Best Places To Travel In 2023 – Forbes Advisor – Forbes

Trying to pick the best place for your travels is like being forced to decide your favorite song or most beloved food—not only are the options overwhelmingly 1endless, but your preferences can change at any given minute. Here at Forbes Advisor, we’ve compiled a list of our top 50 destinations for 2023 to help inspire your travel list but also to assist you in narrowing down the options. Destinations range from quick weekend getaway options, to trekking out to some of the most remote parts of the Earth. And, naturally, we have included how you can utilize your points and miles to save loads of cash on whatever journey you decide to embark on.

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Armenia

Photo by Caroline Lupini

Armenia is a beautiful country with a rich history and culture. It’s home to stunning landscapes, including the Caucasus Mountains and Lake Sevan, as well as many ancient architectural wonders, such as the Temple of Garni and the Monastery of Haghpat—some of which are recognized by UNESCO. And if you’re big into the outdoors, you can enjoy nearly as much hiking as your heart desires on the 861 kilometers (535 miles) of the Transcaucasian Trail that runs through Armenia.

The country is also known for its delicious cuisine, which features a variety of fresh herbs and spices. If you’re into food, don’t miss the Armenian specialties of khash (a rich bone-broth), dolma (stuffed grape leaves), manti (baked dumplings) and, of course, homemade pickles with every meal.

Rewards Spotlight: Yerevan is home to a few chain hotels including the Holiday Inn Yerevan-Republic Square which can be booked starting at around 15,000 IHG One Rewards points per night. With cash rates at this amazingly and centrally located property often reaching $180 per night or more, this is a great use for your IHG points.

By Caroline Lupini, Forbes Advisor Staff

Athens, Georgia

Photo by Lee Huffman

Athens is a college town located about 70 miles northeast of Atlanta. Many people know it as the home of the University of Georgia Bulldogs, a perennial contender for the college football championship. However, there’s so much more to this college town than just football, with family-friendly attractions like the Georgia Museum of Art, the State Botanical Garden and Bear Hollow Zoo.

For adult fun, stop by the Athens Visitor’s Center to grab a passport for the city’s beer trail. Beer lovers will recognize acclaimed breweries like Terrapin Beer Co. and Creature Comforts Brewing. Hit all six breweries during your stay, and you’ll receive a free pint glass to commemorate your trip.

Before leaving town, stop by Mama’s Boy for a delicious and filling breakfast. Grab a coffee and a huge cinnamon roll to go. You’ll thank me later.

Rewards Spotlight: As a World of Hyatt Category 3 property, the Hyatt Place Athens Downtown is a hidden gem offering exceptional value. Its central location is the perfect base for catching a football game, hopping between local breweries, or sampling the local eateries downtown. Plus, there’s an excellent rooftop bar, Hybar, where you can enjoy a drink with friends.

By Lee Huffman, Forbes Advisor Contributor

Baku, Azerbaijan

Photo by Anya Kartashova

Dubbed the Dubai of the Caucasus Mountains, Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is a city of contrasts. After drilling the first commercial oil rig in the mid-1800s, the city located on the shores of the Caspian Sea grew in size tremendously (2020 population was more than 2 million people).

Now, you’ll find the glitzy Flame Towers next to the walls of the city’s medieval old town and mosques next to the oil rigs while the Soviet architecture still reminds of the country’s communist past.

Baku is also home to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, a Formula One circuit, so if you’re an F1 fan, you can catch a race along the city streets until at least 2024.

Rewards Spotlight: If you have Marriott Bonvoy points saved up, consider staying at the Courtyard Baku. This property, located within walking distance to the old town, will set you back between 10,000 and 12,000 points per night.

By Anya Kartashova, Forbes Advisor Contributor

Bansko, Bulgaria

Photo by Caroline Lupini

Bansko is a beautiful town in Bulgaria that is worth visiting for many reasons and in many seasons. One of the main attractions is the stunning Pirin National Park, which offers breathtaking views and excellent opportunities for hiking, skiing and other outdoor activities. You can even climb Vihren, the highest peak in the Pirin Mountains, in a relatively manageable day trip from Bansko (be in good hiking shape, though—the peak is at 9,560 feet).

In the winter, Bansko offers great skiing, while continuing to be an affordable destination compared to U.S. and other European ski hot spots. There are 75 kilometers (46 miles) of slopes and 14 lifts to keep you busy all week.

The food and drink in Bansko are also a highlight, with delicious traditional dishes and local wines available in many restaurants and taverns for reasonable prices.

Rewards Spotlight: You won’t find chain hotels in Bansko, but the town offers great value for your money no matter what time of year you visit. If you’re planning to stay long-term (one month or longer), look at apartments through Bansko Nomad Apartments where you can find two bedroom apartments for under 400 euros ($425) per month. For shorter term stays, there are plenty of hotel options in town, and if you want to use your points you can book through your bank’s travel portal.

By Caroline Lupini, Forbes Advisor Staff

Botswana

Photo by Caroline Lupini

From the vast expanse of the Kalahari Desert to the lush forests of the Okavango Delta, there is something for everyone in Botswana. One of the main reasons to visit Botswana is to see the incredible wildlife that can be found here—Botswana is known as one of the best safari destinations in Africa. That said, visiting Botswana comes at a price. Similar safaris in other countries (like South Africa) are often much less expensive, so it’s a perfect destination to consider using some rewards or credit card benefits to help make the trip more affordable.

Rewards Spotlight: Unfortunately, Botswana isn’t the easiest destination to use your rewards, but there are a few things you can try. Of course, locking in flights with airline miles would give you some of the best bang for your buck, but you’re most likely to find success with flights by using miles to fly to Johannesburg, South Africa (JNB) and paying for a cash flight to Botswana from there. If you hold The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express or a Centurion® Card from American Express*, you can easily take advantage of your American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits, but keep in mind that these hotels are also not going to come cheap. That said, Botswana is a destination where a splurge is worth it.

By Caroline Lupini, Forbes Advisor Staff

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Bucharest, Romania

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As the capital city of Romania, there’s no shortage of things to do in Bucharest. The city is home to endless coffee shops and restaurants, like the quaint Caru’ Cu bere. You can take in the city’s rich history by visiting the Palace of the Parliament or one of the city’s numerous museums. Or if a weekend escape is more your speed, escape the bustling city center and see the breathtaking castles in Sinaia, then visit beautiful Brașov.

