It’s a new year and—fingers crossed—that means new opportunities to see the world. While we always recommend letting the deals dictate where you go, there are always a few places we’re pretty confident we’ll see deals to in the coming year. These may be places that are getting new routes or new airlines serving them, or spots it’s just reliably cheap to fly.
For this year, we’ve narrowed it down to places that are already open to visitors, or that we expect to open to visitors before the second half of the year.
The Vietnamese government has announced plans to reopen by the second half of 2022, which means travelers could be enjoying the beautiful beaches, lush mountains, and incredible food (bánh mì, bun rieu, bánh xèo, and lots of things that don’t start with b) before summer’s end.
Additionally, Vietnam Airlines launched the first nonstop flights between the US and Vietnam with service from San Francisco with Ho Chi Minh City. And, Bamboo Airlines is in the process of launching nonstop service from Hanoi (HAN) and Da Nang (DAD) to San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), and Seattle (SEA). This should cut transit time from the West Coast to Vietnam by up to 8 hours—and will likely result in lower fares.
Connecting flights to Vietnam arrive in Ho Chi Minh City (SGN), Hanoi (HAN), and Da Nang (DAD), among others. The average price of an economy deal found by SCF to SGN is $544 roundtrip.
Previous deals we’ve found to Vietnam:
- Denver to Ho Chi Minh City for $541
- NYC to Hanoi for $2,434 in business class
- Houston to Ho Chi Minh City for $1,190 in premium economy
2. The Pacific Northwest
Visiting New Zealand may still be difficult in 2022 but the PNW is the next best thing, with its own stunning coastline, mystical rainforests, snow-capped mountains, straight-from-the-boat seafood, and world-class wineries. Plus, you can plan a road trip without having to learn to navigate on the left side of the road. Wins all around.
Seattle (SEA) and Portland (PDX) are the biggest airports in the PNW, but there are several smaller ones with frequent deals including Bend, Medford, Spokane, Bellingham, and Eugene. The average price of an economy deal found by SCF to SEA is $105 roundtrip.
Previous deals we’ve found to the PNW:
Singapore reopened to vaccinated Americans without quarantine in October of 2021 and it has one of the highest rates of vaccination (96% among eligible people), making it an appealing place for a relatively low-risk trip. Plus, there’s a whole bunch of new attractions recently added to the destination’s roster. Among them are 12,000 feet of man-made wetlands at the ABC Waters at Jurong Lake and the swanky new villas at the Raffles Sentosa Resort & Spa hotel.
Nonstop flights are offered from NYC, SF, and LA to Singapore’s award-winning Changi airport (SIN). The average price of an economy deal found by SCF to SIN is $498 roundtrip.
Previous deals we’ve found to Singapore:
- San Francisco to Singapore for $664
- Houston to Singapore for $599
- NYC to Singapore for $1,216 nonstop in premium economy
Oman is known as both The Pearl of Arabia and The Switzerland of the Middle East, and if that isn’t enough to pique your interest, perhaps its combination of sprawling deserts, spectacular beaches, and green mountain ranges will do it.
Compared to its glitzier neighbors of Dubai and Doha, Muscat (Oman’s capital and largest city) feels downright modest, with not a skyscraper in sight. But what it lacks in over-the-top architecture it makes up for in rich history, a varied landscape, and notoriously friendly locals. As a bonus, Oman Air has been mulling the idea of direct flights to the USA in 2022, which could make the journey cheaper and shorter.
Fully vaccinated US citizens are allowed in Oman with proof of negative Covid test no older than 96 hours, and proof of insurance that covers Covid.
Most flights to Oman will go through Europe, Dubai, or Doha. The average price of an economy deal found by SCF to Muscat (MCT) is $699 roundtrip.
Previous deals we’ve found to Oman:
Since Icelandair acquired Air Iceland in 2021, travelers can now book single-ticket itineraries from the USA to Greenland (albeit with a stopover in Reykjavik) making it easier to visit Greenland independently.
Making the trip does require transferring from the international airport (KEF) to Reykjavik’s city airport, which is about 45 minutes away. For that reason, we still recommend booking two separate tickets to account for any delays (and so you can spend a day or two in Iceland). But, if you can snag a flight to Iceland for under $400 (which we see frequently) and combine it with a good deal from there to Greenland (around $500 roundtrip) you can get to the world’s largest island for under a thousand dollars—which is pretty good all things considered.
Currently, travel to Greenland isn’t recommended (though fully vaccinated US citizens are allowed with a negative test taken in a Nordic or EU country) but we’re hopeful that will change before too long. Vaccinated US citizens are allowed in Iceland with a negative test.
