At the beach in Koh Nang Yuan, Thailand

By Norbert Figueroa, an experienced architect, travel writer, long-term budget traveler, and photographer with over 13 years of travel experience in over 139 countries and counting. @globotreks


GloboTreks is reader-supported through affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support! – Norbert

One of the most frequent questions I get is, “Where can I travel to in [insert month here]?”

And, honestly, there’s no simple answer. It’ll depend on your budget, interests, travel style, and whether you like crowds or not.

The world has become more accessible than ever before, giving travelers the opportunity to go almost anywhere, with any budget or interest. But, with so many options available, it can be hard to choose the best destination for your next trip (trust me, I’ve been there!).

Plus, you want to make the most of the trip. You don’t want to end up in your dream destination during peak season and fight with the summer crowds to get a spot on the beach. You also don’t want to ditch peak season just to arrive at the beginning of hurricane season, transforming your dream surfing trip into a miserable nightmare.

And then you have to navigate expensive flights, overbooked hotels, and overpriced meals.

But, with my guide to the best places to visit each month of the year, you can ditch high fees and large crowds and travel to your dream destinations without breaking the bank!

Travel World Map with Seasons

The Best Places to Visit in the World and the Best Countries to Travel by Month

You’ll notice that this guide uses maps that show which destinations are in their high season, low season, or shoulder season (the period between high and low seasons).

I’ll also use the maps to highlight countries or destinations that are incredible to visit during each month. Lastly, I will include the destinations that are best to avoid during each month, thanks to horrible weather during that time of year.

So, how did I compile this guide?

Well, I’ve traveled to more than a hundred countries (and counting!) on my Round The World Trip, and have incorporated my own research and experiences into this guide.

Whether you are planning your honeymoon, an adventure trip, or a relaxing cultural getaway, my guide will help you narrow down your choices of the best places to visit each month of the year.

Guide to the maps

To help you understand the maps, I used these color codes:

  • Dark Teal for the high season
  • Teal for shoulder season
  • Light Teal (light teal) for low season
  • Green for the best countries to visit that month
  • Red for countries to avoid that month

Best Places to Visit in January

Countries to visit during January

January is a good time to visit the Northern Hemisphere as it is just after the holidays and the weather is chilly. Although this winter weather keeps most tourists away, it can be gorgeous if you want to see snowy landscapes or partake in winter sports.

Countries to visit in January

January is one of the best months to experience the dancing lights of the Aurora Borealis. You can check out the Northern Lights in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland,and Greenland.

If you love skiing, then the Alps in Austria or Switzerland are good bets, but you might have to fight through some of the crowds who still linger after the festive season.

Cold weather not for you?

I get it – I tend to also prefer the heat over the snow!

In that case, The Caribbean and Central America are perfect destinations for you. The weather is warm and there’s not too much rain – making it perfect for beach days!

One spot that is close to my heart is Puerto Escondido in Mexico. This destination has pleasant weather in January, making it perfect for adventurers who like to spend time outdoors. Go horseback riding or scuba diving, or book a marine safari to see whales and dolphins during this time of year. Or, simply kick back at a beachside bar with a margarita.

And, speaking of beaches…

Southeast Asia is a prime destination in January! These are some of my top picks:

  • Thailand
  • Cambodia
  • Myanmar
  • Vietnam
  • Laos
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia

You’ll get to enjoy dry, sunny weather, making it the perfect time to explore the many outdoor and water-based activities in these Asian countries.

Koh Nang Yuan's Viewpoint from the top of the island
The beautiful islands of Koh Nang Yuan in Thailand

Sticking to the south, have you ever considered South Africa? January brings warm weather, and most of the summer crowds have left after the holidays.

Even further south is Australia and New Zealand, where it is also the peak of summer in January. Just note, the Australian Outback can get dangerously hot during this time of year.

Back in Africa, Ethiopia also experiences cool, dry weather in January. This is the perfect time to get to know this country and even visit the Omo Valley Tribes.

Karo Women by the Omo River
The Karo Tribe in the Omo Valley in Ethiopia

I’ve mentioned Mexico and Central America, but South America is also worth a visit in January. Hikers should check out Patagonia in Chile as well as Argentina. It is the peak tourist season for these countries, but the weather is warm and dry, making it perfect to explore the many mountains.

Bolivia, on the other hand, is in the height of the rainy season, but don’t let that put you off! You can visit the Salar de Uyuni – the largest salt flats in the world – and take those unreal pictures that you see on Instagram where it appears like people are walking on air!

