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The 50 Best Places to Travel in 2023

Where to go in 2023, according to T+L editors — for a breath of fresh air, a big-city adventure, or a glimpse at the future of travel.

Since 1971, Travel + Leisure editors have followed one mission: to inform, inspire, and guide travelers to have deeper, more meaningful experiences. T+L's editors have traveled to countries all over the world, having flown, sailed, road tripped, and taken the train countless miles. They've visited small towns and big cities, hidden gems and popular destinations, beaches and mountains, and everything in between. With a breadth of knowledge about destinations around the globe, air travel, cruises, hotels, food and drinks, outdoor adventure, and more, they are able to take their real-world experience and provide readers with tried-and-tested trip ideas, in-depth intel, and inspiration at every point of a journey.

With much of the world reopened, 2023 is shaping up to be the year travel officially bounces back. We made our list of the 50 best destinations for 2023 a little differently this year: We asked Travel + Leisure's editors where they want to go in the months ahead. Some are raring to get back to Japan, while others have the Trans-Bhutan Trail on their lists. Still more are planning a sail around Greenland, a wine-tasting trip on California’s central coast, and a visit to France’s next big wine region (which is, as it happens, tiny).

A few up-and-coming culinary destinations made our list, as did a remarkable piece of art, the size and scale of which boggles the imagination. While many of the team’s picks are remote, breathe-in-that-fresh-air kinds of places, our list doesn’t skimp on cities where the hustle and bustle is part of the fun.

But with so many choices now back on the map, there are as many styles of trips as there are places to explore. That’s why, for the first time in recent memory, we’ve broken our list of best places to go into categories.

The hope is that, whatever it is you’re after in the year ahead, you’ll find it in one of these 50 places. And who knows? We may just see you there.

— Edited by Paul Brady and Maya Kachroo-Levine

Destination by Category

For cultural riches, alexandria, virginia.

K. Summerer for Visit Alexandria

With postcard-perfect cobblestone streets and quick access to the wineries of northern Virginia , Alexandria is an easy city to love. But these days, the reason to go is to see how effectively the city is confronting its own history, as destinations across the American South grapple with the legacy of the Confederacy . Alexandria, which was founded as a tobacco port in 1749, was for decades of the 19th century the site of the country’s largest domestic slave trade . Today, the Freedom House Museum has three new exhibitions honoring the people who were forcibly brought here. Meanwhile, the African American Heritage Trail, which opened in 2020, follows the Potomac River and encompasses nearly 200 years of history at 11 stops, such as the Torpedo Factory , where many Black men and women worked during World War II. An extension of the route will debut in February 2023 with 20 new stops, including Waterfront Park, the port from which enslaved people were trafficked to places like New Orleans. At Jones Point Park, visitors can learn about Benjamin Banneker , an inventor, mathematician, and free African American from Maryland who was instrumental in the 1791 surveying team that determined the border of the new U.S. capital of Washington, D.C. (For an even deeper look at the city’s Black experience, book with Manumission Tours , which is run by a fourth-generation Alexandrian .) The city’s most elegant stay is Morrison House Old Town Alexandria, Autograph Collection , which was recently voted one of the best city hotels in the continental U.S. in T+L’s 2022 World’s Best Awards. A new Hotel AKA is slated to open in Old Town in winter 2023. — Liz Cantrell

Cairo and the Nile

Emli Bendixen

It’s almost here: After more than a decade of construction — to say nothing of the hype — the Grand Egyptian Museum may finally open, just a stone’s throw from the Great Pyramids of Giza, this spring. What to expect? More than 1 million square feet of exhibition space, treasures including a 40-foot-high statue of Ramses II, outdoor gardens, and an expansive plaza from which visitors can take in the desert surroundings. Meanwhile, a number of new and luxurious ships have started sailing the Nile: Among the best choices are the Viking Osiris , an all-veranda vessel carrying 82 passengers, and the opulent Sphinx from Uniworld Boutique River Cruises , which has 42 cabins swathed in marble and hand-carved wood, with beds dressed in fine Egyptian cotton sheets. The hotel scene is also, thankfully, getting a refresh with a new Mandarin Oriental slated for downtown Cairo in 2024; the forthcoming 200-room Four Seasons Hotel Luxor is scheduled to debut in 2025 — not that you should wait that long to see the ancient Valley of the Kings. — John Wogan

“City,” Nevada

City, 1970 – 2022 © Michael Heizer. Courtesy Triple Aught Foundation. Photo: Eric Piasecki

Even in a state known for its vast, empty landscapes, Basin and Range National Monument , about a two-hour drive north of Las Vegas, takes “remote” to a new level. The 704,000-acre preserve, created in 2015, provides endless opportunities for hiking, climbing, camping, and cycling; its desert valleys and mountain ranges are also dotted with Indigenous rock art sites. But the reason to go now is “City,” the single largest contemporary artwork in the world, which opened to visitors in September 2022. Made from dirt, rock, and concrete, the monumental open-air sculpture was more than 50 years in the making, a collection of mounds, depressions, and stelae conceived by the artist Michael Heizer . The endeavor — which was made possible by joint contributions from art institutions around the country, including LACMA and MoMA — will open to the public for the 2023 season by reservation only . The mile-and-a-half-long sculpture feels at once ancient and futuristic, a destination just as awe-inspiring as the natural one surrounding it. — John Wogan

Havana, Cuba

Brad Ogbonna

The can-you, can’t-you continues, but the Biden administration has made it a touch easier to visit Cuba as a result of its May 2022 relaxation of some restrictions on travel to the island. These days, Americans can go as part of a group tour or visit individually on a "support for the Cuban people" license, travel advisor Molly Layman told T+L. “It’s one of 12 authorized categories of travel to the island,” she said, adding that “it requires citizens to have a full-time schedule of activities that support the Cuban people, which is easily fulfilled through buying services from Cuban entrepreneurs, staying in local homes, dining in private restaurants, and booking cultural activities.” Those ready to take to the vibrant streets of Havana will also need a visa, said Layman, who works as director of operations at tour company Cuba Candela . Travelers can handle that, she said, “on the day of travel at the airport check-in desk or from a tour provider.” (The cost varies depending on where a visa is purchased but rarely exceeds $100.) While the hoops are undeniable, they may well be worth jumping through in the year ahead. — Christine Burroni

Tangier, Morocco

Issam Elhafti/Getty Images

For decades, this northern Moroccan city has attracted a stream of bohemian expats including, most famously, beat-generation writers Paul Bowles and William S. Burroughs. That’s how it cultivated a reputation as a place where foreigners went to live, rather than simply visit. But Tangier’s reputation could change this spring, thanks in part to the opening of Villa Mabrouka — British designer Jasper Conran’s second Moroccan property, which follows the 2018 opening of L'Hôtel Marrakech . The one-time private residence of fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, the hillside property has gorgeous views over the Bay of Tangier within walking distance to the city’s frenetic medina. Villa Mabrouka joins other newcomers, like the Museum of Contemporary Art , a space displaying work by regional artists, also called the Kasbah Museum, as it's housed in the renovated, 17th-century Kasbah prison. Also new on the proverbial block is the just-opened Fairmont Tazi Palace Tangier , set on a refurbished, century-old estate near the old city. Anticipation is already growing for a recently announced Waldorf Astoria, a 115-room and 21-villa resort set to open in 2025. — John Wogan

Lakes Region, Turkey

Istanbul and Bodrum are both rightly popular, but U.S. travelers will find much to love in other pockets of this diverse country — including this inland part of southwestern Anatolia, which travel advisor Engin Kadaster predicts “will be very popular in the years to come.” Kadaster has been including the Lakes Region on more and more itineraries for her clients, and helped coordinate a story in T+L’s August 2022 issue that included destinations such as Isparta, the region’s largest city and a center of rose and lavender production, and the ancient hilltop city of Sagalassos. The region’s most famous feature — naturally — is a series of tectonic lakes, created by ancient earthquakes, in the foothills of the Taurus Mountains, but it also holds many ancient Greek and Roman archaeological sites. A blessed lack of mass tourism means that this isn’t a hot spot for luxury hotels, but cozy places like Eskiciler Konaği , a renovated century-old mansion near Lake Eğirdir, or Aliya Konak , a seasonal farmstay on a working lavender operation in Isparta, are warm and welcoming. Intrepid travelers can ditch the hotels altogether by camping along the new Pisidia Heritage Trail , a waymarked route that unites the Lakes Region’s splendid nature and unique history as it passes through ancient sites like Kremna, Adada, and Yazılı Canyon. — Hannah Walhout

The United Kingdom

Courtesy of Peninsula London

T+L’s Destination of the Year may be undergoing a once-in-a-lifetime period of transition, but some things never change. For one, the country’s historic cities will always be home to hotels that mix stately grandeur and affable service. This past summer saw the opening of Gleneagles Townhouse , a chic, urban outpost of the iconic Gleneagles resort, in the heart of Edinburgh; next year London will welcome the cool glam of the Peter Marino–designed Peninsula London . Of the U.K.’s many world-class museums, two have recently gotten upgrades: Glasgow’s Burrell Collection , a stunning assortment of international art and artifacts, and the Manchester Museum , which is dedicated to the natural sciences. The Factory , Manchester’s new cultural center, pays tribute to the famous record label behind '80s rock bands the Happy Mondays and New Order. Gourmands (and the just plain hungry) will want to sample the broad range of culinary delights at London’s new Arcade Food Hall at Battersea Power Station, the latest stage in the rehabilitation of the historic building. No visit to the U.K. is complete without venturing out into its peerless countryside, and Scotland’s first rewilding center, Dundreggan , is one noteworthy place to take it all in: Managed by charitable organization Trees for Life , this 10,000-acre estate on the shores of Scotland’s Loch Ness plans to open a visitor’s center by the end of 2023. Meanwhile, the new Two Toms Trail in Lancashire covers 25 miles and features some of England’s most stunning scenery. — Peter Terzian

Getty Images

The perennially popular city made headlines in 2022 for its day-trip entrance fee , which takes effect in January 2023. But why only go for the day? The Venice Architecture Biennale runs May 20, 2023 to Nov. 26, 2023, with global exhibits curated by Lesley Lokko, the first Black architect to organize the event. Architecture lovers will also want to visit the Procuratie Vecchie, the 16th-century building along St. Mark's Square. Though its façade is one of Italy’s most photographed, the public has only recently been allowed inside, after the completion of a five-year refurbishment led by David Chipperfield Architects . Those looking for nostalgic luxury should plan to arrive in the second half of the year, with their bags packed for a train trip: Belmond’s iconic Venice Simplon-Orient Express will unveil two newly restored carriages from the 1920s and ‘30s in June, with opulent suites modeled to mirror the landscapes of Europe. — Nina Ruggiero

For the Food — and Wine

Courtesy of Four Seasons

It may have a reputation as a stopover city, but Athens deserves a closer look — and at least a few nights — in the year ahead. Not far from the Piraeus port , where travelers hop both domestic ferries and cruise ships that criss-cross the Mediterranean, the Athens Riviera has seen a surge of development. Four Seasons Astir Palace , which opened amid the pandemic, has a private beach on the sparkling Saronic Sea and two spaces designed by Swedish architect Martin Brudnizki, including a midcentury modern cocktail bar and Pelagos restaurant, which has already earned its first Michelin star. In the spring of 2023, One&Only Aesthesis will open just a few miles away, also along the waterfront. Next door is the brand-new Experience Park, with trails, fitness classes, fountains, a Zen garden, and bountiful native plants and flowers; it’s part of an $8-billion waterfront green space called The Ellinikon , on the former site of the city’s international airport, that’s still under development. In central Athens, the 2022 opening of the 43-room Xenodocheio Milos hotel in the Pláka neighborhood brings a bit of cosmopolitan verve, from the team behind international restaurant brand Estiatorio Milos . And while the Odeon of Herodes Atticus on the Acropolis isn’t new — the ancient amphitheater first opened about 1,900 years ago — it will bring back a full schedule of shows in 2023 after a pandemic-era slowdown. — Maya Kachroo-Levine

Central Florida

Courtesy of Small World Vacations

This fall, Hurricane Ian took 81 lives and caused $60 billion in damage across Florida. While the hard-hit southwestern part of the state continues to recover, Visit Florida president and CEO Dana Young said in October that other regions are ready to welcome travelers back. Central Florida in particular is worth a closer look, thanks to its ever-growing hospitality scene. Orlando and Tampa recently won a combined 14 Michelin accolades in 2022, when the guidebook publisher released its first-ever guide to Florida restaurants. The area’s family-friendly draws are better than ever: Disney’s recently opened, highly immersive Star Wars : Galactic Starcruiser is a two-night adventure that takes themed entertainment to the next level by allowing guests to eat, sleep, and breathe Star Wars with lightsaber training, out-of-this-world dining (blue shrimp, anyone?), and a trip to Batuu at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Meantime, Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebrations continue through March 2023, with limited-time eats, nighttime spectaculars, and festive décor. In Tampa, the latest Edition Hotel just opened with a sprawling rooftop pool club and restaurant from chef John Fraser. And getting both to and around Central Florida is easier than ever, with the recent opening of Orlando International Airport’s new 15-gate Terminal C and Brightline rail service connecting Orlando to South Florida destinations including Miami and West Palm Beach beginning in 2023. — Elizabeth Rhodes

The Jura, France

Guillaume Megevand

There’s a tiny French region just west of the border with Switzerland that’s producing some big, big wines. Thing is, only a tiny fraction of those bottles ever make it to the U.S., as T+L recently reported . That means you’ve got to go to the Jura — preferably before everyone gets wise to the area’s seven Appellations of Controlled Origin (AOCs) . Among serious oenophiles, word is already spreading about the vin jaune, “yellow wine,” made from native savagnin grapes and aged in the Jura’s distinct sous voile style, in which the wine matures “under a veil.” Not that wine is the only draw. The Jura also boasts a comté cheese trail — as if the région weren’t French enough — that connects no fewer than 150 fromageries and dairy farms. Hiking in the Jura Mountains, through Baume-les-Messieurs village and to the Hérisson waterfalls , is equally enticing, particularly as an antidote to all the wine- and cheese-focused sightseeing. Most surprising, perhaps, is just how accessible this under-the-radar area can be. Getting to the Jura takes two hours from the French capital by high-speed train , departing from Paris’s Gare de Lyon. — Maya Kachroo-Levine

San Luis Obispo County, California

Courtesy of Visit SLO CAL/Acacia Productions

It’s time to stop sleeping on “SLO.” Once considered a quick Pacific Coast Highway stopover for those visiting Hearst Castle — which reopened this past spring 2022 after a two-year closure — the central coast county is now a draw in its own right. SLO’s seven cities, including Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, and San Luis Obispo, are all buzzing, and the area just earned official American Viticulture Area (AVA) recognition in 2022, thanks to more than 200 wineries, many of which are family owned . Two new Nomada Hotel Group properties opening in 2023 will welcome the inevitable influx of oenophiles: Farmhouse, a collection of 26 rustic-chic cottages with fire pits and hammocks, arrives in January; while River Lodge, a mile from the Paso Robles wine trail, is slated for May. Also being reimagined under Nomada is the Gold Rush–era Pozo Saloon , reopening in the town of Santa Margarita in August with outdoor soaking tubs, live music, trails for hiking and horseback riding, and a glamping site. Paso Robles just notched its first Michelin star ( Six Test Kitchen ), while San Luis Obispo’s SLO Public Market will welcome two new restaurants, All Good Grill and Todo Bueno , in 2023. Nature lovers should make a beeline for the Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove : The insects were recently put on the endangered list, but this spot still draws over 10,000 annually. — Nina Ruggiero