The average price of an economy deal found by SCF to Iceland is $440 roundtrip.
Previous deals we’ve found to Iceland:
- DC to Iceland for $248
- Chicago nonstop to Iceland for $375
- Orlando nonstop to Iceland for $984 in premium economy
United added new nonstop routes to Accra from Dulles in Spring 2021, and it has resulted in one-stop routing to Ghana from regional airports throughout the country for never-before-seen prices. Being able to get to West Africa from smaller US airports without stopping in Europe is a gamechanger.
Add to that the fact that Ghana put a ton of effort into strengthening infrastructure for a Year of Return event in 2020 (which largely fell flat due to the pandemic) and you’ve got a recipe for a great trip. United is upping the frequency of those new flights from IAD to Accra to daily (from 3x per week) starting in May, which should put more downward pressure on fares and make deals more frequent.
Ghana is open to Americans with a negative Covid test. An additional test is required upon arrival for a $150 fee.
Flights to Ghana land in Accra (ACC). The average price of an economy deal found by SCF to ACC is $662 roundtrip.
Previous deals we’ve found to Ghana:
7. Venice, Italy
Italy reopened to tourism in early 2021 (Americans can enter with a negative test and either proof of vaccination or recovery) and while Venice is always one of the most popular spots in the country, tourism levels have not fully recovered so those who visit in 2022 will likely have the same experience as those who went in 2021—seeing one of the most visited cities in the world without the crowds.
As an added bonus, the Venice Biennale, which takes place every two years, is scheduled to be held from April to November. The international contemporary art exhibition brings together artists from all over the world for shows throughout the city.
The average price of an economy deal found by SCF to Venice (VCE) is $473 roundtrip.
Previous deals we’ve found to Venice:
Earlier in the year American Airlines launched their first nonstop service from the US to Dominica, making it a lot easier to get to this small, underrated Caribbean island between Guadeloupe and Martinique.
Not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, Dominica is a rugged island that’s all about nature. It’s the only place in the world you can see sperm whales year round, the beaches are made of volcanic sand, there are nine active volcanoes and 18 named waterfalls—all on an island that’s half the size of Los Angeles.
Vaccinated travelers are welcome in Dominica with a negative Covid test. There’s a second test required on arrival with a fee of $100 XCD (about $37 USD).
The average price of an economy deal found by SCF to Dominica is $360 roundtrip.
Previous deals we’ve found to Dominica:
Tucked between Venezuela, Suriname, and the northern edges of Brazil, little Guyana doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it should. It’s home to one of the largest stretches of pristine rainforest in the world, with more than 85% of the country covered in rainforest. Wildlife includes anteaters, giant river otters, pumas, howler monkeys, and more.
Add in stunning waterfalls, nearly 900 species of birds, and a cultural mix that includes Indigenous, African, and East Asian influences, plus a strong focus on sustainable development, and you have the recipe for the next great South American destination.
US citizens can enter Guyana with proof of vaccination and a negative test not older than 72 hours.
Flights to Guyana fly into Georgetown (GEO), the capital, which is located on the northern coast. The average price of an economy deal found by SCF to GEO is $542 roundtrip.
Previous deals we’ve found to Guyana:
10. Alberta, Canada
Alberta is always a popular destination thanks to the incredible landscapes found in Banff and Jasper National Park. In the summer, it plays host to the Calgary Stampede, and any time of year you can gaze at the stars in the second largest Dark Sky Preserve in the world in Jasper. And the province has new attractions as well. There’s the 30,000 square-foot Indigenous Peoples Experience, an immersive exhibit exploring First Nations history and culture. At the Fairmont Banff Springs, you can dine in the 360° Dome, a glass igloo with incredible mountain views.
Fully vaccinated Americans can enter Canada with proof of a negative test. Travelers 12 and older must also be fully vaccinated to travel by plane or train within Canada.
Flights to Alberta arrive in Edmonton or Calgary. The average price of an economy deal found by SCF to Calgary (YYC) is $259 roundtrip.
Previous deals we’ve found to Alberta:
- Phoenix nonstop to Edmonton for $266 roundtrip
- Las Vegas nonstop to Calgary for $219 roundtrip
- Seattle nonstop to Calgary for $385 roundtrip in business class
Argentina reopened to vaccinated Americans with a negative Covid test in November and for anyone who loves tender beef, silky Malbec wine, and sultry tango, it was reason to rejoice.
