I reached out to several travelers (mostly, travel bloggers) on a Facebook group I am in to ask them of their recommended places to visit in 2019. And boy, I’m glad I ask! Some of these places are my first time hearing them like Koh Rong Island in Cambodia or Vang Vieng in Laos. I will surely check them out! I have been to Rome and Bangkok several times – you can never go wrong with these places.
So, here they are! 12 best places to travel for each month in 2019!
1. San Francisco Bay Area
The San Francisco Bay Area should be on your list of cities to visit in 2019. It is a wonderful place to explore with your family or alone. The kids (and you!) will love visiting Alcatraz and hearing it’s stories and secrets after a scenic boat ride across the bay to get there. You will be amazed by the cable cars’ breathtakingly steep streets. Don’t miss the chance to bike the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, and take a break from it all in Muir Woods, known for towering redwood trees and trails for all ability levels.
The San Francisco Piers will keep you busy for many hours, if not days. They boast popular attractions like the popular Farmer’s Market, the Exploratorium Science Museum, water taxis and bay cruises, sea lion colonies, and even two World War II ships to climb aboard. Pier 39, in particular, is known for great shopping, top seafood restaurants, and abundant street entertainment. Bring a windbreaker – even on warm days, the pier can be chilly with the bay winds. Keep warm with some trademark fresh sourdough bread as you explore this dynamic, exciting city this year.
Christina | Travel Maven Mama
2. Split, Croatia
Croatia has a mix of everything you could want on a destination: nature, history, beaches, art, culture, great food, and even some of the most breathtaking Game of Throne’s locations. Tons of people are including Dubrovnik, Plitvice waterfalls, and Hvar Island to their bucket lists, but they’re overlooking a treasure hidden in plain sight: Split.
The heart of the city is Diocletian’s Palace, a stunning fortress built 1700 years ago. Get lost in the little allies, climb the bell tower of Saint Domnius Cathedral, look for the Egyptian sphinx in the Peristyle, explore the basement (this is where GoT dragons where kept), and head to the golden gate to meet Grgur Ninski, an 8.5 meter (28 ft) tall statue by Croatian’s sculpture Ivan Meštrović. The story says that if you touch his toe, you’ll be back to Split. Finish the day grabbing a glass of Croatian wine or a shot of the local spirit, rakija, in the Pjaca and look there for the 24 hours clock.
For nature, go for a hike to Marjan park. There’s a viewpoint you can reach by climbing a few flights of stairs, that will give you the best panoramic of the city. When it’s beach time, for a perfect mix of turquoise water and lush surroundings, go to Kašjuni.
Split is also the perfect hub to explore the rest of the country. If you base yourself here, you can do day trips to the most spectacular national parks, islands, beaches, and cities. Don’t miss Krka waterfalls, Brač’s golden horn, the adventure capital of the country: Omiš, and Trogir, a medieval UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Constanza | Experiencing the Globe
Photo by Experiencing the Globe
3. Koh Rong Island, Cambodia
I first traveled to Koh Rong in 2013. Back then, it was no more than a dozen or so restaurants, bars, and accommodations. Not a single road in sight. The power was only on for a few hours a day and the WiFi was very limited. The only activities were kayaking, jungle treks and lazing in a hammock, staring at the crystal clear blue waters of the Gulf of Thailand. It was an absolute paradise! I returned to Koh Rong in 2018 and it had changed way beyond my wildest expectations.
Now there are countless accommodations, restaurants, and bars. There are a few roads and a few motos. No more waiting for power as proper power lines have been installed, as well as strong WiFi. There are so many fun things to do there now, such as zip-lining, swimming with plankton, jet ski rentals, paragliding, scuba diving and so much more.
While some of the change is exciting, it feels like this once almost deserted island paradise is starting to go the way of the popular Thai islands. 2019 is the year to go and experience this magical place before it’s taken over by large hotel chains and is completely ruined. Go while it is still a paradise!
How to get to Koh Rong – Head to Sihanoukville in the south of Cambodia. Go to the pier and buy a boat ticket. Don’t book your accommodation beforehand. This is a place where just rocking up will yield the best results. There is an information booth as soon as you step off the dock. They will tell you anything you need to know.