This is because of the thin layer of water that covers the salt flats. The effect is an optical illusion of a mirror stretching all the way to the horizon, reflecting the sky on the ground.

Laguna Colorada in Bolivia
Laguna Colorada in Bolivia

Another popular destination is Hawaii. It might be in the rainy season, but you can find more affordable accommodation and flights in January. Oh, and surfers will love the start of the year in Hawaii! Despite it being the high season, you’ll still be able to claim a piece of beach (or a wave) during this month.

It is also a great time to go whale watching in Hawaii, as it is peak humpback whale season.

Lastly, Antarctica is a great destination in January. And yes, I know, you probably never considered visiting the seventh continent as a tourist. But, the days are warm (compared to winter!) and clear, and sea ice won’t hamper your trip.

The only way to get to Antarctica is by boat, so check out these cruise options.

Countries to avoid in January

Unless you enjoy being cold to your bones (or want to see the Northern Lights), I’d recommend skipping most of the countries in the Northern Hemisphere.

Other countries to avoid due to it being the rainy season are:

  • Indonesia
  • Papua New Guinea
  • East Timor
  • Polynesia

The following African island nations are experiencing hurricane season, so give them a skip too:

  • Madagascar
  • Reunion
  • Seychelles
  • Mauritius

Best Places to Visit in February

Countries to visit during February

February has much of the same weather around the world as January, so a lot of the same countries mentioned above are still worth a visit in Feb. Perhaps you’re looking for a bit of romance since it is the month of love, or you’re just grateful to miss the last stragglers from the holiday crowds.

Countries to visit in February

Southeast Asia is still a wonderful destination in February. It is in its peak season, so prices might be a bit higher, but the weather is worth it. I generally try to avoid high-season crowds, but places like Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia are great this time of year because of the warm weather.

Then, just like in January, it is still the optimal time to visit Scandinavian countries if you want to check out the Northern Lights.

The French Alps are lovely in Feb. There is plenty of snow to go around if you want to partake or go watch winter sporting events (which is a good thing since the slopes can get a little bit crowded).

If you want to ditch the European crowds, then head over to the United States. States like Utah, Vermont, and Colorado are some of the most popular for skiing during February.

Back in Europe, Paris is a very popular destination in February. Perhaps it is because it is the City of Love, or simply because it is a bit more affordable in this month. Just know you might be rubbing elbows with a lot of couples, especially over St. Valentine’s Day!

You’ll still find lovely warm weather in The Caribbean and Central America. So, if you like wine and hiking, check out Chile and Argentina. February marks the end of the summer season in the Southern Hemisphere, so don’t miss visiting Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile and hiking the W trail.

Outdoor lovers should also check out Patagonia right on the southern tip of the continent.

Torres del Paine W hike
The famous towers at Torres del Paine.

Now, let’s head over to Africa.

Egypt is a great option if you want to visit the ancient ruins in Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan and travel down the Nile River in comfortable weather. Just pack a sweater as the nights can be a little bit cold.

Right at the southern tip of Africa is Cape Town, South Africa. Most of the European crowds would’ve left, bringing prices down and making it easier to book accommodation.

Enjoy the many famous wine farms of the Cape, and relax at the popular beaches like Camps Bay or Clifton. Make sure to check out Boulders Beach, where you can chill next to, and swim with wild African Penguins.

February is also the month of Carnival. Many travelers head to Italy to experience Carnival in Venice. Another Carnival you shouldn’t miss is Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival in Brazil.

Sambodromo Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
At the Sambodomo in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival.

Several other countries celebrate carnival this month, including the USA with Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Trinidad and Tobago with the largest carnival in the Caribbean, and Grand Canaria in the Canary Islands with the warmest European carnival (although still a bit chilly), among others.

Speaking of festivals, February celebrates the Chinese New Year. For an authentic experience, head over to China. Alternatively, you can head to Singapore, which has the biggest Chinese New Year celebration outside of China.

Antarctica is also still a good option in February.

Countries to avoid in February

Similar to January, several Asian countries are still in the height of rainy season, while African Islands are fighting their way through cyclone season:

  • Indonesia
  • Papua New Guinea
  • East Timor
  • Polynesia
  • Madagascar
  • Seychelles
  • Reunion
  • Mauritius

Best Places to Visit in March

Countries to visit during March

February brought about the end of summer in the south and the end of winter in the north. This means it is just the beginning of the shoulder season in most countries, making it an affordable time of year to travel.

Countries to visit in March

Italy along with the countries in the Mediterranean are starting to warm up. You’ll be able to enjoy pleasant weather without having to fight with the crowds of the tourism season.

