Looking for some travel inspiration for the year ahead? We've pulled together our top 10 destinations for 2019. Whether you are a beach lover, culture vulture or urban explorer, there's something for you, from the temples of Cambodia to whale watching in the Azores… So pack your bags (it's never too early) and geet inspired.
1. JapanJapan is truly timeless, a place where ancient traditions co-exist with modern life. A vacation will combine the most modern elements of city life, the wild beauty of the countryside, traditional culture at ryokans (Traditional Inns) and great food. The eyes of the (rugby) world will be on the country later this year with the World Cup being held in 12 venues across the country, giving travellers a great opportunity to see this diverse nation. Places to visit.. Kyoto Japan’s ancient and imperial capital is a must on most visitors wish list. Sublime temples, traditional Zen gardens are all to be explored. Cherry blossom season in late Spring is a popular time to visit Takayama For something different visit this beautiful town on the edge of the Japanese Alps. Mount Fuji/Hakone The majestic Mount Fuji (Fuji-san) has been celebrated in art and culture for centuries and is also the country's highest mountain peak, towering 3,776 meters over an otherwise largely flat landscape Travel Tip:
- Get a Japan Rail Pass if you’re planning to leave Tokyo.
- Print out your accommodation address to save any confusion!
Avoid the clichés of tartan and shortbread and take the time to visit the real Scotland; a country of dramatic scenery, beautiful cities, ruined castles, fascinating history and amazing wildlife. Places to visit.. Edinburgh Deserving its reputation as one of the world’s most beautiful cities, the medieval old town and Georgian elegance draws in the visitors. If you can, visit during Hogmany (New Year), or the annual summer arts festival. Inner Hebrides Jura, Islay and Mull form part of 79 islands that make up the Inner Hebrides. From amazing wildlife to stunning beaches and of course whisky tasting – these islands are a diverse destination Glencoe and Cairngorms The Cairngorms are a great base for hiking and visiting the dramatic and haunting site of Glencoe. Travel Tip: Arm yourself with various repellents to avoid Scottish midges
A small Island with amazing scenery, rolling green hills, a wild Atlantic coastline, endless historical castles and buzzing cities. Ireland has much to offer and is the perfect destination for a short break or a longer explore. Places to visit. Dublin Dublin is a super friendly city with a youthful, creative culture, fabulous free museums and beautiful architecture. Glenveagh National Park The second largest national park in Ireland spreads over 40,000 acres and is popular for hiking and fishing, plus some dramatic scenery Travel Tip: If you want to see lots of Irish cultural attractions, it’s a good idea to get a Heritage Card.
4. VietnamA country of staggering natural beauty that draws in visitors to experience the culture, countryside and bustling cities. Vietnam is now one of the world’s top growing destinations and its hard not to see why… Places to visit.. Ho Chi Ming City The business and financial centre of Vietnam is a popular destination for tourists seeking out the ornate temples, sleek skyscrapers and classic French Architecture. Phu Quoc Island Looking for idyllic tropical beaches? The white sands, tropical waters and dense forests attract visitors from all over the globe looking for relaxation. Travel Tip:
- The weather greatly varies across the country so pack your Antler case for rain and sun
- Double check what visa you need before you travel
5. PortugalThe Algarve has been popular with British tourists for years but there is so much more to see - spectacular and diverse beaches, regional dishes, world famous wine and culture. Portugal is an easy and friendly country to travel around, plus it’s one of the more reasonable destinations to visit in Europe Places to visit.. Porto World famous for its production of fine port wine, the busy city sits along the hills overlooking the Douro River. Azores These 9 volcanic islands in the Atlantic Ocean are renowned for world-class whale watching, hot mineral springs, and small seaside towns. Lisbon Portugal’s capital is set amongst seven steep hills, forming an enchanting destination of Gothic cathedrals, impressive bridges and colourful neighbourhoods. Travel Tip:
- Nowhere does custard tarts (or pastel de natas, as they’re called) quite like Portugal.
6. DenmarkThere’s much more to Denmark than The Little Mermaid and Lego! Summer is a great time to visit this Scandinavian gem – with plenty of stunning blue flag beaches, pretty towns and Michelin starred restaurants serving ‘New Nordic cuisine’. Places to visit.. Elsinore Now a bustling city, Elsinore is home to one of the famous castles in the world: Kronborg, the setting for Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Copenhagen Most visitors will begin their visit to Denmark in Copenhagen, the country’s largest city and capital. The former Viking fishing village is full of cultural attractions as well as Tivoli Gardens, the most visited theme park in Scandinavia. Travel Tip:
- The Danish rail system offers cheap tickets via their online website called “Orange tickets.”
- Street food stalls are a great way of saving money as restaurant food can be expensive
7. CambodiaAngkor Wat is often described as the eighth wonder of the world, and it easy to understand why. From stunning beaches to thousands of historic temples and buzzing cities there are many more attractions in this fascinating country. Places to visit: Koh Ta Kiev The perfect destination to get away from it all with gorgeous beaches and bamboo huts. Kampot A riverside town in the south of Cambodia that’s a popular spot with travellers. Travel Tip:
- The weather is cooler between November – January so a good time to explore if you want to avoid the heat.
- The easiest way to explore cities/towns in Cambodia is via tuk-tuk.
8. Greek Islands
With hundreds of Greek Islands to choose from, it can be hard to settle on one. Each island has its own distinct personality and whether you are looking for culture, nightlife or stunning beaches there is the perfect island waiting for you! Places to visit.. Kefalonia Great beaches, delicious food and a dramatic landscape, made famous by Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Antiparos With whitewashed buildings, cobblestone streets and blue doors framed by bougainvillea trees, Antiparos is a haven for a relaxed holiday Travel Tip: If you’re island hopping, map out your route and plan for at least 4 days on each island to make the most each has to offer.
9. BaliThe unending list of stunning beaches is probably the most obvious reason to visit this tropical paradise, but beyond the idyllic beaches, there are many natural wonders to visit from the verdant highlands to photogenic waterfalls and amazing wildlife. Places to visit.. Nusa lembongan The pristine beaches and relaxed atmosphere make it the perfect place for a couple of days away from it all. Tanah Lot Located on a large rock it is one of the most famous Hindu temples in Bali and has been a part of Balinese mythology for centuries. Ubud is located among the terraced rice fields that climb up the foothills of Bali’s central mountains and is considered the island’s cultural heart. Travel Tip:
- Although it may be cheaper in low season the weather can be very rainy
10. CaliforniaYet to visit The Golden State’? Make 2019 the year you go. The home of the Golden Gate Bridge, mile after mile of pristine golden sand beaches and superb national parks, California is a fabulous vacation destination. Places to visit.. San Diego With fabulous beaches, ideal climate and outstanding family attractions San Diego is one of the most popular places to visit in California for good reason. Yosemite National Park Giant Sequoia groves, beautiful waterfalls and diverse wildlife make this a California destination on most people’s list Travel Tip:
- California is a huge state so don’t plan on ‘seeing it all’
- The weather is pleasant all year round so if you can travel during low season when there are less crowds
Time to plan those new year travels and snap up some chic and stylish luggage whilst you're at it.