Victoria, Australia

Matteo Colombo/Getty Images

Australia has reopened, and this southern state is a particularly appealing corner of the country these days, thanks to hot springs resorts that are poised to make it the next big wine-and-wellness destination: Alba Thermal Springs and Spa on the Mornington Peninsula was the first to open in September 2022, with pools powered by solar and a commitment to achieving climate-positive operations. Metung Hot Springs in East Gippsland is set to follow in late 2022, with updated facilities in an area long known for its thermal waters. Phillip Island Hot Springs , which distinguishes itself with several saltwater features, plans to open in early 2023. Out on the Mornington Peninsula — a destination long popular for its world-class wineries — the InterContinental Sorrento began accepting reservations this past August 2022. Melbourne, Victoria’s appealing capital city, is also expecting new openings, including the intimate, seven-suite Hotel Vera Ballarat by year’s end, followed by the highly anticipated Ritz-Carlton Melbourne , set to open in 2023 in Australia’s tallest tower. Qantas is making it easier to get there, too: By December 2022, the airline will have four nonstop flights a week connecting Dallas and Melbourne, a welcome bridge between Victoria and the middle of the U.S. — Sarah Bruning

For Big-city Thrills

Jonathan Filskov/Getty Images

The eternally cool city will highlight its prowess with all things design, as the official UNESCO World Capital of Architecture in 2023. Venues across Copenhagen — contemporary parks, starchitect-designed skyscrapers, even typically humdrum infrastructure like playgrounds — will host events and visitors for a look at the future of the urban environment. One highlight will be the Copenhill Power Plant, the cleanest waste-to-energy plant in the world — that’s also the site of an artificial ski slope. “We’re going to do a lot of open-house events where 50 different venues are going to be open to the public that are usually closed to visitors,” said Copenhagen’s city architect Camilla van Deurs, who mentioned as examples churches; bridges; and the Danmarks Nationalbank, the central bank building planned in part by Danish design legend Arne Jacobsen. “Superkilen,” van Deurs said, “is a playground for kids and adults — and a cultural hub in the middle of Nørrebro, the most ethnically mixed neighborhood in Copenhagen.” New places to stay in the city also deliver a signature blend of modernism and hygge: Find it at the single-suite Kaj Hotel , which floats on a canal near Copenhagen Opera House, or the colorful new 25 Hours Hotel Copenhagen . — Tim Latterner

Lance Childers/Houston First

The 2020 opening of the Kinder Building, the latest addition to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston , cemented the city’s spot among true international arts destinations. The recent reopening of the Rothko Chapel , after a $35-million renovation, has only reinforced that reputation. Today, a wealth of new ventures is poised to raise the profile of Texas’s largest city in other categories as well. Opening next year, the JMK5 Arena will transform a disused racetrack into a 12,500-seat concert stadium poised to rival the venues of Vegas. It arrives on the heels of the relatively more intimate 713 Music Hall , which has attracted artists ranging from Judas Priest to Lil Nas X. The Houston Zoo is undergoing a much-delayed expansion that will include a Galápagos Islands–themed exhibit, which will feature an underwater tunnel and a penguin habitat. And the Houston Botanic Gardens , which opened in 2020, features 132 acres of diverse ecosystems, from wetlands to prairie. — Peter Terzian

Courtesy of Rosewood Villa Magna

The Spanish capital may finally, thankfully, be shaking off its reputation as the country’s somewhat stuffy business hub. A flurry of tony hotel openings throughout the city has helped, by bringing plenty of personality to what had been a staid scene. It began in 2021 with the arrival of the Mandarin Oriental Ritz ; Rosewood Villa Magna ; and Santo Mauro, a Luxury Collection Hotel . Then came the Edition in April 2022 . Breathing new life into the former Monte de Piedad de Madrid building, the hotel has 177 rooms, 21 suites, and two penthouses, plus two restaurants with food from chef Enrique Olvera and the culinary team behind Mexico City’s acclaimed Pujol . Elsewhere in Madrid, an already electric food scene has only gotten better — particularly in the glamorous Salamanca neighborhood and architecture-rich Chamberi district — with new offerings representing everything from Middle Eastern falafel and Argentinian asado to Spanish-Indian fusion and globally inflected vegan fare. — Sarah Bruning

Taylor McIntyre/Travel + Leisure

Welcome to the new Nashville. The city’s tourism renaissance is being fueled, in part, by a slew of just-opened hotels, including a Conrad , 1 Hotel , and a Soho House . (A Four Seasons just popped up in the bustling SoBro neighborhood, too.) The newly redesigned Hermitage Hotel , meanwhile, now has the first Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant in the South. The Fifth + Broadway complex has new outposts of old favorites, like fried chicken staple Hattie B’s , and the expansive Assembly Food Hall has dozens of choices, including bars, plural. That inimitable Nashville energy can still be found on Broadway, at honky-tonk bars that go until all hours, but there’s also Justin Timberlake’s sexy Twelve Thirty Club or live events like CMA Fest , which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2023. Getting there has never been easier, thanks to low-cost carriers such as Breeze Airways and Southwest, both of which have recently added more flights from both coasts, not to mention places like Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Ohio’s Akron-Canton Airport. — Elizabeth Rhodes

Forget the notion that Steel City is just a town for football and factories. The metropolis is working on new cultural destinations that can’t be missed: While the next lunar lander is currently being built in Pittsburgh, the Moonshot Museum , which opened in October 2022, is putting on display mankind’s history of getting to and exploring the lunar surface. The Carnegie Museum of Art is hosting its 58th Carnegie International Exhibition, a huge temporary show of both historical and contemporary art which runs through April 2, 2023. The childhood home of playwright August Wilson has been restored and turned into a museum, complete with studios for arts programming. The city also has a new spate of hotels and bars drawing crowds, like the modern-chic Joinery Hotel Pittsburgh, Curio Collection by Hilton and The Industrialist, Autograph Collection in the Arrott building, one of the city’s first skyscrapers. Across the river in Allentown, Bottlerocket Social Hall is the perfect place to post up with locals and, yes, watch the game. — Tim Latterner

San Francisco

Ryan White/Parks Conservancy

Despite the so-called national conversation, the apocalypse has not yet come to San Francisco. True, this city had the most extreme wealth divide of any in California in 2020, and the seams here can be especially visible. But all the reasons SF shines — the arts, the nature, the dim sum, the sourdough — haven’t gone anywhere. And a slate of recent infrastructure and cultural projects show that many in the city are working to make it a better place to live and a more compelling destination to visit. The new Institute of Contemporary Art San Francisco walks the walk of its focus on equity: the museum is completely free and has opted against a permanent collection in order to direct more funds to artists and staff. The city’s urban national park unit, the Presidio of San Francisco , recently gained 14 acres with the opening of the Presidio Tunnel Tops , a green space designed by James Corner Field Operations, the lead firm for New York City’s High Line, which incorporated input from more than 10,000 residents. Another massive community-led park and mixed-use development is underway in India Basin , with sustainability and affordable housing as stated core values. The hospitality scene is also on the come up: 1 Hotel San Francisco , The Line SF , and Beacon Grand (formerly the Sir Francis Drake) have all opened in the past six months, and Auberge Resorts Collection is slated to debut a new hotel in the Hearst Building in 2023. — Hannah Walhout

Don Eim/Travel + Leisure

American travelers can finally get back to the South Korean capital after years of pandemic restrictions — and there’s plenty to catch up on. The city’s arts scene is buzzing, thanks to new venues such as Konig Gallery , not to mention the announcement from Seoul Museum of Art that three new wings will launch by 2024. (An added boost came from Seoul hosting its first edition of Frieze this past September, during which many commenters asked if K-art may well be the next K-pop.) Meanwhile the destination has seen a number of new hotels open, including the surprisingly trendy Fairmont Ambassador Seoul and Josun Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Seoul Gangnam , with its sweeping views of the globally famous district and stunning public spaces, including 1914 Lounge & Bar. — Tim Latterner

For Moments on the Water

Cape verde, the gambia, ghana, and guinea-bissau.

Arnau Ferrer

Though Ghana has, in recent years, surged in popularity as a destination for American visitors , particularly Black Americans , West Africa remains unfamiliar to many. One solution may be the innovative West Africa Archipelago cruises that Hurtigruten Expeditions aims to launch in November 2023. These two-week trips, aboard the line’s 180-passenger Spitsbergen , will stop in ports in four countries, with a huge array of activities on the expedition schedule: visits to historically important sites including Gorée Island ; wildlife-watching forays to spot hippos and manatees; and adventures such as scaling volcanoes and scrambling across lava fields. Though some cruise lines occasionally stop in West African ports, Hurtigruten’s deep focus on the region represents a step change — one that’s driven by passenger demand, said Asta Lassesen, the CEO of Hurtigruten Expeditions. “These islands are not as known as our other destinations, but they are teeming with unique wildlife, different cultures, and offer completely different experiences than you’d find in a traditional cruise destination,” Lassesen told T+L. — Paul Brady

Coastal Ecuador

Courtesy of Kontiki Expeditions

Many travelers know the historic capital city of Quito and the incredibly biodiverse Galápagos Islands , but now's the time to visit Ecuador’s stunning Pacific coastline. From surf towns like Montañita to the preserved beaches and cloud forest of Machalilla National Park, coastal Ecuador is packed with outdoor adventures and stunning scenery. Kontiki Expeditions unlocks the region with eight-day yacht cruises that visit five of the country’s 24 provinces, hitting destinations including Isla de la Plata and Salinas. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Kontiki Expeditions operates an intimate ship with just nine staterooms, refined outdoor and indoor spaces, and a nearly 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio. (Guests can book an individual room, or charter the entire 18-passenger yacht.) Getting there has gotten smoother, too: U.S. airlines including American, JetBlue, and Spirit now offer direct flights to Guayaquil, from which Kontiki Expeditions trips depart. — Elizabeth Rhodes

The Explora I

Courtesy of EXPLORA I

Just don’t call it a cruise: Upstart travel company Explora Journeys describes its itineraries as “ocean journeys,” nevermind the fact they’re aboard the newly built, 461-suite Explora I . The vessel is slated to hit the water in July 2023, with trips in the Mediterranean that visit popular cruise destinations such as Barcelona and Civitavecchia, near Rome, as well as lesser-visited ports including Patmos, Greece, and St.-Tropez, France. “It’s a new style of ocean travel that connects you with the things that are important,” Explora CEO Michael Ungerer told T+L. “There’s a craving to learn something new and make authentic connections without leaving your tried and tested luxury environment and services behind.” Indeed, life aboard won’t be monastic: Explora I will have 18 restaurants and bars and a massive spa, among other luxuries. Still, should all that ocean journeying become a bit too wearying, guests can always retreat to their suites, all of which have private verandas. In fact, when it debuts, Explora I will have the most space per passenger of any vessel anywhere. — Paul Brady

Antarctica is so last year. While Greenland may not have penguins, it does promise plenty of beautiful landscapes and seemingly endless horizons. The newly christened National Geographic Resolution will sail the Eastern shore of Greenland in June 2023, with opportunities to explore the Rømer Fjord depending on conditions. Ponant has a dozen distinct itineraries scheduled for 2023, including a number of round trips from Kangerlussuaq, in Western Greenland, that explore Baffin Bay. The brand-new Seabourn Venture, the line’s first expedition ship, will also be there in 2023; one particularly compelling August itinerary starts in Iceland, spends nearly three weeks along Greenland’s coast, then continues through the Northwest Passage before wrapping in Anchorage, Alaska. More conventional operators, such as Regent Seven Seas Cruises, are making the polar destination a fixture, too. The Seven Seas Navigator will visit Prince Christian Sound and make calls in Nuuk and Paamiut on a June 2023 sailing between New York City and Reykjavik. — Paul Brady

Hvar, Croatia

Goran Stimac/Getty Images

Those seeking a brighter 2023 will find it on Hvar: This Dalmatian Coast island calls itself the sunniest in Croatia. That means plenty of time for cycling more than 100 miles of bikeable terrain or kayak trips to secluded beaches. At night, those clear skies make for incredible stargazing: Jesla, on the island’s north shore, was named the first International Dark Sky Community in Southern Europe in 2022; and Moeesy , the island’s newest luxury hotel, has one room with an over-the-bed skylight for bedtime viewing. The town of Velo Grablje’s 14th-century charm peaks in July, when the lavender festival blooms with food, drink, and family-friendly activities all centered around the fragrant Mediterranean plant. And in Hvar proper, the harborside Riva Marina hotel reopened in June 2022 with refreshed waterfront terrace suites and a new restaurant and bar concept focused on local ingredients. Just down the block is the island’s first sustainable hotel , Beach Bay , which opened this past summer 2022 with an off-grid solar power system and a commitment to honor UNESCO’s Sustainable Travel Pledge . — Nina Ruggiero

The Path of Totality

©StudioPonant/Laure Patricot

A total solar eclipse, in which the moon blocks the sun and plunges the Earth into momentary darkness, is a “relatively common” phenomenon, NASA heliophysicist Dr. Michael Kirk told T+L. The trick is that most eclipses happen over water or in extremely remote places — which is why spotting the next one, on April 20, 2023, will be all about the chase. The upcoming path of totality will cross the Indian Ocean, graze Western Australia, then sweep across Indonesia and East Timor into the Pacific; astro-enthusiasts can chart its full course with the Totality app . That means the best way to catch the show will be to board a ship , such as the 188-passenger Le Lapérouse, for a Ponant and Smithsonian Journeys cruise from Bali, Indonesia, to Broome, Australia. The new Indonesia-based charter yacht Celestia will also be sailing around the edges of totality, making visits to the islands of Komodo National Park, the Moluccas, and Raja Ampat. The very best odds for viewing, said NASA’s Kirk, will be in Western Australia, where “the Exmouth Peninsula, Barrow Island, and the sea in between should have clear skies.” Eclipse chasers could drive the 750 miles from Perth to Cape Range National Park on the Ningaloo Reef–fringed Exmouth, but Tropical Sails Corp’s Pacific Explorer , which can take you there from Perth on a five-day Indian Ocean sail, seems a far more pleasant journey. — Maya Kachroo-Levine

For Fresh Air and Nature

Courtesy of Pal-Arinsal Ski Resort

This tiny European country, which at 181 square miles is smaller than Chicago, could soon turn into one of the world’s biggest ski destinations. The mountainous country, situated between France and Spain, has long been known for its reliable December-to-April conditions thanks to its high-altitude perch in the Pyrenees. But now, for the first time, three Andorra ski areas have been added to the Ikon Pass , putting a collective 7,600 acres of downhill terrain across 215 runs and 123 lifts into play for holders of the global lift ticket. At the same time, the three destinations of Grandvalira , Ordino Arcalís , and Pal-Arinsal (or, collectively, the Grandvalira Resorts Andorra ) will be available on a single local Andorra Pass , which starts at about $50 a day, a bargain by any big-mountain standards. Alternatively, visitors can opt for a newly launched Nord Pass, a multi-day ticket that works at both Ordino Arcalís and Pal-Arinsal for less than $40 per day. So, while these affordable mountains remain a bit of a challenge to reach — Grandvalira can be a four-hour drive from Barcelona — the days of smaller crowds may soon be a thing of the past. — Jamie Aranoff

