Nearly everyone likes a diverse choice of things to see and do on vacation, from museums and historic attractions to tours and adventures. Popular actities include paddleboarding, horseback riding, swimming, tennis, golf, film festivals, skiing in Aspen, ziplining, kayaking tours, surfing, waterpark rides, amusement park rides, mini golf and other cool things to do.
Travel to the Danish capital has jumped more than 80 percent in the past decade, thanks in part to René Redzepi’s influential Noma restaurant (slated to reopen in its new location in February), as well as Scandinavian Airlines’ ongoing flight expansion. Today, Copenhagen is teeming with inspiring places to eat and drink, in addition to a number of sleek new hotels — so much so that the New Nordic food, beverage, and design movement has now spread worldwide. Even before it debuted in July, Restaurant Barr — the beer-centric boîte by Redzepi and chef Thorsten Schmidt that occupies the old Noma plot — was already garnering international attention. Then there’s Apollo Bar & Kantine, the recently minted, design-focused restaurant in the Kunsthal Charlottenborg gallery from Frederik Bille Brahe, proprietor of hit café Atelier September. Brothers Mikkel Borg Bjergsø and Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, of Mikkeller and Evil Twin Brewing, respectively, have in the last couple of years introduced the world to experimental Danish craft beer, and their brews can now be sampled at bars and beer halls across Copenhagen and beyond. Stylish new places to stay, such as Hotel Danmark and Sanders, as well as a revamp of the classic, Arne Jacobsen–designed Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, reinforce the reasons the Scandinavian aesthetic is so popular right now. —Kat Odell
A picture-perfect trio of islands lapped by turquoise waters, the Maltese archipelago has all the charm of nearby Sicily with far fewer tourists. Valletta, the tiny nation’s capital and a UNESCO World Heritage site, feels like something plucked straight from Westeros. The historic walled city dates back to 1565, and has a vibe that’s Mediterranean with a North African twist. This underrated destination is finally stepping into the global limelight as a 2018 European Capital of Culture. To celebrate the occasion, the city has planned more than 140 projects and 400 events throughout the year. The festivities begin on January 20, with contemporary dance, a choral symphony, and acrobatic performances across the city’s four main squares. Should you miss the grand opening, swing by in February for Carnival, or in June for the Malta International Arts Festival and the Valletta Film Festival. —Diana Hubbell
Known as the Tibet of Japan, the remote Iya Valley is tucked away in the mountainous interior of Shikoku, the least visited of the country’s four main islands. Tourism to the region took a leap forward when it hosted the World Rafting Championship in 2017 — putting its turquoise Class Four rapids firmly on the adventure-travel map. New ziplines and hiking trails are sprouting up in the canyons, while upgrades have been made to accommodations in the area’s traditional thatched-roof farmhouses, or minkas. Chiiori House is the most luxurious; the property also maintains an excellent portfolio of more affordable options. —Adam Harney Graham
6. Get credit or refunds for hotel price drops. If you find a lower price on Travelocity or a competitor site two or more days before your scheduled hotel check-in date, Travelocity will refund or credit you the difference. As with flight price drops, you’ll also receive a $50 coupon for a future hotel or hotel + flight package valued at $100 or more. To file a claim, fill out a Travelocity Price Guarantee application within two days after booking the hotel.
Vacation Packages: More hotels, resorts and inns offer romantic, family, wedding, honeymoon and other packages than people realize. If your heart is set on a particular getaway, check their web site for current offers. In some cases, the property will offer a romantic package that you can add on to the cost of your stay, such as flowers or a gift that can be prepared ahead of time. In other cases, the romantic package will include the room rate as well. When you are researching the best places to vacation, it pays to check for packages.