2018 has almost come to an end and it’s time to start looking forward to 2019 and planning an epic year of travels and adventure. To help you plan for the year ahead, I’ve sorted through endless hours of video footage from the past two years of my travels – where I touched down in almost 50 countries on 5 continents.
This video below is my pick of the top 12 travel destinations for 2019 – a country for every month of the year. From the stunning tea plantations of Sri Lanka, to diving in Belize, karting down mountains in Switzerland living the yurt life in rural Kyrgyzstan or celebrating Holi festival of colours in incredible India – here are 12 exciting places to visit in 2019!
Sri Lanka is a country that is quickly becoming recognized as one of the top travel destinations on earth and it’s not hard to see why. The country has so much to offer the adventurous visitor, from hiking up sacred mountains, surfing on pristine beaches, taking once-in-a-lifetime train journeys through endless green tea plantations and swimming in more waterfalls in one trip than you thought you could visit in a lifetime.
The country is also home to some of the tastiest cuisine in Asia, incredibly warm and friendly people and enough culture and history to satisfy the most curious of culture vultures. If you add just one country to you 2019 bucket list, let it be Sri Lanka!
One of my favourite trips of this year was to Taipei, Taiwan, the city that has it all. You will be blown away beautiful temples scattered around the city, the incredible architecture, creative parks, themed cafes and how easy it is to escape to nature so close to the city.
From visiting thermal hot springs, climbing an active volcanic mountain or visiting some of the most picturesque villages in the region – all possible on day trips from Taipei.
Taipei is also one of the top foodie destinations in Asia, with world famous night markets, Michelin Star street food and a reputation for being the starting point for many Asia-wide food trends. February is when one of the biggest lantern festivals in the world takes place outside of Taipei making it the perfect month to visit.
I’ve chosen India as the top place to visit in March as this is when Holi, the festival of colours takes place. Choose a top city to celebrate, such as Mumbai or Jaipur, and take to the streets with some newly made friends to join in the colourful and very messy celebrations.
India is a fascinating destination to visit, and whether you join a group tour, go backpacking or see the country from the luxury of The Golden Chariot train – it’s sure to be a treat for all the senses, full of colour, smells, movement and of course thousands of years of history.
While once penned as the top honeymoon destination in the world, the Maldives has really opened up to a wider variety of tourists in the past 3 years. While most people flock to the ultra luxury resorts with their pristine beaches and overwater bungalows, it’s also possible to travel the Maldives on a budget. Whether you go couchsurfing, stay in a guest house or find a room on Airbnb – the local islands have a lot to offer the curious visitor.
There are also plenty of waves for surfers and many people choose to do live-aboard trips to go diving in one of greatest destinations on earth. Even the resort islands have started to attract a younger crowd, with many offering yoga retreats, escapes for groups of friends and evcen solo traveler packages.
For the best snorkelling and diving in the world, then paradise awaits in Belize. Be it chilling out on the beaches of Caye Cauker, enjoying a cold Belekin Beer in San Pedro and taking an epic boat trip with Raggamuffin Tours to discover the best underwater life – Belize has it all.
If you’re looking for endless islands to explore, great weather, insanely tasty food and people who never stop reminding you to “take it easy” and “go slow” then Belize should be one of your top destinations to visit in 2019.
This year I learned once and for all that there is SO much more to the Czech Republic than Prague.
Hiking in the breathtaking Bohemian Switzerland National Park is a must, home to sweeping views, beautiful hiking trails, magical boat rides through the canyon and the largest sandstone arch in Europe.
It was also the filming location for the Chronicles of Narnia and is worlds away from the hustle and bustle of Prague.
The early summer is a great time to visit Switzerland, once of the most breathtakingly beautiful countries on earth. Make your way to the Valais region in one Switzerland’s famous red trains, while taking in the sweeping views of crystal clear Glacial lakes, high mountain peaks and happy looking Swiss cows.
Adventure awaits in places like Mannlichen where you can whizz down the side of the mountain in a summer gemel – kind of like a snow sled with wheels. Other adventures such as vlo karts, zip lining and bungee jumping into narrow canyons are also available for the adrenaline junkie in you.
One of the countries on this list that probably gets the smaller number of tourists, Guyana is in fact an adventure lovers dream.
Sleep in a hammock under the stars at a working ranch, ride on horseback through the remote Rupununi Savannah and unearth some dust as you drive 4×4 jeeps and ATVs through rivers and across open plains.
Home to world’s largest single drop waterfall, dense rain forests, towering mountains peaks, this cricket-loving, English speaking nation in South America should quickly make its way onto your 2019 bucket list.
Costa Brava Spain
Taking you back to Europe for my pick of the best travel destination to visit in September 2019. I visited Costa Brava twice this year and it’s by far a hidden gem in Spain. Think secret coastal pathways, quiet fishing villages, deserted beaches a rugged coastline and food that will make you want to return again and again.
There are also endless medieval towns and villages to be explored, wine and cider to be tasted, sunflower fields to admire, and of course the world-famous Dali Museum which is absolutely a must-visit while in the region.
My most memorable trips of 2019 was definitely to Kyrgyzstan. I was there for the World Nomad Games, one of the most unique sporting events in the world which includes games such as dead goat polo and horseback archery, with all entrants wearing colourful traditional dress which gives the games an almost medieval feel.
Kyrgyzstan is a stunningly beautiful country home to high mountains with world-class hiking, emerald green mountain lakes, lakeside beach resorts and a fascinating nomad culture which includes many of the people living in permanent yurt structures. It’s super cheap to travel around, the food is delicious and the people will most definitely welcome you with open arms.
I would return to Mexico every year if I could as it’s a country that has so much to offer a beach loving, taco-eating sun worshiper! The Yucatan Peninsula alone needs weeks to be explored, from the famous pink lakes of Las Coloradas close to beautiful Rio Lagartos to the somewhat secret Lake Bacalar which is sometimes nicknamed the “Maldives of Mexico” thanks to its insanely blue waters.
With Fresh food and intense flavours, under gound caves to swim in, islands to explore, ancient pyramids, brightly colours lakes and world-famous beaches – Mexico is the perfect destination to travel to in November to escape the western winter.
Known as the culinary capital of Austria, I can’t think of any better place to visit in December than beautiful Graz. Checking outCshops in the charming Old Town, getting your fill of mulled wine, pumpkin seed oil and tasty treats – be sure to explore this ancient city – the 3rd largest in Austria.
Think delicious comfort food, magical Christmas markets, and a magical old town with unique architecture and buildings with intricate artwork painted on the front facades. Friendly locals with a passion for food and fresh ingredients – you’ll be sure to end your year with a happy belly and head full of memories!
What was your favourite trip of 2018?? Do you have any recommendations in top places to travel in 2019? Leave a comment below to help others plan their travels!