Rewards Spotlight: Bucharest is affordable, especially for a capital city in Europe. You can stay at the Sheraton Bucharest Hotel for around 9,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per night by booking through Chase Travel (you can also book the hotel with Marriott Bonvoy points). The hotel is located in Piata Romana, one of the most beautiful parts of the city. You’ll be close to the city center, too.

By Bob Haegele, Forbes Advisor Contributor

Canary Islands, Spain

Photo by Lori Zaino

These far-flung islands are actually closer to Africa than Spain and are a favored vacation spot for Europeans thanks to year-round sunshine and mild temps. The seven Canary Islands have it all—blissful, sandy beaches, sick swells for surfing, earthy, volcanic wines and a budding culinary scene. However, the Canaries remain relatively unexplored for most U.S. travelers, so you likely won’t encounter many North Americans there.

The four most popular islands, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, offer a myriad of activities, from snorkeling in natural pools and hiking volcanoes to enjoying elaborate Carnaval celebrations each spring and experiencing distinct Canarian culture, art and gastronomy, which differs immensely from mainland Spain.

In contrast, the tinier, harder-to-reach islands, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro, are best for sustainable travelers wanting to explore remote, wild landscapes like black sand beaches, active volcanoes and rare laurel forests.

Rewards Spotlight: U.S. travelers with a stash of United MileagePlus miles can finally reach the Canaries nonstop thanks to a new United flight launched in 2022 between Newark (EWR) and Tenerife South (TFS).

By Lori Zaino, Forbes Advisor Contributor

Carcassonne, France

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Carcassonne, in southwest France, feels like a movie set because no actual medieval city could be that intact, right? Wrong. If you’ve ever dreamed of storming the ramparts of an ancient castle while peeking through the holes archers used for centuries you’re in the right place.

The walled city, which has been occupied since before Roman times, in its current form dates back almost a thousand years. A UNESCO heritage site, the town merges its historical castle and cathedral with a bevy of modern shops and restaurants placed along pedestrian areas that have hosted commerce since time immemorial.

Rewards Spotlight: The nearest gateway to Carcassonne is Toulouse, which has a surprising number of flights from international carriers. As you might expect, Air France is likely your best bet. Fortunately Flying Blue is a partner of all major flexible points programs or you can use Delta Skymiles if you have them handy.

By Dia Adams, Forbes Advisor Staff

Český Krumlov, Czechia

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Český Krumlov—characterized by its 14th-century castle, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Monument—sits in the South Bohemian region of Czechia’s undulating countryside. The castle’s moss-masked belltower stands tall over the old town’s Renaissance and Baroque burgher architecture and Vltava River that bisects the city, encircled by both the mesmerizing massif of the Blansko Forest and Šumava National Park. Because Český Krumlov is just over 100 miles from the much quicker-paced Prague, it’s an ideal day or weekend trip for travelers seeking a respite from typical tourist routes.

Rewards Spotlight: While visitors are spoiled for choice of hotels in Český Krumlov, few accept payments with points. That’s because the bulk are boutique hotels. Still, Hotels.com members can book accommodation like the centrally located Bellevue Hotel Český Krumlov with rewards.

By AnnaMarie Houlis, Forbes Advisor Contributor

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Photo by Barbara King

Nashville may have country music and Memphis is home to Elvis, but Chattanooga exudes a natural beauty that makes it a Tennessee gem. Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains on the Tennessee River, Chattanooga effortlessly blends outdoor activities, art, history and a vibrant restaurant scene guaranteed to indulge your inner foodie.

Ride the Incline Railway up Lookout Mountain to explore Civil War sites, grab a bikeshare to pedal along the 16.1 mile Riverwalk or check out the huge contemporary sculptures in Montague Park. At sunset, stroll the Walnut St. pedestrian bridge (one of the longest in the world) and take in the hip North Shore before settling down at one of Chattanooga’s many microbreweries.

Rewards Spotlight: The luxurious Edwin Hotel is situated for prime views from its riverfront location. Rooms vary from 40,000 to 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night depending on the season. Or go traditional and get aboard at the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel. Reimburse your stay with Capital One miles.

By Barbara King, Forbes Advisor Contributor

Colorado Springs, Colorado

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Located about an hour south of Denver is Colorado Springs, the home to the U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center. It’s also home to the remarkable Garden of the Gods, a natural red rock formation known for its hiking, horseback riding, technical rock climbing and mountain biking. Unique microbreweries abound with over three dozen dotting the map offering no shortage of local flair.

Rewards Spotlight: Two Hyatt hotels are located in CS, each as a Category 2 hotel costing on average 8,000 points per night and Hilton has over a dozen properties to choose from. For a unique experience, try one of the two Wyndham properties in the heart of downtown—The Antlers and The Mining Exchange.

By Jon Nickel-D’Andrea, Forbes Advisor Contributor

Corsica

Photo by Regan Kelly / regankellyphotography.com

A French island in the Mediterranean, Corsica looks like coastal Southern California, works like France and feels like rural Italy. French is the official language, but Corsican, similar to many Italian dialects, is spoken everywhere and a great source of pride for fiercely independent Corsicans. You don’t need language, though, to feel the pull of this stunning land, which those in the know call, “L’île de beauté,” a french phrase for “The island of beauty.”

From rugged, snow-covered mountains to beaches rivaling anything in the Caribbean, Corsica has something for most travelers. Evading the crowds is easy in September and October, when visitors thin out but the weather is still balmy, and you can hike and swim to your heart’s content with hardly an American in sight. (The place is popular with Europeans, but off the beaten track for most others.)

If you’re looking for luxury, note that Corsica is not the French Riviera, but what you lose in cosmopolitan glitz you gain in much more affordable prices. Once you’ve seen it you may well want to go back for more, and you would be in good company: Napoleon himself, born and raised in the capital Ajaccio, famously pined for his native island all his life.

Rewards Spotlight: Getting to one of the three main airports (Ajaccio, Bastia and Calvi) is an easy one-stop journey via Paris from many U.S. cities. Your best bet is looking for an award ticket with Flying Blue, the loyalty program of Air France and KLM, which partners with all major transferable points currencies. The program frequently offers Promo Rewards, meaning you could be on your way to one of the gems of the Mediterranean for 20% to 50% off normal award costs.

