It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, even when making vacation plans. You might find yourself packing up and heading out to the same destination, time and time again, despite your intense desire to discover something new.
At first, you love it so much; you want to keep going back. As time goes on, it becomes more like Groundhog Day instead. You’re living the same trip over and over again — and that means it’s time for a change! These insta-worthy locations will make you the envy of all you know.
Tower Butte, Arizona
In case you didn’t know, a butte is a naturally occurring hill with steep sides and a flat top. It may look like just another pretty rock, but you can only get to the top by rock climbing or helicopter. This cool desert location also has a great view of Lake Powell. If you opt for the helicopter excursion, you might even spy a glimpse of Horseshoe Bend and Glen Canyon Dam on your return.
Havasu Falls, Arizona
Located 3.5 hours from the Grand Canyon, Havasu Falls is a breathtaking waterfall that leads into a clear blue creek. This nearly-hidden oasis sits in the middle of a desert, and visitors must gain permission to visit from the Havasupai Tribe.
You can apply on February 1st of each year, but expect spots to sell out within hours. The trip itself also takes careful planning. Still, the 10-mile hike to the falls, and the rarity of being able to visit it at all, make it so worth it.
We’re not in Arizona anymore! Antarctica is the perfect location for wildlife lovers. You’ll see penguins, leopard seals, and even whales.
The coldest place in the world also just happens to be a great destination for daring adventurers. Enjoy kayaking, touring shipwrecks, swimming in the freezing water, and taking in the scenic views under a starry sky. From snowy glaciers and stony beaches to bays and mountains, Antarctica is like nowhere else you’ll visit.
Tasmania, an island in Australia, has it all: gorgeous beaches, lush forests, and a rainforest that may appeal to even the most inquisitive travelers. It’s also known for having the cleanest air in the world.
Visit natural reserves; stunning Dip Falls, an abandoned railway tunnel known as Spray tunnel, the Henty Dunes, and even the Killiecrankie diamonds (an unforgettable type of topaz) on Flinders Island. With so much beauty to see, boredom won’t be a problem.
South Island, New Zealand
This incredible destination has stunning beaches, beautiful lakes, and the picturesque Southern Alps. Enjoy gorgeous lakes and waterfalls at Milford Sound. Take a cruise through the Fiord to enjoy mountains, rainforests, and waterfalls. Visit glaciers, national parks, and charming coastal villages. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll surround yourself with New Zealand’s lush beauty.
This island destination is perfect for scuba divers and indulgent beach bums alike. It’s one of the most luxurious tropical destinations, too. Many resorts build private cabins and huts directly over shallow reef waters for a sublime experience you won’t find in many other places around the world.
Don’t want to spend all day in bed? That’s okay — there’s plenty of fun in the Maldives, too. Enjoy the incredible coral reefs and amazingly clear water. Or, go for a swim or get certified to dive and enjoy the full beauty the Maldives offers instead.
History buffs, move this destination to the top of your list. Luxor is filled with artifacts, culture, temples, and tombs. The capital of Upper Egypt has 5,000 years of history to see. It’s most famous for the Valley of the Kings, an Egyptian burial site used by Pharaohs for 500 years. It is also the home of King Tut’s tomb. You can even visit the mummy! If that’s not insta-worthy, I don’t know what is.
Rara Lake, Nepal
Nepali people call Rara Lake “Heaven on Earth” for a reason. It’s on a 3,000-meter-high mountain, and you can hike in or take a bus. While it’s not as popular as Everest or Annapurna, it’s the perfect vacation destination for adventurers who enjoy unspoiled areas away from commercialized tourism.
Camino de Santiago, Spain and Portugal
The medieval Christian pilgrimage, Camino de Santiago de Compostela, remains a popular destination. Visitors can collect stamps to receive a certificate for completing The Way. Hostels are set up along the path for anyone making the trip. If spiritual destinations fit your vacation fantasy, this may be the one for you. Keep in mind this pilgrimage could take a month to complete!
This ancient city located in the canyons of the Jordanian desert does not disappoint! The Treasury, a building, featured in Indiana Jones, makes for an amazing photo opportunity. Three times a week, you can even enjoy Petra at night, when locals light the Treasury by candlelight and play music.
You can also hike from Little Petra to the Monastery, a building grander but less well-known than the Treasury. Make sure to see the Royal Tombs and Roman Amphitheater during your visit.
Stop having a boring vacation! Try a fascinating new destination and reach for the trip of a lifetime. Finding somewhere unique isn’t difficult, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune, either. You just have to decide how much you want to shake up your normal vacation plans — and how much you want those insta-perfect pictures to go with it.