Stace | Full-Time Wanderers
Located in the Eastern part of Africa, Uganda is one of the best places to travel in 2019. Having received some negative press in the past years, Uganda has evolved into becoming one of the best places to visit. The growth and change of Uganda was even recognized by BBC naming it one of the friendliest places to travel to.
Uganda is known as the pearl of Africa and offers so many things to do and see that has seen a number of tourists traveling there increasing every year.
Some of the places to visit in Uganda are the source of River Nile, Bwindi impenetrable forest for gorilla trekking, Murchison falls National park to see the glorious Murchison falls which is one of the greatest falls in the world, Lake Victoria which is the second largest freshwater lake in the world and the largest in Africa, and Queen Elizabeth National park.
The highlight of a Ugandan safari is going for gorilla trekking, an experience that every traveler should enjoy while visiting Uganda.
Esther | The Adventurous Feet
5. Orlando, Florida
Orlando is not only the city beautiful it’s also a mecca for great cuisine and legendary spots to relax beside the mouse.
Here are my favorite spots I recommend to my friends and anyone wanting to experience world-class similar to New York and Las Vegas.
1-M lounge Orlando the perfect spot for gathering with friends, it has over 200 vintage cars ranging from Lamborghini to Corvette in beautiful tasteful decor. Craft drinks, great happy hour… It also has a nice rooftop overlooking the Ivanhoe community area.
2- Mathers social gathering is a great speakeasy spot transporting you into the Garden District in New Orleans… Beautiful spot boasting a great happy hour and burlesque show bi-monthly, a cozy gallery and a very well curated small shop.
3- Better than sex, don’t let that name fool you. Yes, it’s a dessert place with awesome decadent everything chocolate to satisfy the pickiest discerning foodie… It’s a small space but oooooh so worth it, please be aware this place is always packed by local and no kids allow, make a reservation.
4-Yes a visit to Orlando is not complete unless you visit the Mouse. Disney Spring have so much to do for both adults and kids. Eating at Blaze Pizza is the most affordable spot at Disney Spring, a 10-inch personal pizza with all the trimmings will only cost $10
5- The Edison at Disney Spring is another cool spot reminiscent of the Speak Easy in New York with a great band and yes dancing after eating all the pizza… If dancing is not your thing, you can take one of the free boats to any of the resorts and relax for a bit.
There you have it my favorite top spot to experience Orlando. Enjoy…
Maggie | Cascade Avenue
6. Bali, Indonesia
Bali is an incredible destination and should be on your bucket list. Not only are there beautiful beaches, but there is also stunning jungle scenery and delicious food. There are many places to visit. Chill out in Uluwatu with beautiful white sand beaches and bright turquoise water. Party and surf in Canggu, Bali’s new party and foodie hot spot. Get your zen on in Ubud with hundreds of yoga classes. The Balinese temples, picturesque waterfalls, and unique rice fields all make it worth a stop. Explore underwater adventures in Amed with beautiful views of the very active Agung Volcano. A short boat trip away is Nusa Penida. The astonishing rock formations will make all your friends and family jealous. Whether it’s a backpacking trip, luxury vacation, or honeymoon, Bali offers it all.
Yana | Beard and Curly
We will be in Bali on January 1! What a great place to start the new year!
Photo by Beard and Curly
7. Rome, Italy
Italy has always been on our bucket list for travel, mostly because of all the rich culture and history it brings along. We just got back from our 10-day trip to Italy that we had been planning for a year after reading tons of travel guides and reviews online. If you haven’t been to Rome before, Do read my post about Mistakes people make when visiting Rome for the first time. It would be safe to say that Rome should be your next travel destination in 2019 and here are all the reasons why:
The rich Heritage & History. The city of Rome is a UNESCO heritage site for a reason. The amount of historical monuments and art you find in the city center is more than you can find anywhere else in the world. The monuments date back to 2000 years.
Getting lost is fun. Never thought I’d say that about any place but Rome is one of the places where Shams and I would get lost intentionally. Every nook and corner of the city has so much history and architecture to share. We are both stressful travelers and like to stick to our travel plans but some days going out aimlessly was kind of fun!
It’s very walkable. Don’t forget to pack a good pair of walking shoes as most likely you will be walking the entire city. We budgeted 4 days for Rome and we were done with all of Rome including Vatican City in 3 days. Try to find accommodation in the city center though! We stayed at Roma Luxus that is a 10-minute walk from the Colosseum and most of the major attractions.