Egypt is also still nice, with warm weather and cool evenings. The same goes for most Middle Eastern countries, actually.

Southeast Asia remains a great destination. The weather is just starting to turn, but it is still warm and mostly dry, and there are fewer people than in January and February.

India is a must-see destination in March. During this month is the colorful Holi Festival, and the days are hot while the nights are moderate. Mumbai is one of the best cities to explore during this time, not just for the Holi Festival but also because of the nice weather and affordable accommodation.

Are you looking for somewhere a bit more tropical and island-vibey instead?

Not far from the south coast of India is the Maldives. During March, you can enjoy tropical temperatures, warm water, and blue skies.

At Kuda Bandos in Maldives
At Kuda Bandos in the Maldives… Such a beautiful beach!

March is also a great time to visit many destinations in the USA. The coastal cities, like New York, Boston, and San Francisco, are experiencing pleasant weather. The southern states are also lovely this time of year.

The Caribbean Islands and Cuba are also lovely in March.

In South America, Colombia is a good destination. I’d recommend that you head over to the city of Cartagena – during March the beaches are gorgeous and not too packed. The city also has incredible traditional cuisine and some of the best nightlife in the country.

Colombia is also a great destination for kitesurfing in March. Or, just unwind on the beaches of Isla Barú, a day trip away.

Patagonia is still a viable option in March, however towards the end of the month the weather turns a bit chilly, especially in the mountainous regions where you’ll be buffeted by hectic winds.

Are you looking for something a bit out of the ordinary?

Although March is the rainiest month in the Galapagos, the rain showers are short, there are fewer people, and it is the beginning of the mating season for many of the indigenous bird species. This is a great time to visit the Galapagos on a small budget.

Bartolome Island in Galapagos
Bartolome Island in the Galapagos

Countries to avoid in March

Countries in Central and East Africa are at the height of their rainy season, so skip the safari in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The African Islands mentioned above (Mauritius, Reunion, etc.) are still battling hurricanes but are slowly coming out of the season.


Best Places to Visit in April

Countries to visit during April

April is a great month to explore the Northern Hemisphere. The ice is thawing, the cold weather is abating, and the flowers are starting to bloom.

You’re still in the shoulder season of many countries, which means you are ahead of the summer crowds that will descend soon.

Countries to visit in April

The Mediterranean is without a doubt one of the best places to visit at the start of April. Make sure to check out:

  • Crete
  • Cyprus
  • Malta

The weather is mostly incredible, the crowds are thin, and the prices are lower than in the peak summer season.

The Canary Islands are also a lovely destination in April thanks to the warm weather.

Ait Ben Haddou, Morocco
Ait Ben Haddou in Morocco

If Africa is one of your dream destinations, now is also a good time to explore the northern reaches of the continent. Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt are all good options. The Middle East also has dry, pleasant weather this time of year.

To see the Victoria Falls (the largest waterfalls in the world), Zambia or Zimbabwe is a must. Zambia is probably a safer bet because of the high levels of petty crime and civil unrest in Zimbabwe.

Since it is the dry season, the falls are less intense, but you can still see the gorgeous curtain of water cascading over the rocks in the Zambezi River (and there will be less mist and spray to try to see through). It’s also a great time to go bungee jumping there!

Namibia is also a great destination in Africa. The weather is milder (a good thing since Namibia is a big desert!).

If you want to tick off some bucket list destinations, then check out the USA, Japan, and The Netherlands.

Why?

Well, this is great road-tripping weather through the US, where you can visit national parks without the huge crowds. Japan has cherry blossoms blooming, and the tulip fields in The Netherlands are out of this world.

Speaking of the US and cherry blossoms, Washington, D.C. is a very popular destination in April. Thousands of tourists flock to the capital to see the world-famous National Cherry Blossom Festival, which celebrates the blooming of the Japanese cherry trees the city received as a gift from Tokyo in 1912.

If throngs of people admiring trees are not your idea of a good holiday, head over to Taiwan. The Yangmingshan National Park also has cherry blossom trees that you can appreciate without having to fight your way through a crowd to see the flowers. Taiwan’s location near a volcanic system also makes it an ideal vacation spot for hot springs lovers.

Trinidad, Cuba
A street in Trinidad, Cuba

The Caribbean is experiencing some of the best weather in April. Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico are the top choices in April.

Down in the Southern Hemisphere, New Zealand is just starting autumn. This is a great time to visit this island nation, because the wines are flowing, and the vineyards are gorgeous as the vines and leaves turn from green to fiery red, yellow, and gold.