Asheville, North Carolina

Tim Robison

This flannel-clad city in the Blue Ridge Mountains checks all the boxes, with year-round outdoor activities, sophisticated dining, and easy access, whether you’re driving or flying. (Asheville Regional Airport is on pace for a record-breaking 2022 , with service from 25 destinations.) But the year ahead offers more reasons to visit, starting with some cool new places to stay: Wrong Way River Lodge has a collection of A-frame cabins along the French Broad River that are perfect for white-water rafters. AutoCamp Asheville , another glamping-esque abode with Airstream campers, is slated to open by mid-2023. Downtown, the new Restoration Hotel promises a properly plush stay; its sister property in Charleston consistently ranks in our best hotels in Charleston list . (For those who’d rather be even closer to nature, The Glamping Collective is a newly opened, 160-acre site with domed pods and glass cabins situated a short drive from the city.) Asheville’s food scene has fresh energy from S&W Market , Asheville’s first food hall and the brainchild of award-winning chef Meherwan Irani. For all that’s new, visitors shouldn’t skip the old standbys: French Broad Chocolates is a local fave that’s since gone national, and Battery Park Book Exchange is the prime spot for a late-night glass of Champagne amid dusty bookshelves. — Samantha Falewée

Aysén, Chile

Stefan Ruiz

Chile’s Aysén region lies between two popular destinations — Torres del Paine National Park and the Lake District — with a captivating landscape of hanging glaciers, magnificent fjords, pristine lakes, and jagged peaks. Yet this 41,000-square-mile swath in northern Patagonia — the least populated in Chile — remains largely unexplored by visitors, in part because of its topography. But now, several outfitters and organizations, including Chile’s Route of Parks , are developing more itineraries and ecotourism routes for the non-mountain-scaling adventure traveler, with less-daunting activities like kayaking, hiking, and biking. Not long ago, travel company Explora opened a lodge in Aysén’s Patagonia National Park (working with nonprofit Rewilding Chile to support conservation and educational efforts) and launched eight- to 12-day trips that make travel across the region convenient, with flights, accommodations, and activities included. Factor in loosened COVID-19 restrictions and a newly elected president (the country’s youngest in history) as additional reasons to go now. Then there’s the continually growing partnership between Delta Air Lines and Latam, which allows for mutual lounge access and easy nonstop flights from Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City to Santiago, which is just a short connecting hop from Coyhaique, the gateway to Aysén. — Alisha Prakash

The Hudson Valley, New York

Andre Maier

Yes, the stretch north of New York City and south of Albany, along the banks of the lordly Hudson River, has been attracting enterprising former urbanites — as well as savvy travelers in search of charming towns and idyllic countryside — for the past century or so. But its transition from quasi-rustic to quietly glam marks a new and intriguing chapter. Next summer, The Ranch Hudson Valley , an offshoot of the West Coast’s rigorous retreat The Ranch Malibu, will open on a grand estate built by financier J.P. Morgan (as a gift for his daughter’s marriage to Alexander Hamilton’s great-grandson) and will offer multi-day programs to revive weary New Yorkers. Meanwhile, Wildflower Farms, Auberge Resorts Collection , a property with 60 freestanding cabins and cottages, will highlight the pastoral side of the region, with a farm-to-table restaurant and 140 acres of orchards and wildflower gardens. The region’s reputation for top-notch cuisine continues with the upscale tavern fare at Merchants Social in Hudson and Stissing House in Pine Plains, the Southern-inflected Darlings in Tilson, and the sweet fantasia of the Catskills Chocolate Co. in Catskill. (Longtime cheesemongers Talbott and Arding have recently moved to a beautiful new space in Hudson, too.) But don’t forget to leave room for culture. In Catskill, Foreland is a self-billed kunsthalle that extends across three 19th-century mills with exhibition spaces and artist studios. And the beloved sculpture park Storm King Art Center is getting a $45-million overhaul that includes an extensive new visitors center. — Peter Terzian

Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia

Thomas Retterath/Getty Images

“Zambia is a destination so many people miss,” said travel advisor Leora Rothschild . “The country’s Lower Zambezi National Park is one of my favorite destinations anywhere. Having a safari on a river adds a dynamic element,” she notes, since being on the water offers a different perspective than travelers get while on a game drive or in camp. Among the best places to take in this wildlife-rich destination is at one of its newest lodges , the luxurious eight-suite Lolebezi , which African Bush Camps opened inside the park and on the banks of the river this past June. It’s an ideal base from which to explore Lower Zambezi, which sits opposite Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to what the agency calls its “ dramatic landscape ” and “huge herds of elephant and buffalo.” Though remote, this corner of Zambia has recently gotten a bit easier to access, as pandemic-era travel regulations have loosened. Air Botswana announced in May 2022 that, following a two-year hiatus, it would relaunch flights from Gaborone, Botswana to Lusaka, Zambia. — Samantha Falewée

Prince Edward Island, Canada

Tourism PEI/Sander Meurs

As Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island might get overlooked in favor of the country’s bigger, badder destinations for outdoor thrills. But this tiny island — known to many as the setting of L.M. Montgomery’s beloved “Anne of Green Gables” series — packs a punch. Here, you’ll find rugged cliffs, red-sand beaches , and a surprisingly robust golf scene, with 27 courses. Perhaps the biggest draw for adventurous travelers right now is the Island Walk , a 435-mile trail that opened in 2021 . Tracing the entire coastline, it passes through dozens of small towns and fishing villages. Walkers can start and end at any point, but the entire loop would take about 32 days, assuming a pace of 12-15 miles a day. Not that you’ve got to be hardcore to enjoy the trail: Towns and villages along the route have plenty to offer even non-hikers, such as the relatively new Slaymaker & Nichols , a cozy inn and gastropub in Charlottetown, the provincial capital. Classic PEI experiences endure, such as the seafood-focused, multi-course “ culinary experience ” from celebrity chef Michael Smith at the Inn at Bay Fortune . — Liz Cantrell

Stephanie Vermillion

When high-speed internet was installed at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest peak, this past August, it was just the latest example of the new era dawning in Tanzania. The leader of the country’s changing face is President Samia Suluhu Hassan, the first woman of color and the first Muslim to lead this country, who took office in 2021. “I never expected that one day I would be president,” President Hassan told PBS . Not that she’s wasting any time. Since taking power, she’s devoted herself to strengthening infrastructure, women’s businesses, education, health care — she received her COVID-19 vaccine on live television to encourage others to get immunized — and sustainable travel. This summer, the Usangu Expedition Camp in Ruaha National Park opened in partnership with the Tanzania National Parks Authority , and the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute ; Selous Safari Company recently refreshed its six-suite private reserve on Fanjove Island, a jumping off point for “marine safaris” by dive boat or kayak. — Samantha Falewée

Uttar Pradesh, India

Luis Dafos/Getty Images

Pummeled by the pandemic, India suffered through a grim 20-month closure, only reopening to travelers at the end of 2021. However, at long last — and with COVID-19 cases now under control thanks to large-scale vaccination programs that have delivered more than 2 billion doses — 2023 is primed to be the year visitors return to this soul-stirring country in full force. While many travelers will opt for Rajasthan’s royal palaces and desert jewels, there’s good reason to discover Uttar Pradesh on your next trip. India’s fourth-largest state is home to classic attractions including the Taj Mahal, in Agra, and the Ganges River ghats of Varanasi, the nation’s holiest city. But the new draws here include Vana, a wellness retreat in the Himalayan foothills of Dehradun. The resort, which is now managed by the World’s Best Award–winning hospitality company Six Senses, has rooms and suites that prioritize the lush landscape with balconies and terraces overlooking the surrounding forest and gardens, offering a true breath of fresh air. — Alisha Prakash

For Beach Vibes

Patrick Michael Chin

Already a favorite weekend getaway for East Coasters, Bermuda will become even easier to get to in 2023. American Airlines resumed flights to the island from New York City's John F. Kennedy International in November, which the carrier had paused in the early days of the pandemic. Upon arrival at L.F. Wade International, travelers are now greeted in a new $400-million terminal with automated immigration gates and preclearance for U.S.-bound passengers — plus unexpected extras like a putting green and an outdoor nature trail. Bermuda’s resort stock is on the rise, too: Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa recently debuted a top-to-bottom renovation, adding villas and a Bermudian outpost of Sunken Harbor Club, the tropical cocktail bar above Brooklyn, New York’s wildly popular steakhouse Gage & Tollner. The St. Regis Bermuda is another high-end hotel option, which opened in 2021 with the nation’s first casino and incredible views of Fort St. Catherine. The island recently rolled back all COVID-19 entry requirements, but the Atlantic country’s  remote work program  — which launched in July 2020 and allows for stays up to one year — is still running for anyone looking to make its pink-sand beaches a new home base. — Liz Cantrell

Cayman Islands

Warren Fleming-Hollinger/Getty Images

It just keeps getting easier to visit the Caymans. As of fall 2022, Cayman Airways flies nonstop from Los Angeles International to Grand Cayman, the first direct route from the West Coast to the British territory. “Getting to Hawaii takes longer,” said Kenneth Bryan, Cayman Islands honorable minister for tourism and transport, in an interview with T+L. Wherever they’re flying in from, visitors will find plenty of new offerings along Seven Mile Beach, on Grand Cayman’s west shore. Chief among them is the freshly renovated Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman , which is now outfitted with a La Prairie Spa and Saint June restaurant, complete with a beachfront bar. (The property is thankfully still home to the long-running, annual Cayman Cookout .) For travelers who prefer heart-pumping adventure to pool- or beachside relaxation, the Caymans can deliver: Hiking reserves like the 100-year-old Mastic Trail on Grand Cayman or the Bluff on Cayman Brac may not be as well known as the islands’ beaches — but they should be. Meanwhile a growing art scene is beginning to draw international attention, thanks to shows at the well-established National Gallery of the Cayman Islands as well as the vibey, creative atmosphere at new hotels such as Palm Heights , as T+L recently reported . — Christine Burroni

Coastal Uruguay

© Tali Kimelman/Posada Ayana

The vast skies, empty beaches, and delicious food of Uruguay remain as alluring as they’ve ever been. Still, 2023 promises to be a breakout year for the country’s lowkey coastal destinations, thanks to an ever-growing art scene that adds a layer of culture to this already inviting stretch along the Southern Atlantic. Among the newest must-sees is the Atchugarry Museum of Contemporary Art in Punta del Este, a 90-acre campus which opened in early 2022. Also nearby is artist James Turrell’s “Ta Khut,” an experiential Skyspace that opened in late 2021 at Posada Ayana, a small hotel in José Ignacio. (The seaside village is also home to intriguing contemporary collections at three Vik Retreats properties, including Bahia Vik , with its oceanfront bungalows.) A short drive from José Ignacio, the village of Garzón has lately become a hub for multidisciplinary artists thanks to Campo , an incubator and non-profit that brings creatives to this still-rural corner of Uruguay. — Paul Brady

Lush mountains, bustling beach towns , and idyllic resorts make Guadeloupe the perfect place for adventurous travelers looking for something Caribbean but different. In recent years, though, it’s been difficult for U.S. travelers to reach this French overseas department — particularly after Norwegian ceased its nonstop flights to the destination in 2019. Now, things are looking up again, as JetBlue has relaunched its nonstop service from New York City to the gateway city of Pointe-à-Pitre in November 2022. SkyTeam faithfuls can also now get there on Air France, on nonstops from either Miami or New York; American Airlines also serves the archipelago from Miami. First-timers tend to focus on two of the islands, Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre, the latter of which is home to Guadeloupe National Park. (A local tour company such as Vert Intense can help with the logistics of seeing Carbet Falls and La Grande Soufrière volcano.) Accommodations tend away from big brand names, though — this being France — there is an all-inclusive, beachfront Club Med La Caravelle . Other well-regarded options include the remote, hillside Le Jardin Malanga Hotel , with its dramatic ocean views, or the cliffside villas of the boutique-y La Toubana Hotel & Spa , along the southern shore of Grande-Terre. — Christine Burroni

The Jersey Shore, New Jersey

William Laird

“The real thing is quite different from TV,” George Distefano told T+L. Now a hotelier, Distefano grew up on the Jersey Shore — and today is doing his part to change the narrative around the beloved summer destination. His latest project, The James Bradley , is a 17-room inn that opened in Bradley Beach in August 2022 and is aimed at a crowd that’s perhaps quieter, chicer, and altogether less interesting to MTV producers. In nearby Asbury Park , which has long been a barometer of development, openings of The Asbury Hotel and the Asbury Ocean Club and Residences signal the start of a bougier era. Even Atlantic City is now substantially more chic, after many casino resorts, including Bally’s , Caesars , and Ocean , used the pandemic-induced dip in visitors to undertake hundreds of millions of dollars in renovations. “The area as a whole has had a bit of a renaissance,” Distefano said. One telling indicator of where the Shore is headed next? A Nobu Hotel is slated to open on the boardwalk any day now. — Hannah Walhout

Maui, Hawaii

Hawaii has been in the midst of a multi-year rethink about how tourism impacts the state . “We seek to balance the economic vitality of our industry with the health of our natural environment and the well-being of our communities,” is how Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO John De Fries put it this past summer . On Maui, that balance has been struck recently in efforts to renovate and reimagine some of the island’s most popular resorts. The 54-acre Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua , to take one example, is finishing up a major overhaul that includes a reimagined aquatic complex (with three “zero-edge” swimming pools), an expanded Club Lounge , and programming that will include not just cocktail classes and cooking demonstrations but also lei making and musical performances by Hawaiian artists. On the southwest coast of the island, The Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort is in the midst of its own refresh of all 776 guest rooms and suites; some are, happily, already good to go. There’s other progress beyond hotels: e-bikes are now plentiful on Maui, thanks to a recent rule change that allows them on island roads. Companies like RideSmart Maui lend out wheels that make exploring a breeze, whether your interest lies in the historic sites of Lahaina or the beautiful beaches around Wailea. — John Wogan

Riviera Maya, Mexico

Courtesy of Chablé Hotels

This picturesque stretch of the Yucatán peninsula is in the midst of welcoming four marquee hotels. The Waldorf Astoria Cancun just opened, a brand-new build with 173 rooms and five dining venues all overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Casa Chablé and The St. Regis Kanai Resort are slated to open in early 2023, followed by the Riviera Maya Edition at Kanai in spring 2023. Not new but refreshed is Maroma, a Belmond Hotel , which will reopen in May 2023 after a year-long closure with 10 new oceanfront suites and Latin America's first Guerlain spa. Farther south, closer to Tulum, the ultra-luxurious Hotel Esencia has added a posh new 10,000-square-foot, four-bedroom mansion tricked out with fitness and screening rooms, an underground speakeasy, and three pools — the perfect thing for a friends’ getaway. Not that hotels are the only draw: The last section of the new Maya Train project, which connects Cancun and Tulum, is expected to open by the end of 2023 after delays to address environmental and archeological concerns . The route will make several cultural and historic sites , including Chichén Itzá, more accessible and connect travelers to other destinations in the state of Quintana Roo, including Bacalar, Playa del Carmen, and Puerto Morelos. Also on the horizon is the opening of the long-awaited Tulum airport, which Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said will be completed by the end of 2023. — Sarah Bruning

Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

Courtesy of Auberge Resorts Collection

Long a vacationer’s paradise, this section of Mexico’s Pacific coast between Puerto Vallarta and the beach town of San Blas is only getting better in the year ahead. The 59-room Susurros del Corazón , Auberge Resorts Collection, began welcoming guests in November 2022 with experiences that include an introduction to raicilla , a lesser-known agave spirit, and boating excursions in Islas Marietas, a national park known for its biodiversity. On its heels, Naviva, A Four Seasons Resort , which is the second tented camp property from the brand , will open in December 2022. Accommodating just 30 people at a time, the lush 48-acre property is making wellness a key focus, so guests can expect to unwind with options like a temascal ceremony and nocturnal forest bathing sessions. An extra incentive to go? JetBlue launched new nonstop flights from JFK to Puerto Vallarta International, which serves as the gateway to the region. — Sarah Bruning

U.S. Virgin Islands

Courtesy of USVI Department of Tourism; Jamie Aranoff

With no pandemic restrictions, no passport needed, and plenty of inbound flights, the U.S. Virgin Islands are challenging Bermuda for the title of easiest warm-weather getaway for East Coasters. What’s more, the islands just established a Territorial Park System Trust Fund Board which will protect and preserve attractions like St. Croix’s Great Salt Pond and St. John’s Oppenheimer Beach. Caribbean flavors are, once again, another reason to go: The King of the Wing competition on St. Thomas, which celebrates creative chicken cookery, is back after a two-year hiatus; the 23rd annual Taste of St. Croix festival, one of the largest culinary events in the region, happens in April. Carnival , which returned in 2022, will be another event to watch in the year ahead. St. Thomas celebrates from late April through early May with food fairs, pageants, and parades; St. John fetes from late June through July 4, concluding with an Independence Day bash; and St. Croix sparkles from mid-December through Three Kings Day with more traditional, Christmas-centric fanfare. — Jamie Aranoff

For a Look at the Future

This past September, Bhutan, the impossibly scenic country between India and China, reopened to tourists after 30 months. But that’s nothing compared to the 60 years it’s taken to redevelop the 250-mile Trans-Bhutan Trail , which also reopened that month. Once the only way to travel across the Himalayan kingdom, the ancient pilgrimage route is now one of Bhutan’s biggest draws, a must-see for hikers, bikers, and other outdoorsy types. The trail connects 400 historic sites, with museums, fortresses, and temples along the way — plus stunning natural scenery and seemingly endless views. As part of its reopening, Bhutan has ended its policy requiring visitors to be accompanied 24/7 by a guide; instead, the nation has implemented an increased tourism tax, or Sustainable Development Fee, which is intended to fund social and cultural programs, infrastructure improvements, and environmental conservation. (The $200-a-day charge, up from $65, is also deliberately expensive, in an effort to keep visitor numbers low.) On the hotel front, Six Senses opened its fifth and final Bhutan lodge, Six Senses Bumthang , in March 2020, but the eco hideaway tucked in a pine forest in the town of Jakar, of course, has only just become accessible to foreigners. — Alisha Prakash

Boten–Vientiane Railway, Laos

Kaikeo Saiyasane/Xinhua via Getty Images

It’s not every day the world gets a new cross-country railroad. The ambitious Boten–Vientiane railway that stretches across Laos may have opened for business in late 2021, but now’s the time to jump aboard, as travel to Asia reopens to American visitors. The remarkable engineering project is one of many financed by China as part of the country’s Belt and Road Initiative that builds heavy infrastructure across Africa and Asia. In this case, the train has dramatically slashed travel times across the difficult-to-drive if strikingly beautiful landscapes of Laos: Trips that would’ve taken a full day by road can now be done in just a couple hours of train-carriage comfort, as T+L recently reported . The route runs from the northern border town of Boten to Luang Prabang, which is known for its many temples. It then continues on to Vang Vieng, a gateway to some of the country’s most dramatic landscapes, before arriving in the capital, Vientiane, on the border with Thailand. Intermediate stations will help open up to visitors parts of the country that haven’t historically benefited from tourism, as Ruben Derksen, director of product and digital at Bangkok-based tour operator Exo Travel , told T+L. In the years ahead, the 257-mile railway may become even more critical, as just one segment of a Singapore to Shanghai route that will make continent-spanning journeys not just possible, but pleasant. — Paul Brady

Kyoto, Japan

Rudy Sulgan/Getty Images

Kyoto is often thought of as the serene, slowed-down complement to go-go Tokyo. And, certainly, the former Japanese capital has its historic temples, gardens, and teahouses. But since Japan’s October 2022 reopening to independent travelers , this destination and its new draws demand fresh eyes. The city’s famous Gion Matsuri , or festival, is set to return in full force in July 2023 following a pandemic pause, with enormous floats and a wealth of food and drink offerings; the event, which was first held in 869, is said to be Japan’s biggest festival. In August, Kyoto celebrates Gozan Okuribi , a bonfire celebration visible across the city that marks the close of Obon, a festival honoring ancestors. New hotels abound, including hospitality group Banyan Tree’s 138-room Dhawa Yura Kyoto , located in the heart of the city. Another new option is Garrya Nijo Castle Kyoto , with 25 rooms set amid lush greenery in front of Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also new — yet firmly rooted in the city’s history — is the recently opened Maana Kiyomizu , where visitors can spend the night in restored machiya , traditional wooden townhouses. Though Japan has only just reopened, it’s already getting even easier to get there, thanks to Delta Air Lines’ brand-new routes from Hawaii to Tokyo plus flights that resumed this fall from Los Angeles. — Alisha Prakash

New Zealand

Barry Tobin; Courtesy of Tourism New Zealand

After a stringent lockdown, New Zealand has at last dropped all travel restrictions. Happily, the country is becoming more accessible than ever, thanks to the nonstop flights between New York and Auckland that Air New Zealand launched in September. (That long haul has also gotten comfier, thanks to the airline’s Economy Skycouch seats.) Wondering if those 17 hours in the air will be worth it? Auckland continues to evolve with no shortage of dazzling new places to stay. The 99-room Hotel Britomart , lined in timber and exuding Zen calm, is at the heart of Auckland’s Britomart District, nine blocks of historic warehouses converted into shops and restaurants. Mawhiti Walheke is a luxurious modern guest pavilion on a vineyard-covered island a short ferry ride from the city. And New Zealand’s spectacular landscape finally has a showstopper of a property to match it: Flock Hill , a fully serviced four-bedroom villa on a sheep ranching station in the Southern Alps region of South Island. — Peter Terzian

Teahupo’o,Tahiti

© Gre goire Le Bacon

The village of Teahupo’o, on the southwestern coast of Tahiti, will take center stage during the 2024 Paris Olympics, despite being 9,800 miles from the French capital. But unless you’re planning to compete, the year ahead is the ideal time for a closer look at this part of French Polynesia, before the world’s attention turns to the South Pacific. Some of the incredible waves here rate among the most fearsome on the planet — hence the name Teahupo’o, which essentially means “wall of skulls” — while others are more rideable for those with some surfing experience. Accommodations such as Tahurai can organize coaching sessions, including some hosted by local surf icon Tereva David. Those more comfortable watching the waves than riding them can get on the water with tour companies such as Teahupo’o Tahiti Surfari , which takes visitors by boat to see the famous Teahupo’o swell, one of the highest and heaviest waves in the world, as well as waterfalls, lagoons, lava tubes, and cliff-diving spots around the island. Meanwhile, it’s gotten easier than ever to reach Tahiti, thanks to Delta Air Lines’ new nonstop flights from Los Angeles to Fa'a'ā International Airport. Air Tahiti Nui has also added connectivity, with the only nonstop flights between Seattle and Tahiti, which took off in October. — Jamie Aranoff

Victoria, British Columbia

Carlina Teteris/Getty Images

What does it look like for a city to meaningfully prioritize “sustainability,” a word that often ends up more “feel-good” than actually “do-good?” Victoria is maximizing its green impact, aiming to make all new buildings carbon neutral by 2025 and halve landfill waste by 2040. Admittedly, few travelers pick destinations based on zero-waste initiatives, but it’s easy to take an environmentally minded trip to Victoria — the city even has suggested “green travel” itineraries , capitalizing on the outdoor beauty of places like Goldstream Provincial Park, one of many green spaces on Vancouver Island. Visitors have their choice of carbon-neutral hotels, such as Inn at Laurel Point and Parkside Hotel & Spa , and can even do carbon-neutral fast food at Big Wheel Burger , Canada’s first such restaurant. Other eco-minded activities include e-biking along the Saanich Peninsula to seaside towns like Sidney — with stops at picturesque wineries or the Butchart Gardens along the way — or hopping aboard an orca-watching cruise with Eagle Wing Tours , which is, of course, part of 1% for the Planet . — Liz Cantrell

JJ Farquitectos/Getty Images

Austria’s capital city may be old — like, Holy Roman Empire old — but 2023 will see neue life in this historic destination. The year ahead is the 150th anniversary of Vienna’s World’s Fair, and the celebrations include 12 months of cultural events. It’s also the 300th anniversary of the opening of the Belvedere , the palatial museum that’s mounting an art nouveau exhibit featuring 90 Gustav Klimt works in February. Adaptive reuse is also on trend here, and the recently opened Rosewood Vienna is but one example, set in a neoclassical building that was once a bank headquarters and, before that, an apartment building where Mozart lived. The now-reopened Reznicek is a contemporary gasthaus inside a 100-year-old inn; Grace ’s Michelin-starred fare is served in a refurbished wood-paneled café reminiscent of the ‘70s. Not that Vienna is only looking to the past: New initiatives have added 1,000 miles of bike paths, carsharing via WienMobil , a robust network of electric buses, and new development in the fast-growing Aspern neighborhood where every public space and street is named after a woman . Other new additions include Hotel Josefine , with its sultry Roaring ‘20s energy and Hotel Gilbert , with a greenery-cloaked façade and Scandi-inspired design. Nonstop flights from Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Newark, New York City, and Washington, D.C. are always an option but the most au courant way in may be the new Paris to Vienna Nightjet train , which runs three days a week, with private cabins with lie-flat beds and breakfast in the morning. — Maya Kachroo-Levine

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60 night Circumnavigation of Australia cruise from $59,142 per person share twinFlights AdditionalDeparts 17 Oct 25

Exploring Australia's Coastal Legend 

A unique and pioneering expedition to discover the legend of Terra Australia Incognita, our great island continent, on a rare circumnavigation voyage around the remote shorelines of Australia. Undertake this epic adventure of a lifetime as we connect with remote natural places, significant historical sites, amazing natural encounters, and small cultural communities of Australia. Our all-Australian crew and special guest experts will provide local knowledge and insights as they proudly showcase the people, places and tastes that are Australian legend. This voyage will feature 48 excursion days, visit 4 major coastal ports and include 3 significant events including a cultural feast in the Torres Strait, a Winemaker’s Lunch in Margaret River and a charter flight to enjoy a day in the Outback at Longreach. Expedition Inclusions ✔ 60 night cruise with Coral Expeditions onboard Coral Adventurer ✔   All meals, with morning and afternoon tea ✔  Selected beers, wines, spirits, juices & soft drinks with lunch and dinner service, and 24 hour tea and coffee ✔  Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Events and open bridge access  ✔  24 hour coffee and selection of tea ✔ Use of all onboard facilities, including a reference library ✔ Comprehensive and fully guided sightseeing in each destination  ✔ Use of Xplorer tenders and Zodiacs  ✔ Kayaking and snorkeling  ✔ Daily lectures and briefings ✔ Listed charter flight from Townsville to Longreach and return ✔  All fees & gratuities

60 Nights from Cairns to Cairns onboard Coral Adventurer  Departs: 17 October 2025  Coral deck Stateroom from   $59,142  per person Promenade Deck Stateroom from   $70,970   per person Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom from   $94,627   per person

Expedition Highlights ✔  Walk on country with traditional First Nations elders on Stanley Island    ✔  Raise your glass with a Champagne toast at Pajinka on the tip of Australia    ✔  Snorkel and dive in the pristine marine environs of Liard Island and Ashmore reef   ✔ Witness the power and majesty of the Kimberley geography and tides a the iconic sites of Talbot Bay and Montgomery reef.  ✔  Connect with indigenous culture and community in Yirrkala and the Tiwi Islands  ✔  Step ashore on a true island hideaway and hear the legend of the Bounty on Restoration Island  ✔ Visit the sites of historic shipwrecks and learn about the seafaring legend of early explorers and traders  ✔ Cool off in the water adventurers at the Rowley Shoals, Ningaloo and Shark Bay ✔  Witness the majestic annual whale migration of the Indian ocean ✔  Enjoy ranger guided walks ashore in the rugged Dampier archipelago ✔ Explore wildlife encounters with rare seabirds and marine mammals at island outposts of the Lacepedes, Montebello and Muiron Islands ✔ Meet the remote fishing community of the Houtman's Abrolhos Group and indulge in fresh lobster with a special seafood dinner onboard.  ✔   Step ashore on remote coastal beaches fringed with native wild flowers in spring  ✔ Witness the power f the Southern ocean and sail past the striking Bunda cliffs and the 12 Apostles ✔ Share the water and shorelines with abundant colonies of seals and sea lions and migratory seabirds ✔ Visit small communities and coastal township to meet the locals and Esperance and Port Fairy  ✔ Indulge in the succulent seafood bounty of fresh oysters in Coffin bay and abalone on Flinders island.  ✔  Enjoy wildlife encounters on famous Kangaroo and Philip Islands  ✔ Enter Tasmania's Tamar tour and indulge in the regions world class wines and produce.  ✔ Wake early and enjoy a memorable sunrise sail into Sydney Harbor ✔ Step ashore in Trial Bay and visit the historic goal and foreshore markets  ✔ Enjoy a snorkel and kayak trail amongst the shipwrecks at Tangalooms ✔ Take an island tour and enjoy cultural guided talks on K'gari (Fraser island)  ✔ Sail through the spectacular islands of the Whitsunday region and visit pristine Whitehaven beach                                                                                                                              

Don't forget to  download the House of Travel App  to view your itinerary from your mobile phone!

Terms and Conditions

RESERVATIONS:

To make a reservation you have to pay a deposit of 20% of the fare. The balance of the fare is due ninety (90) days prior to departure. All prices are converted from Australian dollars and are subject to currency fluctuation at time of booking

CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY:

Notification of cancellation must be received in writing. At the time we receive your cancellation the following penalties will apply:

  • Up to 90 days prior to departure – forfeit your deposit of 20% of the fare.
  • 60 to 89 days prior to departure – forfeit 50% of the fare.
  • No-show to 59 days prior to departure – forfeit 100% of the fare.

