I know things aren’t looking well for travelers these days, but it doesn’t hurt to dream a bit, right? I’m also aware that all these restrictions that are put to keep all of us safe might get even stricter, so reaching any 2021 travel destinations is going to be an unexpected perk. With that said, let’s daydream a bit and pretend just for a while that everything’s ok. So keep on reading to discover my 2021 travel destinations, or, in other words, the best places I’d love to revisit in safe conditions.
In collaboration with Hotels.com, but all views are my own.
I haven’t seen a lot of the UK, but I’ve been to London several times, both with work and to visit my childhood friend who lived there for several years. I’ve stayed both at my friend’s place and in hotels in London, but every time I found the city to be amazing and fitted in right away. There was no trace of that stiff upper lip, quite the opposite: people were incredibly polite and offered to be helpful at even the slightest confused look at a crossroads.
Besides this, there were two other things that surprised me when I visited London for the first time.
First, everybody says that British food… is bad. But there are very few travel destinations in which I’ve enjoyed the food so much as I did in London. Ethiopian food and Thai Kanom Krok in Borough Market, amazing tiny mushroom burgers in Camden Market, salty beef bagel in Shoreditch, fish, and chips on the South Bank, the best English breakfast near Bethnal Green, and delicious tea with scones in the Hayes Gallery. Oh, and no visit to London is complete without a visit to The Churchill Arms in Notting Hill!
Second, another thing I’ve hears over and over again is that London is expensive. Without taking accommodation in London into account (because I either stayed with my friend or my employer paid for it), I found London quite affordable. Anyway, less expensive than Paris, in my opinion.
Yeah, sure, a pint of beer in a pub isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s stronger than lager so you won’t drink as many rounds. Also, the whiskey’s more affordable than in other countries. And eating from food markets you end up having a fantastic meal for very little money when compared to a restaurant. Last but not least, there are so many free places to visit it’s challenging to plan to see them all in one trip.
What else do you need in order to make London the top of your list with 2021 travel destinations?
Yes, as if all the health risks weren’t bad enough, there’s also Brexit to deal with now. But I’m from a country that became part of the European Union quite late in comparison to others, so I’ve experienced a lack of free movement and border controls before. I still do, even though it’s mostly a formality because Romania isn’t part of Schengen yet.
However, as Europeans, we still don’t have to deal with visas or getting written invites from British citizens in order to go across the channel. So as long as we get used to the idea that we need to be a bit patient at the border and leave home emotionally prepared for it, the UK is still a place you should add to your 2021 travel destinations. (Once it’s safe to travel there, of course.)
We’re staying across the Channel while exploring 2021 travel destinations and dreaming a bit about Ireland’s capital. I only went there once for a long weekend with Mathieu. He’s been to Ireland a lot, and he always speaks fondly of the experience. (I think only Japan tops it among his travel experiences.)
Anyway, while sitting in a pub, listening to live Irish music, and enjoying glass of fine whiskey, I had the revelation that until that moment, no other place had felt like home that fast. The Irish are amazing, and I love the pubs. The atmosphere, the delicious whiskey that doesn’t cost a fortune, and the amazing Irish Guinness that they don’t send across the border… what’s not to love?
In addition to these, it’s yet another destination where we enjoyed the food. We still remember fondly our visit to the Temple Bar Market and the pie stuffed with beef marinated in Guinness from the Pieman. Plus, loved the slogan of the latter: Look into my pies!
We don’t just eat and drink when we travel together, though. We also walk a lot to see the top places to visit and many other sights. And trust me when I say there’s plenty of interesting things to see in Dublin. So keep it in mind when you’re considering 2021 travel destinations you’d like to (re)visit!
Never have I ever expected to miss Berlin. But it happened, more than once, which is why I’m adding it to my list with 2021 travel destinations I hope to revisit. On my first visit, I went with my parents, and even though I was a grown-up, I didn’t really socialize with people my age. So I started missing Berlin’s sights, not people I’ve met there.
