Have you ever visited Dubai in July? We hope your answer’s no — with temperatures up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s 48.8 C), it puts the sizzle in summer. Avoid mistakes like these and see the best of destinations around the world with our handy breakdown of where to be when.

January

Beat the crowds and escape to South Africa: the country’s southwest coast is exceptional this time of year. Head to Cape Town and explore its picturesque beachfront, fantastic local wineries, and the iconic Table Mountain. Plan a day trip to visit Cape Point and see the penguins of Boulders Beach to complete an amazing vacation.

February

For the western world, February means bundling up in your best winter coat. For Dubai natives, however, it’s the beginning of some truly wonderful weather. Head here to enjoy all the great metropolis has to offer, from luxury shopping to world-class beaches, minus the crowds. And if you’re looking for something different, take a sand dune excursion to discover life on the wild side.

March

If March has you pining to party, it’s because Carnival season is just around the corner. The colorful, Samba-powered Rio de Janeiro fest boasts over 200 samba schools shapeshifting on ornate floats across the city. And if your party shoes need a break, escape the two million revelers by checking out the city’s top sights. Be sure to visit Christ the Redeemer, the Selarón stairs, and Sugar Loaf mountain — but do so at sunset for top-notch views.

April

There’s nothing like springtime in Paris — especially if you’re after a great mix of food, art, and gorgeous architecture. Whether you’re visiting for the first or hundredth time, the French capital has so much to offer. The Eiffel Tower and Louvre are perfect for newbies, while a trip to the opulent Opéra Garnier or a gourmet food tour of La Marais is perfect for Paris veterans.

May

The Eternal City really comes to life in May. Whether you’re visiting the Sistine Chapel or exploring the Colosseum, you’ll leave Rome feeling that little bit culturally richer. No trip is complete without tasting local delicacies, such as pasta all’amatriciana or fried carciofo alla Romana.

June

This June, escape the sticky summer heat and head north. For Swedes, Midsummer’s Eve is arguably a bigger deal than Christmas. Expect all-day parties that are a feast for the senses. Maypole dancing entertains little ones (and not-so-little ones) while live music and delectable local dishes ensure there’s something for everyone. And for something unique, go beyond Stockholm and celebrate June 24th on the beautiful Stockholm archipelago.

July

Looking to take a road trip that combines a good dose of nature and an all-American holiday to boot? Head to the US of A this July. Start your journey at Yellowstone National Park. After you’ve explored the park, pop over to Colorado to see another formidable national treasure, the Rocky Mountain National Park. After you’d had your fill of Mother Nature, head into town for Denver’s 4th of July celebrations, which feature concerts, picnics, and fireworks.

August

Swap the scorching heat of southern Europe for the Emerald Isle, where the weather is at its most clement and the landscapes are at their most striking. Rent a car and drive to Ireland’s must-see sights, including the famed Cliffs of Moher. After exploring the wild coast, head east and visit Dublin, Ireland’s thriving capital. Spend time in the quaint back lanes and sip a pint at one of the countless charming pubs before hopping aboard a bus for a tour of the city.

September

Still reeling from the grand finale? Fret not, and relive the magic of Game of Thrones by visiting Dubrovnik, the filming location for King’s Landing. Even if you weren’t into the hit series, Croatia has buckets of things on offer for nature lovers, beach bums, and culture seekers. National parks such as Krka and the Plitvice Lakes will prove just how photogenic this country is. If you’re after secluded beaches, island hop from Vis to Hvar before admiring the Roman ruins and cobbled streets of Split.

October

Make it an October to remember — experience something a little different by heading south. Mexico has just about everything from glorious beaches, impressive nature reserves, and fall celebrations to woo even the most seasoned traveler. Whether you’re planning a grand tour of the country or just focusing on the capital, make sure to visit the Teotihuacan Pyramids — just a short ride from Mexico City.

November

No calendar is complete without mentioning the breathtaking natural beauty of Iceland. Head here in November to experience life in a winter wonderland. You’ll enjoy once-in-a-lifetime experiences, including marveling at the beauty of the Northern Lights, hiking a glacier, and exploring ice caves.

December

What if we told you there was a place that combines deserted beaches, spectacular safaris, amazing food, and long-lost cities? Sri Lanka has all this and more. Visit the Teardrop Island in December and enjoy fresh dishes, world-class snorkel spots, and wild safaris in Yala National Park.

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