summer vacation ideas

8 Incredible Summer Vacation Ideas

Perfect Summer Getaways

Are you looking for exciting summer vacation ideas outside of the US? With warm weather and longer days, it's the perfect time to explore new destinations and create unforgettable memories.

While Airbnb noted some of the top trending summer locations in 2023, including Greece, Canada, Italy, Thailand, Brazil, Spain and Morocco, we’ve tried to go beyond these to give you a memorable summer vacation, possibly missing the crowds while you’re at it.

If you want to skip the winter season this year, make sure to check out the southern hemisphere with destinations like Australia and New Zealand to experience all they have to offer in their summer months.

Whether you crave a relaxing beach getaway, an adventurous outdoor experience or an enriching cultural trip, this article has diverse destinations to make the most of your summer vacation. So, grab your sunscreen, pack your bags and let's dive into the best summer vacation locations.

1. Costa Rica

For nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers, Costa Rica is a top choice for a summer vacation. This Central American gem is known for its incredible biodiversity and ecotourism opportunities. Explore the lush rainforests, hike through national parks and witness exotic wildlife like sloths, toucans and monkeys. Don't miss the opportunity to relax on the beautiful beaches of Manuel Antonio or go surfing in Tamarindo. Costa Rica perfectly balances adrenaline-pumping activities, like white-water rafting, and serene natural beauty.

2. Japan

Explore historical landmarks like Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park or the majestic temples of Kyoto. Don't forget to indulge in Japan's unique cuisine, from sushi and ramen to matcha and wagyu beef. For nature lovers, a visit to Mount Takao or Mount Fuji during the summer months offers breathtaking views and the opportunity to hike through scenic trails. You could even go glamping, such as here at Mount Fuji. Japan's blend of tradition and modernity ensures a captivating summer vacation experience.

3. Iceland

Iceland, with its otherworldly landscapes and natural wonders, is an enchanting country to visit during the summer months. Explore the famous Golden Circle, a route that encompasses breathtaking waterfalls, geysers and the tectonic plates of North America and Europe. Relax in the soothing hot springs of the Blue Lagoon or embark on an adventure to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights. Take a hike on glaciers, such as Vatnajökull, road trip the scenic Ring Road, explore the stunning black sand beaches of Reynisfjara or even visit just to experience 24 hours of daylight. Iceland's unique geological features and untouched beauty make it a perfect destination for nature lovers.

4. Croatia

Croatia, with its stunning coastline along the Adriatic Sea, is a hidden gem of Europe and an ideal summer vacation destination. Explore the historic city of Dubrovnik, known for its medieval walls and picturesque Old Town. Relax on the sun-kissed beaches of Hvar Island or discover the cascading waterfalls and turquoise lakes of Plitvice Lakes National Park. Sail along the stunning Dalmatian Coast and visit charming coastal towns such as Split and Rovinj. Croatia's blend of natural beauty, rich history and delicious cuisine make it a perfect choice for a summer escape.

5. Fiji

For those seeking paradise-like beaches and a tranquil tropical getaway, Fiji is a dream destination. Explore the pristine islands with white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs. Indulge in water activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving or simply relaxing under the shade of palm trees. Immerse yourself in the warm Fijian hospitality, experience traditional ceremonies and cultural performances and savor delicious Fijian cuisine. Fiji's natural beauty and serene ambiance create an idyllic setting for a summer vacation.

6. South Africa

South Africa offers an unforgettable family vacation with its diverse wildlife and extraordinary safari experiences. Explore the renowned Kruger National Park, home to the iconic Big Five (elephant, lion, leopard, rhinoceros and buffalo) and embark on thrilling game drives and witness the majesty of African wildlife up close. Visit the picturesque Cape Town, where you can hike up Table Mountain for breathtaking views, explore the vibrant V&A Waterfront and take a scenic drive along the Cape Peninsula. Take advantage of the opportunity to visit the beautiful winelands of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, where you can indulge in wine tastings and fine dining. South Africa's natural beauty and diverse wildlife make it a top choice for a summer adventure.

7. Malta

One of the most fantastic summer vacation spots, with stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters and picturesque surroundings. The Mediterranean climate ensures perfect weather for sunbathing, swimming and water activities, but you can also explore the rich history of ancient temples and medieval cities and indulge in cultural heritage and museums. Diverse outdoor activities like snorkeling, diving and boat tours cater to various interests and the island's scenic landscapes, vibrant festivals and easy access to neighboring islands like Gozo and Comino add to its allure. With delicious Maltese cuisine, warm hospitality and a reputation for safety, it's an excellent choice for a memorable summer getaway.

8. Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos is a stunning 40-island archipelago nestled in the Caribbean Sea, known for its pristine white sandy beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters and breathtaking coral reefs. This tropical paradise offers a perfect getaway for those seeking relaxation, adventure and natural beauty. Explore the vibrant underwater world through boat excursions, snorkeling and scuba diving or by visiting the breathtaking Chalk Sound National Park, where you'll encounter colorful fish and fascinating marine life. Unwind on tranquil beaches, indulge in world-class cuisine and immerse yourself in the warm hospitality of the locals. Whether you're seeking relaxation or thrilling water sports, Turks and Caicos is a beautiful travel destination that promises an unforgettable experience.

Enjoy The Summer!

Choosing the best country to travel to for a summer vacation depends on your personal preferences and the experiences you seek. Whether you’re after pristine beaches, rich history, breathtaking landscapes or wildlife encounters, there are numerous destinations to explore. No matter which country you choose, remember to immerse yourself in the local culture, indulge in authentic cuisine and create lasting memories. So, pack your bags, embark on new adventures and create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.