Think about it: When was the last time you took a true vacation, outside of the obligatory family reunions or annual holidays at your in-laws’ house? It’s time to make the most of your vacation days—and there has never been a better time to hop across the pond.
According to the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization, global tourism just reached its highest point in seven years. In fact, the organizations’ preliminary data reveals that over one billion people traveled internationally last year, a 7 percent increase from 2016.
K. Roy Zerloch/Shutterstock
Plus, there is no shortage of ideal spots for a getaway. Both African and Mediterranean destinations recorded the biggest tourism boost in 2017, with international arrivals increasing by 8 percent in both areas. Meanwhile, countries in Asia and the Pacific showed 6 percent overall growth.
You can’t go wrong in Europe, either. France is predicted to remain the world’s most popular tourist destination, Travel+Leisure reports. National data shows that 82.6 million tourists crossed French borders in 2016 alone. (Just make sure to brush up on these French phrases everyone should know before you go.)
While the United States still holds the No. 2 rank, it actually saw a decrease in international visitors last year. Zurab Pololikashvili, the head of UNWTO, said the organization expects that Spain will take over the second place spot; the country welcomed almost 82 million visitors in 2017.
Granted, the rankings won’t be final until this spring. But when in doubt, you can always book tickets for these unforgettable (and inexpensive!) bucket list trips in the meantime.