Countries to avoid in April

It is a good idea to skip Southeast Asia as it is incredibly hot and humid in April. Kenya, Tanzania, and other East African countries are also unpleasant because of how much rain they experience in April.

If you hate the humidity, don’t include South America in your travel itinerary either.


Best Places to Visit in May

Countries to visit during May

May is one of the best months to explore the Northern Hemisphere. The weather is summer-like, but you won’t have to deal with the crowds and peak season prices.

Countries to visit in May

The UK and most European countries are now warm and ready and waiting for outdoor enthusiasts.

Croatia is also lovely this time of year. It might still be in its low season, but things are ramping up soon as summer approaches, so why not skip the crowds?

Other notable destinations that are still in the shoulder season are Hungary in Eastern Europe (especially Budapest) and Italy.

Rome's Colosseum, Italy
The Colosseum in Rome, Italy

The Mediterranean and especially Portugal are starting to boast beach weather most days, but are still nice and affordable.

If you’re looking for a unique trip, head over to Prague in the Czech Republic for the three-week-long Spring Music Festival.

Asia is also a great destination this time of year.

China has warm weather in almost all of its regions, while Nepal and Bhutan offer excellent weather to hit the hiking trails. This is one of the best times to hike to Everest Base Camp or do the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal.

Another great hiking destination is Peru. May has some of the best weather to visit Cusco or hike the incredible Inca Trail. The same actually applies to most of the famous hiking destinations, including the Himalayas, Alps, and Andes.

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu in Peru

Indonesia is finally coming out of the rainy season, so book your tickets to Bali! There will still be a bit of rain, but the weather is warm, the showers are brief, and you’re still in the shoulder season.

Most cities in the US and Canada have good weather and sparse crowds in May. It is worth it to check out Yellowstone National Park before the tourists descend in the summer.

Namibia is one of my favorite destinations in May. Sossusvlei is one of the most remarkable places I’ve ever seen, and the desert surrounding it is one of the most surreal landscapes in Africa. In this desert, you’ll find the tallest sand dunes in the world, and the dead trees in Sossusvlei are in stark contrast with the red sand.

Photographers can come on a camping trip here and take some impressive shorts of the cobalt blue sky, fiery sand, and the black trees that seem so out of place amongst the dunes.

Countries to avoid in May

It’s a good idea to avoid India and Sri Lanka in May. The monsoon season is just starting, and it can get pretty miserable there.

If you do want to visit India, stay close to the Himalayan region. There is much less rain there this time of year.

East Africa is coming out of its wet season now, but you’ll still get drenched most days.

The Caribbean can also be a bit wet in May, but the warm weather makes it enjoyable despite the rain.

From May onwards, Egypt and the Middle East will experience heat waves, making it a very unpleasant destination.


Best Places to Visit in June

Countries to visit during June

June is the start of the tourism season for most of the Northern Hemisphere. In the south, winter is setting in, which means colder weather but fewer crowds.

Countries to visit in June

European countries are especially popular destinations in June. There are plenty of midsummer parties, especially in the northern countries of Iceland, Sweden, Norway, and Finland, where the midnight sun lights up the sky.

Öskjuvatn Lake and the Viti Crater in Askja, Iceland
Öskjuvatn Lake and the Viti Crater in Iceland

June is the time for festivals, with many countries celebrating one notable festival: Pride. Pride is a celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community (but open to all), and is celebrated across the world on different dates in June.

In the Mediterranean, the Greek Islands and Croatia are peaking, with many people arriving to enjoy world-famous sailing tours around the gorgeous coastlines.

South America remains a popular destination. Peru is still good for hiking, although temperatures are starting to get chilly.

Brazil has lovely temperatures and dry weather (although the south is getting a bit cold this time of year). If you prefer mild temperatures and wearing some layers, then head over to the Iguazu Falls – the largest waterfall system in the world!

View of Iguazu Falls from both sides
Iguazu Falls in Brazil and Argentina

North America is experiencing comfortable temperatures this time of year. Do you enjoy festivals? Then book a flight to Canada to celebrate Canada Day, the Montreal Film Festival, and the International Jazz Festival.

The Caribbean is still a good region to visit, but be aware that it just entered the hurricane season. June tends to be quiet in terms of cyclonic activity, but it could be a hit-and-miss. so just be prepared.

Dreaming of an African sunset? Tanzania is through the worst of the rains, so if you want to see the Great Wildebeest Migration or relax on the beaches of Zanzibar, now is a great time to visit!

Lastly, the Arctic is wonderful in June. You can hop on board a cruise and enjoy balmy weather, long days, and plenty of wildlife. Keep an eye out for minke and humpback whales!

