Everyone could use a getaway, these days more than ever. While starting to plan your next vacation can seem daunting, there are plenty of reasons to begin looking for your next escape. Consider these amazing destinations and activities as reasons in and of themselves to kick off the development stage of your next adventure.

Set Sail

Cruises are a great, low-pressure way to get an incredible vacation with minimal planning on your part. Everything you could possibly want is provided onboard: a variety of spectacular restaurants, fun activities, Broadway-style entertainment, fitness classes – you name it, modern cruises ships have it. In addition to onboard amenities, a booze cruise in Cancun allows you to wake up each day in a new port of call with shore excursions available to help you spice up your trip and experience the best of these exotic locales have to offer.

Cruises don’t just visit tropical locations either. If you’re less interested in the kind of beachy escape that typically comes to mind when people think of cruising, don’t forget that there are so many other options out there. Look into cruises from Seattle to Alaska. A cruise to the northernmost state is one of the best ways to appreciate the unique beauty of Alaska’s geography. It’s a perfect cruise for outdoor enthusiasts: hike the Dewey Lakes trail in Skagway, go on a fishing expedition in Ketchikan, and witness incredible calving events at the Dawes Glacier. Alaskan cruises often feature a stop in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, home to the Butchart Gardens and Craigdarroch Castle.

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Soak Up the Sun

Maybe trekking through The Last Frontier isn’t your idea of a relaxing vacation, but those beaches do sound like they’d hit the spot. If you’re looking for somewhere a bit more far-flung than familiar names like The Bahamas or Cancun, there are plenty of beach destinations all over the world. You can also enjoy the sun-kissed beaches of Southern California and the captivating whale watching Los Angeles.

Africa is home to a surprising number of gorgeous beaches. While getting to the island of Zanzibar off the coast of Tanzania takes a bit more effort than jetting down to the Caribbean its pristine beaches, lack of crowding, and affordability might just make the extra flight time worth it. Even Egypt, which most people associate with expansive deserts and the wondrous pyramids, has beaches along the Red Sea. Sharm el-Sheikh is renowned for long, sunny days and as an entry into great scuba diving areas.

Escape to Powder Down Under

Not everyone craves a sunny escape year-round. In fact, some may crave a reprieve from the heat in the form of an off-season ski vacation. While some North American destinations offer late-season skiing like Blackcomb Mountain in British Columbia and Mammoth in California, conditions are sometimes far from ideal.

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While most people associate The Land Down Under with warm beaches and the desert-like outback, Australia’s location in the Southern Hemisphere means that its winter takes place during summer in the Northern Hemisphere. New Zealand’s snow season takes place at the same time, with resorts opening in June and usually closing around October. These resorts offer skiing just as great as what you might expect from well-known North American resorts and have served as training grounds for Olympic skiers and snowboarders like the Wells brothers.

Catch Some Waves

If you’ve ever thought about learning to surf, there’s no reason to restrict yourself to common surf destinations like Hawaii or southern California. Cape Town, South Africa’s Llandudno Beach, or the French island territory of Réunion are both surfers’ paradises in their own rights.

Experienced surfers looking to mix things up can look at truly unconventional spots like Tofino on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, or the many locations for truly hardy surfers located on the coast of Iceland.

The first steps to planning any vacation are knowing where you want to go and what you want to do while you’re there. Use these ideas as inspiration as you start researching your next holiday.

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