Of course, those aren’t the only reasons to visit. From the cosmopolitan capital, Buenos Aires, to the sprawling Patagonian Steppe to the ski resorts of Bariloche to the wineries of Mendoza, every corner of the country has something special.
Most flights land in Buenos Aires (EZE), though you can also fly to spots like Mendoza, Salta, and Ushuaia. The average price of an economy deal found by SCF to EZE is $510 roundtrip.
Previous deals we’ve found to Argentina:
Japan’s figurative doors slammed shut to American visitors in early 2020, and they haven’t reopened yet. Things were looking promising in late 2021 before the Omicron variant was discovered, and the country has a very high vaccination rate (over 75%), so we’re hopeful the country will reopen to travelers by the end of 2022—and not just because several members of the SCF team still have tickets to Japan bought when they were around $200!
When the country does reopen, there’s plenty to explore, from the neon glitz of Tokyo to the traditions of Kyoto to the snowy slopes of Sapporo to the beaches of Okinawa. And don’t even get us started on the food: stunningly beautiful sushi, the most tender wagyu beef, steaming bowls of ramen. In short, when those doors reopen, we’ll be the first in line.
Flights to Japan tend to fly into Tokyo (NRT or HND) or Osaka (KIX) though there are several others. The average price of an economy deal found by SCF to NRT is $541 roundtrip.
Previous deals we’ve found to Japan:
- San Francisco to Tokyo for $202
- San Antonio to Osaka for $1,236 in premium economy
- Portland to Tokyo for $2,719 in business class
13. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Okay hear us out. Oklahoma does not generally top the list of “must-visit” states for most travelers, but it’s got a lot going for it, especially in Oklahoma City. From breweries and street art to funky galleries and Old West history (its home to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum) it’s got something for everyone.
And as of 2021, there’s a new reason to visit: The First Americans Museum, which honors Oklahoma’s 39 tribal nations and houses the National Native American Hall of Fame. The museum includes interactive exhibits, Indigenous art and artifacts, and two restaurants focused on Native foods.
The average price of an economy deal found by SCF to OKC is $182 roundtrip.
Previous deals we’ve found to Oklahoma City:
14. Tahiti, French Polynesia
We’ve been seeing some great deals to Tahiti over the last year, and we don’t expect that to stop anytime soon. While Tahiti was closed for a bit over the last two years, vaccinated Americans are now welcome in Tahiti with proof of a negative test and a second test upon arrival.
The 118 islands that make up French Polynesia feel a world away, but when you can fly there in about eight hours from the West Coast (and for about the cost of a trip to Europe), they suddenly feel a lot closer. And while ultra-luxe accommodation is the post-card image, there are plenty of smaller, family-run guesthouses that make the trip a lot more affordable.
Flights to Tahiti fly to Papeete, the capital. The average price of an economy deal found by SCF to PPT is $665 roundtrip.
Previous deals we’ve found toTahiti:
- San Francisco nonstop to Tahiti for $557
- Minneapolis to Tahiti for $818
- Los Angeles nonstop to Tahiti for $1,582 in premium economy
15. Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is the most vaccinated spot in the US with 74% of the population fully vaccinated. Plus, since it’s technically part of the US, there’s no passport required for US citizens and no Covid test required for returning to the mainland, making it a stress-free way to get some Caribbean sun and sand.
With miles of sandy beaches, rainforest, and a unique culture, there’s so much to explore, from salsa dancing in the capital and largest city, San Juan, to lazing in the sand on one of its dozens of cayes and islets.
The average price of an economy deal found by SCF to San Juan (SJU) is $240 roundtrip.
Previous deals we’ve found to Puerto Rico:
- Pittsburgh to Puerto Rico for $156
- Detroit to Puerto Rico for $102
- Chicago to Puerto Rico for $576 in business class
One of the Baltic nations in Eastern Europe, Lithuania has long been overlooked compared to Western Europe’s hotspots like Italy and France. But this budget-friendly country is rich in history, art, culture, and natural beauty—and it’s open to vaccinated Americans.
There are thousands of lakes, sprawling sand dunes, and acres upon acres of national parks (nearly 40% of the country is forested). The center of Vilnius, the capital, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in 2022, Kaunas, the country’s second-largest city, will be a European Capital of Culture, which means a full program of events and art installations throughout the year.
Most flights to Lithuania fly into Vilnius (VNO) with a connection elsewhere in Europe. The average price of an economy deal found by SCF to VNO is $492 roundtrip.