Countries to avoid in June

Both the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing extreme heat waves during the summer months.

India and Sri Lanka are in the midst of the monsoon season and is also best avoided.


Best Places to Visit in July

Countries to visit during July

July brings even warmer weather throughout the Northern Hemisphere, but this also brings in lots of tourists and high prices!

Countries to visit in July

Europe is currently at its peak. Millions of tourists flock to the continent in summer. The weather is good almost everywhere, there are lots of outdoor activities, there are festivals aplenty… but there will also be expensive flight tickets and fully booked hotels.

The USA continues to be popular in July, especially for visitors who enjoy spending time outdoors. The week of the 4th of July is one of the busiest weeks in the US because of the incredible fireworks displays and celebrations on this date.

Indonesia is also really nice this time of year (while the rest of Southeast Asia is dealing with monsoons). It is dry, and sunny, making the volcanos of Bali, East Java, and Komodo National Park nice regions to visit.

Pulau Padar at Komodo National Park, Indonesia
Pulau Padar at Komodo National Park, Indonesia

The Seychelles is also finally a good destination. The rain has stopped, and the islands offer incredible activities like surfing, sailing, scuba diving, windsurfing, and birdwatching.

Sticking to Africa, Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve and Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park are exceptional in July. The Great Migration happens here, where millions of wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles migrate over the African plains in search of greener pastures. These animals fall victim to lions, crocodiles, and wild dogs on the way.

Safari at Chobe National Park in Botswana
Lions at Chobe National Park in Botswana

July is a very popular time for safaris across Africa, so make sure to plan in advance. And I mean, literally months in advance, or even the previous year (yeah, it’s that popular!).

For a more tropical destination, Fiji is a good option. With crystal clear waters, stunning landscapes, towering volcanos, and rich natural diversity, this island nation ensures a dream holiday. Fiji’s annual Bula Festival is held in July, bringing an extra cultural layer of music, dancing, and entertainment.

South America also holds it own in July. Peru and Bolivia are experiencing cooler weather, but both countries are in the middle of their dry seasons, so just make sure to pack warm.

Countries to avoid in July

Sadly, India, Sri Lanka, and most of Southeast Asia is still experiencing monsoons.

The Middle East, Northern Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa are dangerously hot in July. Senegal is especially harsh, with extreme heat waves and heavy downpours.


Best Places to Visit in August

Countries to visit during August

Americans love traveling in August as their summer vacation draws to a close. The weather is starting to cool down in the north, while countries in the Southern Hemisphere are struggling through the last bit of winter.

Countries to visit in August

Europe continues to dominate the travel landscape, and The Mediterranean is now in its peak tourist season.

You can explore the coastal villages of Italy and Spain, or relax on the stunning beaches in Algarve, Portugal.

Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Cinque Terre, Italy

Croatia continues to draw in the crowds thanks to the many sailing trips on offer here and the incredibly hot summer-like weather.

Scotland is also really popular in August. This is in part due to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which lasts basically the entire month. This festival is the largest celebration of arts and culture in the world and includes more than 3,000 shows in theater, comedy, opera, and circus.

Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

There are a couple of really nice outdoor destinations for campers and hikers in the month of August. Peru remains a great hiking destination if you don’t mind the cold. Tibet is also incredible for tackling the hiking trails this time of year. Kenya is perfect for animal lovers, as the Great Migration is coming to an end.

Countries to avoid in August

The list of countries to avoid in August is quite lengthy, but mostly because of weather conditions in certain regions.

Southern Asia is still experiencing monsoons (except for Kerala or Tamil Nadu in India, and Bali, Indonesia).

The Middle East and parts of North Africa are heating up, with some areas having an average temperature of 109 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius). The US also heats up in August, although not nearly as warm as that.

Hurricane season is peaking in Central America and The Caribbean, which can seriously put a damper on your trip during August.

Cuba might be nice and warm, but the probability of cyclones is also high.


Best Places to Visit in September

Countries to visit during September

September brings about the second shoulder season of the year. Many popular destinations are seeing a drop in tourist numbers, yet the weather remains warm in the north and is starting to heat up in the south.

Countries to visit in September

Do you like beer?Then head over to Germany and Austria at the end of September, as Octoberfest is just kicking off (and stick around for the whole festival!).

Georgia, in Eastern Europe, is also really lovely this time of year. The capital city of Tbilisi is a must-visit if you’re into architecture. Here you’ll see a fascinating mix of Soviet-era, Persian, modern art-nouveau, and contemporary influences.

