Travelers are taking their trips to the next level this year — going outside their comfort zones and ticking off items on their bucket lists. Travel shopping company Expedia calls 2022 the year of the GOAT or the “greatest of all trips.” After COVID-19 lockdowns were lifted and restrictions eased, the desire to be out there became stronger. Revenge travel and the remote travel work lifestyle entered the tourism vocabulary, and travelers deserve just that to let loose and be free. The tourism sector is just restarting, and so are travelers who are more eager for new things. From spontaneous trips to last-minute travels, 2022 is the year of carpe diem.
10 Try Home Staying
There’s a staycation, then there’s home staying. Some backpackers do it not to be thrifty but to be immersed in the communities they visit. Sure, hotels and lodges are fine with the luxury and services they offer, but nothing beats home staying when it comes to hospitality. When tourists share a roof with their local hosts, they also share a part of their culture, rich stories, good food, and maybe a long-lasting friendship. Home staying is big in Asia, and those who want to try new things should consider this experience.
9 Have An Amazon Adventure
It sounds pessimistic, but visiting a destination before it’s gone or destroyed should be considered. One such example is the Brazilian Amazon rainforest, one of the most biodiverse rainforests on the planet. It is home to a forest so lush that it continues to remain a home for some uncontacted tribes. However, the area is threatened by climate change and human activities. Deforestation is alarming even as conservation efforts are strong. Even so, responsible and sustainable tourism remains active in the region intending to educate the public, aid in reforestation efforts, and support local communities. The Amazon is one amazing place, and by paying a visit, tourists might be helping save it.
8 Be Rejuvenated With A Wellness Tour
As the world is enveloped by a health emergency, wellness tourism is back in the spotlight. It might not be part of most people’s bucket lists, but it’s something that they should not overlook. It’s the right time to try travel experiences that aim to refresh, restart, and regain. The pandemic affected not just the physical but the mental health of many people. Traveling is useful to erase not just the stress but to be rejuvenated. Tourism, after all, should be all about rest and relaxation.
7 Have A True Safari Experience
Tourists can ditch eco-tours that take travelers to zoos and avoid faux ecotourism efforts that are accused of income. Instead, they can take a journey into the place where the wild things are: Africa. The safari awaits. In a safari expedition, tourists will have a chance to observe the big five game (leopard, lion, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros) all at the same time. Just like a tour of the Amazon, a Serengeti experience is all about conservation and education. This African experience is unmatched and should not be overlooked.
6 Stay In A Castle
Those who feel royal can have a regal time by staying in actual castles that date back to the Medieval and Victorian eras. It’s a true luxury to stay a night or two in places of history and majesty. Some castles, mostly in Europe, now operate as hotels — offering tourists the utmost comfort and convenience. Castles can be charming to visit, but staying in them is a whole other level. It’s the right time to vacation like a king or queen.
5 Explore The Great Barrier Reef
Just like the Amazon, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is greatly affected by climate change. This UNESCO World Heritage Site just experienced its sixth mass bleaching, alarming scientists. However, tourism still thrives in parts of this natural wonder, primarily in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The park is a diver’s paradise because it’s the largest reef system in the world. The corals are inviting, and the marine mammals are welcoming. Though the area is threatened, tourists can still appreciate its wonders – maybe before it’s too late.
4 Visit A Micronation
Some tourists may not have heard of micronations. They are self-declared unrecognized territories within a country. There’s a variety of them in the United States, and they are welcoming of visitors. One of the most famous is the Republic of Molossia in Nevada, and tourists can check out its humble attractions. There’s also Milwaukee's one-bedroom Kingdom of Talossa, one of the earliest micronations that still sells souvenirs. Zaqistan in Utah, meanwhile, is more of an artist’s exhibit and an interesting place to visit.
3 Go To One Of The Least Visited Countries
It might not come as a surprise that the European country of Liechtenstein is among the least visited. It might be because it's doubly landlocked and lacks beaches. Despite that, it's still worthy of a visit, especially for hikers. Hiking trails abound in this microstate (not micronation), leading guests to vineyards, hills, and fields, all the while enjoying mountain views. Tourists can also visit gardens, castles, and museums. The country is small, but it’s big on wonders and surprises.
2 Conquer The Fear
Now is the best time to conquer one's fears. Why not? The pandemic made many people realize that life is short and, as the adage goes, should be lived to the fullest. Those who never dared go beyond their comfort zones can try skydiving in Arizona or for a mellow yet exhilarating journey up above, a hot air balloon trip in Albuquerque. How about visiting the Catacombs of Paris or crossing the Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge in China? Whatever the experience, there’s always something out there to fill anyone’s adrenaline cup.
1 Go Solo
Many people recommend traveling solo at least once in a lifetime. It’s an opportunity for reflection, self-discovery, empowerment, and independence. It’s practical, too, because tourists can practice their bargaining skills, improve their confidence, and meet new friends along the way. Traveling alone – not lonely – will give tourists the opportunity to experience new things, all the while having a low carbon footprint. Going solo is a must because it’s a perfect moment for travelers to feel free and have some "me time". NEXT: Solo In Sydney: 10 Best Things For Travelers To Do