The other times I went to Berlin, I was with Mathieu and enjoyed a more age-appropriate trip to Germany’s capital city. My last trip to Berlin was in 2019, for Halloween. We went there to meet one of Mathieu’s closest friends and ended up in a crazy expat party combined with a birthday and a commemoration of a dead cat.
Berlin is crazy (in a good way!), and incredibly diverse. And I’m not talking just about the people who live there, but the city itself. You’ve got old buildings connected to Berlin’s dark past, but also modern architecture and majestic street art. And, just like London, it’s very diverse, and you’re bound to find some interesting options while exploring the menus of most restaurants in Berlin.
Part of me loves Berlin because I can be as weird as I want and still fit in. While not actually changing anything in my behavior, in Berlin I feel less self-conscious. Berlin = freedom. A perfect city to add to your 2021 travel destinations to get a breather once all the restrictions have been lifted.
If you’re also missing Berlin, I recommend watching Ku’damm 56 😉
Greece, anywhere in Greece!
As you probably know from my Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, we were lucky enough to spend most of 2020 sailing the Mediterranean. And while I’ve spent some time in Greece almost every summer when I was a child, I had yet to discover the Ionian side of the country and the islands in the Saronic Gulf. And I’ve seen very little of the Cyclades and Peloponnese, so I definitely have to go back and see more.
Of course, I was surprised by the scenery and the unbelievably blue waters. I mean, who wouldn’t? But there are many other places in Europe where the beaches are probably as amazing as they are in Greece. However, not all of those other places have the same slow-paced lifestyle or the low prices you’ll find in Greece. Oh, and such blue waters rarely come without sharks, but in Greece, they aren’t a problem!
Even though we were traveling with our sailboat in Greece, I noticed and was amazed by how easy it is to go island-hopping. In the Ionian, you can come with a ferry from Italy or Albania to Igoumenitsa or you can land in Preveza or you can just drive and take a ferry with your car to any of the big islands. And on Lefkada, you just cross a bridge from the mainland and you’re already on the island. But with prices like 12 euro for a crossing with the car, getting a ferry can be quite convenient.
The same goes for the Aegean Sea, where besides the big ferries there are the fast Flying Dolphins, that carry only passengers and maybe one piece of luggage or two. Seeing all these options, we decided to not risk losing any time stuck by strong winds in the Cyclades Islands and spent the last weeks sailing in the Saronic Gulf. We’ll see the Cyclades some other time, either with a camper on a ferry or by flying into Athens with a backpack each and hopping from island to island with the Flying Dolphin.
One other thing I learned is that in late October the weather in Greece is still good for wearing thin beach clothes and swimming in the sea. It’s the first time I had stayed in Greece this late in the year and I can only imagine how amazing the temperatures are in the southern Peloponnese or in Crete even later in autumn.
And I’ll add one more thing about Greece: it felt incredibly safe to be there in 2020, which is the main reason this country is on my list of 2021 travel destinations. I mean, besides offering access only to travelers with negative PCR tests, the people running businesses really respected the restrictions. Furthermore, the locals did their share even without the authorities imposing any extra measures. For example, when we arrived on Zakynthos, just a few days before they announced a couple of cases. And you could already see the locals wearing masks outside. We saw the same thing on Aegina: people wearing masks outside, especially if they were riding bikes or scooters. And that was a bit before they tightened the rules in Attica, which luckily took place right after our departure.
So in my opinion, Greece is one of the 2021 travel destinations you can add to your list even if all this has not yet passed completely by the end of the year. Provided that you respect the rules and do everything in your power to keep yourself and others safe when you travel. Because, as travelers, it’s our duty to respect and protect the locals and the places we visit, in general.
If you’re also missing Greece, I recommend reading (and/or watching) Zorba the Greek and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin until you get to see 2021 travel destinations in this beautiful country.
Without further ado, let’s do our share for these difficult times to pass, and that way, maybe we’ll add lots of 2021 travel destinations to our journals. Stay safe, but remain hopeful while looking for 2021 openings!
What 2021 travel destinations are you dreaming about for when it’s safe to travel again?
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