By Alberto Riva, Forbes Advisor Staff

Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

Photo Source: Getty

Nestled in Northern Italy and surrounded by the Dolomitic Alps, Cortina d’Ampezzo is the perfect location for all four seasons of the year. In the summer, head to the trails and enjoy a hut-to-hut hike where you can feast on local cuisine and take in some of the most scenic views the world has to offer. In the winter, grab your snow gear and take a ride down some of the best slopes on the planet. Want to see eye-popping fall colors? Autumn in Cortina’s got you covered. And for a quieter (and cheaper) but just as stunning off season, head over in the spring.

Rewards Spotlight: Cortina only has two major chain hotel properties and they are both owned by Radisson. Stays run $300 or more a night but you can use your Radisson Rewards points to help offset the cost or cover it completely.

By Toni Perkins-Southam, Forbes Advisor Staff

Curaçao

Photo by Katie Seemann

If you’re looking for an under-the-radar Caribbean destination to visit this year, add Curaçao to your vacation wish-list. Along with Aruba and Bonaire, Curaçao makes up the last third of the ABC Islands, a group of Dutch Caribbean islands located off the coast of South America. Situated just below the hurricane belt, one of the benefits of visiting Curaçao is the very low risk of hurricanes or large tropical storms.

In addition to beautiful beaches, Curaçao is known for excellent scuba diving and of course, its namesake orange-flavored liquor. When you’re there be sure to check out the capital city of Willemstad to see the colorful buildings and vibrant murals the town is known for. This is also where you’ll find the Queen Emma Bridge, a pontoon-style pedestrian bridge that you can actually ride while it opens and closes.

Rewards Spotlight: Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort is a great place to spend some Marriott Bonvoy points. This beachfront resort has two pools, a fitness center, a kid’s club and an on-site dive center. All rooms have a balcony and most have at least a partial ocean view. The best part is that it’s bookable for as few as 33,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night, making it a great way to use those free night certificates.

By Katie Seemann, Forbes Advisor Contributor

Cyprus

Photo Source: Getty

Cyprus is the island of cats: They are literally everywhere. Many Cypriots and tourists take loving care of the felines and have set up feeding and water stations at restaurants, hotels or along the road. If you are more interested in marine life, you can discover sea turtles while snorkeling or diving. These animals are threatened with extinction, so please keep a respectful distance.

Cyprus is divided: Legally, the whole island belongs to the Republic of Cyprus, but Turkish troops have occupied the north since the 1970s. The capital Nicosia is also divided, with a UN-controlled neutral zone in the middle. You can take a break there at The Home Cafe next to an abandoned hotel practically in No Man’s Land.

Rewards Spotlight: Major chain hotels are few and far between in Cyprus, although there is a Hilton that runs about 40,000 points per night. Your best bet for using points then is by either booking through your card’s travel portal, like the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, or paying for your stay with a card like the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and using your points to cover the charge.

By Daniel Pöhler, Forbes Advisor Staff

Edinburgh, Scotland

Photo Source: Getty

Edinburgh offers a unique blend of historic charm and modern vibrancy, making it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in culture and history. The city is home to some of the most stunning architectural sights in the world, including Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile, providing a captivating backdrop for exploring the city and also is host to one of the greatest arts and culture festivals in the world each year: The Edinburgh Fringe.

Rewards Spotlight: Edinburgh offers plenty of chain hotel programs you can choose from to redeem your points, typically at reasonable values. As always, check cash prices before you lock in a booking with your points to make sure you’re getting a good deal.

  • Holiday Inn Express Edinburgh-Royal Mile—From 12,000 IHG One Rewards points per night
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Center—From 33,000 Hilton Honors points per night
  • Kimpton Charlotte Square—From 31,000 IHG One Rewards points per night
  • The Glasshouse, Autograph Collection—From 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night
  • Nira Caledonia—Starting at 17,000 World of Hyatt points per night

By Caroline Lupini, Forbes Advisor Staff

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Encinitas, California

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California summons thoughts of a sun-swathed swell and palm-flecked streets thronged by cool cafes and beautiful boutiques—and that’s exactly what you’ll find in Encinitas, a surfer’s haven just about 25 miles north of San Diego. Encinitas is full of delicious dining spots, like the sophisticated seafood sanctuary, Herb & Sea, to the Fish Shop, which boasts some of the most sought-after tacos in town. Grandview Beach is favored by board-toting wave hunters, while sunset seekers call Moonlight beach home come dusk—neither of these sandy stretches, however, are spoiled by the crowds of California’s big city beaches.

Rewards Spotlight: Encinitas has a heap of hotels for visitors who want to pay in points and keep their dollars for the fresh fish around every corner. Put your Hilton Honors points to use at the local Hampton Inn, use your Wyndham Rewards at the Wyndham Days Inn or apply rewards to your booking at the Best Western in town. The Seabird Resort, a Destination Hyatt hotel with points, isn’t too far in nearby Oceanside, either.

By AnnaMarie Houlis, Forbes Advisor Contributor

El Palmar de Vejer, Spain

Photo by Kim Wieland

El Palmar de Vejer, in the off-season, is the sort of sleepy beach town that dreams are made of—pink-washed sunsets, scintillating swells and starry skies that beg to be gazed upon. In the summer, however, the tiny town is teeming with towel-toting tourists seeking some Andalucian sun—and tapas, of course. Surf schools and skate shops, like 9 Pies and Homies Surf & Skate, line the beachfront, offering visitors boards for land and water—plus plenty of lessons with seasoned staff. After all, adventure always awaits in El Palmar, thanks to southern Spain’s climate that seldom drops too low.

Rewards Spotlight: To be fair, El Palmar isn’t super easy to get to without your own car, which is largely part of its allure. While it sits somewhere between Cadiz and Tarifa, just south of Sevilla, bus routes can get complicated. Many people use ride-sharing apps, dominated by the surplus of vandwellers in the area. But renting a car is certainly your best bet. Doing so with a credit card that will insure you for El Palmar’s bumpy back roads—like the Chase Freedom Flex℠ or the United℠ Explorer Card—is even better.

