As the days get longer, you may find yourself itching to go out and explore a brand new destination. It’s a feeling we’re all too familiar with: the travel bug. But with so many places vying for your attention—and for a top spot on the list of best summer vacation spots—it can be hard to know where to start.
Bust out your travel journals, passports, and luggage because we’re about to break down our top picks for places to go in the summer and walk through what exactly makes them the best of the best.
The world is yours for the taking—go ahead and grab it.
What Kind of Vacationer Are You?
Vacations can vary quite a bit from person to person. Before deciding on a destination to visit, it’s essential to identify which type of vacationer you are. From the solo-traveling type to the globetrotting girl squad, here’s a look at how you can plan based on your preferred vibe.
Some view vacations as a chance to truly relax, recharge, and unwind. With the stressors of day-to-day life and work, summer travel is the perfect opportunity for you to pack your Terry Tote, put your inbox on mute and go completely off-grid. If this kind of vacation appeals to you, you may want to consider:
- Checking in to an all-inclusive resort
- Pampering yourself at the spa
- Staying in a secluded cabin
Others view summer travel as a chance to explore. It’s truly the perfect time to gather your top summer bucket list ideas and create a plan for how to check them all off. There are many destinations, foods, cultures, and experiences to soak up, and your mission is to uncover every one of them. If this type of vacation is more your speed, you may want to pack your travel bags with pieces ready for:
- Road trips
- Historical cities
- Exciting nightlife
Make a trip even more meaningful by taking the time to learn about others while learning about yourself in the process.
The Lone Wolf
Another factor to consider when choosing your dream summer holiday destination is deciding whether you prefer solo trips or vacationing with a group. Solo trips provide you with the opportunity to
- Set your own schedule
- Connect with fellow solo travelers
- Self reflect
So many spots around the world are tailor-made for lone wolves like you—some of which happen to appear in our list of favorite summer spots below.
The Party Pack
Summer travel is also ideal for spending quality time with friends or family. Whether it’s a bachelor or bachelorette party, a girl’s trip, or a family outing, group vacations can be perfect for those who enjoy:
- Planning group excursions
- Shared memories with friends
- Increased sense of safety
Now that you have a better idea of what kind of vacation you might be looking for, let's dive into our top picks for places to travel in the summer.
Best Vacation Spots: Solo Traveling Edition
Traveling by yourself can make a huge difference when it comes to picking a perfect summer spot. The best types of places for solo travelers typically offer easy transportation, endless activities, and kind locals who you can look to for guidance. Here are a few summer holiday ideas you won’t want to miss if you are flying solo.
Coming in at number one, we have the majestic country of Iceland. Guaranteed to provide you with breathtaking views, friendly locals, and peaceful solace, Iceland's a dream location for any traveler looking to enjoy nature's bounty.
Iceland is known for only having two seasons: winter and summer. Our blue luggage collection could be perfect for both. With that being said, the long summer days will surely offer lots of sunlight so you can pack your days with things like:
- Bathing in hot springs – Iceland has natural hot springs scattered all over. Heated by underground magma, these bubbling oases are ideal for bathing and unwinding under the beautiful Iceland sky.1
- Attending local festivals – Iceland is brimming with small villages rich in culture. Many of these hamlets will celebrate the season with festivals throughout the summer. It's a perfect opportunity to connect with the people, food, and tradition of Icelandic natives.
- Befriending puffer penguins – Nope, this isn't a drill. Since Iceland is home to a large population of puffer penguins, a trip to this country could result in an adorable feathery friendship. You may find them wandering through the streets of Reykjavík if you visit in the summer months.
Plus, Iceland’s famously known as a friendly environment that will kindly welcome a solo traveler with open arms.
Portugal is relatively underrated when compared to its neighboring country Spain. However, like Spain, Portugal remains incredibly rich in history, art, and culture.
With beautiful cities like Lisbon and Porto, you can enjoy the many facets of Portuguese life, such as:
- Easily accessible trams for transportation
- Intricate churches and cathedrals
- Moorish architecture and ruins
- The National Museum of Ancient Art (in Lisbon)
Get lost in one of Portugal’s many beautiful coastal towns and who knows? You may even decide to stay put.
Boasting gorgeous landscapes, sweeping green plains, and swoon-worthy cliffs, Ireland is a highly coveted island for those who wish to travel the countryside alone.
Though the beauty of Ireland extends wherever you go, we recommend knocking one of these to-dos off your Irish bucket list:
- Carrick-a-rede – If you’re feeling adventurous, take a walk over Ireland’s largest rope bridge to behold the fantastic splendor of the Atlantic ocean and the Irish countryside.
