While we were crystal-balling our predictions for what travel will look like in 2022, we checked in with many of our favorite travel experts to find out where they want to go this year. And just like that, our own travel wish lists have grown much longer, as we suspect yours will, too. We all seem keen to revisit favorite spots with people we love and also to expand our horizons. Here's to making it happen!
I am ringing in 2022 surfing in Barbados, but I have much bigger plans this year. When Covid escalated, I had to cancel two trips that have been flagged in my brain as incomplete, and I cannot move on until I complete these journeys. The first one was to Portofino and the Cinque Terre in Northern Italy; the second was to Japan to attend an international sumo wrestling tournament. After over a year of being grounded, I got back on an airplane in September 2021 for a short trip to Washington and realized how easy it was, aside from the new and changing testing requirements for international entry. Now I am undeterred. I'm fully vaccinated, boosted, and ready to go!
- Bruce Poon Tip, Founder, G Adventures
Ever since I did ancestry.com a few years ago, I've been wanting to visit West Africa — Benin in particular. This year I plan to make that dream a reality and finally set foot on African soil. Will I feel a sense of familiarity when I get there? Will "my people" recognize me? I have to go to know!
– Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon, writer, editor, on-screen host @JetSetSarah
I'm most excited about Iceland, a place of extraordinary beauty with very few people. (And the people who are there drink a lot, so they're very happy!) I was recently there with a Viking lady who took me to her land to discuss a project. When she indicated where she wanted to build a hotel, I suggested she place it elsewhere. She then said — this very serious ex-McKinsey consultant, mind you — "oh no...that's where the elves play." Well, I thought. I have to be here more.
- Neil Jacobs, CEO, Six Senses
Traveling is intrinsic to my life, and I am starting the year off by traveling to Antarctica to Wolf's Fang Camp with White Desert. I imagine it to be one of the purest places I've traveled to. Sometime this year, I would like to re-ignite my trip to Gabon, where the forest meets ocean and river, where one can see elephants, spend time on the beach, and witness surfing hippos. Even gorilla trekking is just a stone's throw away. To me, Cuba feels like a long-lost love, and this year I will finally go and experience the music, culture, and lifestyle.
- Beks Ndlovu, Founder and CEO, African Bush Camps
I am a creature of comfort and, as much as I like to explore, I am craving a return to some of my favorite places in 2022 (if possible). I want to re-discover and lose myself once again in the hubbub of the coolest cities: Hong Kong, Tokyo, Istanbul, Rome, Montreal…
- Jane Mackie, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing-Luxury and Upscale Brands, InterContinental Hotels Group
In 2022, I am taking my six grandchildren to the English countryside. We are renting out a farm, and I am excited to share some of the flavors of my youth with them. So it's about nostalgic travel, and cherishing simple pleasures with the people I love.
- Craig Reid, CEO, Auberge Resorts Collection (aka "Papa" to his grandkids)
Northern New Mexico will be my primary go-to spot in this year of protracted Covid primarily because it feels like I'm traveling abroad while staying in the United States. The wide-open, soulful places — whether it's Nambe Falls, Chaco Canyon, Ghost Ranch, Taos, or the backstreets of Santa Fe — make the Land of Enchantment my first choice in a time when we could all use a little more enchantment.
- Chip Conley, Founder and CEO, Modern Elder Academy (Read our profile on the hospitality pioneer and travel visionary.)
This African is dreaming about returning to Alaska. Not quite around the corner, but the many flights between here and one of my most loved destinations on Earth, Ultima Thule Lodge, are far outweighed by the vast wilderness of the Wrangell St. Elias National Park. No need to social distance in 20,000 square miles of dramatic and breath-taking scenery – you pretty much have it all to yourself.
- Nicky Fitzgerald, Owner, Angama Mara, Kenya
I would love 2022 to be my catch up year, a year where all the plans we lost in 2020 can be revived. So that would include a trip to Rwanda with my husband to visit some of the small-scale farmers he supports through his fair-trade coffee business and a must-do detour for gorilla trekking. It would also include a family trip to Tuscany to visit with friends that we have now not seen in more than three years and hopefully the chance to attend the Imola F1 Grand Prix. This would not have been on our original itinerary, but is the result of my kids' addiction to Drive to Survive on Netflix which was binge-watched during lockdown. Lastly, I would love to end the year with time in Peru as a celebration of my daughter's last year of high school and a reunion trip with good friends who we travelled with through Chile and Argentine in 2016 for six weeks. I am hopeful for a year full of reconnection and new experiences. Travel in 2022 has to be the best reward for making it through 2021!
