Now that we’re deep into autumn and the end of the year is nearing, our thoughts have already turned to the year ahead. More specifically, the holidays we will be taking – especially now that we’ve found out how to maximise our annual leave to get 55 days off in 2019.
So with all of that potential time off, we’re going to need some serious travel inspiration to help us decide which trendy destinations to visit throughout the year. Luckily, Booking.com has our back.
The travel website has revealed the 10 destinations everyone will be booking in 2019 after polling 21,500 travellers from 29 different countries on where they’ve travelled to already and where they plan to visit in the next 12 months.
During their research, they also found that sustainable and conscious travel are on track to become even more popular in 2019, while discovering that more than half of global travellers (53%) plan on taking more weekend trips next year. So where is everyone headed to?
From a charming city in Uzbekistan to the Mexican coastal town dubbed ‘the new Maldives’, here are the top 10 destinations to have on our radar for 2019…
1. Palomino, Colombia
Palomino is a small town on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, offering tropical beaches that won’t be as crowded with tourists as popular neighbouring destinations such as the Dominican Republic, Barbados or Jamaica. What’s more? Travellers can enjoy staying at luxurious hostels which charge friendly prices.
2. Leeuwarden, Netherlands
You may not have heard of it before but Leeuwarden is a small Dutch city with a population of just around 120,000. Just an hour-and-a-half drive from Amsterdam, it was named a European Capital of Culture in 2018 for its booming art scene and national history museums. The city was once home to the Dutch royal family, so it’s packed with sightseeing highlights. Travelling there is easy too, with direct flights from the UK.
3. Nusa Penida, Indonesia
Located on the southeast coast of Bali, Nusa Penida offers unspoiled beaches and landscapes, not to mention stunning views and endless activities such as snorkelling in the Lombok Strait connecting the Java Sea to the Indian Ocean. To get there, travellers will have to take a 90 minute public boat from Bali.
4. Ksamil, Albania
Ksamil is known for its beautiful secluded beaches and gorgeous crystal-clear waters. With a population of just under 3,000, the Albanian coastal town is something of a hidden gem. Visitors can enjoy affordable dining and explore the nearby Ksamil Islands and ancient city of Butrin.
5. Bacalar, Mexico
Already dubbed ‘the new Maldives’, this 16th century coastal town oozes tranquillity. Located in Mexico, it is known for its mouth-watering seafood and as a popular diving and snorkelling spot.
6. Wadi Rum, Jordan
Wadi Rum, a desert city, is often refereed to as ‘Valley of Sand.’ Located four hours away from Jordan’s Amman airport, the destination has inspired countless filmmakers over the years. In fact, Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig’s critically-acclaimed 2015 movie The Martian was shot there, used to portray Mars. Wadi Rum is excellent for stargazing and out-of-this-world sunsets, so if you’re planning a romantic getaway, it’s one for you.
7. Mestia, Georgia
If you’re all about adrenaline and adventure, Mestia is the 2019 holiday destination to book. Situated in northwestern Georgia, can hike up the stunning Chaladi Glacier before sampling the delicious local cuisine including specialities such as ‘tashmijabi’, a dish comprising cheesy mashed potatoes – yum.
8. Ouarzazate, Morocco
This historic Moroccan town has been nicknamed ‘the door of the desert.’ It makes a great change for those who love visiting Morocco but aren’t keen on the overpopulated tourist choice of Marrakech. In Ouarzazate, travellers can explore the fortified village of Ait Ben Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as visiting the nearby town of Zagora. But be warned, temperatures reach over 40 degrees during the summer months so you may want to pick a cooler season when visiting.
9. Kigali, Rwanda
If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, you’re going to want to book your flight to Kigali immediately. Rwanda’s capital city is home to the ‘Big Five’: lions, rhinos, elephants, buffalos and leopards, all of which you can see during a safari in Akagera National Park – not to mention the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Parks. The city also boasts a wonderful food and drinks scene for travellers to enjoy.
10. Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Samarkand is a heaven on earth for history buffs. Known for its medieval architecture including mosques and mausoleums, the historic city in Uzbekistan has been a major cultural centre for hundreds of years, meaning there’ll be endless sightseeing sports and facts to discover.