15 Easy International Travel Destinations For Your Next Vacation

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While some people are willing to travel anywhere in the world, many would-be travelers aren’t so willing. I’ve always been an adventurous traveler, but the rest of my family doesn’t share my excitement.

When it comes to traveling, they worry about how difficult it may be to get there and how hard it will be to get around with the language barrier and unfamiliar customs. These fears keep them from going anywhere other than Hawaii for vacation.

Toronto's skyline - easy International travel destinations
Toronto’s skyline

Why Try an “Easy” Destination

These are all legitimate concerns, but there are plenty of locations outside the U.S. where none of these concerns apply.

I mean, let’s face it, my parents aren’t going to be convinced to travel to far away countries like India or Japan, but I do think they can be convinced to travel outside the country if the location is close to home and easy to navigate.

If you’re been avoiding vacationing outside the U.S. due to travel fear, consider one of the easy International travel destinations listed here for your next trip. And if you’re willing to travel a bit farther than 5-6 hours, a whole other set of possibilities open up for leery travelers like my parents.

Melbourne - easy international travel destinations
Melbourne, Australia

The criteria used to select these locations was:

  • Easy to get to (no more than a 6-7 hour, direct flight from most major cities)
  • English is the primary language used at the destination (on a resort, especially — everyone will speak English)
  • A lot of planning and organizing is not required. In fact, at the beach locations you can sit back and relax and never leave the resort if you don’t wish to.
  • Customs and practices are very similar to the U.S. so you won’t feel out of place or nervous.

15 Easy International Vacation Ideas

1. Cancun, Mexico

Valentin Imperial Maya Resort in Playa de Secreto, Mexico
Valentin Imperial Maya Resort in Playa de Secreto, Mexico (Photo by Savored Journeys)

Cancun is the #1 travel destination for U.S. travelers abroad. This can be attributed to a number of reasons, all of which also make it a very easy place to visit. It’s close, so the flights are short and often cheap — good deals crop up regularly to Cancun.

It can be an enticing vacation option because of the alluring clear, blue waters and year-round warm weather. While we love that about Cancun, we also love all the incredible outdoor activities, day trips, and tours in the region.

Amazing all-inclusive resorts line the stretch of white sandy beach, and stretch down the coast into the Mayan Riviera. You might need to be a bit careful while traveling around the area (I wouldn’t recommend renting a car and trying to get around on your own).

There are plenty of reputable companies that will cart you around to see the archeological sites and to take a dunk in a cenote — which was one of the most amazing things I’ve done on any vacation. You can also get a real taste for the Mexican culture outside of the resorts in Cancun, if you want to.

Try one of these tours:

2. Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico

Technically, it’s a U.S. territory, not another country, but that just makes it even easier. San Juan, the main city, with its cobblestone streets and vibrant nightlife, has a laidback feeling that contributes to a relaxing vacation, and golden-sand beaches are not far away.

While you’re there, why not learn how to salsa dance? It’s a highly popular activity, with many nightclubs hosting dedicated salsa nights. Take a walk through the cobbled streets of Old San Juan and explore its colonial architecture, vibrant art, and delicious food. Explore El Yunque National Forest, one of the most lush tropical rainforests in all of Puerto Rico! This stunning park features waterfalls, trails, and plenty of wildlife to take in.

Tour one of the island’s 3 rum distilleries. Casa Bacardi offers three tour options to choose from. Sip your welcome cocktail while you decide between the founder’s experience, the legacy tour, rum tasting tour, and the mixology class.

There are dozens of comfortable resorts in the city and directly on the beach that will cater to all your vacation needs and make sure you feel right at home. The only thing you’ll need to worry about is what cocktail to order.

Try one of these tours:

3. Toronto, Canada

Toronto Skyline
Toronto Skyline

A very modern city along the shores of Lake Ontario, Toronto is the fifth-largest city in North America and feels quite a bit like New York or Chicago. If you enjoy city life — bustling markets, a vibrant restaurant scene and world-class museums — this is a great, and easy destination to enjoy without the hassle of language issues.

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) has an impressive display of meteorites, including three from Mars. Another must-see attraction is the Distillery Historic District, a pedestrian-only neighborhood that once housed the largest distillery in Canada dating back to the 1830s. Many tourists and locals have reported ghost sightings in the area.

For the best views of Toronto, head to the CN Tower, the tallest building in the city at 1,815 feet tall. Thrill-seekers can experience the EdgeWalk, the world’s highest full-circle hands-free walk around the tower. Hockey fans won’t want to miss the Hockey Hall of Fame, where they can even practice their slapshot on an immersive model rink complete with virtual goalies.

