This world is full of incredible, jaw-dropping sights, foods, and people. Experiencing these things helps us grow as people and gives us the opportunity to enjoy life to it’s fullest. But when there’s something new and interesting around every corner, how do you decide where to go?
We polled 150 families travelling full-time to hear which 10 places make their best holiday destinations list for 2019. This is a unique group of people who constantly research and consider the most fun, unique, and beautiful travel destinations around the globe. They are homeschooling while travelling and working as digital nomads to make their dreams of traveling abroad a reality.
If anyone knows the best holiday destinations for 2019 it’s these travel families!
While you may hear more about Paris or Bali on TV and social media, this elite group of conscientious travelers has defined the top 10 holiday destinations which embody the best the world has to offer. Not just the places that seem the most desirable on a movie screen.
To help us understand why each destination is awesome we invited travel bloggers to share their thoughts. This group of analyzers are paid to travel full-time, analyzing and critiquing each location as they go. In their professional words we learn why the seasoned traveling families have chosen the very best places to visit in 2019!
Here are the top 10 holiday destinations most people want to see by 2019, in order:
Bhutan is a Buddhist kingdom in South Asia. It’s known for the sweeping mountains of the Himalayas as well as tropical forests and valleys. Buddhist monasteries are expertly built in the most dangerous but beautiful mountainside locations, drawing adventurers and photographers from around the world to see the unique sights.
The second least populated Asian country (after the Maldives), Bhutan has never been officially colonized. It retains a unique culture largely uninfluenced by outside governments, which makes it one of the most special countries on the planet. Although it’s one of the least developed countries, Bhutan currently ranks first in economic freedom, ease of doing business, and peace in all of South Asia.
Travelling to Bhutan can be difficult, so if this is one of your top travel destinations be sure to do plenty of research to learn how to best enter the country and how long you’ll be able to stay.
“There is nowhere in the world quite like Australia. It’s so vast and diverse! The stunning scenery ranges from white sand beaches (the beach with the whitest sand in the world is just a few hours from Sydney!), to deep red deserts, the oldest living rain forest, cosmopolitan cities, and underground opal mining towns.
“Visitors come looking for cute and cuddly koalas and kangaroos but leave talking about the weird and wonderful endemic species such as platypus and hairy nosed wombats. Add to that it has some of the friendliest people in the world who’d happily invite you to stay after only just meeting you, and you have a holiday destination which is pretty hard to rival.”
-Cat, Walk My World
“Many people think that a continent famous for ice and snow would be a terrible place to visit, but nothing could be further from the truth. Antarctica is truly one of the last unspoiled places on earth and there is so much to see and do that a two-week cruise will not seem long enough.
“Imagine soaking in a hot water ‘tub’ dug in the beach on Deception Island, with steam rising off the beach around you and the ruins of an old whaling station strewn along the beach nearby. Or cruising through Iceberg Alley, having a barbecue on the back of the ship and sipping a cocktail served over 1,00-year-old ice chipped from an iceberg with snowy white peaks on both sides ending in wide blue glaciers forming cliffs at the water’s edge. Icebergs are floating by, some bright blue, some with trails of penguins lined up to dive off a small cliff into the water, some shaped like rippled waves frozen in time. Beside the boat penguins playfully jump out of the water like porpoises and a humpback whale lazily rolls over nearby. Or imagine walking through penguin colonies, filled with thousands of penguins stealing pebbles from other penguins’ nests; fiercely guarding their downy chicks who peek out from beneath their parent’s feathers; sliding down snowy slopes like toboggans; or lining up along the shore, waiting for a braver bird to go first. Or having vodka shots at a Ukrainian research station. Or cruising around in a zodiac past leopard seals with rows of sharp teeth. Or walking past rows of elephant seals lined up along the beach, burping loudly. Or seeing a spectacular horse shoe-shaped glacier ‘calf’ as huge chunks break off with a sharp crack, becoming icebergs in an instant. Or watching an albatross cruise on an air current without moving for miles and miles as it follows your ship. Or …
“There are dozens of reasons to visit Antarctica, all of them sufficient reason alone to visit. Combined, they make Antarctica an absolute must-go holiday destination.”
