The holidays are over, and we are all feeling just a little bit rushed as we go back to our normal lives in the new year. Work and our social lives keep moving forward, making it easy to daydream about faraway places to get away to. Maybe you’ve always wanted to go someplace tropical and peaceful, or maybe you dream of hiking in the snow. Whatever you’ve been dreaming of, why not make those dreams your reality? Travel to the country you’ve always wanted to visit this year!
If you need a little inspiration in choosing your destination, here’s a list of the top 10 countries to visit in 2019.
Nova Scotia is a gorgeous province off the eastern coast of Canada that is characterized by breathtaking landscapes and outdoor adventures. While in Nova Scotia, you can take a hike on Cape Breton Island’s Cabot trail and camp under the stars. If you enjoy kayaking, visit the Bay of Fundy and get your toes wet. One experience you cannot pass up is going on a whale watching tour – an experience that some would call life changing. For some night life and shopping, visit the cities of Lunenburg and Halifax and eat at some of the finest restaurants and bars. Nova Scotia is a great pick for the outdoorsy traveler.
New Zealand lies in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, just below Australia, and is a gorgeous country full of beautiful mountains, beaches, glaciers and more. Queenstown is a great place to start, with excellent dining and leisure as well as adventure, such as rafting and cycling and skiing. If you are looking for an enriching cultural experience, you can visit a Mãori village to learn about the Mãori culture and follow your visit with a soak in a geothermal pool. If you’re a movie buff, you may really enjoy visiting the Hobbiton movie set in Matamata, where some of the Lord of the Rings films were shot. Whatever you could wish for in a vacation destination, New Zealand has it.
If you find yourself in Peru this year, you’ll be transported throughout the ages. Visit the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu and the Chachapoyan “people of the clouds” hilltop sarcophagi and you’ll stand in the midst of what was once an ancient civilization. In cities like Lima, Cusco, and Arequipa you’ll find beautiful architecture and some of the most ambitious and unique food on the planet. Trek mountains and explore ancient culture like you never have before in Peru this year.
If you’ve been longing for color and vibrancy in the new year, search no further than Morocco to find it! This country offers a full plate of relaxation and fun, with a wide variety of places to visit and things to do. Visit the small city of Chefchaouen in Morocco’s Rif mountains to get the bohemian respite of your dreams. Here, all the buildings and streets are different shades of blue! If you’re adventurous, you can spend a night in the Sahara desert in a traditional Bedouin village. The city of Marrakesh you can eat at the Djemaa al Fna marketplace, a hub of Moroccan life. While in Marrakesh, spend the night in a traditional Riad and relax in the beautiful architecture of these Moroccan homes.
The popularity of Poland as a vacation destination has risen significantly in past years, and for very good reason. This country has a rich history, beautiful cities and architecture, and jaw-dropping sceneries. The cities of Warsaw, Wroclaw, and Poznan have multicolored architecture that brightens up the landscape and will no doubt brighten up your mood. A visit to Tatra National Park is sure to leave you breathless, with more than 30 lakes and 650 caves in the park to see. One of the most visited tourist destinations in Poland is the Auschwitz-Birkenau former concentration camp. Admission to the museum is free, but for the true scholar, a $100 six hour study tour is available, as well as a three hour $60 tour. Whether you would like to visit Poland for an unforgettable first-hand learning experience, a whirlwind outdoor adventure in the mountains, or a stay in some of the most beautiful cities in the world, you won’t be disappointed.
One Google search of “Croatia” will make you want to pack your bags and book a flight to the small European country as soon as possible. The bright blue waters of the Adriatic Sea border this charming little country and make it look so enchanting. Jump into these cool, clear waters in a hidden cove or off a cliff on the Pakleni islands. See waterfalls at Krka National Park and Plitvice Lakes National Park. Catch some lovely Baroque architecture in Zagreb, and drink some of the world’s best wine at a Croatian vineyard. Have you packed your bags yet?
A “top ten countries to visit” list is never complete without a Caribbean island, and this lovely island had to be included because of its undeniable beauty and potential for relaxation and excitement. For the adventurous type, hikes on the Tet Paul trail and in Pigeon Island National Park will give you the journey you long for in paradise. Jalousie and Anse Chastanet beaches will have you rested and sun-soaked during your travels. Take a whale-watching tour, or a sunset cruise with your sweetheart. Wherever you go in St. Lucia, you’ll be in paradise.
If you long for a vacation with a little history, a little culture, and a lot of amazing sights to see, then India might be the place for you. India is vast, and therefore encompasses many different terrains from Himalayan mountaintops to beaches along the coastline. Visit the capital, Delhi, for its rich cultural history and its modernization that makes it the unique city it is. Leh-Ladakh, a captivating area of India with snowy mountains and glacial lakes and historic Buddhist monasteries, is a destination you cannot miss. Go to Agra to see the Taj Mahal in all its glory and learn about the romance behind the structure. The essence of India will refuel you with a sense of wonder and exploration in 2019.
The “Land of Smiles” as Thailand is known to be will not disappoint you this year as the perfect travel destination. Its booming urban cities such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai are perfect for all your shopping desires, and the night markets will keep you exhilarated and ready to have a good time. While in Bangkok you can visit the Grand Palace which has housed Thailand’s kings since the 1700s. In northern Thailand you can visit Elephant Nature Park, a rehabilitative elephant sanctuary, and have an encounter with the amazing creatures. Visit Thailand in November and you just may be able to see the Lantern Festival, where candles are placed in paper lanterns and released into the sky for good luck and prayers. Climb vast mountains to get amazing views from the peaks, swim in beautiful waters on quiet beaches and visit huge cultural centers and cities all in Thailand.
Welcome to the land down under! Australia is a wild, beautiful continent in the Pacific with all kinds of crazy wildlife, big urban centers, gorgeous beaches and lots of miles of desert countryside. Lake Hillier in western Australia will blow your mind with its pink waters. Visit Kangaroo Island’s many nature parks and see some of the most amazing creatures you’ve ever seen in your lifetime. The Great Barrier Reef is located off the coasts of Australia, and it is a must-see for any traveler to the continent. Australia is home to some of the world’s most gorgeous beaches, and its city centers have some of the best modern art and museums. A trip to the world of Australia may be one of the best decisions you make in 2019.
Each of these countries has its own unique personality and charm, and in each place you are bound to have the experience of a lifetime. Would you choose any of these countries as your dream vacation destination?