- Nicole Robinson, Chief Marketing Officer, andBeyond
After nearly two years of life interrupted, I’ve booked a family cruise along the Nile in celebration of my mother’s milestone birthday. Aside from exploring the ancient wonders of Egypt, I’ll once again be making indelible memories and sharing this experience through the lens of those I love the most. I can’t think of a more beautiful way to embark on 2022.
- Tina Edmundson, Global Brand and Marketing Officer, Marriott International
Eva (my wife and Soneva co-founder) and I can’t wait to get back to Florence, one of our favorite cities in the world, and to our two favorite hotels there — Lungarno and Villa San Michele. I love how the service team in classic Italian restaurants dress in elegant white jackets, and I still remember a lovely lunch that Eva and I had on the terrace of Villa San Michele looking down on Florence on a hazy sunny afternoon. We are also very keen to visit Budapest and St. Petersburg soon.
- Sonu Shivdasani, Co-founder and CEO of Soneva
We have booked a large villa on a Greek island for our immediate family of 16. I can’t wait to be together with the family with the sea and the casual lifestyle the Greek islands offer.
- Liz Biden, Owner and Founder, The Royal Portfolio (Read our Women Who Go the Distance profile of Liz.)
I am putting the country of Georgia at the top of my list — a country that is a living, breathing point of origin for two continents. I can't wait to explore the flea markets of Tbilisi, the fashion studios of emerging artists, the Persian-style bathhouses in the Abanotubani neighborhood (which are built over natural sulfuric springs), and the wine cellars of the few female winemakers in the country.
- Katalina Mayorga, CEO, El Camino Travel (We profiled the curator of cool shares about her travel insights in this Q+A.)
In 2022, if possible, I’d like to return to China to take a long hike along the ancient tea horse trail in Yunnan Province. When I say long, I mean a few weeks. Backpacking the basic stuff, but staying with local host families along the way. Because Yunnan is home to me, I long for human connection, I long for a cup of tea by the fire in the mountains along the Yangtze River. There is so much history seeped through everyday life here, and I hope to tap into that energy to heal the separation caused by the pandemic.
- Mei Zhang, Founder, WildChina, and author, Travels Through Dali with a Leg of Ham.
For me, 2022 will be about reconnecting with family and friends after being grounded in Australia for so long: First London to visit my parents, then to our favorite European family destination of Selva Val Gardena for hiking and biking in the spectacular Dolomites to reunite with my two sons. Then it's onto Verona to see Carmen in the Arena di Verona, during the world's oldest opera festival, before finishing with a visit to neighboring Slovenia to visit old friends and discover an emerging destination.
- Khin Omar Win, Co-founder, Gangtey Lodge Bhutan and Eastern Safaris (Read about how the master of logistics is building her own kingdom of community.)
Early 2022 I am planning to travel around Bolivia, my home country. I will go back to the Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flats, and one of the most captivating places I have been to. After that I will continue my journey to Bolivia’s lower valleys, home to the undiscovered wine region of Bolivia — Camargo, Valle de los Cinti — which is full of history and incredible landscapes.
- Fernando Rodriguez, co-founder of Panorama Hospitality Group
In the early days of January, I want to go to Bahia de Las Aguilas. It's one of the most beautiful virgin beaches of the Dominican Republic and the world, located in the southwest coast within a protected area that's home to many endemic and endangered species, such as the Antillian manatee. It's quite a trek to get there from the capital, Santo Domingo, and there is very little infrastructure. To reach the beach, you have to arrange a boat ride with the local fishermen, who will leave you in the pristine sand and waters for a few hours. Once back at the docking area, there is a shack where you can have fresh-caught lobster for lunch. My family is originally from the Dominican Republic, so I know this country well and have seen how it's been exploited by tourism. So far, Bahia de las Aguilas has been protected and left untouched; unfortunately, it has always been a point of contention between developers and conservationists. I hope it remains pristine with low volumes of tourism forever.
- Paloma Zapata, CEO, Sustainable Travel International (The climate steward and low-impact evangelist shares thoughts on traveling carefully in this Q+A.)
We have a hankering for two things as the world reopens: wide-open spaces and family. We’ve been dreaming of taking the The Ghan down from northern Australia and ending with a large — and very noisy — friends and family reunion overlooking the ocean in Esperance, Western Australia. We can almost taste the wine and smell the sea breeze and the smoke off the braai.
- Leanne and James Haigh, CEO and Head of Sales and Marketing, Lemala Authentic Camps and Lodges
December 2022 is a milestone birthday for me, and I would love to be at Disneyland with my entire family celebrating at The Happiest Place on Earth. That may be a feat with everyone's schedules, but there is nothing I love more than vacationing with my husband and three adult sons — Sheldon family at full strength.
