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18 One-Week Trip Ideas From North America

by Staff

Summary

  • The UK is a quick 7-hour flight from the North American East Coast, offering great car or train travel opportunities.
  • Turks and Caicos is another one of the many amazing one-week vacation ideas from North America; it’s only a 3-hour flight from New York and is perfect for a relaxing retreat with luxurious resorts and beaches.
  • France, with a 7-hour flight from the East Coast, offers iconic landmarks, historic towns, and renowned culinary and wine experiences.



There are lots of top travel destinations in the US and Canada, but what options are there for North Americans fancying a trip abroad while being short on time? Although long-term (and long-haul) travel sounds like a dream, not everyone has the time or resources to make that a reality.

Sometimes, a quick one-week getaway is all that’s feasible, and it’s critical to make the most of that time by choosing a destination that is reasonably close to home, not too expensive, and small enough to feel like you’ve seen a lot of it in just seven days.

Perfect for travelers looking for the best one-week vacation from North America (and those with little time to spare!), consider these superb one-week destinations from the USA and Canada for their proximity to North America’s East and West Coasts, along with each location’s best time to visit.

UPDATE: 2024/02/19 17:21 EST BY LAURALYN BROWN


New Places to Travel For a One-Week Trip: Discover 2 More Exciting Destinations Less Than 8 Hours From North America!

Want to avoid the hassle of long travel days and multiple flights to get to your destination? This list has been updated with two additional countries that are less than 8 hours away from the North American East Coast and less than 10 hours away from the West Coast, giving travelers ample time to enjoy a week-long getaway in a dream destination. Happy travels!


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18 United Kingdom

Travelers can easily see the UK’s highlights in 1 week via car or train

Only a quick 7-hour flight from the North American East Coast is the gateway to Europe, a.k.a. the United Kingdom. A week-long vacation in Great Britain should start in the nation’s capital, London. Travelers can enjoy a day or two walking through Regent Street, dining at the pubs, and catching a glimpse of the skyline from Millennium Bridge or Horizon 22.

There are so many iconic cities, villages, and landmarks to visit throughout the UK that can easily be seen on an epic road trip or via train. Spend a magical night in the Cotswolds, see Manchester and Northumberland, and be sure to take the train up to Scotland for an extra few days! Potterheads won’t want to miss out on the real locations that look like Harry Potter sets within the UK, including the Shambles in York, John Rylands Library in Manchester, and Christ Church Dining Hall at the University of Oxford.


  • Flight Time From East Coast: ~7 hours
  • Flight Time From West Coast: ~10 hours
  • Best Time To Visit: March to June, September to November

17 Turks & Caicos

Turks and Caicos is a 4-hour flight from Florida and makes the perfect one-week vacation from the US

Located in British Overseas Territory just north of the Dominican Republic is a series of over 40 islands with incredible blue water, sugar-white beaches, and adventures that will leave travelers pining for more! Turks and Caicos is a very short flight away from New York or Charlotte (around 3 hours) and even shorter from Miami (1.5 hours), making it the perfect 1-week getaway without the fuss of long-haul air travel.


Travelers will find luxurious resorts, delicious restaurants, and cultural attractions around every corner in Turks and Caicos. For those desperately in need of a tropical getaway, they’ll find one of the best week-long vacations from America here in Turks and Caicos.

  • Flight Time From East Coast: ~3 hours
  • Flight Time From West Coast: ~9.5 hours
  • Best Time To Visit: April to June

16 France

Get a taste of Paris and medieval towns spread across France on a whirlwind trip

One of Europe’s most globally recognized countries is France. With cities like Paris glistening each evening for millions of residents and tourists alike, this French country is well worth a week-long journey.


France, located in Western Europe, offers a diverse and captivating landscape that includes picturesque and historic medieval French towns, charming alpine villages, and inviting Mediterranean coastlines. Its capital city, Paris, stands out as a global icon. It is known for its renowned fashion designers, classical art collections showcased in institutions such as the Louvre, and iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower.