And I’ve got some good news: India is finally out of the long, wet monsoon season! Despite being shoulder season, India has pleasant weather, making September a good time to visit before the winter crowds arrive.

Road Trip through the Himalayas in India
Leh Palace in the Indian Himalayas

This is also a good time to road trip through the Himalayas, exploring the many little towns before they get cut off by the winter snow.

European countries, including Portugal and the Mediterranean, are still good bets too. The weather is still nice and warm, but the crowds have thinned and the prices have dropped.

Most countries in southern Africa are coming out of the worst of winter, making September a great time to visit. Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, and Mozambique are dry, with the winter sun baking down. The nights are a bit colder, but it’s totally worth it to pay a visit to these countries.

Most of the heat has abated in North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia.

Iran is a top choice this month too! Yes, Iran! It is an off-the-beaten-path country with a long history and rich culture, offering you a unique holiday away from the crowds.

Esfahan Naqsh-e Jahan Square Sunrise, Iran
Sunrise at Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan, Iran.

Have you been waiting until September to go hiking? Both Peru and Nepal have great hiking weather this time of year. This actually applies to most hiking destinations, including the Alps and the Andes.

Somewhat surprisingly, even China and Japan are good for hiking during September, as the fall weather is mild.

Countries to avoid in September

The monsoon season is continuing in Southeast Asia, while hurricane season is still ongoing in the Caribbean and Central America.


Best Places to Visit in October

Countries to visit during October

Thanks to October being smack in the middle of the shoulder season for most countries, the prices for hotels, flights, excursions, and restaurants are at their lowest.

Countries to visit in October

With Octoberfest in full swing, Germany should be at the top of your travel list this month. Over six million people attend the famous beer festival in Munich each year.

But it’s not just about beer, people also dress in traditional Bavarian outfits, eat traditional food, listen to fold music, and more.

Over in South America, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile are now starting to welcome dry, sunny, and warmer days, making them ideal destinations before the Southern Hemisphere summer crowds pull in.

Turkey and Cyprus have almost guaranteed sun while still offering a budget-friendly trip. Cities like Antalya in Turkey are rapidly becoming popular this time of the year as they offer a perfect mix of relaxing beaches and authentic Turkish culture. Despite its popularity, it is still more affordable than Ankara and Istanbul.

Love Valley, Cappadocia
Love Valley in Cappadocia, Turkey

October is also a great time to visit Oman and The United Arab Emirates. This region is hot year-round, but at least the temperature will be in the double digits this month (and not over 100 degrees!).

Egypt and the surrounding Middle Eastern countries are again worth considering now that the extreme heat has come and gone.

And while you’re considering Africa, why not opt for Ethiopia? This time of year the highlands are jaw-droppingly beautiful. The Simien Mountains National Park, which is home to unique species of baboons, ibexes, and other animals, is now especially verdant thanks to the rainy season that just ended last month.

Also, if dangling off the Victoria Falls Devil’s Pool in Zambia is on your bucket list, then this is the best time to do it.

The Devil’s Pool is open between mid-August and late December, but October and November are the height of the dry season in Zambia, which brings the water levels in the Zambezi River low enough to be able to safely swim at the edge of the waterfall.

Madagascar Baobabs
Baobabs in Madagascar

Madagascar, off the east coast of Africa, is also really stunning this time of year. You can see baby lemurs playing, spot colorful chameleons, and enjoy the warm, beach-friendly weather. From my experience, it can be a bit tough to plan your itinerary for a trip, which is why I recommend this tour of Madagascar’s highlights.

Lastly, Japan is definitely worth a visit in October. The weather is really mild and the rain has mostly dried up, leaving behind lush foilage and gorgeous landscapes.

Countries to avoid in October

Southeast Asia is now experiencing typhoon season, so it’s best to avoid certain parts of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Myanmar. South Pacific countries like Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and the north of Australia are also best avoided due to this month.

Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean are still in the middle of hurricane season, but the cyclonic activity is starting to die down, so if you do want to go here, the end of October is probably okay.


Best Places to Visit in November

Countries to visit during November

Shoulder season is coming to an end. While peak season is arriving in the south, it’s giving way to low season in most of the Northern Hemisphere. Interestingly, North Africa is experiencing peak tourist season in November.

Countries to visit in November

November brings in the dry season in Cuba, with comfortable fall temperatures. Americans wanting to visit Cuba should check the cities of Havana, Trinidad, and Viñales.

The Caribbean Islands are also nice this time of year as the hurricane season draws to an end.

Tank in Culebra, Puerto Rico
The famous Flamenco Beach in Culebra, Puerto Rico, with its stranded WWII tank.