Transfer Fees

  • Date change fee made more than 90 days before departure – $500pp fee.
  • Date change within 90 days of departure is considered a cancellation and standard Cancellation Policy applies.
  • A name change/transfer of the booking to another person is considered a cancellation and Cancellation Penalties (as above) will apply.
  • A $200 per person fee is applicable for any amendments not requiring a date change after booking is confirmed.

TRIP CANCELLATION AND INTERRUPTION INSURANCE:

We strongly recommend that all passengers purchase cruise cancellation and interruption insurance as protection against any circumstance which may force you to cancel or leave an expedition whilst it is in progress.

SHARE POLICY:

Accommodation on the Ship is based on twin share occupancy. If you are travelling alone and wish to share accommodation, a room mate will be assigned to your cabin whenever possible. When pairing room mates we always pair participants of the same sex. In the event of a share partner not being found, standard twin share stateroom rate will be applied.

Upon payment of the fare for the Cruise and the confirmation of the booking by us or our authorised travel agent a Contract is concluded between us (the carrier) and you (the passenger) concerning the Cruise in terms of these Cruise Ticket Conditions. Any payment of the cruise fare implies acceptance of all Terms and Conditions.

INTERPRETATION:

In these Cruise Ticket Conditions:

  • “brochure” means this brochure and any other promotional material published by the Carrier with reference to the Cruise.
  • “carrier” means and includes Coral Expeditions, the Ship, the Ship’s owners, operators, managers, charterers, agents, sub-contractors and employees.
  • “Coral Expeditions” means Coral Princess Cruises (NQ) Pty Ltd (A.B.N 51 010 809 417) of Hartley Street, Cairns, Queensland, Australia.
  • “Cruise” means the passage agreed to be undertaken by the carrier in the Contract.
  • “passenger” means each person purchasing or accepting the Contract entitled to board the Ship for the Cruise.
  • “Queensland” means the State of Queensland in the Commonwealth of Australia.
  • “the Ship” means the Cruise Ship used by the carrier to conduct the Cruise.
  • “Unexpected Event” means any act, circumstance or event beyond the control of the carrier caused or arising from but not limited to acts of God, public enemies, government restraint, riots, strikes, lockouts, labour troubles, epidemic, civil disturbances, perils of the sea, harbours, rivers or other navigable waters, fuel shortages or abrupt and unexpected increases in fuel costs, collisions, stranding, fire, lightning, storm, rough and adverse sea conditions, tidal waves, cyclones, theft, barratry or any other crime by any person, faults or errors of navigation or management of the Ship or any other vessel, explosions, breakage of shafts or any defect or unseaworthiness in hull, machinery or appurtenances, equipment, furnishings or supplies of the Ship or launches or vehicles or any defect of the carrier’s premises, fault or neglect of pilots, tugs, crew, agents or independent contractors, port closures, delays in allocation and permits to berth the Ship at ports on arrival and seizure of the Vessel under legal process.

Where this brochure contains particulars of our conditions or policy about reservation procedures, bookings, cancellations, refunds of fares and itineraries for the Cruise then it forms part of these Cruise Ticket Conditions and if there is any inconsistency these Cruise Ticket Conditions shall prevail.

NON-TRANSFERABLE:

Passengers do not have the right to transfer their rights and obligations under these Cruise Ticket Conditions. The fare paid shall not be refundable except as permitted in these Cruise Ticket Conditions and the carrier will not be liable to make any refund to the passenger if the passenger fails to embark on the Ship for the Cruise.

CRUISE CHANGES, DELAYS OR CANCELLATIONS:

The carrier will endeavour to follow the Cruise itinerary as described in the brochure and the passenger accepts that the carrier has the right to change the itinerary, the Ship or cancel the Cruise as a result of some Unexpected Event or prevailing inclement weather conditions and the passenger accepts that the passenger will not be entitled to any compensation or a refund of the fare paid should this occur. If the carrier cancels the Cruise for any other reason the carrier will refund the fare paid and if the departure of a Cruise is delayed or if the Cruise itinerary is shortened for any other reason the carrier will refund part of the fare paid on a pro rata basis to allow for the time lost. So far as these Cruise Ticket Conditions constitute a contract for the supply of services then and in no event shall the liability of the carrier to the passenger for a breach of an express or implied condition or warranty in that respect exceed, at the election of the carrier:

  • an obligation on the part of the carrier to supply the services again, or;
  • the refund or payment to the passenger of an amount equal to the fare paid by the passenger for the Cruise.

PASSENGER HEALTH AND RESPONSIBILITY:

The passenger admits a full understanding of the nature and character of the Ship and the scope of the activities contemplated by the passenger during the Cruise (including those relating to off Ship activities such as excursions in the Ship’s tenders, snorkelling and diving) and assures and undertakes to the carrier:-

  • that they are in good health and well able to undertake the Cruise and the contemplated activities;
  • that they will effect travel insurance sufficient to cover any limitation of liability against them imposed by these Cruise Ticket Conditions should they wish to do so;
  • that they accept the risk that they may suffer from sea sickness;
  • that they have disclosed any physical or mental disability requiring special attention (including the use of a wheelchair) or treatment at the time when the reservation for the Cruise was made;
  • that no passenger will be permitted to embark or continue on a voyage while their mental or physical condition is, in the opinion of any representative of the carrier, such as to render them incapable of caring for themselves, or whereby they become objectionable to other passengers, or they become a hazard to themselves or others. The carrier will not be responsible for any expenses resulting in such persons being precluded from completing the cruise;
  • that the passenger accepts that a medical certificate certifying fitness for travel may be required at the carrier’s request and if any passenger has had surgery less than twelve (12) months prior to sailing that passenger must submit a letter from a qualified physician stating that he or she is fit to travel and the carrier reserves the right to deny passage if a passenger requires care and attention which the carrier cannot adequately provide and this decision may be made by the carrier in its sole discretion;
  • The carrier reserves the right to refuse or deny participation in activities or programmes either aboard the Ship or off Ship which are sponsored or promoted by the carrier to any passenger who has a past or present medical condition that may present risks if the passenger participates in those activities and any decision in this respect may be made by the carrier in its sole discretion;
  • Any charges incurred by passengers for medical reasons including but not limited to physicians, surgeons, hospitals, off Ship accommodation, medication, diagnostic facilities, air ambulance evacuation or ground ambulance shall be the sole responsibility of the passenger;
  • for the safety and comfort of passengers smoking is not permitted in the Ship except on designated open deck spaces outside all air-conditioned and sealed areas of the Ship;
  • and the passenger agrees to indemnify the carrier from and against all claims, costs, charges, fines or penalties arising as a result of any claim made against the carrier in this respect.

LIMITATION OF CARRIER’S LIABILITY:

The liability of the carrier to the passenger is limited with respect to both personal injury and damage to loss of property to the full extent permitted by law and in terms of these Cruise Ticket Conditions. The carrier accepts no responsibility or liability to the passenger for loss, death, or delay of, or injury to any passenger or loss, damage or delay to a passenger’s baggage, personal effects or other property arising from or caused by an Unexpected Event. These Cruise Ticket Conditions remain in effect for all periods when the carrier is under any responsibility to the passenger or the passenger’s property. No variation or waiver of any term or condition of these Cruise Ticket Conditions will have any effect unless they are in writing and signed by the carrier. No undertaking, guarantee or warranty is given or shall be implied as to the seaworthiness, fitness or condition of the Ship. In addition to any other limitation of liability contained in these Cruise Ticket Conditions the carrier shall have the benefit of any statutory limitation of liability available in Queensland including but not limited to the Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims Act 1989 (Cwth). Where tours and services of operators other than the carrier are engaged e.g. tour operators and hoteliers, which are not under the control of the carrier, whilst the carrier takes all reasonable care in selecting these operators it cannot accept responsibility for those operators’ conduct or the conduct of their representative employees or agents or for any ramifications of that conduct.

PASSPORT AND ENTRY VISAS:

It is a requirement that all passengers have a valid passport and appropriate visa/travel permits for the countries to be visited. Passport must have a validity of more than six months beyond the duration of travel. The company cannot be responsible for any travel restrictions or expenses arising through passengers not having relevant documentation.

PASSENGER BAGGAGE:

All baggage brought on board the Ship by a passenger remains in the possession and control of the passenger during the Cruise and must be stored and kept in the cabin allocated to the passenger. The carrier has made recommendations with respect to baggage in the brochure. Baggage should be prominently marked with the name and address of the passenger. The passenger must not bring on board the Ship in baggage or otherwise any dangerous or inflammable substance including any prohibited drug or non-prescribed drug. Liquor laws prohibit passengers from bringing supplies of alcohol or liquor on board the Ship. Baggage remaining unclaimed on arrival of the Ship will be stored at the passenger’s sole risk and expense. The carrier is not responsible for money, jewellery, documents and any other valuables which passengers keep on their person, in their cabins or in their baggage and the carrier strongly recommends that passengers obtain adequate insurance to cover any loss or damage in this respect. In no event will the carrier’s responsibility or liability to the passenger for loss of baggage or personal effects exceed $100 and the passenger agrees to indemnify and keep indemnified the carrier from and against any claims made against the carrier in excess of this amount in this respect.

RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES:

The carrier will not be liable to passengers for any injuries or damage which occur while the passenger is participating in recreational activities aboard the Vessel or otherwise including but not limited to passenger participating in snorkelling or scuba diving programmes. By utilising these facilities passengers agree to assume all risks associated with those activities and fully release and discharge the carrier from any and all claims, demands, damages, causes of action, present or future, resulting from or arising out of the passenger’s use of or participation in those facilities. The passenger may be required to sign a release or waiver prior to undertaking these activities and the carrier will be entitled to refuse to allow the passenger to participate in those activities if the waiver or release is not signed by the passenger prior to participation in those activities.

APPLICABLE LAW:

Should any provision of these Cruise Ticket Conditions be contrary to or invalid by virtue of the laws of Queensland or the Commonwealth of Australia or for any other reason the relevant provision will be deemed to be severed from these Cruise Ticket Conditions and shall be of no effect but all remaining provisions shall remain in full force and effect. These Cruise Ticket Conditions shall be governed in all respects by the laws of Queensland and the passenger agrees that any claims or disputes between the passenger and the carrier in connection with these Cruise Ticket Conditions shall be commenced, filed and litigated before a Court of proper jurisdiction in Queensland and if possible in the State of Queensland.

WHAT TO EXPECT:

For most activities a relatively low level of exertion is required. You will need to climb into and out of zodiacs and other excursion tenders for excursions ashore: there will be staff and crew members on hand to assist. Ashore, you must be able to walk moderate distances over sometimes rough terrain. Although our new ship  Coral Adventurer  features a lift, it is still essential that all guests have reasonable agility to use the steep stairways between decks. Participants will most enjoy the remarkable opportunities these expeditions offer if they travel with a spirit of adventure.

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Your privacy is very important to us. By proceeding, you confirm you have read and agree on behalf of all travellers to our Privacy Policy , and consent to the transfer of personal information to overseas travel providers and other supporting entities for the quote and any travel services to be facilitated and processed (acknowledging that they may not be subject to the same standards of privacy protection as applicable in New Zealand).

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14 best travel credit cards of May 2024

Nick Ewen

The best travel credit cards offer an array of premium perks and benefits . For both occasional travelers and frequent flyers, adding a travel credit card to your wallet is a great way to earn rewards and save money on every trip you take. At The Points Guy, our team has done the legwork and curated a selection of the best travel credit cards for any globe-trotter, whether you prefer to backpack through mountains or settle into a luxury villa for some relaxation. From generous travel credits to premium lounge access, we’ve chosen the cards packed with the best benefits to elevate your next travel experience.

Check out our list below and discover which travel credit card from our partners makes the best addition to your wallet for all of your adventures.

  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card : Best for earning miles
  • Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card : Best for premium travel
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card : Best for beginner travelers
  • Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card : Best for maximizing business purchases
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express : Best for lounge access
  • American Express® Gold Card : Best for dining at restaurants
  • Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card : Best for no annual fee
  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express : Best for business travel
  • Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Card : Best for unlimited point earning
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve® : Best for travel credits
  • Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card : Best for variety of bonus categories
  • American Express® Business Gold Card : Best for flexible rewards earning
  • Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card : Best for travel rewards beginners
  • Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card : Best for Alaska Airlines miles

Browse by card categories

Comparing the best credit cards, more details on the best credit cards, credit pointers with brian kelly, what is a travel credit card, helpful tools, how we rate cards, how to maximize travel credit cards, how to choose the best travel credit card, ask our experts, pros + cons of travel credit cards, frequently asked questions.

  • Airport Lounge Access

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

When it comes to simplicity and strong rewards, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a solid choice for most travelers. You’ll earn earns 2 miles per dollar on every purchase with no bonus categories to memorize, making it an ideal card for those with busy lives. Read our full review of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card .

  • This flexible rewards card delivers a solid sign-up bonus of 75,000 miles, worth $1,388 based on TPG valuations and not provided by the issuer.
  • You'll earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, which means you won't have to worry about memorizing bonus categories.
  • Rewards earned are versatile as they can be redeemed for any hotel or airline purchase for a statement credit or transferred to 15+ travel partners.
  • Highest bonus-earning categories only on travel booked via Capital One Travel
  • Capital One airline partners do not include any large U.S. airlines.
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Enrich every hotel stay from the Lifestyle Collection with a suite of cardholder benefits, like a $50 experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

If you can maximize the  $300 credit toward Capital One Travel, the Venture X’s annual fee effectively comes down to $95, the same annual fee pegged to the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (see rates and fees ). Add in a 10,000-mile bonus every account anniversary (worth $185, according to TPG valuations ) and lounge access, and the card may become the strongest option out there for a lot of travelers. Read our full  review of the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card .

  • 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
  • 10,000 bonus miles every account anniversary
  • $395 annual fee
  • $300 credit annually, only applicable for bookings made through Capital One Travel portal
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive a $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Elevate every hotel stay from the Premier or Lifestyle Collections with a suite of cardholder benefits, like an experience credit, room upgrades, and more

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the most popular travel rewards credit card on the market. Offering an excellent return on travel and dining purchases, the card packs a ton of value that easily offsets its $95 annual fee. Cardholders can redeem points at 1.25 cents each for travel booked through Chase or transfer points to one of Chase’s 14 valuable airline and hotel partners. Read our full  review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card .

  • You’ll earn 5 points per dollar on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3 points per dollar on dining, select streaming services and online grocery store purchases, 2 points per dollar on all other travel and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
  • Annual $50 Chase Travel Hotel Credit
  • Premium travel protection benefits including trip cancellation insurance, primary car rental insurance and lost luggage insurance.
  • The card comes with a $95 annual fee.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Travel℠. For example, 75,000 points are worth $937.50 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card’s sign-up bonus is among the highest we’ve seen from Chase. Plus earn points across the four bonus categories (travel, shipping, advertising and telecommunication providers) that are most popular with businesses. The card comes with travel protections, shopping protections and will also have primary coverage when renting a car for business purposes for you and your employees. Read our full  review of the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card .

