The travel and tourism industry was one of the hardest hit this year due to COVID. With shelter-in-place orders and travel restrictions in place, the need to stay local to stay safe became quickly apparent. As a travel site, this was especially tough for us at Far & Wide to see our favorite destinations, attractions and restaurants suffer from these closures.
While we encouraged travelers to support these industries in other, less conventional ways, we also urged readers to look at travel from a new angle. By publishing articles with virtual tours, international recipes and local travel tips, we still attracted 31.7 million visitors to the site in search of travel journalism that could still fulfill that wanderlust from the comforts of home.
Here, we look back at the top 10 stories that readers enjoyed the most this past year. And we also wanted to take this time to wish everyone a safe and more adventurous 2021!
America’s Coolest Small Towns by State
With social distancing top of mind for travelers across the globe, we covered those less-traveled destinations that people don’t think about as much as their urban counterparts. Yes, we’re talking about small towns. While we took people to small towns in the mountains and to ones steeped in history, our story about the best small town in every state was by far the most popular, bringing a whopping 3.3 million entrances to the site in 2020.
Hilarious Terrible Maps
People love maps, and what’s better than a cool map? A hilariously, terrible map. These maps from the Facebook group of the same name garnered a lot of much-needed laughs this year.
Best Thing to Eat in Every Country on Earth
Sometimes, food is the best way into our wanderlust hearts. That’s why we took readers around the globe on a food tour of the absolute best thing to eat in Every. Single. Country. We hope readers tried to make some of these at home, too!
All 50 State Capitals, Ranked From Worst to First
When it comes to U.S. state capitals, some are exciting and fun, while others ... not so much. We decided to give our two cents on the matter by ranking all 50 from the ones we never want to visit again to the ones that always keep us coming back for more. Where did your state’s capital rank?
Travel Photos Offer a Closer Look at Bucket List Experiences
Even though we couldn’t travel far and wide this year, that didn’t stop us from dreaming. We created this experiential bucket list of those must-see places that you can start checking out as soon as travel goes back to normal. For now, these travel photos will have to suffice.
Look Inside the French Palace of Versailles
If you haven’t been to the French Palace of Versailles, then you don’t necessarily have to book a flight to Paris right now. Instead, you can take our tour into the beautiful hallways, bedrooms and gardens of this timeless estate that takes you back in time.
Hilarious Boating Fails
Sometimes, you just need a good laugh. And for anyone with a boat, they know how painstakingly real these hilarious boating fails can become.
21 Mistakes Americans Make in Europe (and How to Avoid Them)
On July 1, 2020, the European Union lifted its travel restriction ban (previously set in place due to the pandemic) to certain countries that they didn’t see as a threat to spreading the disease. Even though the United States didn’t make that list, readers still wanted to learn all the things they really shouldn’t do next time they fly across the pond.
35 U.S. Destinations That Feel Like Europe
Yes, Americans couldn’t visit Europe this year, but they could visit these destinations that have a similar European vibe. From St. Augustine, Florida, to Poulsbo, Washington, these places still promised a taste of Europe, filled with culture, international cuisine, picturesque settings — and no passport required.
Best Airbnb Cabins With Hot Tubs
As 2020 moved into the cooler seasons, everyone was searching for the perfect place to escape to, minus the crowds. These Airbnb cabins with hot tubs allowed for some serious R&R, coupled with the perfect amount of isolation to ensure safe travels.