Getting a new full-time gig is thrilling, and the very best way to start a new position is by taking enough time to reset. Our recommendation? Take a vacation.
Planning a trip in between jobs can get a bit tricky — you don’t want to take too much time off, and you don’t want to start off your first day at the new gig still recovering from your adventure. And with so many destinations to choose from, it can be overwhelming to find something that’s going to refresh, reset, and revitalize you, making sure you’re ready to take on your new tasks with enthusiasm. But don’t worry; we’re here to help.
We pulled together 20 one-week trips for every kind of traveler, whether you’re looking to spend some quality time with nature, buy a show-stopping work wardrobe, or eat your weight in local delicacies. We rounded up these international trips based on the sort of restorative, engaging activities the areas have on offer.
Extending through Chile and Argentina, the gorgeous area of Southern Patagonia promises a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. We recommend making the trek to Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park. Torres del Paine is well worth the travel time. The area is incredibly diverse — you’ll find glaciers, lakes, and desert all within a few hours.
The most direct way to get to Torres del Paine is by catching a connecting flight to El Calafate from Buenos Aires. You can fly into Santiago, but you’ve got quite a drive ahead of you before you’ll reach Torres del Paine National Park (read: about 34 hours). Consider heading there in summer — peak season is between October and April, meaning airfare is going to be at its most expensive.
Whether you’re skiing the many excellent slopes or taking a scenic train ride through the area, the Canadian Rockies are perfect for a quick getaway any time of year. The snow season lasts from November well into May, and you’ll want to take full advantage by hitting some of the best ski slopes in North America. Banff and Jasper national parks are some of the prettiest areas in the Rockies, and more than just ski towns.
Of course, in winter the snow bunnies flood into Banff, but if you’re looking for a quieter Canadian jaunt, the shoulder season (May through June and September through October) offers just as much beauty and things to do with lower airfare and hotel rates. Summer and spring offer wonderful hiking and sightseeing opportunities. Or, take in the stunning peaks and glacial lakes from the window of a luxury train car with one of the multiple operators in the area, like Vacations By Rail or the Rocky Mountaineer.
If the beach is your ideal spot to unwind, consider Malta for your in-between jobs getaway. A trip to Malta will certainly set you back a bit, but the airfare is really the biggest cost and the earlier you plan ahead the better deal you’ll get.
The food here is exceptional. Don’t leave without trying the Lampuki (or, white fish) Pie, the Ratatouille-like Kapunata, or Bigilla (a traditional spicy dip), all local specialties. When you get tired of the beach (if that even happens at all), there’s plenty to explore inland: the Megalithic Temples of Malta, the Blue Grotto, or Ħaġar Qim (ancient ruins dating back to 3600 BCE). History buffs, this is the place for you.
Most destinations on the Dalmatian Coast are mostly classified as summer vacation spots, but Split has a lot to offer year-round. Things not to miss: Diocletian’s Palace, the historic port of Hvar, and the Croatian National Theater. Adventure travelers, there’s plenty of sailing to be had while in Split.
The best times to visit are during the shoulder months: March and November. Winter weather can be hard to predict, but you can look forward to a mild vacation no matter when you visit.
A week in Paris will fly by — there’s enough culture, shopping, food, and monuments to be seen to send anyone’s head spinning. Put these on your itinerary: There are all of the usual suspects (the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, and Disneyland Paris), but don’t miss the Latin Quarter, the Catacombs, and the Champ de Mars. And the shopping — best to play it safe and bring an extra bag.
Airfare dips to a low during the fall and winter months, aside from Christmas when the city is truly a sight to be seen.
One week immersed in the island lifestyle will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on a new job. Madeira — an archipelago of four islands off the northwest coast of Africa — is for anyone looking to completely relax seaside. Paraglide at Madeira, drink wine at Funchal, and go hiking in Machico. Oh, and spend entire days lounging at the islands’ many beaches.
For the best airfare deals, look to visit during the off-season (between September and early December, and late January through April).
Ljubljana — Slovenia’s capital city — is the perfect place for nature lovers who also want to do a bit of shopping, sightseeing, and castle-spotting. The Triple Bridge and Tivoli Park are two incredibly scenic destinations you’ve likely seen on Instagram.
While both are worth a visit, make sure and take in the views at the Ljubljana Castle, take a hike up Mount Saint Mary, and pay a visit to the Railroad Museum. Also consider taking a day trip to Lake Bled, a 45-minute drive from Ljubljana, where you can find more castles and watersports or travel 40 minutes southwest to Postojna Cave for some exploring.
November and January are the best times to visit if you’re on a budget. Go during prime time (August) and you’ll pay almost three times as much.
Iceland’s Ring Road makes it easy to navigate a week-long journey through this ethereal destination. The entire highway loops around the coast of the country, meaning you can check out the black sand beaches, mountains, and national parks in the span of a couple of days.
You’ll find waterfalls around every corner in Iceland, and the homes are photo-worthy too, tucked as they are under towering mountains or in the middle of vast fields of volcanic rock. Don’t miss snorkeling between two tectonic plates at Thingvellir National Park, seeing the northern lights at Ion Hotel, riding an Icelandic horse outside of Reykjavík, and trying some of the local delicacies (puffin and fish stew).
Summer (May through August) is tourist high-time, but if you go during the off-season (October through March) and you can catch some killer deals.
The history in Granada is palpable — every building, landmark, and street has a story. Plan on taking a couple of day trips if you’re looking to spend a full week in this southern city: We suggest Seville, Málaga, or Madrid, if you’re looking for a couple of days away.