  • One of the highest sign-up bonuses we’ve seen — 100,000 bonus points after $8,000 worth of spend in the first three months after card opening.
  • Access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal for points redemption.
  • Reasonable $95 annual fee.
  • Bonus categories that are most relevant to business owners; primary car insurance.
  • Perks including cellphone and purchase protection; extended warranty; trip cancellation/interruption insurance; trip delay reimbursement.
  • Yearly cap on bonus categories.
  • No travel perks.
  • Subject to Chase's 5/24 rule on card applications.
  • Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Travel℠
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Round-the-clock monitoring for unusual credit card purchases
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
  • Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Travel℠
  • Purchase Protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Amex Platinum is unmatched when it comes to travel perks and benefits. If lounge access, hotel elite status and annual statement credits are important to you, this card is well worth the high annual fee. Read our full  review of the Platinum Card from American Express .

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, and more than $1,400 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (enrollment required)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.
  • The $695 annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning bonus rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee credit and other monthly statement credits can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market. As of 03/2023.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Save on eligible delivery fees, shipping, and more with a Walmart+ membership. Use your Platinum Card® to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership and get up to $12.95 plus applicable taxes back on one membership (excluding Plus Ups) each month.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only. Terms Apply.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: CLEAR® Plus helps to get you to your gate faster at 50+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Card. CLEARLanes are available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues.
  • Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 year period for TSA PreCheck® application fee for a 5-year plan only (through a TSA PreCheck® official enrollment provider), when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express® Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card

This isn’t just a card that’s nice to look at. It packs a real punch, offering 4 points per dollar on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1 point per dollar). There’s also an up to $120 annual dining credit at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com ,  Milk Bar, and select Shake Shack locations, plus it added an up to $120 annually ($10 per month) in Uber Cash, which can be used on Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S. All this make it a very strong contender for all food purchases, which has become a popular spending category. Enrollment is required for select benefits. Read our full review of the Amex Gold .

  • 4 points per dollar on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1 point per dollar)
  • 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel.
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $6,000 in the first six months of account opening.
  • Weak on travel and everyday spending bonus categories.
  • Not as effective for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits.
  • Few travel perks and protections.
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Get a $100 experience credit with a minimum two-night stay when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel. Experience credit varies by property.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

If you’re looking to dip your toes into the world of travel rewards, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card is a great way to get started. With no annual fee and a simple 1.25 miles per dollar on all your purchases, you won’t have to keep up with multiple bonus categories — just earn rewards on everything you purchase! Coupled with the 20,000-mile sign-up bonus, you can use your rewards to book travel, transfer to Capital One’s loyalty partners and more. Read our full review of the  Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card .

  • No annual fee.
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $500 within the first three months from account opening.
  • Use your miles to book or pay for travel at a 1-cent value, or transfer your miles to loyalty programs to gain potentially even greater value for your rewards.
  • Earn 1.25 miles per dollar on all purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Other credit cards can offer you higher rewards for your common purchase categories.
  • Capital One airline transfer partners do not include any large U.S. airlines.
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 19.99% - 29.99% variable APR after that; balance transfer fee applies

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

The Business Platinum Card from American Express is a great card for frequent travelers looking to add a touch of luxury to their business trips. While the card does come with a high annual fee, you’re also getting a ton of valuable benefits in return. They include generous annual travel credits, unparalleled lounge access that includes Amex Centurion Lounges and more. Read our full  review on The Business Platinum Card from American Express .

  • Up to $100 statement credit for Global Entry every 4 years or $85 TSA PreCheck credit every 4.5 years (enrollment is required)
  • Up to $400 annual statement credit for U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels; access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection (enrollment required)
  • Steep $695 annual fee.
  • High spend needed for welcome offer.
  • Limited high bonus categories outside of travel.
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $20,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on each eligible purchase at US construction material, hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers, and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in statement credits on select purchases, including tech, recruiting and wireless in the first year of membership with the Business Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. See how you can unlock over $1,000 annually in credits on select purchases with the Business Platinum Card®, here.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to the Card.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Use your card and get up to $189 in statement credits per calendar year on your CLEAR® Plus Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use the Business Platinum Card®.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market as of 03/2023.
  • $695 Annual Fee.

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Card

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Card

The Wells Fargo Autograph Journey credit card offers healthy reward earning rates on top of uncapped point-earning meaning the sky's the limit — especially if you strategize and spend in popular categories.

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Uncapped earning potential
  • $50 annual statement credit
  • Solid point earning rates in popular categories
  • This card features an annual fee
  • Select “Apply Now” to take advantage of this specific offer and learn more about product features, terms and conditions.
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months – that’s $600 toward your next trip.
  • Earn unlimited 5X points on hotels, 4X points on airlines, 3X points on other travel and restaurants, and 1X points on other purchases.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Book your travel with the Autograph Journey Card and enjoy Travel Accident Insurance, Lost Baggage Reimbursement, Trip Cancellation and Interruption Protection and Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver.
  • Earn a $50 annual statement credit with $50 minimum airline purchase.
  • Up to $1,000 of cell phone protection against damage or theft. Subject to a $25 deductible.
  • Find tickets to top sports and entertainment events, book travel, make dinner reservations and more with your complimentary 24/7 Visa Signature® Concierge.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of our top premium travel cards. With a $300 travel credit, bonus points on dining and travel purchases and other benefits, you can get excellent value that far exceeds the annual fee on the card. Read our full  review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card .

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners.
  • 10 points per dollar on hotels, car rentals and Chase Dining purchases through the Ultimate Rewards portal, 5 points per dollar on flights booked through the Chase Travel portal, 3 points per dollar on all other travel and dining, 1 point per dollar on everything else
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel directly through Chase Travel
  • Steep initial $550 annual fee.
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,125 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Travel℠. For example, 75,000 points are worth $1125 toward travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

The Wells Fargo Autograph card packs a punch for a no-annual-fee product, with an array of bonus categories plus solid perks and straightforward redemption options. Read our  full review of the Wells Fargo Autograph here .

  • This card offers 3 points per dollar on various everyday purchases with no annual fee. It also comes with a 20,000-point welcome bonus and an introductory APR offer on purchases. Plus, you'll enjoy up to $600 in cellphone protection when you pay your monthly bill with the card. Subject to a $25 deductible.
  • Despite the lucrative earning structure, Wells Fargo doesn't offer any ways to maximize your redemptions — you're limited to fixed-value rewards like gift cards and statement credits.
  • Select "Apply Now" to take advantage of this specific offer and learn more about product features, terms and conditions.
  • Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value.
  • Earn unlimited 3X points on the things that really add up - like restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans. Plus, earn 1X points on other purchases.
  • $0 annual fee.
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases. 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% variable APR thereafter.
  • Up to $600 of cell phone protection against damage or theft. Subject to a $25 deductible.
  • Redeem your rewards points for travel, gift cards, or statement credits. Or shop at millions of online stores and redeem your rewards when you check out with PayPal.

American Express® Business Gold Card

American Express® Business Gold Card

The Amex Business Gold card is a solid choice for high-spending small businesses with the flexibility to earn 4 points per dollar in the two categories where you spend the most. The card is ideal for businesses who value simplicity above all. Read our full  review of the American Express Business Gold Card .

  • You'll earn 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar in the top 2 spending categories each month (on the first $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year).
  • Hefty $375 annual fee.
  • There may be better options for small businesses who don't spend a lot.
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle from 6 eligible categories. While your top 2 categories may change, you will earn 4X points on the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these categories each calendar year (then 1X thereafter). Only the top 2 categories each billing cycle will count towards the $150,000 cap.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com using your Business Gold Card.
  • Earn up to $20 in statement credits monthly after you use the Business Gold Card for eligible U.S. purchases at FedEx, Grubhub, and Office Supply Stores. This can be an annual savings of up to $240. Enrollment required.
  • Get up to a $12.95** statement credit back each month after you pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) with your Business Gold Card. **Up to $12.95 plus applicable taxes on one membership fee.
  • Your Card – Your Choice. Choose from Gold or Rose Gold.
  • *Terms Apply

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card is a great starter card thanks to its no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees when you travel internationally. Earning and redeeming is effortless, with no confusing bonus categories to keep track of and the ability to redeem your points for all of your travel needs. Read our  full review of the Bank of America Travel Rewards  card.

  • 1.5 points per dollar on all purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Bank of America does not offer airline or hotel transfer partners like other banks such as American Express, Chase or Capital One.
  • No travel and purchase protections.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire as long as your account remains open.
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 19.24% - 29.24% will apply. A 3% Intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days your account is open. After the Intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for future balance transfers is 4%.
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means instead of earning an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1, you could earn 1.87-2.62 points for every $1 you spend on purchases.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

There’s a lot to love about the Alaska Airlines credit card, in part due to its highly valuable loyalty program: Alaska Airlines MileagePlan. Whether you’re a loyal Alaska flyer or a points maximizer looking to diversify your rewards portfolio, this card has a lot to offer. For starters, you’ll receive Alaska’s Famous Companion Pass each year from $122 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) each account anniversary after you spend $6,000 or more on purchases within the prior anniversary year, free checked bags for you and up to six guests on your itinerary, 20% back on in-flight purchases and more. Plus, Alaska has joined the oneworld alliance, opening up endless redemption opportunities. Read our  full review of the Alaska Airline credit card.

  • Free checked bag for you and up to six guests on your reservation.
  • Alaska discounts, including 20% back on in-flight purchases.
  • Limited Time Online Offer—60,000 Bonus Miles!
  • Get 60,000 bonus miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) with this offer. To qualify, make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.
  • Get Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™ ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) each account anniversary after you spend $6,000 or more on purchases within the prior anniversary year. Valid on all Alaska Airlines flights booked on alaskaair.com.
  • Earn unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases. Earn unlimited 2 miles for every $1 spent on eligible gas, EV charging station, cable, streaming services and local transit (including ride share) purchases. And earn unlimited 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. And, your miles don’t expire on active accounts.
  • Earn a 10% rewards bonus on all miles earned from card purchases if you have an eligible Bank of America® account.
  • Free checked bag and enjoy priority boarding for you and up to 6 guests on the same reservation, when you pay for your flight with your card — Also available for authorized users when they book a reservation too!
  • With oneworld® Alliance member airlines and Alaska’s Global Partners, Alaska has expanded their global reach to over 1,000 destinations worldwide bringing more airline partners and more ways to earn and redeem miles.
  • Plus, no foreign transaction fees and a low $95 annual fee.
  • This online only offer may not be available elsewhere if you leave this page. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

With the Capital One Venture, you’re earning 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, which makes it easy to rack up rewards without having to juggle different bonus categories or spending caps. And with flexible redemption options and a manageable annual fee, this card is an excellent choice if you’re looking to keep just one credit card in your wallet for all spending.

Those looking to earn flexible rewards should use the Capital One Venture card as it allows you to redeem miles for a fixed value or transfer the miles you earn to 15+ airline and hotel transfer partners , including Avianca, Etihad Airways, Turkish Airlines and Singapore Airlines.

“The Capital One Venture is a great card that can add value to pretty much anyone’s wallet. I use it to earn 2 miles per dollar on the purchases that fall outside of my other cards’ bonus categories. The annual fee is low, Capital One miles are easy to redeem and the card does come with a few nice perks — including TSA PreCheck/Global Entry application fee reimbursement.” — Madison Blancaflor , senior content operations editor

Even if you’re a casual traveler, consider jumping to the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card  (see  rates and fees ). The card’s up to $300 annual credit for purchases made with Capital One Travel immediately covers the higher annual fee — and that’s not even considering the added perks you’ll enjoy.

At $395 per year (see rates and fees ), this premium card is cheaper than all of its competitors without sacrificing the breadth of valuable perks it includes. Cardholders will get unlimited visits to Capital One’s premium network of lounges and 1,300-plus Priority Pass lounges worldwide  and able to bring up to two guests for no additional charge.

For frequent travelers, the Capital One Venture X is a must-have and is well worth the $395 annual fee. If you travel frequently with your significant other, family or friends, you can even add some authorized users for no additional cost. This will grant them their own lounge access (and the ability to bring up to two guests for no fee), among many other benefits, making this a huge cost-saver for those who travel in groups.

“With an annual fee that is $300 less than The Platinum Card® from American Express (see Amex Platinum rates and fees ), the Capital One Venture X card is my favorite travel credit card. The card comes with an annual $300 Capital One Travel credit, which I use to book flights. That effectively brings the annual fee down to $95 per year (see rates and fees ). Cardholders enjoy a Priority Pass Select membership. Authorized users — you geta number of them at no cost — also enjoy their own Priority Pass Select membership. I use my Venture X card to earn 2 miles per dollar (a 3.7% return at TPG’s valuations ) in spending categories where most cards would only accrue 1 mile — like auto maintenance, pharmacies and medical bills.” — Kyle Olsen , former points and miles reporter

Those turned off by the Venture X’s annual fee could opt for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card , which has a $95 annual fee (see rates and fees ), identical sign-up bonus and similar earning and redemption options.

You’ll earn a solid return on dining and travel (6% back and 4% back, respectively, based on TPG valuations ) on top of your generous sign-up bonus, and you also have access to some of the best travel protections offered by any travel rewards credit card.

We’ve long suggested the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card   as an excellent option for those who are new to earning travel rewards because it lets you earn valuable, transferable points  with strong bonus categories and a reasonable annual fee.

“The Chase Sapphire Preferred has remained a top card in my wallet for years. Between the consistently strong sign-up bonus, low annual fee and continual improvements that have been made over the years, it’s hard for any other mid-tier rewards card to compare. I love that I can earn bonus rewards on travel, dining, streaming and online grocery purchases — all with just one card. Plus, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are valuable and easy to use whether you’re new to points and miles or an expert.” — Madison Blancaflor , senior content operations editor

To add more luxury to your travel experience, consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve® . Though it comes with a higher annual fee, you’ll enjoy Priority Pass lounge access plus a $300 annual travel credit.

The Ink Business Preferred earns 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 in combined travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone services and advertising purchases made on social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. TPG’s most recent valuations  peg the value of Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents apiece, so you’ll get a fantastic return of 6% on purchases in these categories.

If you spend a lot on business travel or social media advertising, you’ll be able to earn significant points using the Ink Business Preferred card .

“I originally signed up for the Ink Business Preferred primarily for its sign-up bonus. But, over the last year, I’ve found myself making it my go-to card when booking travel. After all, the Ink Business Preferred earns 3 points per dollar spent on travel and provides excellent travel protections, including trip delay protection and rental car insurance.” — Katie Genter , senior writer

If you don’t want to worry about maximizing specific purchases and are looking for a lower spending requirement to earn a sign-up bonus, consider the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card , which offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases and carries no annual fee.

The Amex Platinum is a stellar premium travel card that can provide amazing redemptions . Besides the welcome offer, it comes with more than $1,400 in credits each year and various lounge access options. Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Anyone looking for luxury travel benefits will find that the ton of annual statement credits make the annual fee worth it. Plus, you’ll get unparalleled lounge access , automatic Gold status with Hilton and Marriott, and extra perks with Avis Preferred , Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and National Car Rental Emerald Club . Enrollment is required for select benefits.

