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It’s no secret that CNN Underscored’s staff loves to travel. We collectively visited over 20 countries, dozens of cities and took 100+ flights to every corner of the Earth. Throughout that time, we found some amazing destinations.
Whether it’s visiting Greenland’s capital, relaxing on the beach in the Dominican Republic or eating through Buenos Aires, these trips were nothing short of epic. Let’s take a look at the trips our editors took in 2023 to inspire your travels this year.
I go to Prague at least once per year to visit family, and I never get tired of visiting the city. Its architectural history dates back centuries thanks to it being spared from major damage during World War II. Plus, the food is incredible, beer is fresh (and cheap) and huge parks like Letná Park mean you can picnic if you go during warmer months. Make sure to visit Prague Castle and the Jewish Quarter for your history fix too. — Andrew Kunesh, senior travel and money editor
My cousin and I traveled to Greenland’s capital mostly out of curiosity. We didn’t have much time — and my cousin was working on a photo project in Nuuk — so we didn’t get to leave the city. But that’s OK. We explored the small city over five days, checking out its various restaurants and pubs. We also took a boat tour with Nuuk Water Taxi that showed us the nearby icebergs and settlements. But the surrounding nature was stunning, even from the balcony of our vacation rental in the city center. — Andrew Kunesh, senior travel and money editor
Where to stay: Find an Airbnb or Vrbo.
When people think of the Dominican Republic, the first place that comes to mind is surely Punta Cana. But suppose you want the true D.R. experience as well as a more city-like vibe. In that case, Santo Domingo cannot be missed with its robust food and cultural experiences, its vast history and accessibility to the best beaches on the island. — Kevin Martinez, associate programming editor
The natural beauty of French Polynesia is unparalleled. During my visit, I found myself enchanted by the breathtaking landscapes, ranging from turquoise lagoons to lush green islands embraced by vibrant coral reefs. Immersing oneself in the distinctive Polynesian culture, with its warm hospitality, traditional dances and delectable local cuisine, is an enriching experience in this tropical paradise. — Kyle Olsen, travel products editor
Singapore may be a small city-state, but don’t let its size mislead you. It’s an enormous wealth of architectural innovations (Jewel Changi Airport, Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands), a unique blending of Eastern and Western cultures and a dedicated eco-conscious locale.
An added bonus of Singapore is its easily navigable public transportation system, as well as one’s ability to walk to some of the major landmarks around Marina Bay such as the Supertree Grove, SkyPark Observation Deck, Merlion Park and the Helix Bridge, to name a few. — Katelyn Gendron, senior SEO manager
We visited Mallorca this summer and stayed on the northwest side of the island. We loved it because we had our pick of relaxing in the glorious, lemon-tree-studded mountains, soaking up the sun at the gorgeous port beach or walking down to the medieval village for shopping and fantastic restaurants. Plus, the island is so small that we could take day trips anywhere without wasting hours in the car. — Tobey Grumet, reviews editor
It had been more than 10 years since my last trip to the “Most Magical Place on Earth,” and I thought it still lived up to the name even though I’m no longer a kid. There were plenty of new things to do — the Star Wars additions rule — so it didn’t feel like a rerun of a childhood vacation. Plus, I got to experience some of the classic rides through the view of my cousins (all under the age of 7) during their first time there. — Joe Bloss, editorial coordinator
Where to stay: Disney’s Port Orleans Resort or Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress.
I absolutely loved Madrid. As a first-ever solo trip to Europe, I cannot recommend Madrid enough for anyone who’s never been to Europe or taken a solo trip abroad. The culture, the food, the people and just the accessibility of the city as a whole is something I’ve never experienced before. Even when you’re alone, you’re never really alone in Madrid. — Kevin Martinez, associate programming editor
I traveled to St. Louis this summer to celebrate a friend’s birthday, and while it may not have been at the top of my list of travel destinations, I had a surprisingly great time doing touristy things like visiting the Gateway Arch and grabbing a beer at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. — Chelsea Stone, editorial director
A bucket list destination for anyone who loves adventure, Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples transport you through time, and it’s a great place to visit during winter since the weather is so warm over there. — Sophie Shaw, associate beauty editor
Auckland is a great place for nature lovers. I went to a bird sanctuary and saw some species of birds I’d never seen or even heard of before. It’s easy to navigate, and there’s no language barrier. There are also favorable exchange rates for US dollars! — Sophie Shaw, associate beauty editor
Ever since I was stuck in my studio apartment for months on end during the pandemic, I’ve been on a mission to see as much nature (and as many national parks) as I can during my travels. Crater Lake has the bluest water I’ve ever seen, which made for some amazing views while hiking and biking. — Chelsea Stone, editorial director
With roots deeply intertwined with the pursuit of a better life through new opportunities, I’ve long loved Buenos Aires with its vibrant tango rhythm, historic architecture and eclectic neighborhoods, providing a captivating blend of cultural richness and contemporary energy. The city’s passionate atmosphere, delightful cuisine and warm hospitality make it a must-visit destination for travelers like me, seeking a unique and immersive South American experience. — Kyle Olsen, travel products editor
There is truly no place in the world quite like Iceland. It’s a country teeming with pristine natural beauty, from black sand beaches to floating glaciers, volcanoes, carved canyons, Northern lights and more waterfalls than you can count. And when you’ve tired from trekking around, you can take a soak in one of Iceland’s many geothermal spas.
If you’re short on time, stay near Reykjavik and adventure to the Golden Circle to explore the stunning Southern coast. If you’ve got longer, I recommend renting a car and buckling up to get a view of the entire country along the Ring Road route. An easy-to-navigate destination, you’ll leave feeling awestruck and ready to plan your next return. Just don’t forget to pack some water and weatherproof clothes for your journey. — Jillian Tracy, associate editor
Dubai was unlike any city I’ve ever experienced. It’s magnificent to see how much the region has developed, creating an urban environment obsessed with cleanliness, structure and being the “biggest,” “deepest,” “highest” and “best” at everything.
Everywhere we went there was at least one Guinness Book of World Records certificate noting an achievement, from the World’s Tallest Building to the World’s Longest Urban Zip Line. My husband and I stopped counting the certificates we’d seen once we hit 15. — Katelyn Gendron, senior SEO manager
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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