- Marne Sheldon, Co-owner, Sheldon Chalet (Hear Marne on Fathom's A Way to Go podcast, episode 6: "Building a Wild, Remote, Isolated Alaskan Hotel in Extreme Nature.")
If I don’t make it to Scotland this year, the land of the Giffords…well, then all bets are off, and the world has truly gone mad. I’ve been eager to bunk up at Gleneagles, ever since a multi-million-dollar renovation under the Ennismore group took this icon from polished yet fusty to modern and, well, not so fusty. Long walks on the grounds, falconry, a bit of whisky…count me in for 2022.
- Jacqueline Gifford, Editor-in-chief, Travel + Leisure
Travel restrictions permitting, I hope very much to return to London in 2022, a city I haven't visited for more than two years now. I think of London as my second home and would love to meet up with some of the many friends I made when I lived in the UK, first at school and then at university. Top of my list of places to visit when I am there will be Petersham Nurseries, where I love to browse antique and vintage furniture, glassware, and lighting; Borough Market, the best food market in London; and at least one visit to the The Churchill Arms in Kensington.
- André Fu, architect and founder, André Fu Studio (Learn more about the designer behind some of our favorite hotels from our interview.)
I am intrigued by the very distinctive and unusual small old kingdoms around the Himalayas, especially Kashmir, Ladakh, Tibet, Gilgit and Baltistan, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan. One day I would like to do a long journey linking these places, exploring the lives and cultures of these people.
- Praveen Moman, Founder, Volcanoes Safaris (Read our profile on the ecotourism pioneer and gorilla evangelist.)
2022 will not only take back the dream of traveling – though for who loves it crazily like me, it actually never left — it will also teach us to travel by instinct more than ever. This year, I want to keep on traveling nearby, to keep on discovering and rediscovering the beauty of Italy, my very special country that never stops surprising me with its charm and history. Starting from Puglia, a region that unveils its magic in summer as well as Christmas. And I want to go return to faraway destinations that have been closed for us for the past two years: I cannot really stop my increasing my desire for Asia and Australia anymore. 2022 will be the year of traveling with the heart. Va dove ti porta il cuore, I would say it in Italian. Go wherever your hearts take you.
- Valentina De Santis, CEO, Grand Hotel Tremezzo
In 2022, I'm most excited about traveling to Todos Santos, Mexico, for my oldest son's wedding. Due to Covid, this wedding has been rescheduled a few times, but this time it's really going to happen, and we couldn't be happier. It will be a small, intimate gathering, and they are taking all the safety precautions they can, but I truly can't wait for this day to come — a moment when we can celebrate a joyful, milestone moment for our family.
- Bobbi Brown, makeup artist and founder, Jones Road Beauty, and co-founder and creative director, The George Hotel
I'm longing to drive the length of Chile's Carretera Austral. The route runs for 1,200 kilometers, from Puerto Montt to Villa O'Higgins in northern Patagonia. It winds through ten national parks and features some of Patagonia's most jaw-dropping landscapes. It's also home to one of Doug and Kris Tompkins’ most impressive conservation projects, Pumalín Park in Palena. Dreams of adventures in these pristine wildernesses are what has powered me through the past couple of years.
- Harry Hastings, Owner, Plan South America
Given current levels of stress and my desire for my Covid-conscious husband to accompany me, I have decided that the best thing for us to do this winter is to remain within the continental United States. We had been to Santa Fe long ago — too far in the past to have a real sense of the place, other than memories of turquoise jewelry and galleries with works I didn’t particularly like — but Bishop’s Lodge in Santa Fe, New Mexico, was calling out to me. This reimagined Southwestern classic in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains reopened under Auberge Resorts last July. In addition to spectacular views — in complete contrast to the cityscape of Manhattan and the gently rolling hills of Litchfield County, Connecticut, that we regularly enjoy — Bishop’s Lodge promises high comfort, relaxation, and some of our favorite cold-weather pursuits. As is so often the case with my destination choices, there is also art, culture, food (including Dean Fearing’s on-property restaurant, SkyFire), and shopping within easy reach, fulfilling my own personal and professional mantra for travel pleasure.
- Nancy Novogrod, Founder, Culturati Travel Design and former editor-in-chief, Travel + Leisure
My wish is to visit Skellig Michael again, an island twelve nautical miles off the coast of West Kerry. It is by far the most incredible travel experience in Ireland and never ceases to amaze me. After climbing the 618 steps hewn into the rock, you come upon the beehive-shaped huts where the monks lived all those centuries ago. How they lived and survived there defies belief, but they did, and when you see the "necessarium" (toilet), you can see how innovative they were!