Getting to Toronto, Canada from the United States is easy, as there are direct flights from key destinations, with just one stop-over from secondary markets. The flight is just 6 hours from Portland, Oregon, and an hour and a half from New York.

Try one of these tours:

4. Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic at sunset
Dominican Republic at sunset

There are a couple of great beaches in Dominican Republic — Punta Cana and Santa Domingo — where both European and U.S. travelers flock to relax in the sun. It’s easy to get to — a quick flight from Miami — can be inexpensive and provides luxury resort accommodations with all-inclusive options.

While the resort offers plenty of entertainment, there’s also a lot to explore in the surrounding areas. Take a leisurely stroll through the charming town of Santa Domingo, once the capital of the Hispanic Americas. The Museum of the Royal Houses is a treasure trove of cultural history. Don’t miss Los Tres Ojos National Park, an impressive limestone cave system with crystal-clear water.

Experience over 40 miles of uninterrupted beach views along the Costa del Coco (Coconut Beach), or venture to Cap Cana to witness the natural beauty of Hoyo Azul. Take a dip in the 45 ft deep cenote full of turquoise spring water, located inside Scape Park which offers unique adventures such as ziplining, snorkeling, and splash hammocks.

Try one of these tours:

5. Grand Cayman Island

grand cayman islands
Grand Cayman Island

Miles of pristine beaches and an impressive food scene make Grand Cayman a great location for relaxation and indulgence. The island is only 22 miles long, so you can easily drive from Seven Mile Beach on the west side of the island to the East End on a day trip.

I hesitated to add Grand Cayman to the list because they drive on the left and that can be intimidating to some travelers, but you don’t have to drive in order to get around the island.

Visit the Cayman Turtle Centre where you can experience turtles up close and the islands ecosystem. While away the entire afternoon watching shark feedings, splash around with green sea turtles, and hike the Blue Hole Nature Trail.

Visit and tour the Cayman Spirits Co. which is the only distillery on the island. Scuba divers, beginners and veterans, will delight in the Kittiwake shipwreck and artificial reef. Explore the US Navy submarine that has been turned into an artificial reef for a variety of sea life.

There are also a number of great resorts where you can hang out for a week without ever needing to leave. Just choose a hotel on Seven Mile Beach and you’ll have everything you need within walking distance or rent a bicycle and see the sights.

» Look for hotels in Grand Cayman

Try one of these tours:

6. Luxury Barge Cruising in France

Inside the Finesse hotel barge
Inside the Finesse hotel barge

If you’ve never looking into barge cruising before, you absolutely should. One the list of easy travel experiences, taking a barge cruise is perhaps one of the easiest there is. Not only is the entire itinerary planned out for you, you will also have a driver and tour guide with you at all times.

So even in France, where the language and customs might be a bit different than the U.S., you don’t have to worry about it for a second. You will always have an English-speaking guide with you.

A luxury barge cruise is one of the best ways to have a completely relaxing vacation. The boat meanders slowly down the canal, passing through some of the most beautiful and lush countryside. You stop every day for excursions to nearby vineyards and museums.

All of your meals are prepared and served for you by a professional chef. You can take leisurely walks or bike rides down the canal, alongside the boat. Or you can just sit back and watch the scenery pass by.

Check out European Waterways – they’re the best! You can also read the full review of our barge journey through Burgundy, France.

7. Iceland

iceland
Gullfoss Waterfall, Iceland

Absolutely packed full of a natural wonders and stunning beauty, Iceland is a perfect destination for leery travelers. The tour companies have worked out a brilliant system where you can sign up for everything you want to do all in one place. With so much to see check out our 7-day Iceland Itinerary and 12 Incredible Things to do & See in Iceland.

The Golden Circle tour is a highly scenic drive with many photo-ops. Stop at the Kerid Crater, where you’ll view a volcanic crater lake, the stunning Gullfoss Waterfall, and see the spouting hot springs in the Geysir area. The last stop is the historic Thingvellir National Park, where you can walk through and see the stunning geology of Iceland.

A stop at the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa in Iceland is a popular place to stop for a long soak in the warm waters. It is a man-made “hot spring” tucked among the low hills near Grindavík, just 20 minutes southeast of the airport.

A Northern Lights tour is a must while you are there. The best time to see them is in the winter. These tours go from September 1st and April 15th.

You can book round-trip airport transfers, and most of these tours you can do all with one company, you’ll pay just once and have all of the details of your excursions taken care of by one tour company. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

While Icelandic is the main language, English is spoken everywhere in Reykjavik and where ever tourists might be found. If you are a foodie or just love to travel for food make sure to check out our guide on where to eat in Reykjavik and what to order.

