Travelling to the Happiest Countries in the World

by Crissandra Ayroso
fields of tulips in front of a windmill in the netherlands

Where’s your happy place? Celebrate International Day of Happiness with us and get into the travel spirit. Check out our Flighties’ list of happiest countries in the world, and what they thought of their travel experiences.


Our Flighties Travel to the Happiest Countries in the World

For the second year in a row, Finland officially became the happiest country in the world! According to the new World Happiness Report 2019, Finland scored high in key measurements that define a happy country – income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom and trust in governing authorities. While Finland scored high on all things happy, the nation also scores high on reasons to visit. From Finland’s arctic wilderness and sauna culture to Finnish design and architecture, Finland is one of our favourite destinations in the world. Other nations that topped the list this year include Denmark, Norway, Iceland, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden, which all ranked high last year, as well. Canada dropped two spots this year and moved from 7th place to 9th place.


International Day of Happiness 2019

March 20 has been established by the United Nations as the annual International Day of Happiness, as a call for happiness to be given higher priority around the globe. To celebrate this year’s International Day of Happiness, we asked our Flighties to share their happy place to help you find yours. Here are some of the happiest countries in the world and our Flighties’ favourite experiences:



houses along the coast in norway

Nature makes us happy. Did you know that in Norway, there’s a public rights law called allemannsrett (Norwegian for “freedom to roam”) that allows everyone to have free access to Norway’s countryside, forests, and mountains? This means you can happily set up camp anywhere in the Norwegian outdoors, as long as you’re more than 150 metres from the nearest inhabited home or cabin and adhere to a few common sense rules, like be respectful and clean up after yourself. In Norway, the right to roam is a traditional right that dates back to ancient times.


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If there are two statements that couldn’t ring truer, it would be that home is where the heart is, and the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. Just ask our Flightie Daniel who discovered his happy place in Sunnmøre, Norway: the “birthplace of my son and the only place I’ve seen people put corn on hamburgers. This nation is the epitome of happiness.” – Daniel Rodriguez (@45n75w), Flight Centre Hillside (Victoria, BC)




man in front of northern lights in iceland

Holographic ribbons of Northern Lights, months of 24-hour sunlight, geothermal lagoons and pool culture. Iceland is an unusual and intriguing nation of fire, ice, and no shortage of whimsical folklore (like the Christmas Yule Lads, 13 Santa Claus-like trolls who fill children’s’ shoes with candy if they’re good – or rotten potatoes if they’re not).

Our Flightie Rachael found her happy place in Jukulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Iceland. “I love Iceland because I felt like I was on a different planet. The scenery is stunning. Everyone needs to go to Iceland at least once in their life.” – Rachael Shilling (@rachaelmae4), Flight Centre Juliet (Victoria, BC)




fields of tulips in front of a windmill in the netherlands

Find your happy place amid little cities along Holland’s canals, fields of colourful Dutch tulips, on two wheels, or in an Amsterdam cafe. Everyone is outside in the spring and summertime, the perfect time to see the Netherlands in full bloom.


Our Flightie found love and his happy place in Amsterdam. “It made me happy to be here because I spent 10 years in this beautiful city and it is where I met my husband.” – Marcus Johnstone-McKinney (@mdfjm)




red muskoka chairs in front of mountains in canada

Social inclusiveness, free healthcare, multicultural diversity, new marijuana laws and progressive ideals. These are just a few things that make Canada one of the happiest countries in the world. On International Women’s Day 2018, the Canadian $10 bill got a significant makeover. The Canadian banknote honours Viola Desmond, a black woman and civil rights activist who changed history when she decided to sit in the whites-only section of a Nova Scotia bank theatre. Desmond is the first woman of colour and of non-royal descent in history to be featured on Canadian currency.