“While this card has a high annual fee, it more than justifies itself for frequent travelers like me. The lounge access options that come with the Platinum are unrivaled by competitors. I put all of my flights on this card to earn 5 points per dollar spent and trip protection insurance. I make sure to take full advantage of the Uber, Saks Fifth Avenue, Hulu/Disney+ and Clear credits (enrollment is required). And, honestly, pulling a Platinum card out of your wallet to pay for something does feel pretty fancy.” — Matt Moffitt , senior credit cards editor

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card  can be a great alternative to the Amex Platinum, with a notably lower annual fee, similar perks and a more rewarding earning rate on everyday purchases.

The Amex Gold earns 4 points per dollar on dining at restaurants, with no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees ), meaning you’ll get an 8% return on purchases (based on TPG’s valuations ). While a few other cards temporarily offer higher return rates on dining, this is the best option for long-term spending, making it one of the best dining cards and best rewards cards .

Those looking for a great return on dining and purchases at U.S. supermarkets will get a lot of value from this card.

“Groceries and dining at restaurants are two of my top spending categories, and I love that the Amex Gold rewards those purchases with 4 points per dollar. When you factor in the $10 dining credit and $10 in Uber Cash each month, the $250 annual fee is a net cost of $10.” — Senitra Horbrook , former credit cards editor

For those who dine out a lot and also want additional bonus categories and other valuable perks for a lower annual fee, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card .

The no-annual-fee Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card (see  rates and fees ) has the same redemption options as its sibling card (the Venture Rewards card) but with a lower rewards rate and fewer perks. The miles earned on the card can also be transferred to airline and hotel partners, a benefit not usually seen with a no-annual-fee card.

The VentureOne is a strong card to have in your arsenal and great if you are budgeting. After all, there aren’t many no-annual-fee cards with the ability to transfer points and miles directly to travel partners, so it’s a big bonus that this card offers that (see rates and fees ).

“I wanted a credit card that earns Capital One miles without an annual fee, and this is a winner (see rates and fees ). It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of some other cards, but I’m happy earning 1.25 miles per dollar on all purchases without paying a fee to keep this card year after year. I’ll never cancel this card.” — Ryan Smith , former credit cards writer

For a small annual fee, many travelers could benefit from the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card . You’ll earn at least 2 miles per dollar on all purchases and receive a statement credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership.

There are certain ways to earn bonus points for spending on the Amex Business Platinum Card, but it’s the array of perks on the card that make it a great option. Beyond airport lounge access and automatic hotel elite status, there are a number of statement credits that are specifically targeted to common business expenses.

If you travel for business frequently, this card could help you upgrade your experience in the air and on the ground while saving you money on select business-related services. And the current welcome bonus is just the icing on the cake.

“I find that the annual perks and credits vastly outweigh the large annual fee. And that’s even without using some of them. By using the benefits with Priority Pass and Amex lounges, the airline incidental credits, plus the statement credits for Clear, our cellphone plan and restocking my home printer with ink and paper from Dell (enrollment required), I get more value out of the card than it costs to keep it. Plus, it earns my favorite points — American Express Membership Rewards — earning 5 points per dollar on flights and hotels booked with Amex Travel.” — Ryan Smith , former credit cards writer

For less-frequent travelers, consider the American Express®  Business Gold Card , which offers 4 points per dollar spent on your top two spending categories each month on the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these categories each calendar year (then 1 point per dollar thereafter).

The Autograph Journey offers cardholders the chance to earn elevated rates across travel categories including 5 points per dollar spent on hotels, 4 points per dollar on airline purchases and 3 points per dollar on restaurants and 'other travel' which includes timeshares, car rentals, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites and campgrounds. On top of this, cardholders also get the added benefit of earning a flat rate of 1 point per dollar on other purchases for a $95 annual fee.

If you travel frequently and are looking for a card to help you rack up points you can redeem for future travel, this card is a decent option. Additionally, those looking for a way to fill gaps in their points earning strategy will benefit from the flat 1 point per dollar spent on other purchases outside of the main travel categories.

Another great perk the Autograph Journey features is an annual $50 statement credit triggered by an airline purchase of at least $50. This is on top of elevated earning rates in the certain travel categories and a solid welcome offer for new applicants. There's also no foreign transaction fees on the Autograph Journey card making it a good first travel card as well as a decent supplemental card to add to your travel credit card roster.

If you're looking for a more general use credit card with no annual fee, consider the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card (see  rates and fees ). It earns a flat rate of 2% cash rewards on purchases making an excellent choice to help fill gaps in your reward earning strategy. The best part? Like the Autograph Journey card, the Active Cash Card doesn't put a cap on the amount of cash back you can earn.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with an annual $300 travel credit to offset a variety of expenses — such as airfare, hotels, rental cars, transit and more. You’re also getting an up-to-$100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit  once every four years along with Priority Pass Select membership. And Chase’s slate of transfer partners allows plenty of opportunity to get the maximum value from your points.

Those looking for elevated earning rates and extensive travel protections should have this card in their wallet. The 50% redemption bonus when you use your points to pay for travel through the Chase portal  is also a nice perk.

“I’ve had the Sapphire Reserve for years, and it’s going to stay in my wallet for the near future. I get $300 off travel every year along with great earning rates on travel and dining (3 points per dollar) and various trip protections that can reimburse me when things go wrong. And by leveraging other cards in the Ultimate Rewards ecosystem, I’m able to maximize the earnings across all of my purchases.” — Nick Ewen , director of content

If you just can’t stomach the Sapphire Reserve’s $550 annual fee, go for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card  instead. It has similar perks, redemption options and travel protections — for a much lower $95 per year.

The Wells Fargo Autograph is a great no-annual-fee card that offers quality earning categories and travel and shopping protection.

Travel card beginners who are looking to get into points earning should consider the Wells Fargo Autograph, which offers a welcome bonus, 3 points per dollar on a variety of everyday spending categories and cellphone protection.

If you’re just getting into the travel credit card world and are not sure travel cards are for you, consider the Wells Fargo Autograph, which will allow you to earn bonus points on travel spending without the commitment of an annual fee.

If you’re looking to earn transferable reward points but still maintain a similar earning structure, consider the Bilt Mastercard® (see rates and fees ). The card earns 3 points per dollar on dining and 2 points per dollar on travel purchases for no annual fee. Plus, Bilt points can be transferred to any of its multiple travel partners. 

The American Express Business Gold card comes packed with perks and benefits, but its most unique feature is the ability to shift your monthly bonus categories. Cardholders will automatically earn 4 points per dollar in their top two spending categories on the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these categories each calendar year (then 1 point per dollar thereafter), so if your business spending varies month to month, you won’t have to commit to a bonus category.

The American Express Business Gold card is an excellent choice for business owners who are looking for a premium business card with premium business perks like monthly office supply statement credits, travel and shopping protection and access to The Hotel Collection.

The American Express Business Gold is an excellent choice for small businesses that have changing bonus categories but still want more premium business perks and benefits.

If you still want to earn Membership Rewards points without paying an annual fee, consider The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (see rates and fees ), which earns 2 Membership Rewards points on all business purchases (up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1 point per dollar).

The Bank of America Travel Rewards card operates similarly to the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card . You’re earning flat-rate rewards across all spending, and then you can use those rewards as a statement credit to cover eligible travel purchases.

It’s perfect for low-budget beginner travelers  who want a card with no annual fee and a simple way to earn and redeem points.

“I’m happy earning 1.5 points per dollar on all purchases on a card without an annual fee. I can’t pay for everything in life with transferable points, and it’s nice to have a card with fixed-value points for those situations. I use this card for travel purchases where I need to pay in cash, then I can reimburse myself with the points.” — Ryan Smith , former credit cards writer

If you’re interested in a card with transferable miles that still has no annual fee (see  rates and fees ), consider the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card .

The Alaska Airlines Visa earns 3 miles per dollar on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases; 2 miles per dollar on eligible gas, EV charging stations, cable, streaming services and transit (including local ride share purchases); and 1 mile per dollar on everything else. You get a free checked bag on Alaska flights for you and up to six guests on your reservation, an annual Companion Fare on your account anniversary and 20% back on all inflight purchases.

Whether you live on the West Coast or not, the Alaska Airlines Visa is a good cobranded airline card to consider adding to your wallet. The Seattle-based airline is mostly limited to North American routes, but international destinations through Oneworld partners make this card valuable for all travelers.

“With new benefits, this card is even more valuable to me — even with its higher annual fee. It provides a free first checked bag, discounts on inflight purchases and priority boarding. My favorite feature, however, is the annual Companion Fare. I get hundreds of dollars in annual value from this perk.” — Ryan Smith , former credit cards writer

If you’re not looking to collect airline-specific miles, a general travel card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card might be a better option.

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Travel rewards credit cards earn points, miles or cash back that are redeemable for travel expenses or are geared toward travel spending. The cards on this list are some of the best credit cards to book flights , hotels and more with their many perks and rewards . 

Travel credit cards offer rewards on different purchases that can help you book flights, hotels and more for little to no out-of-pocket expenses. Some cards also provide valuable perks and benefits that upgrade the overall travel experience — from Global Entry application fee credits to lounge access to complimentary elite status . If you have the right card (or cards) in your wallet, the sky is the limit on where your travels can take you — literally.

Additionally, it’s often advantageous to travel with more than one credit card for a variety of reasons. Carrying a backup credit card when you travel can provide peace of mind in the case of bank or issuer problems or if you have a card flagged for fraud while you travel. (In this case, knowing if your card requires you to set up travel alerts for lengthy travel could be worthwhile).

Are you new to travel rewards? Check out our beginner’s guide to all things points and miles . You’ll learn about top loyalty programs, how to maximize your credit card strategy to reach your travel goals and so much more.

Related: The complete history of credit cards, from antiquity to today

We have researched various types of travel credit cards to help you figure out which one is best for you.

Travel vs cash back credit cards

A travel credit card is a card that is geared toward travel spending and a cash-back credit card is a card that earns cash back on purchases made with the card.

Generally, when we are talking about travel credit cards we refer to cards that earn points and miles like the Platinum Card from American Express or the Hilton Honors Aspire card. The Platinum Amex earns transferable points which can be used with any of Amex's travel partners while the Hilton Honors Aspire card only earns Hilton points which can be redeemed at Hilton properties. These cards do not earn cash back on any purchases.

Cash back cards generally offer cash back as a flat rate or feature bonus categories that earn an elevated cash back rate. Select cash-back cards can also be a great travel card such as the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express which offers 3% cash back on transit including rideshare, trains, buses, and more. Even though it is a cash-back card, the Blue Cash Preferred offers an elevated return on select transportation which potentially makes it a solid travel card option.

How do travel credit cards work?

Travel credit cards work like other reward credit cards: They help you earn rewards, primarily points and miles, on your purchases. This section will primarily focus on transferable rewards credit cards, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and The Platinum Card® from American Express, as they are what are typically considered travel credit cards.

Related: How to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for maximum value

How to earn transferable points

Transferable points credit cards earn points or miles when you make a purchase on the cards. These points and miles can then be transferred to travel partners for rewards like flights, hotel stays and more. Different cards will have different currencies, but they are generally called either “points” or “miles” (depending on the issuer). All transferable reward credit cards, airline credit cards and hotel credit cards will have their own currency that is redeemable for travel rewards. 

Travel cards have varying rates for different purchase categories. For example, the American Express® Gold Card card earns 4 points per dollar spent on restaurants but only 3 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with the airline or Amex Travel. While the Amex Platinum may be a better card for travel as it earns 5 points per dollar spent on flights (booked directly with airline or Amex Travel and up to $500,000 per calendar year), the Amex Gold can be a good addition for Platinum holders who spend a lot of money on dining out.

Related: How to redeem American Express Membership Rewards for maximum value

How to redeem points and miles  

Once you’ve decided on a travel credit card and earned a welcome bonus, it’s time to put those points or miles toward free travel. There are many ways to redeem your rewards with travel credit cards. Many cards feature an online booking portal through which you can use your rewards to book things like flights, hotels and car rentals. Before booking your flight, you should consider doing a  flight portal comparison to ensure you're getting the best redemption. Others allow you to transfer your points or miles to individual loyalty programs. Depending on the redemption, this could unlock even more value.

There are plenty of ways to ensure you don’t make mistakes with your travel rewards . For instance, be sure you do your research with your rewards to get a high-value redemption and make sure your accounts are in good standing so you don’t risk losing them.  

Related: Tips and tricks to get maximum value from your Capital One miles

It’s up to you to decide whether a specific trip is worth spending your rewards. You can use TPG’s monthly valuations to help you determine if the price of your flight or hotel room is worth your points and miles. Some travels are more affordable in cash, but you can always save your points to splurge on a business-class flight to Europe or an overwater bungalow at a luxury resort. 

How to use travel credit card portals  

In the world of travel credit cards, the four major players are American Express, Capital One, Chase and Citi. These issuers also have their own travel portals which can be used to earn and redeem points for travel. 

Some issuers, like Capital One and Chase , offer an incentive to book travel through the bank’s portal but it is not always worth booking through a portal. 

We do not recommend booking hotel travel through card portals as it typically does not honor elite-status benefits or elite-qualifying stay credits. 

Luckily, flights typically allow you to earn bonus points through a card issuer’s portal and with the airline. Keep in mind that this does not apply to all cards. When purchasing in cash, there generally is little variance in booking through a portal or on the airline’s website so if your travel credit card offers incentives to book through the portal , it can be a great way to earn extra points. 

Related: Ultimate guide to the Citi travel portal

Points and miles redemptions will have a fair variance, especially if there are incentives to book through the travel portals. Overall, travel portals can be a great addition to your points redemption journey if properly used. Always remember to compare the price or redemption value of booking through a portal or directly with an airline. 

Booking through a portal may make matters complicated if you ever need to change or cancel your flight. 

Related: Battle of the credit card travel portals: Which is the best for booking flights?

Types of travel credit cards

Travel credit cards are cards that are geared towards travel spending. Luckily, there are many types of travel credit cards which means there is a good option for any traveler. Typically, when talking about travel credit cards, we are referring to transfer rewards credit cards, airline credit cards and hotel credit cards. There are additional types of travel credit cards that are less popular but can still be a good option for the right traveler.

Transferable rewards credit cards earn points and miles that can be redeemed through a card’s rewards program directly or by transferring them to a travel partner . Many of our best travel credit cards fall under this category because they are the most valuable type of points you can earn. Transferable rewards give you the flexibility to redeem your rewards in a way that will be most beneficial to you. Examples of top transferable rewards cards are the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express .

Airline cobranded cards earn a specific type of airline miles. These cards also generally come with perks specific to that airline. For example, an airline card may offer free checked bags , a certain number of elite-qualifying miles to help you reach status, priority boarding privileges, inflight discounts and more.

Hotel cobranded cards work like airline cards. You’ll earn rewards that are redeemable for a particular hotel program, such as Hilton or Marriott. Hotel cards come with their own benefits, such as complimentary elite status or free award-night stays. In addition, hotel cards can help you stack your earnings on hotel stays with the hotel’s program.