Try one of these tours:

8. Ireland

Ireland road trip
Ashford Castle Bridge in Iceland

One of the easiest countries to travel around is Ireland. Most tourists take advantage of the beautiful countryside by renting a car and driving from place to place. Start out by flying into Dublin and spending a few day seeing the city and trying to Irish food.

Then take a car around to the west side of the country, which they have dubbed the Wild Atlantic Way. This includes many of the most popular areas of Ireland to explore, like Donagal, counties Clare, Galway and Kerry. Here are 13 amazing Ireland road trips you’ll love.

Some of our favorite areas to explore are part of Ireland’s Ancient East, which includes Tipperary and the adorable town of Kilkenny, plus Kildare. While you are there stay in one of these fairy tale castles.

English is the official language in Ireland. The roads are a bit narrow in places, but well marked, and most hotels offer free parking. It’s very easy to drive around , with the exception of driving on the left. Also be sure to note that you MUST add the extra insurance to any car rental in Ireland. It’s mandatory.

Try one of these tours:

9. Scotland

The Royal Mile in Edinburgh
The Royal Mile in Edinburgh (photo by Savored Journeys)

Aside from the sometimes hard-to-understand accent, a trip to Scotland is like visiting an unspoiled, natural paradise. Most travelers start in Edinburgh or Glasgow and then start driving north into the wild and beautiful countryside.

To see what you’re missing in Scotland, check out our guides to Edinburgh where you should plan to visit the Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace which is the official residence of the British royal family. Scotch whisky is Scotland’s national drink so you may want to take a tour or two on the Scotch Whisky Trail, and explore the lovely area of Fife while visiting St. Andrews and see the ruins at Inchcolm Island. There is incredible food in that area, and it’s definitely fit for foodies.

We also highly recommend visiting some of the isles, like Isle of Skye and Islay (particularly if you’re a fan of peaty whisky!).

See our 7-day itineraries that are perfect for exploring the west of Scotland and the east of Scotland and the hotels to look out for.

Try one of these tours:

10. New Zealand

Auckland
Auckland Skyline from the ferry

In New Zealand, you can rent a car and travel throughout either the North or South Island easily. A quick flight between the two Islands will likely be needed though, due to distance, unless you have at least two weeks and don’t mind lots of driving.

We spent some time in Auckland, with amazing wine tasting on Waiheke Island, before heading to the fun and quirky Rotorua area. You might also want to visit Hobbiton, if you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, and the nearby glowworm caves. Here’s our 7-day itinerary for the North Island, which is a very nice trip, and easy to do.

You might also want to check out our post with 9 romantic destinations to visit in New Zealand.

Try one of these tours:

11. Australia

Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia

In Australia, though you can drive from town to town, getting between the bigger cities will require flights. It’s one VERY large country. You can visit Sydney, which is bustling with things to do like great beaches and cafes, or spend some time in the wine country of South Australia (Barossa, McLaren Vale and Adelaide), our personal favorite.

We also really enjoyed Melbourne and the Yarra Valley wine region just an hour away. Of course, you can also arrange a tour to the outback or the Great Barrier Reef, if you want to see something completely unique to Australia. Consider taking a look at some of the Australia’s most scenic road trips to see what is off the beaten path.

For travelers, Victoria is quite accommodating, offering numerous outdoor activities, wineries to visit, and open roads to explore. While you’ll likely want to base yourself out of Melbourne, be prepared for a bit of driving.  The sun-soaked beach town of Byron Bay is worth a visit for it’s friendly people, arty culture, and awe-inspiring nature.

English is the official language of Australia and the people are very nice and accommodating. Enjoy one or all of these classic Australian dishes while you are there.

Try one of these tours:

12. London, England

Millennium bridge in London

Another great place to vacation with ease is London and the surrounding English countryside. Since England speaks English and has many of the same customs as the U.S, it’s an easy travel destination that won’t put you too far outside your comfort zone.

There are tons of great things to do in London so you won’t even have to leave the city if you don’t want to drive on the left. If you love food, be sure to check out London’s food markets, especially our favorite Borough Market. Here are all the top iconic landmarks to check out, and a guide to see all the top sights along the Thames in one day.

There are also great train systems that can take you to places like Stonehenge, Windsor, Bath, and even the Harry Potter Studio Tour outside of London without having to get in a car.

With so many diverse and unique neighborhoods we suggest staying in different areas of London while you visit. There are fun and unique dining opportunities in London you can even have dinner on a double decker bus, which we highly recommend.

Try one of these tours:

13. Madeira, Portugal

Madeira harbor

Madeira, Portugal is a stunning island located in the Atlantic Ocean known for its lush forests, beautiful beaches, and incredible hiking trails. There are plenty of activities to enjoy while visiting this paradise, from exploring the charming city of Funchal to taking a dip in the crystal clear waters of Porto Santo Beach. One must-try activity while visiting Madeira is to take a cable car ride up to Monte, which offers breathtaking views of the city and at the top visit the Monte Palace Tropical Garden, which is home to an impressive collection of exotic plants and waterfalls.

