What’s this? A bucket list of favorite iconic destinations around the world, cities and attractions we think you’ll enjoy. See them in the video below.
LISTEN: Travel expert Rick Seaney’s favorite spots.
Find Cheap Flights to Must-See Destinations
First of all, in some parts of the world (definitely the U.S.), prices drop from September to March, because these are less popular times to travel. These three tips will cut costs, too.
Compare prices: No single airline always has the best fares so you must compare ticket prices to get the cheapest flights. If you live near multiple airports, compare prices to all of them. Also see if some days are cheaper than others (weekdays are often less expensive than weekends).
Set airfare alerts: Sign up for alerts, add your favorite destinations and be notified of price drops. Tip: When you see a good fare, act fast – you’re not the only one who sets alerts!
Watch the fees: Discount carriers often charge for all bags and any kind of food or drink; add these charges up as you compare fares.
Top Destinations with Iconic Attractions
The “Fly to” city link shows current cheapest fares. The other link provides more information on attractions.
Australia and New Zealand
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is best seen from the inside so get your snorkel and scuba gear out, or enjoy the otherworldly view from a boat or helicopter. More information.
- Fly to Cairns
New Zealand’s Queenstown has been called Adventure Town thanks to great skiing (June to October) and water sports. Best of all is the town’s jewel-like setting and friendly people. More information.
- Fly to Queenstown
Istanbul’s early 17th century Sultanahmet Camii is better known around the world as the Blue Mosque because of its beautiful azure tiles. Tourists are welcome. More information.
- Fly to Istanbul
An easy drive from Cairo, the Great Pyramid of Giza is said to be the only remaining Wonder of the Ancient World still standing today. You will also see another wonder, the Great Sphinx. More information.
- Fly to Cairo
The dramatic city of Petra is an incredible archeological site, half-built, half-carved into rock and inhabited since prehistoric times. Find it on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. More information.
- Fly to Amman
Easter Island or Rapa Nui is home to those celebrated stone heads (moai) which Lonely Planet describes as sprouting up from the earth. And although the island is Chilean, it’s about 2,300 miles (3700 km) from the mainland but there are frequent flights from Santiago and some from Lima. More information.
- Fly to Easter Island/Rapa Nui
See the Lost City of the Incas, better known as Machu Picchu. The sturdiest among us can try hiking the incomparable Inca Trail but there are trains that will get you there, too. More information.
- Fly to Cusco
The 2,000+ year old Great Wall of China is just an hour or so outside Beijing and beyond worth it. Don’t forget your comfortable shoes. More information.
- Fly to Beijing
See the famous sculptured façade of the Temple of Angkor Wat at the Angkor Archaeological Park which includes the remains of numerous gorgeous buildings, some dating back to the 9th century. More information.
- Fly to Siem Reap
Europe’s Big Three
Hard to see how one city can hold so many treasures but Edinburgh manages it nicely, thank you. It is the home of Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh Castle (with its Scottish Crown Jewels), Holyroodhouse (the Queen’s residence in Scotland) and a magnificent waterfront. More information.
- Fly to Edinburgh
Chances are when you think of Moscow, you visual the beautiful onion-domed Cathedral of St. Basil’s but that’s just one of the historic buildings in the city’s Red Square. More information.
- Fly to Moscow
You can climb Mt. Kilimanjaro or just gaze at this beautiful peak, the highest mountain on the African continent (19,336 ft.). Non-climbers can enjoy Kilimanjaro National Park via hiking trails, trout fishing and wildlife tours. Tip: Clearest and warmest conditions are from December to February. More information.
- Fly to Kilimanjaro
Cape Town’s Table Mountain is a stunning landmark looming over this vibrant city, but half the fun is getting their via cable car – and oh, what views. While in Table Mountain National Park, keep an eye out for baboons and penguins. More information.
- Fly to Cape Town
So much to see in all 50 states, but the last to join the nation provide an especially beautiful contrast.
Alaska’s imposing Denali is North America’s tallest mountain (20,310 ft.) situated in the midst of a national park and preserve, home to grizzly bears, wolves, moose and much more. You will be awed. More information.
Hawaii is a series of islands with beautiful beaches. Yes, that just about covers it. Okay, it doesn’t; look here for more information.
- Fly to Honolulu
VIDEO: A quick look at a few of these cool destinations.