-James, Travel Collecting
“There are so many awesome things about Italy that I don’t know which to mention first! It’s one of the top travel destinations year after year for a reason.
“In my opinion, Italy has it all. There are thousands of kilometers of great seaside so it’s perfect for beach and sun lovers. Hikers will find outstanding mountain ranges in Italy which they can enjoy both in summer and in winter. Italian food is mouth-watering and they produce awesome wines. Those of you who love history and architecture will be in heaven, too. If I had to choose one country in the world to move to right now from my beloved Poland – the choice would be easy!”
-Dorota, Born Globals
5. Galapagos Islands
“The Galapagos Islands (official name: Archipielago de Colon) forms a part of the beautiful and remote Republic of Ecuador on the northwest tip of South America. A total of 21 islands make up the 3,040 square miles of fractured volcanic rock that jut out from the ocean some 563 miles (906 kilometers) from the coast.
“It’s a harsh, barren place, mostly devoid of vegetation and bristling with active volcanoes, lava, and ash. But, out of the fire and flames, come life- extraordinary life. The healthy suspicion between man and beast, to which we are all accustomed, does not apply on the Galapagos. Spared from centuries of hunting and human occupation, the numerous and varied creatures that inhabit the island treat the relatively new influx of human tourists with nothing more than total nonchalance. We, on the other hand, are absolutely fascinated by the islands and the creatures that inhabit them. And with good reason.
“Conservationists have marveled for centuries at the incredible variety of untouched life that exists: penguins, sea lions, swimming iguanas, giant tortoises, and even the aptly named “Blue-Footed Booby.” Geologically, the Galapagos is violent and ever changing. For instance, Isabela Island, the largest, includes six major volcanoes: Ecuador, Wolf, Darwin, Alcedo, Sierra Negraa, and Cerro Azul, with most recent eruptions ranging from 1813 to 2008.
“The islands are a foundry through which new life and rock and matter is forged quite unlike anywhere else on earth I’ve encountered and certainly somewhere that needs to be seen to be believed. It’s now an untouched Garden of Eden. Yet, I find myself wondering how much longer can that last? I think I’ll be booking another trip sooner, rather than later.”
-Hamish, My Travel Fix
“In some ways, Greece has it all as a travel destination. You can spend the morning exploring ancient ruins and laze on the beach reading mythology in the afternoon thinking “Hey, I just went to that temple!” The next morning you can hike through olive groves and then take a sunset sail to neighboring islands, all capped off with fresh fish and a complimentary glass of ouzo or kitron.
“Likewise, Greece’s history is so much more complicated and varied than most first-time visitors can imagine. As the meeting point of East and West, you’ll find a wide range of architectural, cultural and culinary influences as you explore both the mainland and the islands. Every location offers a unique experience, and there are 227 inhabited islands to choose from!
“Our pick for a family-friendly Greek island is Naxos, nestled in the Cyclades but calmer and easier to manage than more-popular Santorini and Mykonos. You’ll find low-key ruins from both Greek and Venetian inhabitants, some of the most stunning beaches in all of Greece, and an outstanding dining scene serving up both Greek and Naxian specialties.”
-Melissa, The Family Voyage
3. New Zealand
“What is it you look for in a perfect travel destination? If it is friendly locals, interesting hiking trails and mind blowing scenery, then consider New Zealand. It is sometimes overlooked because of the long flights that most people will have to take, however the country is definitely worth the journey.
“New Zealand appeals to those who love nature and want to experience breath taking scenery. There are many hikes where you will find yourself looking out at the snow-capped mountains thinking “is this real?”
“The country is divided into 2 islands, the North and the South, with a short ferry ride connecting the two. North Island is home to capital Auckland, and is generally seen as a little more cosmopolitan than the south. There are some beautiful beaches at the very northern tip, including the infamous “Hot Water Beach” where you can dig a hole and create your own personal spa in the sand!
“The South Island is much more rugged, with many destinations featured in the Lord of the Rings films. Here you will find the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown. Set on the shores of a beautiful lake and framed by huge mountains, Queenstown is picture perfect. The surrounding areas are packed with adrenaline-fueled activities such as bungee jumping, river rafting and sky diving. There are also glaciers to explore and the highest mountain, Mt Cook, for those who fancy a challenge.
