If only there was enough time and money to travel the world at your leisure, hitting the world’s most alluring destinations whenever and wherever the mood strikes. Sign me up for that lifestyle. For the rest of us, however, an immense amount of planning goes into a vacation. Knowing when to travel somewhere is just as important as why to travel there. If you don’t like carnival, for example, February isn’t the best time to visit Venice. If you’re planning a trip in 2018, and you have a time frame in mind, but not a location, then here’s some inspiration.
January — Lounge on the Nicaraguan Coast
Okay, pretty much no matter where you are in January, the odds are solid that you’re going to need a healthy dose of two things: rest and sunshine. After the holiday scramble, you’ll need a truly recuperative vacation in a place like the Nicaraguan coast. You can lounge on the sandy beaches or wade into the calm waters for a quick dip in the ocean. Amateur surfers will also get a kick out of the forgiving waves.
February — It’s Carnival in Venice
Ready to get up close and personal with one of the wildest celebrations in the world when carnival comes to Venice. Sure, it’s crowded, but it’s also the closest thing you can get to a full-on bacchanalia in the world’s most popular floating city. The ancient town comes to life in February as people take to the streets in masks and gowns.
March — Soak Up the History in Washington, DC
Statesiders might enjoy a trip to Washington, D.C. in March. The United States capital is perfect for the whole family in March. Spring thaws the city, the cherry blossoms bloom, and the kids won’t mind hitting some museums because they’re already missing school. Don’t underestimate the stoic beauty of Washington, D.C. — when you find yourself strolling the National Mall, you can’t help but find yourself inspired.
April — Time to Visit Kyoto
If Kyoto, Japan isn’t on your bucket list, then you’re overlooking one of the most inviting and unusual cities in the world. The Japanese capital is at its best in April, when the Japanese cherry blossoms engulf the town and the weather is particularly mild. Soak up some Japanese history in one of the cities countless shrines and temples while you stroll along streets that’re nearly a millennia old.
May — Take in the Art at Lille
Paris is so passé. The burgeoning arts scene isn’t in the City of Lights, it’s one hour north in the idyllic town of Lille. Stroll through the historic cobblestone streets and absorb all the gorgeous views the city has to offer. When you tire of walking, you can grab a bite at one of Lille’s wonderful eateries or pick up a souvenir at one of the city’s boutiques.
June — Visit the Gorgeous City of Stockholm
Everyone will find something to love in Stockholm, which has enough culture and history to satisfy any kind of traveler. You can catch Stockholm at its best in June, when walking tours are in full swing. Shoppers will love the stores, history buffs will love the castles, and everyone will find something perfect in one of Stockholm’s myriad cafes.
July — Make the Most of Wales
The most undervalued member of the United Kingdom, Wales is in top form in July. The gorgeous country is the perfect place to visit in the hottest month of the year for more reasons than its temperate climate. There’s an underground trampoline park, a zipline park, and more mountains than you can shake a stick at. Best of all, in July, the country’s historic churches are taken over by artists who integrate their own voice into the centuries-old buildings.
August — Immerse Yourself in Berlin
Why languish in some of the world’s hottest countries when you could spend August in Berlin, when the hotel rates are at their lowest. Tourism might flag (slightly), but the capital of Germany never truly slows down. The city’s restaurant scene is a treat for eaters any time of the year, and August is also the time of year when the city hosts its International Beer Festival. You’ll be asking yourself, Oktober-what?
September — Experience Serenity in Portland, Maine
Before the harsh winter winds attack Maine, but after the summer tourists have evacuated back to their everyday lives, Portland is the place to be. Hotel rates are cheap, and so is the lobster. Spend your days whale watching and your nights listening to the water lap against the shore. There’s no better way to unwind after a hectic summer than in Portland, Maine.
October — Uncover Delight in Lima
The capital of Peru in South America is also one of the continent’s most exciting cities. Lima is home to an incredible restaurant scene that’s concocting new takes on international cuisine on an almost daily basis. Beyond the food, Lima has a burgeoning art scene that’s definitely worth checking out, as well as nearly a millennium of history for the adventurous to explore.
November — Eat Well and Hear Some Blues in Memphis
A good portion of the year, Memphis is borderline uninhabitable thanks to its humid environment. In November, however, the city is simply gorgeous. Travelers can visit the animals at the Memphis Zoo (one of the world’s best), before they travel downtown to check out Beale Street. If you visit the landmark during the day, you’ll be treated to a tour of modern music history. At night, Beale is a reveler’s paradise. Food, booze, and music drip from every corner.
December — Spend the Holidays in Prague
Few cities are quite as beautiful when under a light shroud of snow than Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. The Baroque and Gothic architecture are equal parts haunting and stunning. You’ll feel like you’re walking through the most magical moments of a Dickens novel while you spend your December nights strolling the ancient, cobblestone streets.