By AnnaMarie Houlis, Forbes Advisor Contributor

Erding, Germany

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Closer to Munich airport than Munich itself, the town of Erding comes with several superlatives. First, the world’s largest brewery of wheat beers, ERDINGER Weissbräu, offers fabulous tours that provide essential context on German beer before ending with tastings and traditional food pairings. Secondly, this small town is also home to the largest thermal spa in the world. There, you can enjoy indoor and outdoor hot pools, saunas, private spa treatments and even waterslides. Plus, you’ll see a side of Bavaria most foreigners skip right over.

Rewards Spotlight: Lufthansa has nonstop flights to Munich from U.S. hubs in Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Newark, New York-JFK, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington Dulles. When space is available, you’re able to redeem miles from any Star Alliance program such as Avianca Lifemiles, Air Canada Aeroplan or United MileagePlus. In other words, there’s no excuse not to go.

By Becky Pokora, Forbes Advisor Staff

Florianópolis, Brazil

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Florianópolis, the capital of southern Brazil’s Santa Catarina state, is made up of mostly beaches (42 of ’em). Sure, “Floripa,” as it’s casually called, has a city center for those who want to eat well and party hard. But it’s Floripa’s forested stretches of sand and windswept Lagoa da Conceição where life really happens: the surfing, windsurfing, boating, paddleboarding, hiking and more. Praia Barra da Lagoa is popular among beginner surfers, while Praia do Campeche, Praia Galheta and Praia Mole attract more intermediate surfers, and Praia da Joaquina is a favorite for the advanced.

For those who aren’t looking for waves, the north of the island is peppered with higher-end beach lounges, like Cafe de La Musique and the resorts along Praia dos Ingleses. And, the south is famous for its nature walks, like the Lagoinha do Leste beach hike.

Rewards Spotlight: Because Florianopolis is an island that’s not exactly near any major airport hubs, it’s not necessarily super easy to reach. Many people travel to Florianopolis via flights that usually connect through bigger cities like Rio de Janeiro. Azul and LATAM airlines frequently fly to Floripa (FLN) from around the world. With Azul’s TudoAzul frequent flyer program, you get up to six points per 1 Brazilian real ($.19) spent. LATAM has a similar program, LATAM Pass, plus the LATAM Airlines World Elite Mastercard* and LATAM Airlines Mastercard* that can help you rack up a track record.

By AnnaMarie Houlis, Forbes Advisor Contributor

Gaiman, Argentina

Photo Source: Getty

Gaiman was the so-called capital of the Welsh settlement in Argentina during the latter half of the 19th century and remains a cultural enclave in Patagonia today. Set in a fertile agricultural area surrounded by arid lands, the locals kept their Welsh language, traditions and cuisine—famous for their tea houses offering the traditional fare with a local twist, and often visited by British royals through the years. At a 20-minute ride from the main city and airport of Trelew, it’s the perfect place to check out while touring Patagonia.

Rewards Spotlight: Use Delta SkyMiles to redeem award flights on Aerolineas Argentinas from Buenos Aires (AEP) to Trelew (REL), but don’t make the mistake of overlooking bookings with cash as they are sometimes priced very cheap.

By Ben Nickel-D’Andrea, Forbes Advisor Contributor

Hocking Hills, Ohio

Photo by Becky Pokora

Perhaps Ohio’s prettiest spot, the Hocking Hills region is dotted with waterfalls, cliffs, recessed caves and hemlock forests making it an outdoor wonderland. Trails criss-cross the region taking you to Ash Cave and Old Man’s Cave. However, with nine state parks and nature preserves—not including state forests and other protected lands—it’s easy to find spectacular scenery without the crowds as well.

Rewards Spotlight: Travelers with IHG One Rewards can book award nights at the Holiday Inn Express Hocking Hills-Logan which sits near the entrance of Lake Logan State Park. Casual day-trippers will find far more hotel options by commuting in from Columbus, an easy one-hour drive away.

By Becky Pokora, Forbes Advisor Staff

Izmir, Turkey

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Located at the far west end of Turkey, within the Mediterranean Basin, Izmir (once known as Smyrna) has a history just as vast as the city itself. The ancient town has experienced conquests and, naturally, the occupations of some of the most famous (or maybe infamous) dynasties the world has known—from Alexander the Great to the Romans, the Persians and most recently, the Ottoman Turks. Consequently, Izmir is a conglomeration of culture, history, religion and just about anything you can think of.

When visiting Izmir, take a trip over to the city’s historic and most famous landmark, the Izmir Clock Tower (Saat Kulesi). While you’re there, check out the small but majestic Konak Mosque, directly diagonal from the clock tower and hardly a stone’s throw away.

For the ancient-ruins fanatics, hop a short bus or train (both slightly longer than an hour’s journey) and head south to Ephesus. The ancient Greek settlement is loaded with run-down but shockingly well-preserved structures like the Temple of Celsus. You can also catch a glimpse at one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, the Temple of Artemis. The temple is hardly more than a few stones these days, but standing in the presence of what was once one of the greatest buildings in the world feels magical.

Rewards Spotlight: Hotels in Izmir are dirt cheap so springing some cash for a stay probably makes sense for most. But, if you prefer to stash your cash and use points instead, you’re in luck—Izmir has loads of chain properties. Check out the Hilton Garden Inn Bayrakli and don’t be turned off by the “Garden Inn” aspect. The property is a four-star hotel with modern amenities, a washer and dryer (pay for use) and conveniently located. Nights start at just 15,000 Hilton Honors points.

By Toni Perkins-Southam, Forbes Deputy Editor, Credit Cards and Travel Rewards

Kanab, Utah

Source: Getty

If you have been considering a trip to see some of the National Parks of Utah but don’t know where to start, consider Kanab. Located at the southern border of the state, Kanab is just a 35-minute drive to Zion and an hour and 20 minutes to Bryce Canyon. But, the tiny town is a gateway to even more than Utah’s most famous national parks. The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Park is only 30-minutes east where you can explore Utah’s world-renown slot canyons like Buckskin Gulch or scramble up the balanced rock formations at The Toadstools.

Rewards Spotlight: With a population of just under 5,000 people, there is a surprisingly large number of accommodations in Kanab. But, hotels can cost an arm, a leg and in the high season your first born (for both cash rates and points redemptions). Consider visiting in the off season when the crowds are low, the experiences are unique compared to the warmer months and, of course, the prices and award nights are cheaper.

