Most of us only get so many vacation days in a year, so when it comes to choosing vacation destinations, the pressure is on. Fortunately, U.S. News and World Report releases an annual list of the best travel spots in the world, based 50% on user feedback and 50% on editor scores. Editors score destinations on a scale of 0 to 5 in a number of different categories including sights, culture, food, shopping, family, nightlife, adventure, romance, value, and accessibility. Clearly, U.S. News looks at a destination from all angles, so if we go off its data, we can be almost certain that every last vacation day we take really counts. After analyzing over 700 national and international spots, the 2018-2019 best vacation list was released early this morning, and we're already planning what trip to take with our 2018 vacation days — what's left of them, anyways.
The majority of this year's most highly-rated vacation spots are pretty unsurprising, and three of the top five places are cities in Europe. Because of London's accessibility — it's a European destination with no language barrier — the fact that it comes in at number five isn't shocking, although, the city has been bumped down one spot since 2017. This year, the fourth best destination is a little more unexpected. U.S. News put Tahiti in the coveted spot. Visions of luxurious huts sitting above crystal-clear blue water are definitely appealing, yet for some reason, we don't often hear about non-celebrities traveling to Tahiti. Perhaps, that will change now that it has received such a prestigious stamp of approval.
The third best vacation spot of 2018 is Rome. Italy's capital took home first prize last year because of all its historical and cultural attractions. Though it has been knocked down a bit this year, those attractions still make Rome worthy of being one of the top five best places to visit in the entire world. 2018's runner-up is also the only U.S. destination that made it into top five. Yellow Stone was given this distinction because it offers a lot for outdoorsy types, including breathtaking mountains and lakes.
Though all of those destinations would be worth visiting in exchange for several vacation days, U.S. News named Paris as the top spot to vacation this year. It lists "unforgettable character and cultural attractions" as two of the city's biggest draws. We have to admit, we're quite pleased that Paris was given this highest ranking since we've been fantasizing about visiting since we saw Beyoncé and Jay Z hanging out in the Louvre in their recently released music video. Now, we actually have data that proves taking a vacation there wouldn't be a waste of money or vacation days. Pretty convenient.