The Art. Michelangelo is probably one of the most famous artists of all time. Most of his artwork can be found in Rome and the Sistine Chapel. Let’s say its a paradise for Art lovers.
Close proximity to other cities. This is a massive plus when you want to squeeze in other cities on your short Euro trip like we did. There are endless options to plan itineraries around Rome, we decided on taking an hour-long train to Venice followed by Florence later.
Narmeen | Narmeen Fazwani
We have been to Rome several times, and we never get tired of this place.
8. Vang Vieng, Laos
Vang Vieng is a small Lao town with colonial style buildings mixing with more traditional one-story houses along the river Nam Song. About five hours drive from Luang Prabang, getting to town is an adventure in itself. The roads are scenic but ones of the bumpiest you would experience in Southeast Asia, so buckle up.
With government intervention in 2012, the town is transitioning from a reckless backpacker Party Central into a destination for active tourism seekers. Although you can still enjoy a cold one while going down the river on the legendary tubes, the atmosphere is rather chilled.
Situated in a scenic setting, the town is surrounded by gorgeous limestone karst, agricultural fields and rocky roads leading to multiple waterfalls and lagoons. It therefore naturally calls for kayaking, climbing or trekking. You can also do prolonged hikes or rent a scooter and discover the less developed areas around Vang Vieng.
One of the simplest yet loveliest things to do is to walk outside of town. Embrace slow travel, see locals working on their farms and climb up to the viewpoint to enjoy the sunset over the peaceful surrounding.
The country and the town are developing at an impressive rate. Make sure you visit before the charm of local Lao village is lost in the overwhelming crowds of tourists.
Darja | DeeGees
9. Bangkok, Thailand
For several years in a row, Bangkok has led the world in tourism – and for good reasons. Great food and entertainment can be found 24 hours/day in the city that never sleeps. Between the temples, shopping centers, friendly locals, and amazing food, you will never run out of things to do. Best things to do in Bangkok:
Eat street food! No matter where you wander throughout this city, you will never be far from someone cooking up world-renowned street food. Popular dishes are som tam, pad thai, chicken satay, and Khao mun gai.
Get a Thai massage. It’s hard to walk far without passing an opportunity for a traditional Thai massage. Relax and unwind for a mere $5-10/hr.
Visit Wat Arun, Temple of the Dawn. This gorgeous temple is covered in tiny pieces of glass and porcelain. At night it literally glows from the reflection of nearby lights. And at sunrise, it sparkles like a million diamonds as it reflects the rays of the morning sun. This is one temple you won’t want to miss.
Cruise the canal on an evening boat tour. This is the perfect way to get a comprehensive tour of Bangkok, along with a cool history lesson and amazing food. The evening is the best time to go. Not only is it cooler, but you will get a breathtaking view of temples lit up against the dazzling skyline.
Jade | Mommy Matters
10. Sibiu, Romania
Romania’s becoming more and more popular with tourists. It has a lot to offer, either in the busy cities or in its wild mountains with virgin forests. And it’s all very budget-friendly, too.
However, when someone asks me where they should go, I always tell them that they should travel to Sibiu. The town is quieter than Bucharest, the capital, but it still has a lot to offer, especially during its many, diverse, and animated annual events. You have the International Theatre Festival, a Jazz Festival, a Street Art Festival, the ASTRA Film Festival, its famous Christmas market, and many others bringing the city to life.
Beyond the specific times to visit Sibiu, traveling to this town is interesting at any time to discover its medieval fortifications (parts of the walls, the guild towers, bastions), to enjoy walking on its streets with lovely old buildings, and to visit its historical churches. And there are many cool spots to discover for grabbing a bite or having a drink in a nice atmosphere.
Outside the city center, there is the ASTRA Traditional Folk Civilization Museum, where one can explore the traditional Romanian life in an open-air village museum, with full-scale homes, with gardens and vineyards, and even animals. This is also where you’ll see the house from the Romanian 10 lei bill!
If you wish to venture out a bit more, you can visit some of the Transylvanian fortified churches, listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. If it’s winter, you should take a lift to Păltiniș and go skiing. Or, if it’s summer, you can cross the mountains on one of the world’s most beautiful roads: the Transfăgărășan.