Here’s a tip—Zion and Bryce are both open year round and neither is particularly treacherous in the winter. In fact, according to the U.S. National Parks Service, even after a winter storm, snow usually melts within a few hours at lower elevations in Zion.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Photo by Dylan Pearl

Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia is a beautiful city in the style of Prague or Budapest but without the throngs of tourists. You’ll find a great atmosphere, good food, nice people and a charming old city to walk around. If you’re looking for an authentic Slovenian meal, check out Špajza Restaurant. It’s an upscale vibe so be ready to spend a few dollars, but the food is well worth the expense. But the city’s best feature is its access to nature. Much of Slovenia is covered by the alps, so the city puts you in a great spot to check out the many beautiful trails and lakes that dot the country.

Rewards Spotlight: For those loyal to IHG, the InterContinental Ljubljana is a great option. This five star hotel offers top shelf amenities, and is located in the heart of the old city, making it a perfect base from which to explore. Rooms often sit around $130 per night, but for those with a large stash of IHG points, that number could be cut further, giving you a fantastic stay for a very reasonable price.

By Dylan Pearl, Forbes Advisor Staff

Lübeck, Germany

Photo by Ben Nickel-D’Andrea

Lübeck is a small northern German town with perfectly preserved medieval and Gothic architecture, and its old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Chances are, if you have ever had marzipan, it may have come from this town. Lübeck has made marzipan one of its main economy and tourism drivers, and you will not be able to walk more than a few steps without seeing a delicious marzipan centered treat, from tarts to drinks and even liqueurs.

Rewards Spotlight: Lübeck is a rather small town north of Hamburg. The Holiday Inn in town is a great option to use your IHG One points for a no frills but perfectly comfortable stay. Rooms start at around 20,000 points per night.

By Ben Nickel-D’Andrea, Forbes Advisor Contributor

Madeira

Photo by Jenn Underwood

Madeira is known for its popular Levadas, irrigation channels that offer easily accessible trails through the steep landscape. Be sure to visit the Monte Palace Madeira or the Madeira Botanic Gardens. You can ride the cable car to the Palace and take a wicker toboggan ride back to Funchal. Consider a trip to the Piscinas Naturais Velhas, a pineapple plantation tour or a local wine tasting.

Rewards Spotlight: Unlike many locations in Europe, you’ll need a car to explore the island. Chase and Capital One card holders can redeem Ultimate Rewards and Capital One miles, respectively, for a rental car. With an average 25.17% road gradient on the famous Rua de Barreira, you may want to spring for an automatic.

By Jenn Underwood, Forbes Advisor Contributor

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Malta

Photo by Barbara King

With an average 12 hours of sunshine daily, it’s no wonder Malta is a popular resort destination for sun-seeking Europeans. But beyond the beaches, this small nation is home to three UNESCO World Heritage sites. Malta is brimming with ancient walled cities, multiple fortresses and neolithic subterranean temples.

Valletta, the capital, charms with its hilly, cobbled pedestrian streets and spectacular harbor views. The nondescript exterior of St. John’s Co-Cathedral belies its stunning Baroque interiors. Take a day or two on the nearby island of Gozo for a more relaxed vibe. Explore Ggantija, the megalithic temples built between 3600 and 3200 B.C. or take a hike to the secluded Ta’ Ċenċ Cliffs for breathtaking vistas.

Rewards spotlight: The United Excursionist Perk is a great way to add Malta into your European itinerary if you’re already planning to book a round-trip award with United Mileage Plus. The Excursionist Perk allows you to add a free one-way trip within certain multi-city itineraries. So for example, if you’re already planning a round trip to Istanbul, you could add a one-way flight from Istanbul to Malta for no additional miles.

By Barbara King, Forbes Advisor Contributor

Marathon, Florida

Photo Source: Getty

The small city of Marathon is made up of 13 small islands in the middle of the archipelago that makes up the Florida Keys. This area is known for world-class fishing and a wide range of water sport adventures are available. The main draw here is to get out in some fashion on the turquoise waters, whether it’s by boat, kayak or jet-ski.

Rewards Spotlight: Although much of the lodging in this area is run by independent hoteliers, Marathon has a Fairfield Inn and a Courtyard by Marriott, both of which can be booked using Marriott Bonvoy points.

By Robin Saks Frankel, Forbes Advisor Staff

Mauritania

Photo by Caroline Lupini

Mauritania may not make the top of your bucket list but for the adventurous traveler it could be the trip of a lifetime. One of the most unique experiences that Mauritania offers is a ride on the iron ore train, also known as the “Train des Mines.” This train follows 704 km (437 miles) of railway, running from the mining town of Zouerat to the port of Nouadhibou. It’s claim to fame is that it’s physically the longest train in the world (in terms of the length of the train, not the length of the railway).

The train carries iron ore from the mines in the inland desert to the port, where it is exported to other countries. The entire train journey takes about 22 hours and offers stunning views of the Sahara Desert, as well as the opportunity to witness the daily life and work of the locals. The train is also an important source of transportation for the people living in the region, and it has played a vital role in the development of Mauritania’s mining industry.

Rewards Spotlight: Mauritania doesn’t have a very developed tourism sector, nor is it a common place for business travelers to need to go. That means it’s not going to be easy to use many of your travel rewards. However, if you have a flexible rewards card like the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, you can use your rewards to offset the cost of a tour in the country. T’Ore Mauritania is a recommended operator in the region.

By Caroline Lupini, Forbes Advisor Staff

Mauritius

Photo by Caroline Lupini

Mauritius is an island paradise located in the Indian Ocean that offers an unforgettable vacation experience—despite how long it takes to get there. The island is known for its stunning sunsets with breathtaking hues of orange, pink and red filling the sky as the sun dips below the horizon. In addition to these beautiful sunsets, Mauritius boasts crystal clear waters, picturesque beaches and a variety of luxury resorts and hotels. While on the island, visitors can enjoy activities such as snorkeling, diving, hiking and kitesurfing, as well as exploring the island’s rich cultural and historical heritage.

