoors and eating out in Purgatory. They kept sending me photos of where they were and what they were doing. I had just got home from a two-week road trip and had so much to write about, that I couldn’t think about leaving the house again to go with them. So, I’m looking forward to spending some time in the mountains with both of them and doing what they did, plus taking a ride on the Silverton Steam Train.” — Kim Croisant

Nevada Hwy 50 and Pony Express billboard
Nevada Hwy 50 and Pony Express billboard (Photo Credit: Julie Diebolt Price)

21. Nevada

“Highway 50 was named The Loneliest Road in America by Life Magazine in 1986. I found myself on this road thanks to Google Maps. Traveling from my Oregon home to Flagstaff, Arizona, I chose a new-to-me route through the Silver State for media trips in September. Imagine my delight when I discovered this was the Pony Express route in the 1800s. The expansive vista made me realize how few vehicles were traveling on this road.

“Because I was on a mission to reach Arizona, I didn’t take the time to stop in towns and sites along the way. The return road trip didn’t allow time, either. After more research, I learned that there are many historical sites in Nevada, stunning outdoor adventures, health and wellness destinations, Dark Sky places for stargazing, as well as art and artists to discover. In 2022, I intend to spend many days exploring Nevada.” — Julie Diebolt Price

Sunrise at Columbia River Gorge, Oregon-USA
Sunrise at Columbia River Gorge, Oregon (Photo Credit: Nadia Yong / Shutterstock.com)

22. All Over The Place

“As the world opens up, my feet are itching to return to all the travel that makes my world go round! I have plans for both national and international travel for 2022. I will continue to explore the amazing Pacific Northwest — including, less than 30 miles from my home, the scenic Columbia River Gorge; one of Fodor’s 2022 Destinations.
I also have been planning a road trip on the International Selkirk Loop, the 450-mile loop through Washington, Idaho, and British Columbia. I plan to check out some of the wineries in Southern B.C. Also hope to visit Victoria and perhaps join a mailboat up the west coast of Vancouver Island.

“Before the pandemic, I had a press trip planned for St. Pierre and Miquelon, the two small French islands a mere 13 miles off the coast of Newfoundland. Hope to get this trip underway and look forward to learning about the birthplace of my great-grandmother. Would also like to make another trip to Norway, to the Lofoten Islands where my great-grandfather used to fish, and up the west coast to visit relatives and to enjoy an exploratory cruise.

“I have been invited to TravMedia’s IMM in New York City at the end of January. Here I will meet visitors’ bureaus from around the world. Who knows what opportunities await me? Stay tuned! I will share them all with you.” — Jo-Anne Bowen