For example, if you have a Marriott credit card , you’ll earn bonus points for every dollar spent at participating Marriott properties on top of the 10 base points you get as a member of the Bonvoy program. This can really amplify the rewards you can earn when you use your hotel card to pay for your booking.

The points and miles world can be confusing for new credit card users but it doesn’t have to be. While transferable rewards cards are arguably the best way to earn points and miles for travel, they can also be incredibly confusing. Fixed-value credit cards and cash-back credit cards are good alternatives for beginners who are looking to get into the travel credit card world.

Fixed-value cards earn points or miles that are always redeemed for the same value. For example, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card earns points worth 1 cent each. These cards are great for beginners who haven’t quite gotten the hang of maximizing transferable points or casual travelers who are looking for their first travel credit card . Fixed-value credit cards are often the best travel credit cards for beginners. 

As more hotels and airlines move to a dynamic pricing model where award pricing shifts dramatically, fixed-value rewards programs are becoming more popular.

Another great credit card option for casual travelers or credit card beginners is cash-back credit cards. You don’t have to worry about points, transfer partners or maximizing your rewards with these cards. Cash-back cards provide a percentage of cash back on your spending and provide a simple way to save on your upcoming travels. 

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card (see rates and fees ) is a great option for beginners to travel rewards. It earns unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and has no annual fee.

Travel credit card benefits

Some travel cards offer automatic elite status with various programs when you sign up and can also accelerate the journey to elite airline status by converting points to air miles. If you are loyal to a particular hotel brand, status with that brand will be valuable. You’ll be entitled to room upgrades, resort credits, early check-in, late checkout and more. If you’re not loyal, it won’t. The same goes for elite status with an airline — you’ll get lounge access, upgrades, increased baggage allowance, etc. When comparing the perks of various cards like elite status, be realistic about which ones you will and won’t use.

One of the coveted perks of premium travel credit cards is complimentary airport lounge access. Many premium travel credit cards come with Priority Pass lounge access , a membership that allows access to airport lounges across the world. These lounges are a great place to relax before your flight or have a snack during a long layover. Amenities will vary between lounges but most lounges provide wifi, private seating and refreshments. Be sure to check the priority pass guest policy as many lounges allow you to bring a complimentary guest (or guests).

TSA PreCheck and Global Entry are both expedited screening programs for travelers. TSA PreCheck is reserved for expedited security screening for domestic flights and Global Entry provides expedited customs screening for international travelers when entering the United States. 

The application fee for TSA PreCheck is up to $85 and $100 for Global Entry. If you are approved for the program, the membership is valid for 5 years. Many travel credit cards will offer statement credit for the application . 

  • Awards vs cash calculator Compare the cost in points or miles to cash.
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Earn the welcome bonus

One of the best ways to maximize your travel credit cards is to earn the welcome bonus . Most travel credit cards will offer a welcome or sign-up bonus that allows cardmembers to earn points or miles that would otherwise require a very high spend. Welcome bonuses are a crucial part of a card’s value, so before you apply for your next travel card, be sure to plan for how you will meet the spending requirement. Ideally, you would align large purchases with your card opening so that you don’t need to spend frivolously to earn that lucrative welcome bonus .

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Use a travel card that matches your travel style

There is a travel credit card for everyone, but not every travel card is the best fit for your wallet . Consider what type of traveler you are, whether you have any brand loyalty and what perks you are looking for from your next credit card. If you travel often and in luxury, consider premium cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express or Chase Sapphire Reserve® . These cards are loaded with tons of luxury perks like lounge access and automatic elite status . 

Alternatively, if you’re a more thrifty traveler who likes to maximize your travel earnings, consider a mid-tier travel card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card . These cards allow you to earn points on your travel, and while they don’t come with a long list of luxury perks, they’re much more cost-effective for a traveler on a budget .

And even beginners don’t have to veer away from travel cards, since many products out there offer an introduction to the travel rewards world without incurring an annual fee.

It’s important to consider where you’re looking to go when you book trips, as certain cards are especially useful for international travel . Plus, if you’re someone who frequents the skies (such as a digital nomad), there are certain credit cards best for long-term travelers .

Knowing what your travel style is like will help you determine what type of travel card you need.

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Use loyalty programs to stack your rewards

You don’t have to limit your earnings to just travel credit cards . Many airlines and hotel chains have loyalty programs that can be used in conjunction with your travel card to unlock added perks when doing business with a specific brand. In addition, many travel credit cards allow you to transfer points from your card to your eligible loyalty programs . This can open up nearly endless redemption options, including award chart sweet spots that can get you the most maximized redemptions for your points and miles.

  • 1 Sign-up bonus Choosing a card with a healthy sign-up bonus will help jumpstart the possibility of unlocking elite status across different areas, including airline and hotel loyalty programs.
  • 2 Annual fee Premium travel credit cards typically feature higher annual fees. Double-check that the card you choose suits your spending habits and travel needs before applying.
  • 3 Bonus categories It also helps to check which bonus categories a card offers to ensure that they align with your spending, whether it’s at restaurants, at grocery stores or on streaming subscriptions.

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What's your favorite travel credit card — and why?

Brian Kelly

  • Using credit cards responsibly can help build your credit score
  • Travel credit cards can earn cash back, points or miles on every dollar you spend.
  • Travel credit cards can provide purchase, theft and fraud protection.
  • Travel credit cards provide perks like travel insurance, complimentary hotel stays and more.
  • Credit cards can encourage overspending.
  • Carrying a balance and using your card irresponsibly can damage your credit score
  • The cost of borrowing on credit cards is higher than traditional loans
  • Having too many card applications can negatively affect your credit score
  • Travel credit cards may be too complicated (or expensive) for those who aren’t frequent travelers.

Generally speaking, you need at least a very good credit score in order to get many popular travel credit cards. According to FICO, the scoring model used by most lenders, this is a score of at least 740. However, there’s no hard-and-fast rule, as each individual credit card issuer looks at a variety of factors in addition to your credit score when deciding whether to approve or decline your application.

Thankfully, there are a number of ways to check your credit score for free , so you can get an idea of where you stand before wasting an application (and a hard inquiry on your credit report) for a card for which you’re unlikely to qualify.

Points and miles are simply two different ways to describe the same thing: the rewards you earn on a credit card. As an example, many popular Capital One credit cards earn miles, whereas cards that participate in Chase Ultimate Rewards accrue points. There’s no appreciable difference between the two words.

This gets a little more complicated when you begin discussing cash-back credit cards. Some of these show earnings with a dollar amount, while others show cash-back rewards in points. However, here too there’s no significant difference. It’s simply how the card issuer chooses to describe the rewards you’re earning.

It depends entirely on your typical travel habits. Many popular travel credit cards feature rewards, benefits and redemption options that only come into play when you’re actually on the road. This includes perks like airport lounge access,  rental car insurance  or statement credits for certain travel purchases. Ultimately, you should look at how much value you expect to get out of a given travel card in one year. Then, compare that to the card’s annual fee to make sure you’re getting at least that much value.

It depends. Generally speaking, you should aim to use your rewards from travel credit cards for travel-related purchases – like flights or hotel rooms. However, everyone has a different version of what “value” looks like here. Some travelers are perfectly content redeeming 25,000 miles for a $250 economy flight. Others would rather save up and use 100,000 miles for a $5,000 business-class ticket. The important thing is to avoid redemptions like gift cards or merchandise, since those typically offer poor value for your points and miles.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine whether you want to keep cash in your pocket by using rewards for a particular purchase instead.

Many of the luxury travel cards on this list offer hundreds of dollars in annual travel statement credits. However, not all annual travel statements are created equal. While some cards feature easy redemptions, other cards feature redemptions that come with more restrictions. 

Out of the various cards that offer annual travel credits, the Chase Sapphire Reserve has the easiest redemption process for travel credits . The Chase Sapphire Reserve's travel credit covers a broad selection of charges, including flights, hotels, campgrounds and more. Additionally, the travel does not have to be booked through Chase’s travel portal, and the statement credit will automatically post when you make an eligible purchase. 

Ukraine-Russia war: Latest updates

Scroll down to catch up on all the main developments and analysis of the war in Ukraine.

Friday 24 May 2024 14:44, UK

Ukrainian servicemen patrol an area heavily damaged by Russian military strikes, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in the town of Orikhiv in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine May 20, 2024. REUTERS/Stringer

  • Big picture: What you need to know this week

While we are not running our usual updates, here is a rundown of the main events:

Vladimir Putin is ready to halt the war in Ukraine with a ceasefire that recognises current battlefield lines, four Russian sources have told the Reuters news agency.

Three of those sources claimed the Russian leader had expressed frustration about what he views as Western-backed attempts to hinder ceasefire negotiations.

"Putin can fight for as long as it takes, but Putin is also ready for a ceasefire - to freeze the war," a senior Russian source who has reportedly worked with Mr Putin and has knowledge of top-level conversations in the Kremlin, told Reuters.

Read more here...

Zelenskyy visits Kharkiv

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has travelled to the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, which has been facing intensive Russian air attacks. 

The Ukrainian president met senior military leaders and travelled to the site of a major printing house - a day after it was destroyed in a Russian missile attack that killed at least seven people. 

Further developments :

  • Russian forces have had partial success near the village of Ivanivka in the east of Kharkiv region, the Ukrainian military said. Ukraine's general staff said 10 battles took place, with one successfully repelled and more ongoing near the villages of Petropavlivka, Ivanivka, Stelmakhivka, Nevske and Druzhelyubivka;
  • Volodymyr Zelenskyy will travel to Spain on Sunday, Spanish radio station Cadena SER reported. The Ukrainian president postponed visits to Madrid and Lisbon earlier this month because of intense fighting in Kharkiv;
  • Vladimir Putin is planning to visit North Korea, Russian state news agency RIA said.

Our live coverage will remain paused today, but let's catch you up on where things stand and on any updates overnight.

  • Russia said 35 rockets and three drones were fired into Belgorod and overnight, claiming to have destroyed all of them;
  • Blasts were heard in Kherson as Russia shelled the city, said its regional governor Roman Mrochko;
  • The leader of Russia's Chechnya region, Ramzan Kadyrov, met  Vladimir Putin and offered to send more fighters to the frontline;
  • Volodymyr Zelenskyy issued a fresh plea for upgraded defence systems to protect Ukraine's cities against guided bombs, which he described as the "the main instrument" now used by Moscow';
  • A Russian airstrike on Ukraine's northeastern city of Kharkiv yesterday destroyed a cafe, damaged a nearby residential building and set a petrol station ablaze, with local officials saying ten people were wounded.

As we've not been providing rolling coverage of the war in Ukraine today, here is a quick update on what's been happening since this morning. 

One of the most significant new stories is the UK accusing China of providing or preparing to provide lethal aid to Russia for use in the war against Ukraine. 

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps told a news conference this morning that US and British defence intelligence had evidence "lethal aid is now, or will be, flowing from China to Russia and into Ukraine".

He called this a "significant development".

We also heard from the Kremlin this morning, which said "in-depth dialogue" was needed to reduce rising tensions between Russia and the West - particularly with regards to nuclear issues. 

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov accused the "collective West" of refusing to engage with Russia despite the potential dangers. 

Here are more of the top stories: 

  • Russian forces have taken over the village of Klishchiivka in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region, close to the city of Bakhmut, according to Russian news agencies 
  • At least nine people have been injured in a Russian air attack on the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv
  • Russia accused Ukraine of using a drone to attack a non-nuclear facility at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, causing no critical damage
  • Moscow said it is bolstering its efforts to protect its energy infrastructure from drone attacks
  • Six children were handed over to Ukraine by Russia and reunited with their families, after a deal was brokered by Qatar. 

We're pausing our coverage of the Ukraine war for the moment.

Scroll through the blog below to catch up on today's developments.

Vladimir Putin has praised the late president of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, and said he was a "reliable partner".

Raisi was killed in a helicopter crash near the Azerbaijan border over the weekend along with his foreign minister and seven others.

Speaking on the leader, Mr Putin said he was "a man of his word" who carried out any agreements the pair made.

"He was truly a reliable partner, a man sure of himself, who acted in the national interest," Russian news agencies quoted Mr Putin as telling Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of Russia's lower house of parliament.

"He was, of course, a man of his word and it was always good to work with him. What I mean is if we came to an agreement on something, you could be sure the agreement was carried out."

The Kremlin leader asked Mr Volodin, who will be attending memorial events in Iran, to pass on "words of our sincere condolences in connection with this tragedy".

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Russia has strengthened political, trade and military ties with Iran in a deepening relationship that the US and Israel view with concern.

Heavy fighting in the Pokrovsk area in eastern Ukraine has forced Ukrainian troops to engage in "manoeuvres," the Ukrainian military's general staff have said.

Their report said Pokrovsk, northwest of the Russian-held city of Donetsk, remains the front's "hottest" sector.

"In some areas, the situation requires our troops to engage in manoeuvres," the general staff report reads.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has referred to the region and adjacent areas as "extraordinarily difficult" in his nightly video address.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said allies are taking too long when it comes to decisions on military support for Ukraine.

In an interview with Reuters, the Ukrainian leader said every decision which everyone came to was "late by around one year".

"But it is what it is: one big step forward, but before that two steps back. So we need to change the paradigm a little bit," he said.

"When we're quick, they fall behind. And then there's a gap - six, eight months of unpassed (aid) packages, and then two-three months of supplies - and a year goes by. We would like not to lose the advantage."

Mr Zelenskyy also said Ukraine had never used Western weapons on Russian territory.

A senior Russian diplomat has said that the EU plan to channel profits from frozen Russian assets to Ukraine would have "unpredictable" consequences, according to the TASS news agency.

According to TASS, Kirill Logvinov, Russia's acting permanent representative to the EU in Brussels, told Russia journalists: "The only predictable thing is that those in the EU will be obliged sooner or later to return to our country what has been stolen."

For context : In March the European Commission proposed transferring to Ukraine profits generated by Russian central bank assets frozen in Europe.

The plan would see 90% channeled through the European Peace Facility fund to buy weapons for Ukraine. 

The rest would be used for recovery and reconstruction.

Russia's defence ministry has said it has begun a round of drills involving tactical nuclear weapons. 

The exercises were announced by Russian authorities this month in response to remarks by senior Western officials about the possibility of deeper involvement in the war in Ukraine.

It was the first time Russia has publicly announced drills involving tactical nuclear weapons, although its strategic nuclear forces regularly hold exercises.

According to the ministry's statement, the first stage of the new drills include nuclear-capable Kinzhal and Iskander missiles.

The maneuvers are taking place in the southern military district, which consists of Russian regions in the south.

A Moscow court has ordered a Russian journalist who covered the trials of the late Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny and other dissidents must  remain in custody pending an investigation and trial on charges of extremism.

Antonina Favorskaya was arrested in March. 

She is accused of collecting material, producing and editing videos and publications for Navalny's Foundation for Fighting Corruption, which had been outlawed as extremist by Russian authorities, according to court officials.

Today, Moscow's Basmanny district court ordered that she remain in custody until at least 3 August.

Kira Yarmysh, Navalny's spokeswoman, said earlier that Ms Favorskaya did not publish anything on the foundation's platforms and suggested that Russian authorities have targeted her because she was doing her job as a journalist.

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