The Czech Republic is lovely in November as the winter is just setting in. Due to Prague’s charming architecture and bohemian vibe, it is still a popular destination, even with the colder temperatures. Don’t miss walking the Old Town Square and visiting the Prague Castle.

If you’re more into island vibes and less into old town squares, then check out Chiang Mai, Thailand. November is the time of the festivals of Loi Krathong and Yi Peng.

These festivals are celebrated on the full moon of the twelfth lunar month and are marked by the release of thousands of paper lanterns into the sky.

Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand

And Thailand has so much to offer, including a rich culture, wildlife, stunning beaches, and beautiful architecture.

In India, you can make your way to the city of Agra, which is home to the legendary Taj Mahal – one of the new seven wonders of the world.

November is the start of the peak tourism season in Agra, but you still beat the crowds if you arrive at the Taj Majal at 6 am when the complex opens. I highly recommend doing one of these sunrise tours of the Taj Mahal to beat the crowds.

Morocco is also another top destination in November. The weather is good at this time of the year to visit its many palaces, mosques, gardens, bazaars, and even camp in the Sahara desert, just outside the desert town of Merzouga.

Camping in the Sahara
Camping in the Sahara, Morocco

If you love getting together with family and tucking into a hearty meal, you can’t miss Thanksgiving in the USA. New York City is a great city to visit if you’re looking forward to seeing the Macy’s Parade. But, be aware that it will be really crowded.

It might be better to watch the parade on TV in your ski lodge in Colorado instead.

Want to escape the chill? Head to Hawaii!  One of the world’s best surfing competitions, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, is held in November or December on Oahu’s North Shore each year.

Antarctica is also back on the map (although not literally on the map above) as summer has just started and it is once again accessible.

Countries to avoid in November

November is actually a pretty good month to travel, with no countries to completely avoid. Countries in the north are cold, but not yet peak winter, while southern countries are heating up as summer approaches.


Best Places to Visit in December

Countries to visit during December

December is all about polar opposites. The north is in the depths of winter, while countries in the south are thriving as the summer sun shines down.

Countries to visit in December

Now is one of the best times to head up north to Scandinavia and witness the Northern Lights lighting up the sky.

Ski season is in full swing again, so check out the Alps in Switzerland and Austria. If those slopes are a bit too crowded for your liking, then the Great Pyrenees in France is a good option, or check out Utah or Colorado in the USA.

Some people adore winter… if that’s you, head over to the Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. Here, you can do several winter sports like snow tubing, snowboarding, skiing, and dog-sledding. You can also marvel at its jagged Rocky Mountain peaks, abundant wildlife, and serene glacial lakes.

In Europe, winter also means Christmas markets, the most popular being:

  • Christkindelsmarik in France
  • Advent Feast in Hungary
  • Nuremberg Christkindlemarkt in Germany
  • Prague Christmas Markets in the Czech Republic

Not so big on winter? Not to worry!

For a warm, summer vacation, head to these Southeast Asia countries:

  • Thailand
  • Cambodia
  • Myanmar
  • Boracay, The Philippines
  • Laos
  • Vietnam

Australia and New Zealand are also nice this time of year as the days are long and hot.

Queenstown, New Zealand
The Remarkable Mountains in Queenstown, New Zealand

December is a great month to explore several islands, too.

The Caribbean is back as a top region to visit with its dry, warm weather. Madagascar is still a formidable destination for December, with the added bonus of fewer crowds.

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere and want to escape the cold, head over to Central America.

Belize, in particular, offers world-class scuba diving, sailing, fishing, hiking, stunning landscapes, and impressive sites full of Mayan history.

Further south, Argentina and Chile are also popular during their summer, especially Patagonia, which is now in its most beautiful season.

Torres del Paine W hike
Torres del Paine National Park in Chile

In Uruguay, you can head to Punta del Este – popularly known as the Monaco of the South – which is at its liveliest at this time of the year.

And with the end of December comes the incredible New Year’s Eve Festivals.

Spend the New Year at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, or celebrate Hogmanay in Edinburgh, Scotland. New York City, Dubai, and Sydney are also popular among the cities that bring the new year with a stunning display of fireworks.

For the parties, head to Miami, USA, where you can welcome the new year at one of its many crazy rooftop parties or at the beach.

Countries to avoid in December

Even though they are popular among budget travelers doing the typical Southeast Asia route, try to avoid Malaysia and Indonesia as they are in their monsoon season. Papua New Guinea is also in its monsoon season.


