10 destinations to add to your 2021 travel wish list

A smiling lady holding onto her hat as she walks through Santorini

2.51min read

Published 23 November 2020


Are you thinking of a 2021 holiday abroad? This year left us with a lot of time to plan (and dream) while being confined indoors. Now, savvy early birds are using this ‘downtime’ to explore South Africa and also to bookmark ideas and destinations for their 2021 international travel wish list. But, deciding where to travel on your next adventure is not easy.
Last month, Forbes released their list of 20 Best Places To Travel In 2021. The Flight Centre team handpicked 10 from this list – perfect for when the world opens up once more.

1. Paris

If you spent the last few weeks binge-watching the Netflix series Emily in Paris, no doubt the City of Lights is firmly etched on your travel list.

Even during the lockdown, Flight Centre website stats showed that international travel was not out of mind for South Africans. Travellers were still browsing bestselling international destinations such as Paris, London and New York.


Couple walking down stairs with Eiffel Tower in the background


2. Maldives

As Forbes aptly put it, Maldives is pretty much a "naturally socially distant getaway,” as the country is already one of the world’s most geographically distanced sovereign states.

With the trend for this type of distanced travel on the rise, the dreamy overwater villas of the Maldives archipelago are expected to become more sought after than ever before.

The Maldives will soon be easily accessible from South Africa, with Air Seychelles offering flights from Johannesburg to the Maldives from 4 December 2020 to 9 January 2021.


A person walking along a bridge in the Maldives past an overwater Bungalow


3. Qatar

Qatar Airways, the award-winning national carrier of Qatar, boasts an extensive network, attractive and flexible fares as well as enhanced health and safety protocols. This makes Qatar incredibly easy and pleasant to get to from Mzansi.

Like many of its Middle Eastern neighbours, Qatar’s capital city Doha is very family-friendly. Learn about the region’s rich heritage and culture at the Museum of Islamic Art, shop and dine in Souq Waqif, or hit the dunes on a desert safari.


Doha in Qatar at night

4. Slovenia

Slovenia has become increasingly popular in recent years thanks to its more ‘off the beaten path’ location in Eastern Europe. For South Africans, it has the added appeal of being a rand-friendly European pick. The clear waters of Lake Bled, topped by a quaint church and medieval castle, is a must-do, as is Ljubljana, Slovenia's capital.


A castle in Slovenia overlooking stunning blue water


5. Ireland

If ever you needed to find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, 2021 would be the year.
The Flight Centre team recommends a visit to Ireland’s most northerly county, Donegal. Soak up the fresh air exploring the windswept beaches, heather-clad mountains and many ancient monuments.
Don’t miss other scenic highlights on the Wild Atlantic Way and Dublin's trendy foodie scene either.


A beautiful castle in Ireland with a garden


6. Italy

Italy was one of the most beloved European destinations pre-COVID-19 and once the country starts to recover and open up, no doubt it still will be. Forbes named Puglia, nestled at the tip of Italy's boot, as a top pick for 2021.

Also consider hopping over to colourful Sicily, the island just off the boot of Italy and the largest island in the Med.



7. Antarctica

For a truly bucket list, off the beaten track, just you-and-nature experience, Antarctica is cooler than ever.

With cruise bookings open for the 2021/2022 and beyond cruise season, early birds can snap up a great deal by booking now for later.



8. Turkey

Easily accessible from South Africa, Turkey holidays sell like hot cakes. Cruise the Bosphorus, the divide between Asia and Europe, for the best views. The Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace are also must-do highlights. Browse the Grand Bazaar, strip down and relax in a traditional Turkish bath, and feast on kebabs, baklava and strong Turkish coffee.



9. Greece

If you’re looking for the ultimate all-rounder destination, Greece is a fantastic pick from the Forbes list. It’s a bestseller for South Africans, year after year. This Mediterranean gem appeals to all with its delicious cuisine, stunning beaches and wonders of the ancient world.

RELATED CONTENT: Why it’s a good idea to start booking your December getaway now.



10. South Africa

While it’s not an international destination, of course, this one does have heaps of international flair. South Africa was named as one of the top 20 countries on the Forbes list! Recommended attractions were Cape Town, Johannesburg’s historic sites, the magnificent coastline and the stunning safari lodges of the ever-popular Kruger National Park.

If you’re not quite ready to venture off overseas, you can’t go wrong with exploring Mzansi. Have a look at our Homegrown Holidays collection, get in touch with a Travel Expert, and we will do the rest!


Flight Centre

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