By Evan Quinones

Lockdowns. Stay-at-home-orders. Fear. Safety. COVID-19 has gotten in the way of everyone’s travel plans, and going on vacation may seem like a thing of the past with temporary international travel closure.  However, this does not mean that you can’t imagine going to extraordinary places and even planning a vacation for when life goes back to normal. 

Whether vacation means relaxing on a beach or taking a hiking trip, we have you covered. 

Get ready to take some notes! 

Bali would be the perfect place to sit back, relax, and relieve some stress. Photo credit: Wikimedia

Bali, Indonesia – Bali is one of the most popular places to visit in the world. The island is known as the “Island of Gods.” You can go surfing at Kuta Beach, where you can sign up for lessons and rent a surfboard. It only costs $4 USD to rent a surfboard for the day, and it costs between $30-$35 USD for lessons. Kuta Beach is beyond beautiful, and if you’re looking for a beach to go to, this is by far the one.  

You can go muck diving in Padang Bai, where there’s a great chance you’ll see all the different types of sharks and turtles. Alternatively, maybe you want to take a cooking class at Bumbu Bali, one of the most famous restaurants on the island. It is high-priced, costing about $88.47 USD per person for the cooking class. If you want to get into your savings and learn how to become a great chef, here’s your chance to shine. 

Last but not least, the resorts/hotels are to die for. The Toyabali Beach Bungalows, for example, is the perfect place to relax and hang out. While staying at this luxury hotel, you can swim in a stunning infinity pool and see the Indian Ocean at the same time. Bali is truly a dazzling place to kick back and visit. If you are looking for a place to close your eyes and relax, Bali is your destination. 

 

 

A night in Sydney going to the Opera House would wrap up a great day of exploring. Photo credit: Wikimedia

Sydney, Australia – Sydney is about 150 miles away from Australia’s capital, Canberra. Sydney offers multiple opportunities for you to live life like the “Sydneysiders.” 

Start by visiting the Opera House. The Opera House is equivalent to catching a Broadway show in New York City, and you must go to at least one performing art show.   

Next, go museum-hopping. Start at the Australian Museum where you can learn about Australia’s scientific history from the past to the present. It costs $15 dollars to explore this marvelous museum. The “Curated for the Curious” exhibit has tons of amusement inside! There is so much history to explore and learn.  

Wanna party like an Aussie? Well, the nightlife in Sydney starts early, with pubs filling up fast for happy hour.  

Feel the need to dance the night away? Check out ivy precinctOpera Bar, and The Marble Bar. If you are old enough to drink (you must be 18 in Australia), the Opera Bar is famous for making multiple sweet cocktails in-house. One of the cocktails on the menu is the “Quandong Margarita,” which contains Patrón Silver, house-made Quandong liqueur, lime, and cayenne. It sounds like a win-win to end your night with style after a fantastic day of exploring Sydney.

The Eiffel Tower is located in downtown Paris, France. Photo credit: Wikimedia

Paris, France – If you are looking for a vacation filled with five-course mealscheese boardswine, and great exploration, look no farther than Paris.  

Tour the Eiffel Tower and its rich history. An Eiffel Tower ticket costs $30.71 USD. It is so worth going to the top of the tower at night and seeing all of Paris lit up from one of the most historical landmarks ever created. 

Another exciting site to visit is the Louvre Museum. The Louvre is the largest museum in the world and houses a diverse collection of art from the Angels Announcing Christ’s Birth to the Shepherds portrait, to the Christ Appears to the Three Marys. One of the most famous pieces of art in the Louvre, of course, is the Mona Lisa painted by Leonardo da Vinci. The best part about this museum is that, on Fridays, tickets are free for people ages 18-26! Thankfully, the Louvre is in the center of Paris, so it is fairly painless to get transportation tickets. The Metro, bus, and tram or walking are the easiest ways to get to the Louvre. It only costs 1.80 euros to get a ticket for the metro for a day. 

The Napoleon Courtyard of the Louvre Museum at night time, with American-Chinese architect Ieoh Ming Pei’s pyramid at the center. Photo credit: Wikimedia

Rome, Italy – Spring, fall, and winter are the preferred times to visit Rome due to its inferno-like temperatures in the summer.  

Rome is the Christianity capital of the world. For example, the Sistine Chapel is an essential place to visit inside Vatican City.  Architect Giovanni dei Dolci constructed the chapel for Pope Sixtus IV. It costs $16.60 to tour the Vatican. 

Another astounding place to visit while in Rome is the ColosseumEmperor Vespasian of the Flavian dynasty erected The Colosseum around A.D. 70-72  as a gift to the Roman people. The Romans used this magnificent theatre for epic gladiator clashes. Did you know that, sometimes, gladiators would fight until their opponent died? The Colosseum offers different tour options! How cool is that? So many sites in Rome are must-see because they have stood for more than 2000 years. Wow!   

And just because Rome is ancient doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have flavor. After spending an unreal day of touring historical sites, spend the evening having a gelato. Italy is the birthplace of gelato, so devouring one is necessary when visiting Rome. Gelato is the Italian version of ice creambut different. Gelato contains less cream and more milk compared to ice cream, so it is a tad bit healthier, and many think it’s more delicious. 

The number one place to get gelato is Come il Latte, in the heart of Rome. When the sun sets and the stars begin to flicker in the darkening sky, you will be glad you stopped for a stracciatellaflavored gelato. 

Vatican City. Photo Credit: Pikist

 

The Sistine Chapel is one of the most wondrous places ever on Earth. Photo credit: Wikimedia.

 

The Colosseum was built in 70 A.D. and held more than 80,000 spectators for events. Photo credit: Wikimedia

 

I hope the places I put together made it to your bucket list because as soon as COVID-19 dies down and international travel and flights resume, we’re all booking flights! 

Now, close your eyes and imagine how wonderful it would feel to be in one of these places.  

Soon enough, my friends. Soon enough.    


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