Beyond its cultural treasures, France is celebrated for its exceptional wines and refined culinary traditions. The country’s historical significance is evident in the ancient cave paintings of Lascaux, the well-preserved Roman theater in Lyon, and the grandeur of the Palace of Versailles, all of which bear witness to its rich and illustrious past.

  • Flight Time From East Coast: ~7 hours
  • Flight Time From West Coast: ~10.5 hours
  • Best Time To Visit: Spring or Fall

15 Germany

Germany’s many landmarks and vivid landscapes will keep travelers busy all week long!


As one of Europe’s largest countries, Germany is a testament to history. Germany, situated in Western Europe, is a captivating destination with a varied landscape that encompasses lush forests, meandering rivers, majestic mountain ranges, and serene North Sea beaches. With a history spanning over two millennia, it offers a rich tapestry for exploration.

Germany’s historical significance is evident throughout the country, with Berlin, its capital, standing as a prominent hub for history enthusiasts. The city hosts iconic landmarks such as the Brandenburg Gate and numerous sites related to World War II. This historical depth allows for a deeper understanding of the nation’s past.

Germany’s cultural diversity is another major draw. From the vibrant arts and nightlife scene in Berlin to the traditional beer halls and the world-famous Oktoberfest in Munich, the country provides a myriad of cultural experiences to suit a wide range of interests.


  • Flight Time From East Coast: ~7.5 hours
  • Flight Time From West Coast: ~11 hours
  • Best Time To Visit: May through September

An
ultimate guide to Munich
is worth reading up on in order to know what to do and see, where to stay, and where to eat in this bustling city.

14 Belize

Belize offers Caribbean tranquility and adventure for those seeking quick 7-day vacations from America

Those hoping to explore ancient ruins and swim over coral reefs without having to traverse the globe can get their fix close to home in Belize. In the water, the Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest in the world and the famous Blue Hole. On land, the country offers warm Caribbean beaches, delicious fresh seafood, and multiple cultural festivals throughout the year.


Those looking to get active on their vacation can enjoy kayaking, zip lining, or cave tubing on the island’s clear waters. For a week-long tropical getaway, Belize offers both relaxation and adventure to all who visit.

  • Flight Time From East Coast: ~5 hours
  • Flight Time From West Coast: ~10 hours
  • Best Time To Visit: January to May

13 Jamaica

Jamaica is one of the most perfect tropical islands close to the US

Jamaica is a tropical paradise that offers an exotic getaway without having to lose half of a one-week vacation to travel. Jamaica is well known for its mountainous and tropical landscape that fades to white sand beaches. Underwater, Jamaica is surrounded by tropical coral reefs perfect for snorkeling or scuba diving.


Off the coast, beautiful sights like the Famous Dunn’s River Falls & Park and more unique attractions like the Bob Marley Museum offer plenty to keep travelers occupied for their stay. The island also offers numerous luxury all-inclusive resorts to ensure a relaxing experience from start to finish. Plus, there are plenty of off-the-beaten-path things to do in Jamaica for those looking for less-tourist attractions and lesser-visited spots on the island. Don’t forget to take a tour of Jamaica’s Green Grotto Caves and learn about its pirate (and partying!) history.

  • Flight Time From East Coast: ~5 hours
  • Flight Time From West Coast: ~7.5 hours
  • Best Time To Visit: November to April

12 Panama

Panama has a great mix of vibrant cities and off-the-beaten-path landscapes


Home of the world-famous Panama Canal, this bridge between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans is full of attractions and activities that are often overlooked in favor of nearby tourist beaches. This country is one of the best week-long vacations from North America because it offers so much to do even in such a short amount of time.

Visitors can enjoy Panama’s stunning tropical landscape, visit the coffee plantations, soak in hot springs, check out numerous visually stunning waterfalls inland, or simply enjoy the white sand beaches along the coast. The capital of Panama, Panama City, has a very modern feel and boasts a thriving nightlife and towering skyscrapers that stand in stark contrast to the national parks, rainforests, and colonial buildings of the surrounding area.