✌🏼 #nwtbrewingco

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With a landscape as diverse as its inhabitants, we’re happy to call Canada our home and happy place. Find your happy place in British Columbia. Amidst the soaring mountain peaks and scenic hiking trails, our Flightie Marlee found her happy place atop the glacial summits of the Purcell Mountains in Bugaboo National Park, BC. “Hiking in the backcountry always makes me the happiest.” – Marlee Hawkins (@marlzdog), Flight Centre Mission Park (Kelowna, BC)




There’s no shortage of wineries, surf, incredible scenery, and culture in Australia. One glimpse of the Whitsundays will ensure your life will not be the same again afterward. An introduction to Australia’s wildlife will offer a profound appreciation for the nature that surrounds us. And a road trip down any of the coasts, be it the Great Ocean Road or the route along the southern coast from Adelaide and Perth, Australia is an adventurer’s delight.

stairs heading to a beach in australia

Our Flightie Sophie found her happy place in Sydney. High up on the happiness index is the Land Down Under. In 10th place, Australia displays an equal and healthy balance of GDP per capita and social support.


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“The combination of vitamin D, the laid back lifestyle, and friendliness of the locals created such a relaxing combo that I didn’t want to leave…” – Sophie Ward (@pantchee), Flight Centre Saanich Centre (Victoria, BC)



Costa Rica

man in front of a waterfall in costa rica

Costa Rica’s pura vida lifestyle is an enviable one. Laid back beach culture, island pace, and relaxing hikes that lead to a forest of clouds and through some of the world’s most ecologically diverse rainforests, is all part of Costa Rica’s adventurous, yet simple life. Our Flightie Clarissa found her happy place in the misty altitudes of the Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica’s infamous cloud forest reserve.

“The best part of travelling up into the clouds was the diversity of the rainforest, the different animals (sloths, armadillos, toucans, tarantulas, snakes, etc.) mixed with the adventure from zip lining, suspension bridges, horseback riding, hiking to amazing views above the canopies.” – Clarissa Moon Flight Centre Mission (Mission, BC)




The rolling hills of the Emerald Isle, the towering sandstone drops along the Cliffs of Moher, the volcanic basalt columns of Giant’s Causeway. Ireland is a natural wonder. Meet with the locals, some of the warmest people you’ll meet, and it won’t take long to realize that Ireland is truly one of the happiest countries in the world. 

rows of colourful houses in ireland

Our Flightie Rachael found her happy place in the Irish countryside.

“Ireland is one of the most charming countries I have ever visited. The people and their landscape made me so happy to be here. This moment is what made me want to start a career in travel.” – Rachael Shilling (@rachaelmae4), Flight Centre Juliet (Victoria, BC)




canals and row houses in germany

From the medieval Neuschwanstein Castle’s spires that pierce the skyline to the enchanting evergreens that tower in the Black Forest, to the little villages that line the riverways, Germany’s countryside is a picturesque page out of a fairy tale storybook. Cities like Berlin, the capital of Germany, is an arts and cultural centre, while Munich draws in more than 6 million people from around the world to Oktoberfest, the world’s largest beer festival. Our Flightie Ana Santa Maria travelled to Munich during Oktoberfest and found her happy place (as one would amidst the free-flowing liquid gold).

Beer by the liter

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“Munich is my happy place because they have the most amazing people, delicious food and the most amazing beer.”  – Ana Santa Maria (@ana_banana88), Flight Centre North Hill (Calgary, AB)



United Kingdom

big ben in london united kingdom

Our Flightie Olivia supports her social circle in London, her happy place, where she gets to meet up with her best friend of 21 years (and unofficial private tour guide) who calls London home.

Olivia Kelly (@livjkelly), Flight Centre St Clair and Yonge (Toronto, ON)




Chile is an explorer’s dream. Landscapes transition from dunes to volcanoes to fjords to glaciers – and then what seems like worlds away are traces of an ancient civilization that once inhabited Easter Island.

moai statues in easter island chile

Our Flightie Ola found her happy place in Chile. 

“Diverse landscapes from glaciers to rainforests, rich culture, and abundant wildlife (I’m talking penguins, penguins, penguins), Chile is also one of the happiest, safest nations on the planet with a high standard of living.” – Ola Ulewicz (@jetlagmanifesto), Flight Centre Georgian Mall (Barrie, ON)




Where’s your happy place?


Whether they’ve found it or are still searching for it, our Flight Centre Gift Cards will give someone you care about the chance to find it. Let our Flight Centre Expert Travellers help you and your loved ones find your happy place. To celebrate International Day of Happiness, we’ve added a bonus to our gift cards, a little something from us to you to help boost your search. Call us at 1-855-796-8359 to enquire or book, Live Chat with us, or visit your closest Flight Centre store.