Mirela | The Travel Bunny
11. Sarasota, Florida
If your idea of a perfect vacation is resting on a beautiful beach and meeting hospitable people, then Sarasota, Florida is the place to be. The beaches in Sarasota stand out among so many others. I would suggest visiting Siesta Key Beach, the sand feels like baby powder on your feet. It is so soft and soothing, nothing like other beaches that have the grainy hot sand. The sand is not hot and feels amazing. I like to grab a couple of my favorite books and just listen to the beautiful waves while sitting by the water.
As far as places to eat, my favorite is the Daiquiri Deck in Siesta Key Village. They have so many daiquiris to choose from and my absolute favorite thing to eat is the fish tacos. I got it twice in one week. They ran out of take-home daiquiri deck cups when I ordered one once and the waitress was so sweet that she actually told me to come by the next day and she would bring one for me for home. This brings me to my next point.
The people in Sarasota, Florida are so sweet and hospitable. I haven’t encountered a single mean person here. How can you be if you live in such a beautiful place. Another great place to discover and get food is in the Amish community. One of my favorite restaurants is Yoders. They make homemade pies and have the yummiest roast beef. It’s fun to roam around their community and look at all of their unique and cute shops.
Wherever you decide to vacation, I hope it opens you up to discover and experience new and exciting things.
Dani Elle | Step In Her Heels
This is my most traveled place. I have visited this country more than ten times in the past eight years, and I have traveled there alone, with friends, with family, with my husband and kids. No matter what season, whether I am just transiting or staying for a couple of days, and whoever I am with, this country never fails to surprise me. You will never run out of things to do here. There are Gardens by the Bay, Universal Studios, Night Safari, Singapore Zoo, Sentosa, Cruise, Aquarium, Flyer, Safari, Museums, Waterpark, Cablecar, Adventure Land, and a lot more. I am yet to experience the luxury of Marina Bay Sands. I usually recommend this place for solo travelers who are nervous and scared. I also love transiting here because (for me) they have the best and the most family-friendly airport.
Carmen | Wellington World Travels
Read more: 20 Fun Things To Do in Singapore With Kids
Bonus! Kyoto, Japan
People usually ask me, after I have traveled to more than 40 countries, what’s my favorite destination. And I always say Kyoto. It was love at first when I first set foot in Japan in 2011. Kyoto is located in the Kansai Region. I prefer Kyoto over Tokyo because I feel they have preserved the culture in this place. Maybe that’s why they refer to Kyoto as the cultural center and Tokyo as the capital of economics and politics. Japan has 17 cultural sites and four natural sites listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Kyoto is famous for its temples and shrines. Wander through the incredible Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine. Visit the Kinkakuji Temple, and Kiyomizudera temple. Enjoy the panoramic view of the city at the Kyoto Tower. Walk down the Philosopher’s Path in Arashiyama. Rent their traditional clothes then walk around the city and/or do a photo shoot. Relax in the hot springs and enjoy the local cuisine. Kyoto is also arguably the best place to enjoy cherry blossoms.
Carmen | Wellington World Travels
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I know this list is short, and there are other great places out there! So, what other places can you recommend for us to visit next year? And why? Share them with us in the comment box below.
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Booking a Flight. When finding cheap flights, we try a combination of search engines to ensure we’re not missing out on the best deals. We use SkyScanner, Expedia, Kiwi.com, Kayak, and Google Flights, then compare them to the prices shown on the airlines’ website.
Booking Accommodation. We prefer staying in hotels. Booking.com is our favorite when it comes to finding the cheapest rate. Again, it won’t hurt to check the hotel’s main website. They usually offer discounts for booking directly with them. For last-minute booking, check out HotelTonight. There are also other types of accommodation like Airbnb, hostel (Hostelworld has the largest inventory), and Couchsurfing.
Sightseeing & Tours. We like DIY tours - it gives you freedom and flexibility. You can take advantage of the CityPass and Sightseeing Pass. But we have joined in several tours that maximized our time and made our trip easier. Feel free to check out Intrepid, and Trusted Tours & Attractions for discounted offers.
*A Collaborative Post | All contributions, posts, and links were provided by the respective author and used with permission.
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