How To Plan Your Trip

I highly recommend heading to Skyscanner or Kiwi to search for the cheapest airfare possible by using their going to “everywhere” option as your destination. You can select specific dates or a whole month’s range to check for airfares and find a flight that suits your budget.

Select your preferred month of travel, and see which destinations pop up from cheapest to most expensive. Compare them with the destinations listed here on any given month. See which ones match the best and if they are of interest.

WayAway also offers an “Anywhere” option as your destination to find the cheapest flights, but even better, if you’re part of their WayAway Plus membership, you can get additional cashback on bookings of flights, hotels, rentals, tours, and more.

The cashback ranges from 3% to 10% of bookings, which could amount to a few hundred dollars in savings! And yes, these are not points or miles; these are actual dollars sent back to you via PayPal.

Plus, they offer premium support, allowing you to ask local experts about the best places to eat, the best areas to stay, the best time to visit X destination, if a visa is needed, and more. You can get a discounted WayAway Plus membership via this link.

I recommend booking your accommodation with Booking.com, which offers the cheapest hotel and hostel rates.

Other accommodation alternatives include VRBO for apartments and HostelWorld for hostels.

Great Ocean Road, The Twelve Apostles
The Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road in Australia

For day trips and tours, I highly recommend Viator. On the other hand, if you want a more hands-off trip and not having to plan much, I highly recommend checking G Adventures and Contiki. They have excellent multi-day tours in almost every country in the world.

Lastly, don’t forget to get your travel insurance too. Accidents do happen. I use and trust HeyMondo as their policy covers you in most of the world. Alternatively, I also often use the SquareMouth travel insurance aggregator for more options.

If you want to learn more about travel hacking to always find the cheapest airfare, I recommend reading this post.

Did this guide help you narrow down the perfect, exotic destination for your next trip? Which one will it be? Share it in the comments below!

FAQs

What considerations are important for choosing a destination?

Weather is one of the most important factors to consider. There is no point in booking your dream vacation, only to be stuck indoors because of rain or unbearable humidity. You also need to consider your budget and how busy the destination will be during your time of travel.

Finally, consider whether there will be any cultural events or festivals happening, as this will affect the prices of hotel stays and activities.

Which countries are affordable during peak season?

The most affordable destinations can be found in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and South America. Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia are especially affordable, even during the peak tourist season.

The Best Places to Visit Each Month of the Year, A Month by Month Guide
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15 Comments

  1. On the May To September, Paxos is the best destination to spend the time with your family and beloved one. you get the best experience to spend the time and get relax. If heaven was a place on earth, then that place would be Paxos Island. Away from the bustling masses of other, more touristic Greek islands, Paxos is a destination for those seeking harmony and tranquility together with an easygoing day-to-day and stunning seaside sceneries. This small island of the Ionian Sea is full of olive and pine trees, secluded beaches, breathtaking underwater caves and postcard-worthy sceneries.
    Live the experience of the colorful pebbled shores, dramatic white cliffs, verdant groves and crystalline azure waters; thousands of colours, and then, a thousand more as the sun begins to set, transforming everything with its last fiery rays.

    1. Nice point you introduce about the Paxos.
      Yes! It is best destination you can enjoy & relax with your family. Paxos is a small island which has a population of around 2500 with tourism being its primary income; though locals also rely on fishing and olive oil production which was introduced by the Venetians who ruled the islands from the 14th century. There is an interesting story about the creation of the Islands; Poseidon the Greek God delieverd a blow of his powerful Trident to the southern tip of the Corfu, which floated and formed the Paxos Islands. He created this island as a solitary peace and resting haven for him and his lady Amphitrite where he could keep their love nest a secret from his wife.

  2. Nice wrap-up of where to go depending on season. Anyway, sometimes you can be lucky to go to places at a time which is not the peak time – and still surprisingly get an awesome experience!
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Incredibly useful travel post! We were supposed to go to Greece in May but may have to rethink the islands after reading this post. Thank you!

  4. This list is really helpful in deciding where to go. Whenever I am planning to go on holiday, deciding a destination is a big chore

  5. Great article! Thanks for putting it together. Do you happen to have this data in an excel table you could email me? I love maps, but I’m also a spreadsheet fan and would love to play with the data in excel. Thanks!

  6. I see that you wrote to avoid North Africa in august but what about June in Moroccan desert. Would it be too hot with a child ? Not used to dry climate so hard to compare the temperature. Used to Quebec, Canada humid summers.

    Thanks !

    1. I’ve been to Morocco in June/July, and I can say that it gets pretty hot. If you’re going with a child, I would recommend starting your days early and maybe taking a “siesta break” around noon to 2 pm to avoid being out during the hottest part of the day.