  • Flight Time From East Coast: ~5.5 hours
  • Flight Time From West Coast: ~6.5 hours
  • Best Time To Visit: December to April


11 Baja California Sur

Get ready for the best 1-week vacation of surfing, seafood, and desert roads in the Baja Peninsula

Technically part of the country of Mexico, the unique location and vacation opportunities of Baja California Sur, or Baja Sur, are more than worthy of their own vacation. Warm and drier than many parts of Mexico, Baja Sur is a haven of natural desert rock formations and clear ocean waters.

The main attraction of Baja Sur is Cabo San Lucas, which offers some of the best beaches in the area and a thrilling nightlife scene. Visitors can enjoy boat tours of the Arch of Cabo San Lucas or simply lounge near the water of one of the numerous all-inclusive resorts, many of which offer private beach access. Loungers can also enjoy views of ocean life from the beach, as the beaches of Cabo are popular for migrating sea turtles and whales.


  • Flight Time From East Coast: ~6 hours
  • Flight Time From West Coast: ~2 hours
  • Best Time To Visit: November to April

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10 Mexico

Spend a week in paradise in one of Mexico’s many resort getaways!

Mexico is a vast country on the southern tip of North America that is a popular getaway spot for Canadians and Americans. It’s easy to find cheap flights to major tourism hubs like Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, plus the price of accommodation at Airbnb and all-inclusive resorts within the country are reasonably affordable.

Mexico boasts incredible cuisine, beaches, jungles, tequila, and artisan markets to explore. One week is the perfect amount of time to explore one city or region of the country thoroughly, such as Puerto Vallarta (which offers plenty of budget-friendly resorts), Tulum, or Merida.


  • Flight Time From East Coast: ~4 hours (Cancun)
  • Flight Time From West Coast: ~3 hours (Puerto Vallarta)
  • Best Time To Visit: December to April

9 Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a safe and affordable 1-week trip perfect for the whole family

Costa Rica has become popular among North Americans in recent years because of its proximity and relatively affordable prices. Costa Rica is regarded as a safe destination to travel to, which means many families feel comfortable bringing their children there for one-week getaways (especially beautiful places like Tamarindo, which offers incredible beaches).

For more adventurous 7-day trips, solo travelers or couples can rent a 4×4 vehicle and embark on a road trip from La Fortuna to Uvita, stopping at the country’s many national parks and ecological reserves along the way.


  • Flight Time From East Coast: ~5 hours
  • Flight Time From West Coast: ~6 hours
  • Best Time To Visit: December to April

8 Iceland

Iceland’s captivating beauty and wild landscapes make for the perfect European getaway

Out of all the top 1-week vacation ideas on this list, this number is perhaps the coolest (literally). Iceland is a land of mystery and beauty, home to the northernmost capital in the world, Reykjavík. This small island nation in the North Atlantic is an easy and unique one-week vacation from the east coast of North America, but it might be a bit far-flung for those on the West Coast.


Visiting in the fall and winter months means a chance to witness the northern lights while visiting in the summer means experiencing the midnight sun. Paired with numerous unique and unusual Icelandic food options and Iceland’s beautiful black sand beaches, this nation has more to experience than many realize. Plus, Iceland has fishing village ghost towns to visit, such as Skalar.

  • Flight Time From East Coast: ~5.5 hours
  • Flight Time From West Coast: ~11 hours
  • Best Time To Visit: June to October

7 Guatemala

One week is the perfect amount of time to experience Guatemala’s stellar beauty and vibrant culture

Guatemala is another Central American nation that is worth visiting for just seven days due to its small size. This is the perfect amount of time to experience the highlights of Guatemala while remaining fairly close to home in North America.


Travelers can fly into Guatemala City or Antigua. Top activities in Guatemala include hiking at Pacaya, visiting picturesque Lake Atitlán, and exploring Tikal National Park.

