11 Hottest Travel Destinations of 2019
Who could say no to sailing the Greek Islands, hitting the slopes in Canada or going on foodie adventure through Japan? There's a reason we love these destinations so much, but there's one thing that we could all do without - crowds.
This year, break out of your comfort zone and expand your horizons by checking out one of these up-and-coming travel hotspots before they become overrun with tourists. And don't worry - they're all just as Instagram-worthy as Paris and NYC 😉
1. Sri Lanka
This small island nation, located just south of India, was named the top country for travel in 2019 by the experts at Lonely Planet, and it's not hard to see why. With its rich, vibrant culture, unique wildlife, stunning natural landscape, incredible surf beaches and some of the friendliest people you'll ever meet, Sri Lanka is a haven for explorers, foodies, thrill-seekers, spiritualists and everyone in between.
Spain may be home to the tourist magnets of Barcelona and Ibiza, but this year, it's all about Portugal. From its history-rich capital of Lisbon to the oh-so-colourful coastal city of Porto, Spain's next-door neighbour is full to the brim with gorgeous architecture, pristine beaches, killer nightlife and more incredible restaurants than you can poke a churro at.
Just a few short years ago, the Maldives was a destination available only to the super-rich and super-Kardashian among us. But over the last couple of years, this little cluster of islands and atolls has become more and more affordable for us everyday folk. With its isolated location, crystal-clear water and squeaky white sand, the Maldives is the ultimate place for a romantic getaway.
Pyramids of Giza, eat your heart out. This year, ancient history buffs and thrill seekers alike are getting their fill of Indiana Jones-style adventure in the Arab nation of Jordan, named as the sixth top country for travel in 2019 by Lonely Planet. From the awe-inspiring carved temples and monuments of Petra to the Dead Sea (a.k.a. the lowest point on Earth), Jordan is quickly becoming a must-visit.
Move over Croatia! In 2019, it's all about Turkey. Nestled between Europe and Western Asia, Turkey offers a massive variety of wanderlust-inducing experiences, from sailing the Med and hot air ballooning in Cappadocia to hiking the Kackar Mountains and shopping the many bazaars. And don't even get us started on the food - kebabs, mezze, baklava.... 'drool-worthy' doesn't even begin to describe it 🤤
Perhaps the least well-known country on our list, the mysterious and fascinating Uzbekistan sits in Central Asia, just south of Kazakhstan (yes, the home of Borat). With its rich Silk Road history, intricate Islamic architecture, ancient ruins, bustling bazaars, vast deserts and rugged mountains, there's something for everyone in this colourful, off-the-beaten-track nation.
From one of the lesser-visited places on Earth to one of the most - Thailand. Sure, it's been consistently pretty popular among Aussies thanks to its relative proximity, affordability and stunning natural beauty, but this year we'll see a huge resurgence as more and more of us seek relaxing holidays and colourful cultural experiences without breaking the bank. Phuket and Khao Lak are your best bets for a beachy escape, but if you want to see more of this breathtaking country, a tour is a great way to go.
Ranked No. 10 in Lonely Planet's list of the best value destinations in 2019, the small but mighty European nation of Slovenia is quickly climbing to the top of every traveller's bucket list. In addition to the iconic Lake Bled, this mountainous country boasts ski resorts, vineyards, ancient caves, medieval castles (perfect for living out those Disney princess fantasies), leafy cities and quaint, unspoilt small towns.
If you love the vibe of the Italian Riviera but not the crowds, Malta is for you. It may be tiny, but this little country is full of life and adventurous possibilities - we're talking picturesque coves with turquoise water, historical sites, postcard-perfect mountains, dynamic nightlife, and a foodie scene inspired by Malta's Italian, British and Arabic influences.
10. Costa Rica
Can't decide between North and South America? Meet in the middle with a Central American sojourn in Costa Rica, the lively (and lovely) country sandwiched between Nicaragua and Panama. The ultimate destination for adventurers, Costa Rica offers world-class surf breaks, yoga retreats, hiking, biking and more, all set against a backdrop of volcanic peaks and picturesque coastlines.
When we think of the Nordics, our minds usually go to the Fjords of Norway or the stark beauty of Iceland, but Finland is fast growing in popularity, thanks to its wild, unspoilt forest landscape (ideal for hikers and campers hoping to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights) and cool, laidback vibe. Known for its eclectic live music scene, modern design and architecture, unique culinary offerings and warm, welcoming bars, it's pretty much impossible not to enjoy your time in this beautiful country.
Hopefully we've given you some serious wanderlust to fuel your daydreams for the year to come, but if you'd like to turn those dreams into reality, be sure to check out Scoopon Holidays for great value travel deals in some of the world's hottest destinations. Bon voyage!