Rewards Spotlight: You can find hotels within most major programs located on Mauritius, but if you want a view of the iconic Le Morne mountain, the JW Marriott Mauritius is a top pick. There are more budget options on the island, but the JW Marriott presents good value for your points with cash prices usually around $600 or 74,000 Bonvoy points. This also means that the property is a solid option for your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant free night certificate.

By Caroline Lupini, Forbes Advisor Staff

Medellín, Colombia

Photo by Jon Nickel-D’Andrea

Medellín, the “city of eternal spring,” has recently become a go-to destination for expats and tourists alike, offering an expansive list of luxury hotels, fine dining and amazing coffee culture.

Fernando Botero is from here and there’s a large museum in the city center devoted to his work. Take a cable car up into the mountains and explore Parque Arvi and for a true Antoquia experience, go to the Pueblo Paisa for a “bandeja paisa” to sample all the authentic flavors of this colorful region.

Rewards Spotlight: Both the Marriott Medellín and InterContinental Medellín are great deals on points, starting at 22,000 Bonvoy points and 27,000 IHG One Rewards points, respectively. Consider using points for these stays and save your money for the local markets and restaurants.

By Jon Nickel-D’Andrea, Forbes Advisor Contributor

Molde, Norway

Photo Source: Getty

The must-see attraction here in this port town is the Atlantic Road, a five-mile marvel of engineering that connects the western fjord islands from Molde to Kristiansund. Drive this scenic loop that includes eight bridges that wend and wind their way through the rugged coastal landscape. Stop in the fishing village of Bud to warm up with a coffee and get out to stretch your legs at the elevated walkway path in Eldhusøya, an easy 15-minute stroll for all ages with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean and the famous Storseisundbrua bridge.

Rewards Spotlight: The best way to experience the Atlantic Road is by car and you can rent one at the Molde Airport. Book one in advance using any travel credit card’s flexible currency like Chase Ultimate Rewards or Amex Membership Rewards.

By Robin Saks Frankel, Forbes Advisor Staff

Moorea, French Polynesia

Photo by Anya Kartashova

If you’d like to enjoy the tropical paradise of French Polynesia without the hefty price tag of Bora Bora, opt for the Society Islands archipelago’s more affordable option, Moorea.

Not only is Moorea less expensive than Bora Bora, it’s much easier to visit because you can take a 30-minute commercial ferry to the island. Once there, you’ll find plenty of activities: ATV tours, hiking, kayaking, sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling—you name it. Moorea offers a lot of accommodation options, from hostels to overwater bungalows and everything in between, so it’s truly possible to visit on any budget.

Foodies will enjoy the island’s cuisine that includes Polynesian, French and Chinese flavors. Make sure to try Tahitian poisson cru (raw fish marinated in coconut milk), a signature dish of French Polynesia.

Rewards spotlight: To reach Moorea, you must fly to the international gateway of Papeete (PPT), Tahiti, first. Several airlines fly to Papeete from the U.S., including Air Tahiti Nui, Air France, Delta Air Lines, French Bee, Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines. A one-way flight to Tahiti starts at 35,000 United MileagePlus miles or 40,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles in economy class.

By Anya Kartashova, Forbes Advisor Contributor

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia

Photo by Jason Steele

In the southeast corner of Georgia, you’ll find over 500 square miles of pristine beauty and solitude in the wetlands of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Popular activities include hiking, fishing and photography. But, this unique environment is best seen by setting off with a canoe on one of the many water trails complete with camping platforms. That’s where you’ll encounter abundant wildlife including turtles, woodpeckers and the plentiful, but shy alligators.

Rewards Spotlight: The east entrance of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is actually within an hour’s drive of Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) in Florida, which offers service from most major airlines. While you won’t find any chain hotels to spend your points on in the nearby town of Folkston, you can use your Hilton Honors points to stay at the Hampton Inn in Waycross, Georgia. And the Hyatt Place Jacksonville Airport is a bargain at 5,000 World of Hyatt points a night when you’re flying in and out.

By Jason Steele, Forbes Advisor Contributor

Page, Arizona

Photo by Anya Kartashova

Outdoors enthusiasts, look no further than Page, Arizona. This American Southwest town might be small, but it packs a punch when it comes to things to do nearby. Page is located on the southern shore of Lake Powell, so rent a houseboat and jump into the refreshing waters of the lake before drought and climate change cause its levels to decline to nothing but a memory.

Page is also a great base for those looking to visit the Horseshoe Bend, a famous meander of the Colorado River, and the Antelope Canyon, a slot canyon known for its unique light beams from March to October.

One of Mother Nature’s most beautiful creations, the Antelope Canyon is located on the Navajo Reservation, and you need a local guide to visit because of flash flood danger. Still, the ever-changing colors of the sandstone forming the canyon are worth seeing in person.

Rewards spotlight: Page has several lodging options that can be booked with hotel points. World of Hyatt members can book the Hyatt Place Page / Lake Powell for 9,000 to 15,000 points per night, depending on the season. The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Page–Lake Powell Area is a great option for IHG One rewards members. Award nights at this property are available for 10,000 to 30,000 points.

By Anya Kartashova, Forbes Advisor Contributor

Porto, Portugal

Photo Source: Getty

If you have not had the pleasure of visiting Porto, Portugal, it’s a must-add to the travel list. It’s easy to see why so many eyes are set on this Northern Portuguese city. You can expect great food, even better wine and affordable prices, not to mention tile-studded architecture and views of the ocean from the plethora of “miradouros,” a spanish word that means, “overlooks” throughout the city.

Some to-do’s on every proper Porto bucket list? Grab dinner and a Fado show anywhere, take an all-day tour of the Douro Valley wineries and enjoy tastings and lunch along the way and check out the many museums (like The Museu Nacional do Azulejo) showcasing the city’s rich history.

Rewards Potential: If you’ve been scratching your head wondering how you can utilize your $200 annual hotel statement credit from your The Platinum Card® from American Express, Porto is your answer. There are several properties in the Fine Hotels + Resorts and The Hotel Collection sitting at the $200 per night mark, meaning you can redeem your Amex hotel credit for any one of them. And even better, as a Platinum Card holder, your stay comes with a $100 onsite credit which can be used for dining, spa treatments, etc., late checkout and a room upgrade (if available).