- Blarney Stone – Bless yourself with the gift of gab by visiting (and kissing) the infamous Blarney Stone. You'll leave having learned about Irish history and yelling, "Kiss me, I'm Irish!"
- Cliffs of Moher – Perhaps one of the most well-known Irish destinations, the Cliffs of Moher line the west coast and offer unforgettable views. Feel on top of the world as you breathe in the salty air and gaze out at the miles and miles of emerald landscape that surround you.
- An Irish pint – Meet and befriend Irish locals over a pint of Guinness at a nearby pub.
- Ring of Kerry – End your trip with a drive down the gorgeous Ring of Kerry. Roll through coastal villages, rolling hills, rural land, and breathtaking sights.
Connect to Ireland’s rich history and enjoy the simple things in life. If you listen closely, you might just hear the Irish cliffs calling your name.
Best Vacation Spots: Group Traveling Edition
If traveling by yourself isn’t your thing, not to worry. We’ve compiled a list of the best places to travel in the summer with a group that will guarantee long-lasting memories for everyone involved.
Amsterdam combines fantastic sights, historical influence, and a modern edge to make it a wonderful destination for a group trip.
Tear through cobblestone streets or the Rijksmuseum, and enjoy the delights of this city, including:
- Beautiful canals
- Walkable (or bikeable!) streets
- Urban feel
- Diverse population
- Exciting nightlife
Another city boasting a similar vibe is Budapest. After exploring Amerstand from top to bottom, hop a plane or a train and head on over to Hungary for round two. Chocolate and fries, anyone?
#5 Northern California
We’d miss remiss not to highlight the beauty of Northern California, a top destination in the United States that’s a bit closer to home. With no shortage of things to do, your California summer is calling you by name.
Northern California boasts so many lovely locations to make the summer months memorable, including:
- Napa Valley – A trip to the valley is perfect for a girl's trip or a romantic getaway. Explore the country's most established winery and indulge in a robust cabernet as you watch the sunset over a gorgeous vineyard.
- Monterey – This beautiful city on the bay is perfect for anyone interested in sea life. Visit the aquarium, take a trip to the pier, or enjoy a stroll on the pristine beaches. Don't forget to pack your beach essentials in a Terry Towel Tote if you plan to be around water.
- Redwood National Forest – This national park has to be seen to be believed. Take a guided tour or follow the hiking trails with your group and surrender to the beauty of an enormous Redwood tree.
Drive up the beautiful Pacific North Highway to knock out multiple of these fabulous destinations. And if you keep driving north, you may hit our next favorite summer vacation spot.
Like Northern California, Oregon rests upon the beautiful Pacific Ocean. It also offers many exciting places to visit, each completely unique and ideal for a group outing.
To simplify your planning, we’ve broken them down by category:
- Destinations – Home to numerous national parks and hiking trails, Oregon is sure to satisfy your group’s appetite for outdoor adventure. Visit the Painted Hills for breathtaking views, Crater Lake for all of your water sports needs, or Tillamook Coast for a relaxing day at the beach.
- Nature – Brimming with wildlife, Oregon allows you to visit a nature reserve to view native North American animals in their natural habitats. Or take to the sea and go whale watching to catch a glimpse of some of the most majestic creatures of the sea.
- Food – Boasting a heavenly amount of food carts, coffee shops, and breweries, a trip to Portland, Oregon is a foodie's dream come true. Take advantage of the fresh seafood with delicious sushi, or pick something out at the local farmers' market and prepare a home-cooked meal with the crew.
- Culture and history – Oregon provides a deeper look at the fascinating history of the American West. While there, be sure to explore historic pioneer sites and abandoned ghost towns.
With so much to offer, Oregon can bring out the best summer memories. Book your flight before summer slips away.
BÉIS: Your Perfect Travel Buddy
Whether you are interested in traveling somewhere new in the United States or taking a leap across the pond this summer, the world is full of fantastic places that are begging to be explored. See the world in style with BÉIS.
Our collection of luxurious luggage, totes, organizers, and travel accessories make traveling the world easy, so you can focus on chasing the summer sun.
Go with the flow. Wherever you end up, we’ll be right by your side.
- “Summer in Iceland: How Best to Enjoy It?” Iceland Travel, 19 Nov. 2021, https://www.icelandtravel.is/blog/summer-iceland/
- Viktoria. “Puffins in Iceland - Everything You Need to Know” Arctic Adventures, 5 Mar. 2019, https://adventures.is/blog/puffins-in-iceland/