- Adriaan Bartel, General Manager, The Cashel Palace
The Galapagos is on the top of my list in 2022, hopefully aboard the new Aqua Mare, the ultimate yachting experience with just seven suites, for a fully customizable opportunity to explore the unique archipelago without sacrificing the creature comforts usually absent in expedition ships. My kids are obsessed with Africa, so the Galapagos is a natural next option, where active adventures bring you up close to truly unique species.
- Jack Ezon, Managing Partner, Embark Beyond Read more about the luxury travel advisor in our Fathom profile.)
I’m still getting used to the fact that I live in Pescadero, a tiny beach town in Mexico, and for the first time we get to have friends and family come to us. As much as places like Bhutan and Japan continue to call me, 2022 feels like a great year to stay local. I’d love to explore Mexico much more intimately, hopefully sneaking in monthly trips to places I’ve still never been to: Valle de Guadalupe, Merida, Jalisco, even San Miguel de Allende, and, when the heat and humidity kicks in, I'd love to escape back to Europe for those summer months again.
- Harsha L'Acqua, founder and CEO, Saira Hospitality (Hear Harsha's story on Fathom's A Way to Go podcast, episode 13: "Turning Locals into Stars.")
We are all about being active, outdoors, new adventures, and stepping out of our comfort zone. Our motto is to never visit the same place twice, as there is too much to see and do. With that said, our choices for 2022 would be — may we have more than one? — to visit a traditional ranch in Montana to go horseback riding and enjoy the great outdoors, a dude ranch in Wyoming, and white-water rafting in Colorado.
- Collin and Corinne Steyn, Co-Founders, &Beyond Yacht Charters
I want to travel EVERYWHERE in 2022, to places near and far! Close to home, this summer, I am hoping to finally visit my friends Matt & Mike French’s newly renovated spot, the Captain Whidbey Inn. The Pacific Northwest is magical in the summer and I’m excited to see what they’ve created. A bit further away, we had tentative plans last year to head down to Jose Ignacio, Uruguay, for New Year's Eve but had to cancel. Nothing sounds better to end this year than a week or two at the beach with family/friends/food/wine/waves/good vibes.
- Brian De Lowe, president and co-founder, Proper Hospitality (Read our interview with the truly proper hotelier.)
In the year ahead, we look forward to traveling again ourselves, embracing the great outdoors and remote locations like the Galapagos or Antarctica. We're itching to be more active as a family, be it a bike trip to Italy or the Alps or maybe even skiing in Spitsbergen-Svalbard.
- Johannes Faessler, CEO, Sonnenalp Hotel
At the top of my 2022 travel list is a stay at Three Camel Lodge, which is located in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert. This may seem like a surprising choice when there are so many places to visit, but not for me! I have always been a fan of more exotic travel experiences – choosing destinations that remain mostly untouched and taking the road-less-travelled approach. I love places that leave an impression on your heart and soul, and I am certain that Mongolia will do this with its incredible natural beauty, traditional nomadic ways of life, and passionate people. Hopefully, I will be able to get there in March or October for one of the country’s famous festivals!
- Lindsey Ueberroth, CEO, Preferred Hotel Group
Farther afield, I want to go to Torres del Paine nature reserve in Patagonia. I need to be deeply away and properly ensconced in an untouched natural isolation, to hear the wind in the eagles' wings, and try and memorize the peaks of the mountain outlined in the distance. This is where you need no route and no plan, as what you see takes you away, and the lakes and glaciers speak their own language to you. Closer to home, I will spend a day on a river boat on the Thames. You can't travel at more than five knots, which leaves time to watch the water and gaze into people's riverside lives. A long snooze afterwards would be highly recommended, before mooring up further downstream, to follow the sun set on a magical day, just minutes from the hub of London.
- Rosalind Milani Gallieni, Founder, RMG PR & Events and Jet Candy Travel
Japan is firmly on my list, especially with the change in yachting regulations that will allow for much easier cruising around the so-called ring of fire and its archipelago of nearly 7,000 islands. 2021 was the year of the American road trips, and I’m itching to see where else the road can take me and tick off a few more national parks.
- Geordie Mackay-Lewis and Jimmy Carroll, Founders, Pelorus
We have a couple of South African staycations planned, with a backroad Karoo road trip – exploring our very own desert outback - and the beautiful Transkei for incredible hikes by the sea, fishing and sea swimming. Further afield in Africa, 2022 is the year I’ll finally visit Rubondo Island, a bucket list destination in Lake Victoria, home to a pristine ecosystem and a haven for chimpanzees.
- Maija de Rijk-Uys, Managing Director, Go2Africa