Previous deals we’ve found to Lithuania:
17. London, UK
London is always a good idea (the history! The pubs! The fish and chips!) but even more so in 2022 as Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee marking 70 years of her reign. There’ll be a birthday parade, horse races, and other special events commemorating the occasion. London is also reliably one of the cheaper places to fly into Europe and there are dozens of daily direct flights all over Europe from the city, so you can combine a few days in the Big Smoke with a trip elsewhere on the continent.
Vaccinated US citizens are allowed to enter the UK with a negative Covid test. Currently (as of November 30), before arrival they’ll need to purchase PCR tests to take after arriving in the UK and then self-isolate until the results come in.
Most flights to London arrive at Heathrow (LHR) or Gatwick (LGW) though there are other smaller airports that also service the city. The average price of an economy deal found by SCF to LHR is $453 roundtrip.
Previous deals we’ve found to London:
18. Charleston, South Carolina
Charming Charleston is always a popular destination, known for its Southern hospitality, some of the best restaurants in the country, and thriving arts scene.
In 2022, there’ll be one more reason to make the trip. The International African American Museum opens in the fall, located on the same site where nearly 40% of all enslaved people in the US first arrived. The interactive museum will celebrate the achievements of African Americans in the US throughout history and include a Center for Family History where visitors can conduct genealogical research.
The average price of an economy deal found by SCF to Charleston (CHS) is $185 roundtrip.
Previous deals we’ve found to Charleston:
Panama has a lot more going for it than just its famous canal (though really, it’s an engineering marvel). There are beaches on both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, hundreds of islands, miles upon miles of rainforest, and some of the best coffee producers in the world. And that’s before you even get to the buzzy capital, Panama City.
Plus, it’s easy to travel to and within. The currency is the US dollar, English is widely spoken, and with Copa Airlines’ Panama Stopover program, you can add a one- to seven-day stopover on your way to 36 destinations in South America at no extra cost. US travelers can enter Panama with either proof of vaccination or a negative test.
The average price of an economy deal found by SCF to Panama City (PTY) is $271 roundtrip.
Previous deals we’ve found to Panama:
- Tampa to Panama for $195
- Los Angeles nonstop to Panama for $190
- Miami nonstop to Panama for $522 in business class
The small Caribbean island of Barbados recently made headlines when it officially became a republic, dropping England’s Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and inaugurating President Sandra Mason.
At the celebration, Rhianna was also declared a National Hero, and if the country is beloved by RiRi, it’s good enough for us. Seventy miles of beaches, wildlife like turtles and monkeys, the world’s oldest rum distillery, and delicious cuisine that mixes African, Caribbean, West Indian and European influences add to the appeal.
Vaccinated travelers with a negative Covid test are welcome in Barbados without quarantine.
Barbados is in the Eastern Caribbean southeast of St. Lucia. Flights to Barbados arrive in Bridgetown (BGI). The average price of an economy deal found by SCF to Barbados is $315 roundtrip.
Previous deals we’ve found to Barbados:
- NYC nonstop to Barbados for $286
- Philadelphia to Barbados for $271
- Newark nonstop to Barbados for $768 in business class
Cradled between Guatemala and the Caribbean Sea, Belize is one of the gems of Central America. It has stunning beaches, hundreds of small islands, wildlife like jaguars and monkeys, two annual Carnival celebrations—and only a fraction of the visitors of nearby Cancún or Costa Rica. Plus, for divers and snorkelers, there’s the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, which gives Australia’s Great Barrier Reef some serious competition.
Belize is open to US citizens with a negative Covid test.
Flights to Belize fly into Belize City (BZE). The average price of an economy deal found by SCF to Belize is $346 roundtrip.
Previous deals we’ve found to Belize:
22. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon has been a rising star in Western Europe over the last few years, with fantastic seafood, an endlessly instagrammable cityscape, and proximity to beautiful beaches and surreal castles. Of course, that has resulted in a lot of crowds during the peak summer season most years.
While Portugal was among the first wave of countries to reopen in 2021 (US visitors are allowed with a negative test), tourism numbers are still far from what they were in 2018 and 2019, which means those who visit in 2022 will have a chance to see the lovely seaside city the way it was a decade ago.
Plus, it’s cheaper than ever to get there, thanks to frequent deals on TAP Air Portugal (even in business class) and if you’re flying TAP to somewhere else in Europe you can add a stopover in Lisbon at no extra cost.
The average price of an economy deal found by SCF to Lisbon (LIS) is $479 roundtrip.
Previous deals we’ve found to Lisbon:
- NYC to Lisbon for $248
- San Francisco to Lisbon for $374
- Nashville to Lisbon for $2,003 in business class