The Alhambra is No. 1 on most travelers’ lists when heading to Granada — and for good reason. The Moorish complex is an Instagram story waiting to happen. Also make sure to eat plenty of tapas, visit the gardens of Generalife, hike the Sierra Nevada, and catch a soccer game at Nuevo Estadio de Los Cármenes.
You can get a pretty good deal during the off-season (July through December), but once peak season hits (January through April) airfare skyrockets. Though, be warned: October through December can get quite rainy.
Bali (officially one of Asia’s best islands) is all about the beaches, so if lounging on the sand for a few days is just what you need, look to this Indonesian island. There are a lot of meditation and yoga retreats that take place on Bali. Aside from the beaches, make sure to explore the local markets in resort towns like Seminyak, Sanur, and Nusa Dua, and go bird watching at West Bali National Park.
The rainy season (October to March) is great for deals, but you’ll most likely have to deal with intense rainfall.
While you could easily spend an entire week getting to know Germany’s capital (and it’s amazing nightlife), there are plenty of day trip opportunities, too: the beach region of Wannsee, Spreewald (a town featuring a series of canals), and historic Dresden, to name a few.
Berlin is perhaps best known for its arts scene, which was heavily influenced by the creation (and demolition) of the Berlin Wall. There are galleries all around the city. You also can’t miss the Brandenburg Gate, Grunewald Forest, and the Wall’s famous Checkpoint Charlie. If you’re down for a night spent dancing, hit up Tresor or Berghain.
Winter can be rough with its freezing temperatures, but if you’re willing to bring an extra suitcase for winter layers, you can catch a real deal. You can find the best weather May through September, but airfare skyrockets.
There’s more than enough in Amsterdam to fill seven days, including some 7,000 beautiful buildings constructed before the 19th century. The best things to do in Amsterdam include Hortus Botanicus (one of the world’s oldest botanical gardens), Our Lord in the Attic Museum (a canal house with a secret chapel inside), the 45-hectare Vondelpark, and the Anne Frank House.
Summertime (June through August) is tourist season, meaning airfare is at its highest. You’ll find mild weather and better deals if you visit between September and November.
Kos is all about the beaches, so if you’re looking to completely disconnect with a drink in hand and your toes in the sand, this is your place. Aside from having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Kos is home to spectacular hiking. Check out Paleo Pili if you’re looking for a relatively easy climb with great scenery waiting for you at the end.
There are times of the year (June, July, and August) that airfare can spike, so look to visit in early spring (April, May) or fall (September, October).
In Kraków, you can experience relatively untouched medieval architecture firsthand. The well-preserved “Old Town” is circled by more modern destinations, making it the perfect stop for a traveler who wants the best of both worlds. The cathedrals and castles in Kraków are best seen in person — the architecture and history can’t be topped. Taking a bicycle tour through Tyniec, a historic village on the Vistula River known for its famous Benedictine abbey, is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
Fall and spring are the best times to visit — the weather is delightful and the crowds of tourists are nowhere to be found. The summer is festival season in Kraków, but airfare will set you back quite a bit.
Aside from the amazing food that’s around every corner in Hanoi, there are plenty of temples, waterways, and museums to explore. In between eating the amazing street food, take a nighttime cruise along Hạ Long Bay, rent a motorcycle, and check out the local markets.
Hanoi has four solid seasons, so make sure and consider the temperature and weather when planning a trip. As expected, winter brings deals on airfare and summer is the most expensive time to travel to Hanoi.
Santorini is one of the best islands in the world. But don’t just listen to us — see it for yourself. Make sure to fit in a couple of volcano hikes, the famous blue-roofed buildings in Oia, and the island’s “secret” hot springs. Santorini is busiest during the summer, so shoot for early fall to get the best deals.
Milan is a great place to shop, sure, but it’s also an amazing destination for architecture and design nerds. You can spend an entire week exploring the frescoes, piazzas, and archways. Don’t miss the Milan Cathedral, shopping at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (which is one of the world’s oldest shopping centers), and the Santa Maria delle Grazie, which is home to da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.”
April, May, September, and October are the best months to visit Milan on a budget.
Located about four hours northwest of Bucharest, this is another destination where you’ll want to plan some day trips. The affordable hotels make it the perfect home base for unwinding after long days exploring. Sibiu is a preserved medieval town, meaning the history is going to be the highlight of your visit. Don’t miss the Bridge of Lies — built in 1859 and once thought to collapse as soon as anyone on it tells a lie — the ASTRA National Museum Complex, and the “Large Square,” which gets particularly gorgeous when it’s lit up at night.
Airfare dips in the fall, which is great as summers can get quite hot.
The long flight is well-worth the ability to explore Tokyo, though one week is almost not enough time to fully experience it. Visit Tokyo’s oldest temple, Sensō-ji, or experience the best people-watching in the world in the mad crush at Shibuya Crossing. And, of course, the shopping and food is unreal. Make sure to visit the Toyosu and Tsukiji fish markets.
We suggest visiting Tokyo between September and November in order to catch the stunning fall colors. (You can also catch lower airfare around this time.)
Turin — the capital city of Piedmont in northern Italy — is most known for its cuisine and baroque buildings. You’ve got to see the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy, which is one of the area’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Catch a soccer game at the Allianz Stadium, spend an afternoon in the Piazza Castello, and hit up the Museo Egizio, which features ancient Egyptian relics.
Tourist season is in full swing during July and August, so consider March, April, and May, when airfare begins to dip.