By Sami Allen, Forbes Advisor Staff

Punta del Diablo, Uruguay

Photo by AnnaMarie Houlis

Punta del Diablo is a quiet fisherman village in the winter (with more pups than people), and a bustling beach town in the summer. Whatever time of year, however, the ocean beckons surfers and windsurfers alike—many of whom come from Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, just a few hours south. The main Pescadores Beach is lined with fishing boats that feed the few restaurants along the rust-red dirt road. Stalls selling artisanal pottery and intricately crafted crystal jewelry also draw visitors out of their holiday homes—firewood-warmed cabins with the same simplicity of the seaside itself, like the peacefully salt lamp-lit Kundalini Cabañas.

Rewards Spotlight: Most of the more frequented transportation hubs are near what many Latin Americans call “the Hamptons of the South,” Punta del Diablo’s popular neighbor, Punta del Este. While buses bring visitors to the outskirts of Punta del Diablo, the best way to reach the town—and get around the surrounding area—is by renting a car in Montevideo or Punta del Este. Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® are two of the best credit cards we recommend for car rentals.

By AnnaMarie Houlis, Forbes Advisor Contributor

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Qatar

Photo by Ben Nickel-D’Andrea

Now that the World Cup is over and the crowds have withdrawn, take advantage of the boost in infrastructure improvements in this already impressive and modern country. Offering a range of desert and water activities, as well as culture and arts, Qatar has been catching up to its more frequented middle eastern destinations. Mix up the luxury of Doha’s sprawling architecture and cuisine with the vastness of Khor Al Adaid beach, known as the inland sea, where you’ll be able to take a break and catch glimpses of oryx and gazelles.

Rewards Spotlight: Stay at the Hyatt Regency Doha from 3,500 to 6,500 World of Hyatt points per night or splurge on the Andaz Doha at a nightly rate of 12,000 points, which can be transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards or BILT Rewards. Qatar Airways partners with both Alaska Airlines and American Airlines, and while redemptions on American may be lower in points, those through Alaska allow a free stopover on one-way bookings.

By Ben Nickel-D’Andrea, Forbes Advisor Contributor

Riverhead, NY

Photo Source: Getty

Riverhead is an historic town on the North Shore of Long Island with plenty of ways to while away the day. Visit the Long Island Aquarium, home to one of the largest coral reefs in the world or stop by the Jamesport Brewery, located on a working farm where all the ingredients from hops to barley to wheat are home-grown to make its house-made suds.

Mid-September to October is peak apple-picking season where you can pick your own at several local orchards. And no trip to Riverhead is complete without a picture with the famous “Big Duck,” a 20-foot tall building shaped like a duck.

Rewards Spotlight: Riverhead has several hotels bookable on points including the Hyatt Place Long Island/East, Hilton Garden Inn Riverhead and Marriott Residence Inn Long Island East End.

By Robin Saks Frankel, Forbes Advisor Staff

Rotorua, New Zealand

Photo by Becky Pokora

Rotorua is the adventure capital of New Zealand’s North Island, with activities ranging from Class V whitewater rafting to bungee jumping to a one-of-a-kind pedal-powered “Shweeb Racer.” But the city’s also more than that: learning about Māori culture is especially easy here thanks to a wide range of experiences. The city’s dramatic nature is also all-around, with geysers, mud pots and other geothermal features all within city limits.

Rewards Spotlight: You can fly into Rotorua (ROT) on Air New Zealand using Star Alliance miles, though most travelers will make their way by road from Auckland, a 3-hour trip. Once in Rotorua, use your ALL points (a Capital One transfer partner) to stay at Accor hotels including Novotel, Pullman and ibis properties, all in walking distance to the lakefront.

São Miguel, Azores

Photo by Jenn Underwood

São Miguel offers stunning views along popular hikes to Sete Cidades and Miradouro da Lagoa do Fogo. With its volcanic activity, you’ll find a number of hot springs to explore including Poca da Dona Beija and Caldeira Velha. Make sure to try the Cozida Das Furnas, sausage stew that’s cooked in the ground using the geothermal heat. The island is a great place for whale watching and world-class canyoneering.

Rewards Spotlight: United MileagePlus miles can be used with any Star Alliance member, including TAP Air Portugal and Lufthansa, as long as there’s availability. Both airlines offer service to Ponta Delgada Nordela (PDL).

By Jenn Underwood, Forbes Advisor Contributor

Saudi Arabia

Photo by Caroline Lupini

If you’re into experiencing new cultures and exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations, now is the perfect time to visit Saudi Arabia. The country has only recently opened up to tourism, so you’ll have the chance to explore the country before many other visitors. Plus, Saudi Arabia has so much to offer—from the ancient city of Riyadh and the breathtaking Al-Ula desert, to the historic city Medina which is possible to visit even if you’re not Muslim. Those looking to really get away from it all should consider a visit to the desert in the “Empty Quarter.”

Rewards Spotlight: You’ll find IHG Hotels (including Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, InterContinental) in many of Saudi Arabia’s major cities and tourist sites. Many of these hotels offer great value for your points and will help you cut down on costs in what can be an expensive country to visit.

By Caroline Lupini, Forbes Advisor Staff

Sète, France

Photo by Dia Adams

Sète had us at boat jousting. The sport dates back at least 400 years and teams train all year to compete for the pride of their villages every summer. It looks exactly like what it sounds like and is an absolute joy to watch. Pick a team to cheer for while sipping a local Languedoc wine and slurping oysters that came from less than five miles away.

When the tournament has concluded, explore the village that evokes Venice due to its network of canals but with distinctly French charm. Add in the miles of sandy beaches and you’ve got the recipe for an amazing getaway.

Rewards spotlight: The best gateway to Sete is Montpelier (MPL) but it is also within two hours of Barcelona (BCN), Marseille (MRS) and Toulouse (TLS) meaning you can use most major points programs to get to the region. Air France Flying Blue may be your best bet as it is a transfer partner of all the major flexible points programs.

By Dia Adams, Forbes Advisor Staff

Seychelles

Photo by Ben Nickel-D’Andrea

The Seychelles are a great alternative to those who want to experience the luxury found in the Maldives but without the restrictions of staying at an island where your hotel is all there is. Enjoy the beaches beyond the hotel, go for a rum tasting at Takamaka distillery or visit a vanilla farm where you can see what it takes to grow these precious orchids. A visit to the Victoria Botanical Gardens to cool in the shade is always a great idea, and it will afford you the chance to interact up close and even hand feed a group of Aldabra giant tortoises, each weighing several hundreds of pounds.

