As part of my travel blogger life you’ll often find me poring over all sorts of travel articles… from newspapers to industry magazines, marketing reports and other blogs, I’m always reading about travel.
A few trends have started to take shape for 2019. In 2018, my Instagram was flooded with pictures of lavender fields in Provence, Iceland ring road itineraries, and oh my frickin’ god soooo much Maldives (though that’s just a ‘gram influencer’s lot, eh?). I think things will be a little different in 2019 though. These are my predictions for the hottest destinations in 2019.
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Yeah look, given my personal
Israel is known as a bit of a hidden gem – incredible history, impressive landscapes, and super friendly people. Most of the best travel stories I’ve heard out of Israel involve the friendliness of the locals.
Something that gets forgotten about Israel is that it has a Mediterranean coastline. You could head to the resort towns of Eliat, Netanya or Ashdod… If you’re keen to stick to the party city of Tel Aviv, you’ll still find beautiful beaches.
It goes without saying that history buffs (like me!) could fill their itineraries with weeks of sightseeing in Israel. Tourist Israel has some excellent suggestions on this Israel Bucket List post.
Hurricane Irma did a real number on several islands in the Caribbean Sea in 2017, but many of these places are rebuilding well, some even bouncing back better than ever! In 2019, I think we’ll see quite a return to Caribbean travel, especially as ease of travel from the States only keeps improving.
That said, there have been some pretty negative reports of late regarding the treatment of female travellers in Jamaica, and the Bahamas always has a huge amount of hype. Instead, 2019 will be the year of the lesser-travelled Caribbean isle. Destinations such as Dominica, Martinique, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are bound to be on the radars of travellers in this region.
Dominica is known as the Caribbean’s nature island, It’s green, mountainous, and has plenty of opportunities for “ecoventures”. Martinique is also quite rugged and mountainous, and has some excellent hiking trails. St Vincent and the Grenadines is where you’ll find the picture-perfect white sandy beaches. What these three Caribbean options have in common is their natural beauty that has so far resisted the onslaught of tourists.
Like the Caribbean above, the Greek Islands have a star: Santorini. And boy is Santorini popular (many would argue too popular, and I would tend to agree). But there are hundreds of islands to explore in the Aegean Sea, most of them fairly simple to get to and all of them less crowded than Santorini.
For an island that still has a trendy, cosmopolitan feel, try Naxos. The largest island in the Cyclades, Naxos is the perfect compromise. You’ll find delicious food and gorgeous little wine bars, but you’ll also find secluded beaches, traditional agriculture and a whole lot of historical sites. Intrepid has a great guide to Naxos.
Lemnos is another great option. Located in the Northern Aegean region, Lemnos is really secluded (its distance from Athens has a good deal to do with this). If you like places rich in geological history (hello!) this island is for you. Lemnos is also a great option if you’re looking to get away from all the resorts – you’ll really only find small, traditional family-run places to stay here. Australians familiar with Gallipoli (that’s all of us) should also read this article on the story of Lemnos in World War I.
Forget Bali. Australians have been simultaneously
But Indonesia is sooo much more than Bali. From the metropolis of Jakarta (which if you love big cities like I do, I highly recommend) to the history and culture of Yogyakarta and the surf towns all over Sumatra, Indonesia is absolutely full of fascinating places to visit.
Really in need of an island getaway? Weh Island in Aceh, Togean Islands in Sulawesi, and Karimunjawa in Java are all spectacular options.
Where?! Haha, you’re funny. Tasmania is that little heart-shaped island sitting underneath the mainland of Australia, and it’s had something of a revival in the last few years. Usually just the punchline for a bunch of bad jokes, Tasmania is actually a stunning destination to explore. Nature lovers (hikers in particular) will find complete bliss in Tasmania while foodies will marvel at the fresh produce. Consider yourself a member of the culture club? You can’t visit Tasmania without checking out the incredible MONA (but some of the exhibits can be explicit so maybe don’t take the younger kids).
The best way to “do” Tassie is to hire a car. I love this itinerary from Discover Tasmania that takes in the must-see Freycinet National Park. For something a bit longer, Four Around The World has an excellent 8-day Hobart to Launceston itinerary.
For real bucket list stuff, Freycinet Lodge is absolutely incredible. Book early to get a room or you’ll miss out. In the event Freycinet Lodge is booked out, there are several other properties in the vicinity that are lovely as well. On the other side of the island, Cradle Mountain Lodge is a stunning experience too. For more information, Traveling Honeybird has an excellent post on staying at Cradle Mountain Lodge.
Japan is set to host some matches of the Rugby World Cup this year, followed by the Summer Olympics next year. Get in before the crowds.
Japan is my kind of place. Those who love huge, crazy cities like me can enjoy the iconic Tokyo, while my fellow history buffs will love visiting the ancient capital of Kamakura or the Hiroshima Peace Park.
While hanging out in Tokyo’s Harajuku or Shinjuku districts has been the cool thing to do for a few years, I think 2019’s travellers will be keen to really experience Japanese culture on a deeper level. A ryokan experience in Takayama or a dip in the various onsen of Hokkaido will do the trick.
I’m really loving the blog Roamscapes right now and Brooke has a whole bunch of great posts on Japan. Check out Roamscapes’ guide to Hakodate, Hokkaido for something unique – you’ll be super inspired to visit this fascinating country.
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Really?! Yes, really. According to Pinterest, searches for Rio De Janeiro are up 142% on last year. That’s some serious interest! There’s still a little bit of time to get there for Carnival, though the logistics could be tricky. But never fear, Rio is a spirited city full of adventure 365 days a year.
Obviously a visit to Christ the Redeemer has torate a mention, as does a relaxing (ha!) beach day at Copacabana or Ipanema. A hike to Sugar Loaf Mountain is also a must-do, but did you know Rio has a really lovely botanical garden? If the buzz of the city starts to get a bit much, Jardim Botanico is a great place to hide out. For something a little more quirky, spend an afternoon strolling around the bohemian Santa Teresa district.
Rio can be one of the pricier destinations in South America. Destinationless Travel has some great tips on sticking to a budget in Rio so check those out. If you’re a coffee lover like me (or should I say, a fiend) then you really need to read this review of Curto Cafe over on Bearly Here.
Morocco, particularly the blue city of Chefchaouen, blew up my insta feed in 2018. Many parts of Uzbekistan have a similar aesthetic, so expect to see more in 2019.
The Telegraph has called Uzbekistan “the most fascinating country you’ve never been to”.
Because Uzbekistan isn’t on a lot of people’s radars yet, one of the main questions people ask is “is it safe?” The short answer is YES, but AdventureFaktory
Rounding up this list is Chile. In terms of South America, I feel like Chile often gets overlooked, which is a shame since it has so much to offer. Food and wine, history and culture, epic natural landscapes and delightful locals… you really can’t go wrong in Chile.
You could spend months in Chile if you wanted to, timing it just right to get the best of the wine regions, and being able to experience the best of Patagonia. I used to love it when the experts from Chile Travel would come into work to provide training, so check out the Chile Travel website for a whole bunch of inspiration.
Chile’s Elqui Valley is featured on Lonely Planet’s “Best In Travel 2019” list. Career Gappers has an excellent post on stargazing in the Elqui Valley – be prepared to be blown away.
So there you have it – my picks for travel in 2019. Tell me in the comments where you’re heading this year!
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