Another must-do activity while in Madeira is to take a Levada walk. Levadas are man-made irrigation channels that run along the mountainside and are surrounded by beautiful flora and fauna. One of the most popular Levada walks is the 25 Fontes Walk, which leads you to a stunning waterfall and natural pool. There are plenty of activities you keep you busy.

Finally, no trip to Madeira would be complete without trying the local food and wine. Madeira is known for its unique cuisine, which is heavily influenced by Portuguese and African flavors. Be sure to pair your meal with a glass of Madeira wine, which is produced on the island and has been famous for centuries. Whether you prefer a dry or sweet wine, there is a Madeira wine for everyone to enjoy.

Try one of these tours:

14. Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium, is a beautiful and charming city known for its well-preserved medieval architecture and canals. There is no shortage of things to do while visiting this picturesque city. One of the must-see attractions in Bruges is the Belfry of Bruges, which offers stunning views of the city from its top. You can also take a boat tour along the canals to get a unique perspective of the city’s architecture and scenery.

Another great activity while in Bruges is to visit its many museums and art galleries. The Groeningemuseum is one of the most popular museums in the city and houses a vast collection of Flemish and Belgian art. The Memling Museum is located in the former hospital of St. John and contains a collection of medieval medical instruments and artwork.

No trip to Bruges would be complete without sampling its famous cuisine and chocolate. Belgian chocolate is known for its high quality and rich flavor, and you can find a variety of chocolatiers and shops throughout the city. Be sure to also try some of the local specialties, such as Flemish stew, moules frites (mussels with fries), and waffles. Pair your meal with a Belgian beer, which is also renowned for its quality and variety, and you will have experienced some of the best of Belgian cuisine.

We’ve stayed at a few great hotels in Bruges and enjoyed each experience for different reasons. If you pick a hotel in the historic center, it will be very centrally located and within easy walking distance of the things in the center of Bruges that most tourists intend to do. If you have more time to spend make sure to visit the medieval town of Ghent. This itinerary will help you see everything with some pointers on where to stay.

Try one of these tours:

15. Munich, Germany

Old Town Munich

Munich, Germany, is a vibrant and historic city known for its beer, culture, and architecture. One of the must-see attractions in Munich is the Marienplatz, which is the central square of the city and home to the famous Glockenspiel clock tower.  If you’re close enough to visit Neuschwanstein castle, you absolutely should make the effort.

The Alte Pinakothek is one of the most popular art museums in the city and houses a vast collection of European art from the Middle Ages to the Rococo period. The Deutsches Museum is also worth a visit, as it is one of the largest science and technology museums in the world and contains a variety of interactive exhibits and displays.

Finally, no trip to Munich would be complete without experiencing its famous beer gardens and festivals. The Oktoberfest is one of the most famous beer festivals in the world and attracts millions of visitors each year. Be sure to try some of the local specialties, such as pretzels, sausages, and Weisswurst, which is a traditional Bavarian white sausage served with sweet mustard.

Try one of these tours:

Before You Go

Since you made it to the end of this article, you’re probably pretty interested in other travel destinations. Here are a few more articles we think you might enjoy.

CONCLUSION

See how easy it is to travel internationally? There are many easy international travel destinations to go to where you won’t feel overwhelmed or unsafe. The pleasure of traveling doesn’t have to be scary or inconvenient. Get out there and see the world!

Be Prepared For Travel

Planning is the most important part of any successful trip. Do it the easy way:

🧳 Travel Packing List | ✔️ Why You Need Travel Insurance | ✈️ What to Do Before You Leave Home

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15 Easy International Travel Destinations For Your Next Vacation

7 thoughts on “15 Easy International Travel Destinations For Your Next Vacation

  1. Megan | Traveling Nine to Fiver says:

    Thanks for sharing. Some great tips. We went to Puerto Rico last year and it was amazing. Although from California it’s about 9 hours of flying! But it was still worth it.

    • Laura Lynch says:

      If only there was a way to make flights shorter. Puerto Rico is worth it though, like you said!

  2. CHORLEY CHEAP HOTELS says:

    Great information you shared in the blog post.
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    explore all these information in future.
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  5. Brooke sanders says:

    Hi! I really appreciate this list. Well assembled. I would enjoy a list as well that indicates the same sort of easy cities with the exclusion of the 6-7 hour flight criteria. We are cut visiting Sweden and it’s so easy. Looking forward to more of your articles.

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