  • Flight Time From East Coast: ~5 hours
  • Flight Time From West Coast: ~5 hours
  • Best Time To Visit: November to April

6 Colombia

Coffee tasting is a must during a week-long vacation in Columbia

Colombia is renowned worldwide for its high-quality coffee beans, so a must-do activity when traveling here is coffee tasting and visiting a coffee farm. Travelers can fly into Bogotá, Medellín, or Cartagena but should base themselves primarily in one of these areas if they are only staying in the country for one week.


Some ideal 7-day itineraries for Colombia include spending a week in Cartagena and the Rosario Islands, staying in Medellín for one or two days in Guatapé, or focusing on exploring Bogotá for the full week.

  • Flight Time From East Coast: ~6 hours
  • Flight Time From West Coast: ~7.5 hours
  • Best Time To Visit: December to March

5 Ireland

Travelers won’t want to go back home after a magical, scenic trip to Ireland

Ireland is a whimsical destination just across the Atlantic Ocean, making it a fantastic option for a one-week getaway from the East Coast. Travelers should try to visit during shoulder season for the best prices while temperatures are still fairly mild.

Fly into Dublin, then rent a car and drive the Wild Atlantic Way, or simply cross through the middle of the country to Galway and the Cliffs of Moher if time is short.


  • Flight Time From East Coast: ~6.5 hours
  • Flight Time From West Coast: ~10 hours
  • Best Time To Visit: March to May or September to November

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4 Cuba

This Caribbean country’s city streets and fabulous food are musts!

Cuba is a beautiful Caribbean country with turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and a rich history. The capital city, Havana, has stunning architecture and charming old streets, which are worth exploring on a guided tour.

Travelers can also take a food tour in Havana to fully appreciate the local cuisine. Many visitors with just one week to spend in Cuba choose to stay at resorts on the coast in destinations like Varadero or Cayo Coco.

  • Flight Time From East Coast: ~3.5 hours
  • Flight Time From West Coast: ~7.5 hours
  • Best Time To Visit: October to April


3 Portugal

Only 7 hours from North America’s East Coast, Portugal is known for its low prices and energetic vibes

While not super accessible from the West Coast of North America, Portugal is a great destination for travelers coming from the East Coast of North America to visit for one week. It’s a short flight and offers delicious food, vibrant cities, dramatic coastlines, and low prices (by European standards).

Travelers can choose to spend their week exclusively exploring cities, splitting their time between Lisbon and Porto. Or, they can fly into Lisbon, rent a car, and drive south along the coast to Lagos and Faro.

  • Flight Time From East Coast: ~7 hours
  • Flight Time From West Coast: ~13 hours
  • Best Time To Visit: May to September


2 The Bahamas

The Bahamas is a small country in the Caribbean, bloating with crystal clear blue waters, sandy beaches, charming seaside cottage rentals, and luxurious all-inclusive resorts. The Bahamas has getaways for almost every budget and travel style, plus it has multiple islands that are popular for North Americans to vacation on.

The Exumas, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama, and Harbour Island are some top spots for international travelers to enjoy. In one week, visitors can focus on one island and take day trips or boat tours to snorkel, swim with pigs, or go scuba diving (the Bahamas offers some of the best shark diving sites in the world, like Tiger Beach).


  • Flight Time From East Coast: ~3 hours
  • Flight Time From West Coast: ~5 hours
  • Best Time To Visit: December to April

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1 Hawaii

Hawaii is the perfect paradise with so much to offer in a week

Hawaii is a US state located in the Pacific Ocean, and while it’s a long flight from the East Coast, it’s easy to get to from West Coast airports like those in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Travelers can pop over to Hawaii for one week and relax on an island or explore a couple.

Choosing between Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and the Big Island is a tough choice, but all of these are considered the best islands in Hawaii, and each offers something unique.

  • Flight Time From East Coast: ~11 hours
  • Flight Time From West Coast: ~ 6 hours
  • Best Time To Visit: March to September


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