These Are the Top 10 Happiest Countries in the World, So You Can Plan Your Dream Travel Itinerary

published Jan 18, 2022
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Credit: VISUALSPECTRUM/Stocksy

With a global pandemic that never seems to end, making travel plans can feel downright impossible. But there’s no harm in dreaming up an itinerary for when such things feel safer, and thankfully, the travel experts at Next Vacay have taken inspiration from the 2021 World Happiness Report, data that determined which countries are generally happy places to live and visit… even when things continue to feel challenging.

Over in the U.K., Blue Monday — aka, the third Monday in January — is culturally perceived as the most depressing day of the year, given that holiday merriment is in the rearview and what lies ahead is a few months of cold, dreary weather. To combat the January blues, Next Vacay’s travel pros decided to compile the top 10 happiest countries in the world based on the report, as well as search trends over the last year, offering up ideas for tourists looking to visit somewhere decidedly more joyful in the year ahead.

Credit: Next Vacay

With tuition-free universities and free public healthcare, it’s no wonder that Denmark takes top honors, offering up culture, opportunities to relax and recharge. There’s also plenty for adventure seekers, including bridgewalking for unbeatable views and memories you won’t soon forget. Based on Next Vacay’s data, searches for Denmark spiked a whopping 785 percent in 2021, which means plenty of travelers are looking to the lush Nordic country for a dose of joy.

Next up is Switzerland, which saw a 181 percent increase in searches in 2021 alone, no doubt thanks to its natural landscapes and breathtaking alpine scenery — of course, the gourmet chocolate likely doesn’t hurt, either.

Rounding out the top 10 are Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Austria, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and Luxembourg, which all saw impressive search bumps over the past 12 months. In a statement, Next Vacay’s founder and CEO, Naveen Dittakavi, shared, “Travel and happiness have always gone hand in hand; helping to increase your self-confidence, opening your mind, and letting you take a break from reality.  As the festive season ends, you can see why travelers are eager to beat the blues and start the new year in the happiest places on earth.”

“Scandinavian countries have consistently been ranked at the top of the list for happiest countries in the world,” noted Dittakavi. “Their green spaces aren’t just beautiful to look at, but can also deliver positive mental health by providing a calming and relaxing environment. Switching off and immersing yourself in these types of environments has long-term benefits of greater well-being and reduced stress for travelers, even after they return home.”