“It is worth noting than it can get cold in winter in New Zealand, and peak season is December /January. There are plenty of buses running between main tourist destinations, however many tourists choose to drive. Due to the country’s small size, driving the entire length is possible, as is seeing the main sights in one holiday. I recommend at least a month to really see everything New Zealand has to offer!”
-Demi, Around the World with Her
“Nature, at least for me, is the no. 1 reason why everyone should visit Iceland. The landscapes will take your breath away. If you enjoy dreamy backdrops straight out of a fairytale, you’ll be in heaven. There are no forests really, but it’s all compensated for in all the stunning waterfalls, smooth hills, hot springs and never ending grassy meadows.
The weather can get wild in Iceland and you can experience all 4 seasons within 10 minutes. Here the natural elements will show you their true power and you’ll have to cope. But, if you’re lucky, you’ll be rewarded for your ‘efforts’ with a breathtaking performance of the Northern Lights.
The other main thing to mention as special about Iceland are the Icelanders. The people are straightforward, honest, and can be very friendly. Especially in the areas not much visited by tourists.”
-Veronika, Travel Geekery
“From its rich culture to its distinctive and delicious food, Japan offers so many unique experiences for travelers. It is a country where traditional and technological blend together beautifully. The neon lights and busy streets of Tokyo are exciting and action packed. But even within the bustling city, you’ll find peaceful, quiet temples and beautiful shrines.
The history and cultural practices in Japan are fascinating and make the country truly one of most interesting places to visit in the world! Japan is especially great for families traveling with children. Kids and adults alike will love the wide array of themed restaurants and whimsical food. Amusement parks, arcades, and ethical animal encounters ensure fun-filled days and unforgettable memories.
Perhaps the best thing about visiting Japan with kids, though, is that it is incredibly safe, clean, and easy to navigate. With high speed trains and an extremely reliable bus and metro system, you can travel easily throughout the country without a car.”
-Melissa, Parenthood and Passports
These 5 travel destinations tied for 11th place, earning them an honorable mention on our list. We think they could be just as fun and adventurous as the top 10 travel destinations in 2019, so here are for your consideration!
Though once on the UN’s blacklist, Vietnam has been enjoying a rise in global favor for the last several years. Tourists now flock to the previously war-torn country to enjoy delicious food, miles of sandy coastline, diverse landscape, friendly people, and cheap goods. Vietnam is definitely on the rise as a top travel destination in 2019 and should definitely be on your travel radar!
All most people know about Tanzania is that it’s a country in East Africa. What people don’t realize is that Tanzania is also one of the best countries in Africa to view the incredible wildlife in it’s natural environment. Tanzania is home to some of the most vast wilderness area in Africa, and visitors can book any number of opportunities to safely and conscientiously observe these animals and learn about their habitat.
Once known as a location only suitable for the most hard-core adventurers, Nepal has recently had a media facelift. It’s now one of the top travel destinations for adventurous families who are bringing their babies to Everest Base Camp and beyond. All it takes is an open mind and fun spirit to understand why Nepal could be the best family vacation for adrenaline junkies. Keep your eye on Nepal, I estimate it will become a top travel destination for 2019.
Israel is not only the biblical Holy Land, it’s also home to geographically diverse landscape. Visitors to Israel can learn about it’s complex and interesting culture and also visit the desert, Mediterranean Sea, and mountains of Galilee.
Known as the gateway between Asia and Europe, Turkey is a country which has been steadily on the rise as a top travel destination. Here you’ll find the best of both worlds as different cultures collide in an explosion of food and architecture. Turkey is full of global historical significance, especially the cosmopolitan city of Istanbul.
There you have it, the top holiday destinations in 2019 according to the most travel-wise people in the world!
If you’re looking for advice on the top travel destinations in 2019 I suggest you follow these world travelers! These top picks represent the best the world has to offer in food, culture, architecture, and landscape. You’ll love each one of them and have the best family vacation ever!
Planning your bucket list trip around the world? Pin this article on the best holiday destinations for later!
The O’Briens sold everything in 2017 to travel the world full-time. They work online as digital nomads to fund their travels, and homeschool their son along the way. Follow them on Instagram and YouTube for a glimpse into what it’s like to travel full-time as a family!