Rewards Spotlight: Hilton operates several properties throughout the island spanning from a basic Double Tree for the points budget conscious to Mango House, an LXR Hotel for those more willing to splurge.

By Ben Nickel-D’Andrea, Forbes Advisor Contributor

Skopje, Macedonia

Photo by Dylan Pearl

Skopje has probably rarely been recommended as a vacation spot, but it certainly merits a look. Come here to find a charming city that blends a myriad of cultures, fascinating history, great food and of course, gorgeous natural scenery. Be sure to check out Matka Canyon while you’re here, or take the cable car up to the top of Mount Vodno for stunning views of the city. Or, if a city experience is more your style, check out the massive statue of Alexander the Great, walk through the abandoned Skopje fortress, explore the old city or grab a coffee at one of the many cafes dotting the streets.

And, be sure to check out a kafana. Macedonia, like many Balkan countries, is known for the kafana, a cafe-style restaurant that serves primarily coffee and alcoholic beverages. These days though, you can find them serving some of the best authentic food in the region. There are dozens of them in the city, all worth checking out. If you just can’t decide, we recommend Debar Maalo. Here you’ll find good, inexpensive food and, if you’re lucky, live music and dancing.

Whatever you decide to do, you’ll find this city has quite a bit more to offer that you’d first expect.

Rewards Spotlight: Often airfare is the most expensive part of travel. In this case though, there may be a workaround. Turkish Airlines flies many inexpensive flights into Macedonia and the surrounding region. And, Turkish Airlines is a member of Star Alliance—meaning, not only can you book your flight with Turkish Miles&Smiles miles, but if you’ve banked airline miles with any Star Alliance member, you can get your flight for next to nothing. Not a bad way to start your trip.

By Dylan Pearl, Forbes Advisor Staff

St. Albans, West Virginia

Photo Source: Getty

St. Albans is a small, charming West Virginia town approximately a half hour drive from the state capital of Charleston. Whether you want to get out and enjoy nature or stay in town and explore the restaurant scene, this Mountain State gem is great for a relaxing getaway. It’s also rich in history—the area was home to several Native American cultures, including the Adena, Fort Ancient, Moneton and Shawnee, according to the town’s website.

Rewards Spotlight: Looking to put your credit card rewards toward a little peace and quiet? Consider using a Capital One travel card to book an Airbnb in St. Albans or nearby Charleston and then redeeming your miles to offset the charge. Want to rack up rewards on your dining credit card? Start your day with coffee at Coal River Coffee Company, then in the evening, hit up The Tap for a wide selection of craft beer and a bar-b-queterie board. That last is exactly what it sounds like, with a scrumptious selection of barbecue, crackers and cheese.

By Glen Luke Flanagan, Forbes Advisor Staff

Tasmania, Australia

Photo Source: Getty

Breathtaking scenery with beaches, forest, mountains and plenty of unique wildlife await anyone heading to Tasmania from mainland Australia. Just a 2-hour flight from Sydney (SYD) to Hobart (HBA), but somehow an often skipped Australian state, it remains packed with adventure and relatively secluded. If hearing the haunting screams of a Tasmanian devil is what you’re into as well, head to the many sanctuaries, where these endemic marsupials are protected, to see them up close and learn more about them.

Rewards Spotlight: There are plenty of flights to choose from by either using your British Airways Avios to book flights on Qantas or your United Airlines MileagePlus miles to book flights on Virgin Australia. Take advantage of one of your Marriott Bonvoy Free Night Certificates to stay at The Tasman, a Luxury Collection in Hobart.

By Ben Nickel-D’Andrea, Forbes Advisor Contributor

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Torres Strait Islands, Australia

Photo by Caroline Lupini

The Torres Strait Islands are a group of islands located in the Torres Strait, between the northern tip of Australia and Papua New Guinea. These islands are known for their rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty, but are seldom visited.

One of the most interesting islands to visit in the Torres Strait is Badu Island. There you can visit Alup Badu Island, a beautifully curated beach shack on one of the most stunning beaches in the world. Visitors should take time to learn about the unique history and culture of the Torres Strait Islands by exploring the cultural sites and museums and by participating in traditional cultural activities such as fishing, dancing and learning the local ways of life. Entry permits may need to be arranged to visit some of the islands, but Strait Experience is a great resource for anyone looking to plan a trip to this unique region.

Rewards Spotlight: Getting to the Torres Strait Islands isn’t easy. The simplest way to do so is to get to Cairns, Australia and then take a flight on Qantas up to Horn Island—availability permitting, it’s possible to book this flight for as few as 4,750 British Airways Avios. From there, it’s a quick ferry over to Thursday Island, the main hub of the Torres Strait Islands. Visiting other islands is possible through flights on SkyTrans, but these flights will add up.

By Caroline Lupini, Forbes Advisor Staff

Vancouver Island

Photo by Heidi Gollub

A top destination for spotting orcas in the wild, Vancouver Island has the most temperate weather in Canada and one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. With its rugged shorelines and ancient rainforests, this Pacific coast island in British Columbia is a treat to explore, whether by land or by sea. You can take a whale-watching boat tour, hike to one of the world’s tallest free-standing timber rail trestles, bike the BC Ale Trail and enjoy farm-to-table meals in coastal communities.

Rewards Spotlight: An Air Canada flight from the mainland (YVR) to Vancouver Island (YYJ) will only set you back about 6,000 Aeroplan points each way, in economy. Linger a while in Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, before venturing north to see more of the island. Book a night at the Fairmont Empress, Canada’s “castle on the coast,” using Accor Live Limitless (ALL) points. You can transfer Capital One Rewards miles at a rate of 2:1 for ALL points, if you need them. Point redemptions for Fairmont Empress start at about 15,000 to 20,000 ALL points per night, depending on the season. From this historic hotel in Victoria’s inner harbor, you can walk to the oldest Chinatown in Canada or visit a newer attraction, RITUAL Nordic Spa.

By Heidi Gollub, Forbes Advisor Staff

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